16-year-old Philip Loveday took his second-hand camera and took pictures at the same spots as his grandma Scilla did when she was 16.
A dedicated grandson has spent a year recreating images of London that his grandma took in 1955 at 16. Philip Loveday, who resides in Barnet, grabbed his second-hand camera, embarked on a photo spree into the city center and took the same pictures his grandma Scilla did. According to My London, he added his images side-by-side into her photo album as a 'touching' gift after she was diagnosed with dementia. He thought of new ideas to replicate the photos of the long-forgotten sights on London streets, such as a shoeblack, a barrel organist and a sandwich man. He incorporated modern changes so that this project would not be unfinished.
Also, there is a sweet message on the first page of the album, which reads: "Dear Granny. In this project, I've tried my best to retake the photos of London that you took when you were my age. Although not every photo can be taken with perfect accuracy, I tried to include as many details as possible. Seeing how 1955 London is different from 2022 London has been fascinating, and traveling around and trying to match the exact location and angle from which the photo was taken has been a lot of fun and satiated my need for perfection. I hope you enjoy looking through these photos and seeing both the similarities and differences from when your photos were taken."
My 16 year-old has been going round London trying to capture exactly the same photos my mum took on a photography project she did when she was 16, in 1955. Didn’t quite get it done in time for her Christmas present but we’re nearly there now. Here’s a little taster: pic.twitter.com/JIzbyESwCx— Professor Catherine Loveday 💙 (@CathLoveday) January 15, 2023
Scilla, a former doctor at Cambridge University, traveled to Central London with her camera in 1955 as a passion project and created a photo album with handwritten notes to remind her of the fond memories. She would bring the photos to her mother, a doctor and develop them in the dark room, combining her passion for art and science to find the right level of exposure for her photos. Scilla is now 80 and battling dementia. Her daughter, Catherine Loveday, a neuropsychologist at Westminster University, said that her mother was very excited to see her new and upgraded photo album.
This is the only one we’ve struggled to find so if anyone has any idea of where to go, please let me know pic.twitter.com/1NXeWPs5ws— Professor Catherine Loveday 💙 (@CathLoveday) January 15, 2023
That is awesome! How did your mom react?— JE Barnard (@J_E_Barnard) January 17, 2023
When I went to Oxford in 2013 I took photos of all the places my father recalled from his school being evacuated there during WW2. Knowing I was looking at the same doors & lanes he used as a schoolboy was amazing.
I like the photos where you can see cars and people, as that enhances the sense of the passage of time.— Jill (@AltMumofzephyr) January 17, 2023
"I was particularly intrigued to see how she would respond to it and it's been really interesting, a lot of things are forgotten but we told her about this project a few months ago and she's mentioned it over and over again, it's something that has stuck with her," she noted. "The research shows that location is good for memory - there's a real sense of recollection and my mum has loved seeing Philip's work." Scilla looked through the album multiple times and, said: "I think this is something Philip should be incredibly proud of, and I think it is probably something he'll remember forever." She went on to add that Scilla has not stopped asking about its progress. "There is a real intrigue in thinking that he has stood in the same spot and it's mattered to her that he's enjoyed it as well," as per BBC.
The album is really coming together and is so interesting. Am thinking of getting it properly printed for her as well. I think this is one of my favourite pages in terms of seeing change pic.twitter.com/rY8TZb6Ur5— Professor Catherine Loveday 💙 (@CathLoveday) January 15, 2023
Philip shares the same hobby as his grandmother, adding that he "always had a good eye for photograph." The landscape has not changed much over the past 67 years, but Philip made sure that all the pictures were taken at the same angle as his grandmother. Catherine continued: "It's surprising how many are the same, it's extraordinary - one striking thing is St Pauls, in my mum's picture you're looking across and there's no Millennium bridge but you can't get that same view now although the skyline is identical. The family hopes to turn this photo album into a book with the help of technology to brighten and sharpen Scilla's pictures.