Negative Response



Ma n Pa on their wedding day, May 3rd 1958

With our dear old dad, aka, Squire’, coming up to 90 years old, naturally we have arranged a big get together of family and friends for the occasion, but how do you go about something like that? I mean to say, you don’t come across many nonagenarian’s, and they must have seen and done so much during their tenure on this blue marble. First up, family pow wow to talk the idea through, and see who could do what regarding making the actual event happen, and who else might be called upon. Next thing was to make people aware, so I took the easy route, and set up a Facebook group for it, then started inviting everybody, family and friends, asking them to invite whoever I may have missed, or who they know doesn’t do Facebook. Luckily Squire is a popular old buzzard, and a reliable team were soon assembled, cake, decorations, and moral support are in hand. Location was a no-brainer, his beloved Sussex Yacht Club, of which he’s been a member since about Nelson’s time, although we nearly missed out as we’d left it all a bit late, but luckily got an afternoon slot for Saturday 15th April, 2 days before his actual birthday. They have an in house catering mob, so food was covered, all we had to do now was make sure people had enough advance notice, and keep the date alive in their minds.

Ma n Pa on honeymoon in Windsor, 1958

It had long been my intention to get an old box of family photo slides scanned in somehow, but lacked the technology to make it happen. Trawling the internet I found a slide and neg scanner which seemed to fit the bill, ‘DigitNow high resolution film scanner’, for £50, unfortunately it wasn’t fit for anything but the waste bin, so I returned it the same day as it arrived, and left a scathing review of the worthless product. I went back to the internet, checking the reviews more thoroughly this time, and found this ‘Ion Pics2SD’ slide and negative scanner on e bay, with great reviews. Having ordered the device it was now a waiting game, so when it arrived I was full of excited anticipation, this soon turned to further disappointment when I discovered this item was even less use than the first scanner. It did nothing, and looked wrong compared to the sales picture too, so I rattled off a message to the seller, informing them of my disappointment. After a number of messages back and forth, I sent the item back and awaited their verdict, which thankfully was swift, I had been sent a duff product, one they don’t even sell apparently. When the replacement arrived a couple of days later, I wasn’t going to get my hoped up, but within minutes all the previous let downs had been forgotten, and I found this little light box to be just what the doctor ordered. Slides that haven’t been viewed for getting on 40 years were revealing the past in glorious technicolour, saved to my laptop, and shared on the newly created Facebook group for the old mans 90th birthday. The images went back further than 40 years, some of them are from the 1950’s, including the parents wedding and honeymoon. After that I was like a kid in a sweet shop, finding one treasure after another as I downloaded the priceless photo-documents of our family, friends, and cousins.

Ma n pa on holiday in Cornwall with Uncle Mike, Auntie Manuela, and their kids, circa 1963

Having saved all these slides for posterity, I went to the cupboard where they had been gathering dust all these years, and stumbled upon 18 packs of black and white negatives, each pack with between 30 to 40 images. My new toy meant I could instantly check this rich new vein of photos out, and what a joy that has been. I have to say I’ve been very happily impressed with the quality of the scanned images, and not to mention the fact that the photographer, my dad, had done a bang up job with his camera work, with a very low rate of failures among these pearls of photographic family history. Since then I’ve been scanning and sharing this new found archive via FB, and if I were a Facebook ‘Like’ junky, I’d have enough to see me through to New Year 2020, and that’s only with 10% of the photos shared so far. What better way could there be to ignite interest in Squire’s forthcoming birthday celebrations, and give everyone something extra to chat about come the day, not that we really need any help, family gatherings have always been something to look forward to. There is also the not so small matter of Squire’s brother, Ian, who until a few short years back, believed himself to be an only child. I tracked him down while doing family tree research, and we have been in contact since 2008,  meeting for the first time in September 2013 when he and his lovely wife, Jill made the journey down to see us. The two of them will be making the trip down for Squire’s 90th, and meeting a lot of nieces and nephews for the first time, hopefully they will enjoy the newly found archive of family photos too. I can’t wait.

Our family, circa 1970. Dad the photographer

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