A snapshot of the past…

A box of old letters and photos

I’m fascinated by boxes of letters, photographs of people I don’t know and the scribblings of other people’s diaries. I have no idea why, I’m just attracted to them, like a moth to a flame.

But there’s also a sadness when I see these things.

Today we went to an auction house, just to have a nose and a poke around. One lot was a draw full to bursting of letters, newspaper clippings and random photos. I was in love. I spent at least 45 minutes rooting through this tiny little box, trying to get a picture of what these people were all about.

Then it struck me. All these memories and little snippets of history are sat in a cold, draughty, auction space separated from the families to which they belong.

The other thing I stumbled across was a book which was given to the recipient in 1936 by her grandmother. It was a beautiful, old book that had various photographs of the family inside. I wanted to know more.

Does anyone else get sucked in to other people’s memories? Just what is it about the every day life of strangers that’s so fascinating?

More finds…
More auction finds

More auction finds

Author: Rachael

I'm a journalist and creative consultant. I write about how busy women (just like you) can live, work and eat - better.

3 thoughts on “A snapshot of the past…”

  1. The saddest thing is that we’re fast moving towards a society where this kind of thing will be rare as opposed to commonplace. How many actually print photographs now?

    Sixty of seventy years ago a photograph of a loved one or family member was still something to be treasured. Now, thousands of digital images are taken, and while many are shared via Facebook, Instagram, Flickr etc, the sheer weight in number of them means that few people will even consider rooting through them in the digital archives as you did in the auction.

    1. I totally agree. I wanted to get some pics printed the other day of Scoobs and George and I actually had to stop and thinking about how to do it and where to go. I remember I used to love going and getting my films printed up when I was a kid, to see what pics I’d taken.

      It’s quite sad really. Especially as services like Flickr etc encourage users to upload directly so eventually a whole load of pics are just going to be lost in cyberspace.

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