Thank you so much to Carol who runs Blackhall Library for allowing me to show some of the photographs that I have taken in Blackhall. It was such an honour and a pleasure. And the best bit about it was having some of the people that I’d taken photographs of come along. It was so nice to see them and that made my day. It was a bit of a whirlwind getting them ready for exhibition as I only had two weeks but I got there in the end. And even thought it was for just one night I am hoping to have them on display again soon so that more people can see them. It was a very proud moment and I hope that if my Dad was looking down he’d feel proud of me.
I went down to the woods today, the wood in question being Castle Eden Dene. It is a place that I have known for most of my life having lived next door to it for around 40 plus years. As a child I would climb the trees and build dens and play hide and seek with my friends. So so many happy memories I have of this magical place. And now I am starting a new project, a one which will mean spending a lot of time in the wood. It is always exciting starting a new project but more so when you know you will be spending a lot of time somewhere that you love. I don’t know how the project will turn out, I don’t even know what type of photographs I will be taking. But it will be a glorious experience, that I do know, because how can one not love being out in nature, being somewhere that is over 10,000 years old, that will be around a long, long time after we are gone.
If your parents or grandparents are still alive ask them about their lives. Ask them where they came from, what they did, how they lived. Because one day they won’t be around to ask. And you may not think it but our heritage is important. We are what we are because of our parents and our grandparents. Values get passed down, traditions get passed down. Don’t leave it until tomorrow because tomorrow doesn’t come for everyone.
My biggest regret is not finding out about my dads history. And now here I am doing this project on Blackhall and I know very little about my family when they lived there. I get snippets of information from the Blackhall folk and I treasure every one, but how I wished I had asked him when he was alive about his life.
A couple of weeks ago I came across a page on Facebook, The History of Blackhall Colliery in Images. And I joined and what a fab page it is. I’ve posted some of my black and white images of Blackhall on it and I have had nothing but good reactions. And the best bit is the memories it has invoked in people. And the recognition. How nice to have the people in the photos recognised by their friends and family. One lovely lady even asked if she could share one of the photos of her uncle who sadly has recently had a stroke. She loved the photo and wanted to share it with her aunt as he is one of her favourite uncles.
I am hoping to that by posting some of these photos more people might want to get involved as I really want to see family life in Blackhall.
My next step is getting some posters made, around five in total, and put them up in shop windows along Middle Street so that everyone can see what I have been doing. It will help me immensely with approaching people too as I still feel slightly nervous when wanting to take photos in the street. My lovely friend Brenda has given me lots of tips on how to get candid photos which I have ingrained in my memory.
So fingers crossed by December I will have at least five posters up along Middle Street and if I get a good response I may put some more up.
Oh and I’m putting together a little magazine too. Not sure whether I will sell it or use it as a portfolio to show people but its all rather exciting.