For well over a decade, Sepia Saturday has been a place where lovers of old photographs can share their images. For the last six months, the theme images have been taken from an alphabetical sampling of on-line photographic archives. The image provides some people with a prompt or theme to match with old photographs from their own collections. For others it is simply a way to mark the weeks, leaving them free to feature any old photograph they want to. The last of the alphabetical archive images comes from the National Library of New Zealand, and it features an image of a bridge. Bridges join places together, just as old photographs join times together, allowing memories free access to the mind.
My photograph was taken in 1970 and features myself, my then girlfriend and for the last 48 years my wife, Isobel, and a third person whose name I cannot recall. That third person was a friend of a friend, and that friend, Mike, was taking the photograph. Mike and I had just spent a year together at Fircroft College in Birmingham, and we had met up in London where he was then studying. Isobel was also at University in London, and I had come down for the weekend to stay with her. It was a perfect opportunity to meet up with Mike, who brought along to the meeting a friend of his from his home country of Singapore. We met up, we walked around a little, no doubt we had a drink together, and we stopped for our photographs taking on Waterloo Bridge. A moment in time brought four people together, a photographic image captures three of them for posterity. I don’t think I ever saw Mike again, nor his friend, but the memory of that meeting on the bridge lingers on. That’s what photographs do – they provide a bridge between then and now.