A missing finger indicates death of a child. On a cave wall in The Basin a whole line of hands show missing fingers; these are among the last hand stencils made, still sparkling fresh after 150 years.
In these slides most of the workers can be seen wearing Army Surplus clothing; many of the men had not long been demobbed; some even knew Dad from the airstrips he'd built during the war.
With hindsight I’d give quids to have some 8mm footage of those days. It was the same time that William Eggleston was producing what would become his signature work.
The hand stencils in this cave show a whole row of hands with the little finger missing; I was told by Fred Conway that it indicates the loss of a child.