Thursday, 9 August 2012
The way we were
I was the magnificent old age of 20 at the time, had been in the WRAC for 6 months and was helping to set up a halloween party at Shrivenham where I was based.
I'm the one in the floaty flirty dress.
Never keen to be photographed (a hangover from my bespectacled with black patch youth)I nevertheless always loved 'pretty' dresses and this was my very first, bought with my own money and without supervision.
I will attempt to download and put in the right place a few more, kept as a pictorial record of my earlier years.
This is one taken by a colleague one lunchtime in 1958. I had left the WRAC and returned to live at home with my parents in West Wickham in Kent.
The building was the head office of The Electrical Trades Union where I worked for eight years.
In case you didn't recognise me I am sitting on the lawn front left of the picture.
That dress I remember well, it came from M & S and was made up of emboidered panels red yellow and white.!
We did a few Aldermaston marches in those years, 1958 - 1964 ish and this was on the way to Trafalgar Square.
My brothers and I belonged to a sort of folk group with a socialist message and used to sing as we marched. Such energy!
In this picure I am the one on the right of the central pair, behind the violinist.
That was in February/March 1971 and it was freezing.
After that, it was downhill all the way, with increasing age and weight until I would actually hide rather than be photographed.
Now that I can look back without the angst which accompanied so much of those times, I can see that I really wasn't all that bad, but the self-image thing is powerful and the results can be very long-lived.
These days while I still avoid photographers whenever possible I know that it doesn't really matter.
When the age old question was asked, "would you rather be beautiful or rich" I would unhesitatingly answer "beautiful". These days asked the same question the answer would be "either would be nice, but it doesn't matter.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:26:00 am