Gosport 1936

My dad kept a photograph album from the age of nine until he was fifteen.  There is a gap and then pictures of him courting my mum start to appear in other albums; they married in 1943.

His earliest first pictures are accompanied by quirky observations in a clear precise hand that remained constant throughout his life, he was never destined for the medical profession.  As he approaches his later teens the comical asides disappear and the serious older boy simply writes pertinent information on the rear of the photographs, something I didn’t know was there until I pulled out the images for scanning.

All of them are roughly 55mm x 80mm and I assume contacts derived from 120 roll film. Despite his lifelong interest in photography there are not that many pictures in the album but film processing and printing costs would not have been cheap for a schoolboy with empty pockets.

On 31st May, Whitsun 1936, my dad, not yet sixteen, stood on the seafront at Gosport admiring the view across the water to Portsmouth.  Such was the scene that he was inspired to take a photograph.  In the foreground are local boats anchored near the town while in the distance can be seen the Naval Base and a warship moored in front of the Semaphore Tower Building.Dad's album ...

On this warm Whit Sunday he is feeling extravagant, turns to his left and captures the view northeast, towards Cosham:
Dad's album ...

A few months short of eighty years later, on a cold day in January, his son realises what he did at that precise moment in time and with a machine unimaginable in 1936, zips the two images together to see a scene that only previously existed in his father’s memory:

Dad's album ...

(click on the images to enlarge – but not by much – something has changed in WordPress and not for the better 😦 )