Family History in Photographs: A Different World

Build…(Canada, 1950s), with permission of John Callaway.

In a new series, John Callaway explores his family history after discovering boxes of old photographs and documents which belonged to his parents. ‘They represent a view to a bygone age,’ said John, ‘and although neither of my parents are alive to add to the story, I think that the photographs posted here are worthy of a larger audience.’ This week, John journeys from Coventry to Canada in just two photographs.

In 1960, the world was very small for a Coventry kid, just approaching his second Christmas. I have no recollection of this photograph being taken, but I do remember it sat on my grandmother’s mantlepiece until she came to live with us. The bigger picture would take a little longer to come into view, with a story that took in India, the United States and Canada, as well as various other places within the UK.

Mule variation, December 1960. Image with permission of John Callaway.

In the meantime, here’s the maxim that I want to employ for any of the photographs from my parents that end up here:

When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.

Robert Frank, Life (26 November 1951).

And so it is with this photograph, definitely worth more than a second look…

Build…(Canada, 1950s), with permission of John Callaway.

This article was originally published on John Callaway’s website, Ideas & images from Portsmouth and beyond. You can read more of John’s writing on his website and also see his live music photography.

Images used with permission of John Callaway.

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