A favourite photo

From left to right: Pete Warren, Alec Houseman, George Christopher Houseman, aka Bob, aka Dad, Kevin Wilson & Nicholas Houseman. Own collection.

I’ve loved this photo of my Dad ever since I found it tucked within the little leather suitcase of family photos inherited from my Mum’s parents aka Nana & Grandpy.

It was likely taken at some point in the 1970s, Dad in his twenties, at his most handsome. Strong jawed, floppy haired with a calf-lick creating the wave at the front, beaming smile, beautiful Houseman eyes that we all inherited although unlike Dad most of ours were brown and a half open shirt.

Dad is relaxed and happy, surrounded by brothers and friends. Hanging out together in the pub, perhaps after a Young Farmers’ meeting.

My Uncle Richard, my Mum’s brother is missing. Richard was one of my Dad’s best friends and very much part of the Young Farmers’ crew. It’s possible Richard took the photo which might explain why it was in the leather suitcase. But it wasn’t part of a set, it was a single photo. The more likely explanation is that this was taken some time after my Uncle had died in 1972.

There aren’t many photos of my Dad. He wasn’t keen on them being taken. Indeed, there’s none of us five children together with our parents. For Dad was to be killed in December 1984, less than three months after my brother was born. That’s why a photo of him looking this way is so precious.

Someone, somewhere likely gave this photo to my Mum’s parents, a gift to remember their lost son-in-law. A treasure that has made its way to me.

A postscript. On sharing this blog with my Mum, her immediate response was “that’s the man I fell in love with.” A treasure indeed.

With much gratitude to my Dad, to the photo-taker (whoever they may be), my Nana & Grandpy, the photo-keepers who enabled this photo to come to me and nd also to Amy Johnson Crow whose 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge, this week on favourite photo, encouraged me to publish this story.

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