I have a small book of about 50 odd proofs from my parent’s wedding, I don’t think they ever had the actual larger format photos done. Still, I think I’m lucky to have these.
The photo shows the happy couple, with my Dad’s family on the left. Mum’s on the right. Dad had two brothers. My Dad and his eldest brother are no longer with us, the middle brother is. Not heard from him in approaching 30 years and last I heard he had Altzheimers. He must be about 75 or 76 now.
On my Mum’s side, you have her 8 brothers and one sister. It was the two girls who were the eldest, both born in Colchester. Then the 8 boys who were all born in Leicester. Only the 8 brothers are still alive now… as far as I know… My Mum’s sister had MS from her 30’s onwards and passed away 22 years ago. She was lovely and also my Godmother. Didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked, but when I did, she made me feel very special.
I have mixed feelings about this photo. It is great that everyone looked happy back in 1969. Whether that was the truth or not I have no idea. I was partcularly close to my maternal Grandma – the tall lady on the right. She was with me for a good 20 years, not many people have a Grandparent for that long. My paternal Grandma on the left died when I was 18 months old, in 1971, so although she knew me. I didn’t know her sadly. I do have a cinefilm of us together when I was a baby.
Was never close to Dad’s family. I remember when I was very young an Aunt would look after me, but then we seldom saw them. My Mum’s family was more present in my life, but growing up I wouldn’t say I was paticularly close to my Uncles. There were not so good stories mentioned, which I think I felt true later on, as one of my Uncles very occasionally abused me. It wasn’t until I met my OH that I spoke about it to her. Only two of my cousins know and I never told my parents or Grandma.
Needless to say I’m no longer in contact with my Mum’s brothers. I bumped into one a couple of years ago in a Leicester chipshop, near where I used to live, on a visit back to the UK. He was most bemused to see his nephew “who lives in France” down his local eatery. Him along with the others I hadn’t seen since my Mum’s funeral in February 2014.
I just think that the distancing is a natural thing now… I’ve not made much effort with them, if any. Just very briefly on social media which was totally pointless really… it soon fizzled out.
So I still feel happy when I see this photo. But there are under-tones.