A word of explanation…
BACK WHEN all photos were printed, I had a 4-tier system that determined each print’s fate:
- The best shots went in a “display-type” album – the sort designed to showcase one or two pics per page.
- The “OK but not brilliant” shots went in a “flip-type” album – the sort designed to store as many pics as possible.
- The “worth keeping just in case” or “spare copies” went into “The Photo Box” (in reality a box that originally had computer speakers in). The box was then shoved back in a cupboard.
- The failures went in the bin.
Nowadays it’s all digital and only the best make it into an album. Occasionally I’ll be given a print that still finds its way to The Photo Box (let’s call it TPB for short), but largely it covers the period from the 1970’s to the 1990’s.
Recently I up-ended TPB and browsed through the whole lot, reminiscing, occasionally smiling – but mostly remembering why those photos were relegated to TPB in the first place. I quite like sharing some of my photos online, but they’re usually pretty good (IMHO) to warrant that. Nevertheless, I realised, even these dodgy efforts had a story behind them. Hence today’s post, with a few more to follow.
And so it begins…
…with this beauty from 1984:
Isn’t it great?!
It was taken in August 1984 in Whitby, North Yorkshire, probably on a Kodak Instamatic 33 or similar. To be fair to the Instamatic, I’m pretty sure the colours were originally better and have faded, even in the confines of TPB, over the subsequent 33 years. Colours apart, however, I’ll admit the composition is less than pleasing.
You can tell it’s the sea, and you can just about tell there’s a person in there (that would be my new wife, since this was our honeymoon). I think there are a couple of boats too. Pleasing to the eye it is not.
So what’s the story then?
Having got married in Cleethorpes we honeymooned in Robin Hood’s Bay, spending a week in a cottage attached to a farmhouse for the princely sum of £60. The cottage had a sink and loo but no bath or shower, so we had to go to the farmhouse for that. The first time my bride used the bath she left her wedding ring behind and the farmer’s wife brought it back for us. (A year or two later, my wife lost that ring, we knew not where, so we replaced it – only for the original to turn up when we defrosted the freezer…)
Our wedding reception hadn’t finished until gone 6 p.m. and we didn’t arrive at Robin Hood’s Bay until about 11 p.m. The cottage was up a farm track so there was my new wife in her going-away outfit, opening a gate on a muddy track by the light of the headlamps. Oops. The farmer’s wife came out to meet us, saying she was beginning to think we weren’t coming. We’d got lost in Hull (in those pre-satnav days), and we began to think we’d not be coming either.
We had a good week, taking a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and, obviously, visiting Whitby – where my wife indulged her love of swimming, or more specifically, swimming in the sea. 33-and-a-bit years later, she still loves sea swimming, most recently in Looe in Cornwall. She would love me to join her but it’s a rare day indeed that sees me in the briny.
We’ve never returned to Robin Hood’s Bay or Whitby but this faded, badly-composed shot will always remind me of where our life together began and make me grateful for having a fully-equipped bathroom.