Today is Brother 2’s birthday; he was born on the day the first episode of Blue Peter was broadcast. He doesn’t usually celebrate birthdays so I’m doing it for him with this post. I recently came across these old photographs in the archives and it seems a good excuse to publish them. In an earlier post, I wrote about Peter Chadwick, the photographer who lived in our attic for most of my childhood. He was our longest lasting lodger and, like his mother Lee, a lifelong family friend. Still a student when he moved in, he created a dark room in one of the built-in cupboards of his garret. As he moved into photography as a career, he needed to build up a portfolio of portrait photographs in order to find work, and we were happy to oblige as his subjects. I can still remember the excitement of that day in a real photography studio: the intense heat of the lights, the rustle of the crisp white paper that we had to stand and pose against. My new shoes and the pastel striped dress I wore, my hair neatly brushed for a change. The photographs were beautiful and my parents had one, a group portrait of the 3 of us, proudly displayed at home for the rest of their lives. I don’t have that one but here are a couple more from that day in the 1960s:
Peter went on to become a successful photographer and artist.
I was not particularly close to my brothers when we were children – we fought constantly – so I’m pleased to find these very sweet childhood photographs in the family archives. I have it on record that Brother 2 was delighted when I was born, and this photograph of the two of us seems to bear witness to that:
Mum always described him as a delightful baby, sweet natured and always smiling. There are not many photos of him as a baby; as the middle one, he didn’t get the same camera attention as the first born or the only girl. But the one baby photo I do have, of him at 10 weeks old, proves Mum’s point: