26 May 2010


You may remember that at the weekend I came home from my mother's house with lots of photos. In fact hundreds if not thousands of them in three suitcases and a couple of boxes. Today I pretty much sorted through just one of the suitcases - ruthlessly ditching a couple of armfuls but still left with over a hundred individual photographs that are now arranged in family distribution piles on our dining room table.

The discarding process was sad but necessary. Photos of mum's holidays in various places - Jamaica, Malta, Turkey, Canada, Majorca - holiday friends, harbour scenes, apartment blocks, swimming pools, belly dancers. She was very evidently amateurish behind the camera. Photos of village events at the school, the sports club, the Women's Institute. Photos of various people I didn't know - weddings, babies, banquets. All gone - now jumbled in a big blue "Sakis" menswear bag ready for the recycling bin.

Amongst all these photos - the snapped evidence of a lifetime ceased - there were occasional pictures of my brilliant father, Philip, who was heart attacked to death in September 1979 though it really does seem like yesterday. In my early twenties he was my best friend - I am sure he saw the image of himself in me - and I still miss him. I feel quite sad that he wasn't at our wedding and never got to meet the grandchildren Shirley and I produced too late for him to know.

But those three paragraphs above are all just preamble. The main purpose of this post is simply to share with you two photographs I found in the first suitcase. They were taken on October 24th 1981 - our wedding day. Location - St Martin's Parish Church in Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire. In the first photo, moving from left to right there's Simon, my younger brother and best man, my Nana - Phyllis Morris who died in 1988, Mum, me and Shirley, Shirley's mum Winnie who passed away in 2008, Shirley's grandma Minnie Anderson and also my father-in-law Charlie who succumbed to cancer in 2000 and finally Carolyn, Shirley's sister and maid of honour.
Taken a few minutes later, there's me and Shirley with my three bearded brothers. To the right there's Paul of the Irish fiddle in County Clare and Robin of the motorbikes and French gites - way down south near the Pyrenees. Time marches on. How shall we meet tomorrow?


  1. I didn't know that you lost your father to untimely death. Thanks for posting these photos, YP.

  2. Anonymous8:10 pm

    Lovely photos, and may I say that you were (and still are!) a rather handsome fellow indeed!

    I responded to your request over on my post and added a few more photos for your perusal. It's been a while though, so I'm not sure if you can click on them to see the full size or not (Ugh!)

  3. Elizabeth8:59 pm

    Different family. Early loss of father (mine much,much earlier), marriage to a Lincolnshire spouse. Grandchildren who will never know a grandfather. A parallel sorting of boxes of photographs. The piles for distribution scattered over the dining room floor. Those waiting to be thrown. The faces I don't know. I'm sat here crying the same kind of tears and recalling similar memories. It's a rite of passage and it's got to be done; in an odd sort of way its comforting to connect with someone else who is going through that same process. Thank you for sharing, YP. XX

  4. SAINTS He died almost exactly a year after retirement - pretty much missing out on the pension rights he had accumulated.
    MRS VICKERS-RUGRAT Handsome fellow? Oh you smooth talking b... "Yes dear I'd like a cup of tea!"
    Thanks for adding the Othello Tunnels pictures.
    ELIZABETH Yes. On reflection, it did feel rather lonesome throwing big chunks of mum's life in a bag. Pleased I'm not the only one. I'm trying my best to save what's worth saving but no doubt there will be some regrets. Parallel Lives by Blondie...or was it Lines?

  5. Elizabeth11:26 pm

    Yes, big chunks of a life which, in some parts, it feels so wrong to be intruding upon. I find myself see-sawing between intrigue and voyeur. For me, I think its brought home how small a part of mam's 93 years I really was. Hugs to you...

  6. A lovely post about a sad but necessary task. Handsome fellow you were indeed, YP (Or did they have an early version of Photoshop in those days?) ;)

  7. Thank you for showing us these lovely photographs of your wedding day.

  8. Ours wasn't a church wedding and I wasn't in a long white dress - - but oh, your photos remind me of ours. Similar beards, similar suits - and not surprising, because ours was August 1980. Thirty years this year! Astonishing. Lovely to see your photos, thank you.

  9. I'll join everybody here and thank you for sharing your wedding photos.Its rather touching how the gest spinned off from going through your late mother's picture collection.Sorry to learn of your parents demise YP.
    My late mother kept all our pictures in a few albums and the rest in big biscuit tin boxes.I love going through them.I feel we're lucky to have kept them all.

  10. Thanks for that YP. I'll be making hard decisions about my Mother's (and Father's) belongings this very weekend as she's now in proper sheltered accommodation. I've got till Monday evening to empty the old place.

    It's full of my Father's CDs, Videos, Records and Tapes. All annotated and filed in Alphabetical order. There's even an old (early 60s) reel-to-reel tape recorder.....what-to-do, what-to-do???????

  11. I wonder what sort of things will be revealed in times ahead when our kids are going through our...computer files and re-reading our old blog posts.

  12. ELIZABETH Yes - intrusion. And of course guilt for the mass discarding.
    JENNY Erm...You're the only blogger who has ever met me in the flesh so you must know those pictures were altered for posterity.
    DAPHNE Thirty years! Stephen deserves a congratulatory telegram from the Queen! What a trooper!
    JEAN Thanks. The problem for me and my brothers etc.. is the sheer quantity of photographs. Just because you take a photo, doesn't mean you have to keep it for all time.
    STEVE I'm sorry you have so little time to sort it all. You need more time. Can't you just box up the "precious" stuff and keep it in the stables of your Mancunian mansion so that you can do the sorting in a more considered and leisurely manner? Good luck mate.
    KATHERINE You're right. It will be different in some ways. For example, nowadays I very rarely print any photos I have taken. Once I accidentally looked at a porn site. Do you think my descendants will discover that? The girl in question was a Kiwi called Sheila from Wairoa and she had big... brown eyes.

  13. Those 3 'brothers' are still wanted for several IRA attacks in the 70s...

    I shall pass their details on to Scotland Yard.


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