If you’ve been on Bored Panda long enough you’ve probably heard of the British photographer Chris Porsz. Chris is well-known for his unique project called “Reunions” (click for part 1 of the post) which documents the lives of people in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. One would think that it’s referring to simple street style photos, but Porsz has been working on his project for over 40 years already.

What makes his project special is the fact that he captures the same people, posing in the same places years after the initial photo was snapped. The initial photos go back to as late as the 1970s and for the last fifteen months, Chris has been diligently working on part 2 of his “Reunions” project.

In his photography book titled “Reunions 2,” Chris wrote, “For many, seeing a snapshot of their younger selves brought back happy memories of a day they had forgotten. Lots were thrilled to have a photo of themselves at a special moment in time which would otherwise not have been recorded.

My sincere thanks to those once random strangers, and now my friends, who made Reunions 2 possible by generously allowing me to share their fascinating lives with you.”

More info: chrisporsz.com | Facebook

#1

Mr Gino (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

Mr Gino (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

Ice cream seller Genesio Borrillo (aka Gino) is pictured in Cromwell Road serving Zahida Parveen. He bought an ice cream van when he moved to Peterborough from Italy and travelled around the city in the summer selling ice creams. In 1992 he set up a pasta shop in Peterborough, which he still runs with his wife Clara and daughter Lucia. He has three children and four grandchildren. Zahida said: “I used to live near Cromwell Road and I’d often buy an ice cream from Gino, I usually had a cone with strawberry drizzle and sometimes a chocolate flake. I think I was about seven in the photo.” Zahida still lives in Peterborough and has three children and a grandson. She added: “It was lovely having my picture taken again.”
 
Gino and Zahida’s 1980 picture appeared in Reunions 1 but with just Gino outside his pasta shop in 2014 as the girl could not be found. Chris added: “It was wonderful to find Zahida and to be able to reunite her again with Gino in the same location 41 years later.” Thanks to Israr for the ice cream van.

chrisporsz Report

Giulia Fortunati
Community Member
5 months ago

He still has great hair!

View more comments

Bored Panda reached out to Chris with a few questions regarding him and his profession as a photographer. First, we asked Porsz how he became a photographer and how he came up with the idea for the project "Reunions."

"I picked up my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, in 1972 to record a crazy 6,000 three-week hitchhiking trip across Europe and North Africa with my girlfriend, now wife Lesley. The images were terrible and so I got a better camera to take images of my family and I quickly caught the photography bug.

I dropped out of my social worker studies and became a hospital A&E porter for thirteen years. On my days off in the early eighties, I roamed the streets seeking inspiration and capturing everyday life by pointing a camera at society which was much easier and more satisfying than writing long boring essays. I found it quite magical as I still do that by simply pressing a button I can capture moments forever and fulfill some creative urge."

#2

Ford Cortina (Original 1980 – Reunion June 2021)

Ford Cortina (Original 1980 – Reunion June 2021)

Paul Smith was photographed standing in front of a Ford Cortina in Cobden Street, Peterborough in 1980. He worked as a porter at Peterborough District Hospital for 12 years from 1978, some of that time with Chris Porsz. He said: “The photo was taken outside my flat and it was my neighbour’s car.” Paul has two children and is a DJ on local radio station, Peterborough Community Radio. Chris struggled to find a similar Cortina as they are very rare but a friend contacted him to say he had spotted a red one on a drive. Chris knocked on the door and owners, Maurice and Joan Bradford, were very happy to provide their Ford Cortina Mk 5 Crusader for the reunion photo. Chris added: “I had asked Paul to dress colourfully to bring the old mono picture alive and as you can see he didn’t disappoint!”

chrisporsz Report

MiriPanda
Community Member
5 months ago

Paul has a great fashion sense :)

View more comments
#3

Carrot And Stick (Original 1981 – Reunion July 2021)

Carrot And Stick (Original 1981 – Reunion July 2021)

Bernard, who lives near Stamford in Lincolnshire, has been married to Irene for 58 years and has two daughters, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He has enjoyed oil painting for the last 30 years. He also collects tins with pictures on them and has amassed a collection of 31,500 over the last 13 years, which he displays in his home.
 
Chris said: “It was one of the most surreal and funniest reunions I have ever done. All thanks to Bernard who was a great sport and up for a laugh and to Vanessa and Jerry Rice at Four Acres of Thorney, near Peterborough who kindly provided 10-year-old Jessica. They have four others donkeys, Dyliss, Molly, Ronnie, and Reggie who kept trying to get the carrots too.”

chrisporsz Report

Mac
Community Member
5 months ago

Omg the real donkey/horse eating a carrot behind him in the recreation is great😂

View More Replies...
View more comments

"Self-taught, I was inspired by the social documentary and street work of Bert Hardy and Bill Brandt in Picture Post, Harold Evan’s seminal book ‘Pictures on a Page’, and of course the photojournalism of my heroes Robert Capa and Don Mc Cullin. In 1986 I got busy with raising three children and a new paramedic career. I fell out of love with photography and hardly picked up for a camera for a quarter of a century.

It was an age of protest and counter culture so I headed for the busy streets rather than middle-class suburbia. I was always looking for action, protest, the dispossessed, eccentric characters such as the punks, teds, skinheads, and rockers who stood out from the madding crowd. Regrettably, I was more interested in the people rather than the backgrounds and I now realize the social context is crucial too."

#4

Ever Ready (Original 1980 – Reunion August 2020)

Ever Ready (Original 1980 – Reunion August 2020)

Brothers Adalat Khan and Amir Baz ran a newsagent in Cobden Street/ Cromwell Road in Peterborough from 1979 to 1996 and were photographed in 1980. They are now retired and still live in Peterborough. Adalat is married with two sons and Amir is married with a son and daughter.
 
Chris added: “As you can see from their faces they loved getting back behind the counter and wanted to remain to serve a few more customers."

chrisporsz Report

Mimi La Souris
Community Member
5 months ago

this one make me happy, dont know with :)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Red Hot (Original Circa 1981 – Reunion August 2020)

Red Hot (Original Circa 1981 – Reunion August 2020)

Tim Davies worked as a blacksmith in a forge at Thorpe Hall (now a Sue Ryder hospice) in Peterborough for five years in the early 1980s. He said: “It was something I always wanted to do, and the opportunity came up so I took it. I learnt on the job and loved it all. It was a delightful and very satisfying skill to learn.” He later went on to work out of Grimsby on the highly hazardous deep sea fishing trawlers around Greenland and beyond for two years.
 
Tim added: “I returned home for a more settled, safer, and quieter life so became a security guard in the local job center as I am a sociable person and I like meeting and helping people.” Tim, who has a daughter called Gwendoline, retired in 2012 and is a regular at the Wortley Almshouses where he enjoys real ale and the good company of his friends. Tim went to a forge in the village of Thorney for his reunion photo in 2020, where he met blacksmith John Downing. He added: “I saw the forge and it started pulling on my heart strings, it brought back lots of lovely memories."

chrisporsz Report

Nijlenna Rusty
Community Member
5 months ago

Watch out with that beard!

View more comments

We also wanted to know what made him realize he wanted to photograph all of these people again years later.

"Fortunately my long-lost passion was rekindled in 2009 after I sent a few of those images to my local paper, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, and I was amazed when they gave me a weekly column, Paramedic Paparazzo. Readers started recognizing themselves and this was the ‘light bulb' moment for me to try and meet again for another picture and see what had become of these random strangers. Reunions 1 comprised 134 sets of reunions from such chance encounters and took me around seven years of searching. On publication in 2016, I was overwhelmed by the positive response from around the world as people were fascinated by my unique time capsule and seeing what the passage of time does to us all."

#6

Fun At The Fair (Original 1985 – Reunion May 2021)

Fun At The Fair (Original 1985 – Reunion May 2021)

Friends Toni Cray (nee Pignatiello) and Teresa Weston (nee McPartlin) were photographed on the Sizzler at the Town Bridge Fair in Peterborough in 1985. Toni said: “We had just left Stanground Comprehensive School after taking our CSE/GCE exams and a big gang of us went to the fair on the Friday night to celebrate. I was 15 and Teresa was 16. It was an absolutely brilliant night, and it was really our last night before adulthood. We didn’t have proms in those days so we went to the fair instead. Seeing the photo Chris had taken brought back all my memories from that night. We got there about 5pm and went on loads of rides and I remember some of the lads going in the tunnel which spins.”

chrisporsz Report

Micah<3
Community Member
5 months ago

They look so sweet and happy 🥺 Id love a friendship like that

View more comments
#7

Lollipop Lady (Original Circa 1984 – Reunion September 2020)

Lollipop Lady (Original Circa 1984 – Reunion September 2020)

Gloria Steele loved her job as a lollipop lady at Queen’s Drive School in Dogsthorpe Road in Peterborough. She helped the children cross the road three times a day for seven years during the 1980’s. Gloria, who has a son and a daughter, later worked as a carer in the community for the NHS until she retired.
 
“It was great fun re-creating the photo in uniform with a new lollipop pole and I had not lost my touch as the cars kept stopping, so it brought back lots of happy memories. We had a good laugh and it was lovely to see the girls all grown up.”

chrisporsz Report

Tara Moov
Community Member
5 months ago

"Lollypop lady" - what a cute name! In the U.S. they are just "crossing guards."

View More Replies...
View more comments

Given how hard of a project "Reunions" is, we were also curious about the whole process behind the scenes.

"It was not easy and if you imagine next time you are in a street, just choose random strangers that capture your imagination and take their pictures. Wait for three or four decades to elapse and without any contact details, see if you can find and then persuade them to return to the same place for a second photograph. This is basically what I did and how Reunions 1 and now my sequel Reunions 2 were born.

It was a good thing I took pictures covering all age groups, as many older characters have since died. I took granddads and grandmothers having a fag and a chat on a bench but fortunately babes in prams and teenagers, otherwise, my reunions would simply not exist. Many I could never find as they have moved around the UK, emigrated, fallen out with their former friends or family, or frustratingly declined to take part, but against all the odds and with serendipity on my side, I achieved my quest. I had many setbacks and false leads along the way, including a round trip of 200 miles to be told, ‘sorry, it’s not me ’ but the successes kept me going."

#8

Four On A Bench (Original 1985 – Reunion September 2020)

Four On A Bench (Original 1985 – Reunion September 2020)

Friends Johnny Crawford, Trudy Larkinson, Sandra Wilson-Bailey and Tom Bray (left to right) were sitting on a bench in Bridge Street, Peterborough, when Chris saw them in 1985.

chrisporsz Report

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
5 months ago

The left two don't changed much. But is this the same place? How much that tree has grown! 😯

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Mates (Original 1982 – Reunion April 2021)

Mates (Original 1982 – Reunion April 2021)

Mates (left to right) Romell Yearwood, Ryan Wiltshire (now Rayan Abdel Raheem) and Stephen Moore are pictured on Cathedral Square in 1982. Mark Allan (wearing cap) moved away and was not available for the reunion picture.

chrisporsz Report

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
5 months ago

Nice boys and nice men. 😁

View more comments

"Some I found by million to one chance while working as a paramedic. (I retired in 2020) A man dials 999 at 3 am and opens his door to me having a heart attack. With treatment, he perked up enough to say I had taken his picture with his mates in a derelict house over thirty years ago. I thought I had won the lottery and considered turning up the oxygen!

Another 999 call where a lady had fallen down the stairs but fortunately she was okay so I showed her husband an image of a boy at a gate that I had been searching for. Amazingly he recognized him and as he pointed out of his shop window to show me where he lived, a man turned the corner! It was him and led to the reunion over three decades later!

I had no intention of doing this sequel as I believed I had exhausted my collection but after trawling through my filing ‘system’ I discovered some hidden gems. From the spring of 2020 onwards, I made constant appeals and repeatedly posted around 300 of these images on Facebook and Twitter. To my great surprise, I immediately started receiving hundreds of messages and lots of midnight oil was burnt just trying to keep up with it all."

#10

Owl And Burger (Original 1984 – Reunion August 2020)

Owl And Burger (Original 1984 – Reunion August 2020)

Joe Wright was often seen around Peterborough with pet Barn Owl Rocky perched on his shoulder and Chris took a photo of him at a country and western show in 1984. He said: “We hand-reared several rescue Barn Owls and I’d take Rocky into town on my shoulder, which made people smile. He was called Rocky because he rocked his head from side to side when he was happy. People would come up and stroke him, he was very tame and never tried to fly away. He used to live in my bedroom and when my alarm went off he would nibble my ear until I got out of bed.” Eventually Rocky and the other owls moved to the garden shed, but one day someone broke into the shed and released them. Joe said: “They thought they were saving the owls, but they were hand-reared so couldn’t live in the wild. It was very sad.” Joe, who still lives in Peterborough and works for Perkins Engines, went to The Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James for the reunion picture and posed with Sparkle the Barn Owl. He added: “We’ve got dogs, guinea pigs, and goldfish now. It was lovely to have an owl on my shoulder again and brought back great memories."

chrisporsz Report

Tara Moov
Community Member
5 months ago

Very sorry to hear about the failed rescue attempt. Reminds me of the PETA activists who tried to "save" lobsters by dumping them in the Missouri River, somehow not realizing that freshwater is fatal to them.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Frogs, Vikings And Gluttons (Original 1989 – Reunion August 2020)

Frogs, Vikings And Gluttons (Original 1989 – Reunion August 2020)

Paul Yates was a street cleaner in Peterborough for 20 years until he was medically pensioned in 2006. He was photographed using the “Green Frog” cleaning machine in Lower Bridge Street in 1989. Paul, who is married with three children, returned to the same street for the reunion photo with the city council’s new cleaning machine, “The Glutton.” Paul, who still lives in Peterborough, has been running Viking reenactment group, Clan Wulfhar, for 30 years and gives talks to schools around the country. They also put on encampments with 20 tents and act out big battles around the country.

chrisporsz Report

Tara Moov
Community Member
5 months ago

Guy's got style

View more comments

"Unfortunately, my sense of urgency was not always shared, and it was frustrating to wait months for replies to some of my appeals. Inevitably, planned reunions were further delayed or canceled due to illness, including strokes, heart attacks, Covid or accidents. My maxim of seizing the moment before it has gone was crucial in keeping up the momentum and if a character said: ‘next month’ I would say: ‘how about tomorrow’? Compounded by the pandemic, it became a race against time before the next lockdown and, although very challenging, I was a happy man when over some weekends I completed up to a dozen reunions.

When characters were reluctant and camera shy, I would not just easily give up as my rare images were so important to me, and with lots of cajoling and persuasion from myself or their families and friends, they often reconsidered and were glad they did. It was also important to me that those who had emigrated would not miss out and, in spite of my technophobia, Zoom call reunions from California to New Zealand and Germany ensured distance would be no barrier."

#12

Pyschobillies (Original June 1983 – Reunion August 2020)

Pyschobillies (Original June 1983 – Reunion August 2020)

Four lads (left to right) Greg Brown, Dave Kennedy, Dave Baines and Neil Tucker were photographed in Cathedral Square in Peterborough. They have all stayed in touch over the years.

chrisporsz Report

Kona Pake
Community Member
5 months ago

I can see Psychobillys in the South, but in England?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Lesley And Chris Porsz (Original 1971 – Reunion January 2021)

Lesley And Chris Porsz (Original 1971 – Reunion January 2021)

Chris was a student, aged 18, and Lesley a clerical officer at BT, aged 20, when they were pictured in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph in 1971 after hitchhiking around 6000 miles across Europe and North Africa in just three weeks. They were married in 1976 and have three children and seven grandchildren.

chrisporsz Report

Rebekah
Community Member
5 months ago

What a sweet looking couple. What a life.

View more comments

"When the big Reunion Day finally arrived after months of planning, it was often nerve-wracking as so much could go wrong and did. Sometimes I would have to rush due to horrendous weather or occasionally characters just didn’t show up without any warning or explanation. One reunion had to be postponed when firefighters en route to us were diverted twice, to rescue a cow and later to a deer stuck in the mud. I was so relieved when the motorcycle cops made it without being called away. I could only relax once the photos were safely in my camera and even then I would sometimes be unhappy with the result, so where possible, and if my subjects agreed, I would try again to do better in a later session."

#14

Scoop Purchase (Original 1980 – Reunion April 2021)

Scoop Purchase (Original 1980 – Reunion April 2021)

Brothers Mark and Matt Court (left to right) were photographed eating chips in a pram while their mum went shoe shopping in Bridge Street in Peterborough. Matt said: “We had no idea the picture had been taken, a friend saw it on Facebook and recognised me. When my mum saw it she loved it and was very emotional. I think I was about 12 months in the photo and Mark was about two-and-a-half. We think mum was shopping for cowboy boots for our dad.” Mark and Matt both went to school with Chris Porsz’s children. They now live in Birmingham, where Matt is a carpenter and Mark, who is married with three boys, is a head teacher of a primary school. Matt is moving back to Peterborough soon.
 
He added: “It was great to go back and re-create the photo and catch up with family. I’ve got a copy of the picture on my wall now.” The shoe shop is now a Ladbrokes. Thanks to Sally Wells for loaning the pram for the reunion photo and the Salvation Army Superstore in Long Causeway for the props.

chrisporsz Report

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
5 months ago

Those were the days. You could let your children in front of the store and nothing bad happened back then.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Dad And Daughters (Original 1994 – Reunion April 2021)

Dad And Daughters (Original 1994 – Reunion April 2021)

Dr Richard Scott was photographed with his three daughters in Bridge Street, Peterborough in 1994. He said: “I think it was a Saturday and my wife would have been working in the hospital and I would have taken the girls out in Peterborough.” Richard worked as a GP and also did endoscopy at Peterborough District Hospital in the evenings and at weekends. He retired in 2019, but has since returned to help with Covid vaccinations. His wife, Caroline Scott, worked as a radiographer at PDH and Peterborough City Hospital and has now retired.

chrisporsz Report

Oopsydaisy
Community Member
5 months ago

That's so sweet!

View more comments

Given how many pictures Chris has taken, we were wondering if any of the people in the photos remembered that their photos were taken on the street, etc.

"A few did but the majority could not and a lot of my pictures were candid. I have a terrible memory but it's funny I remember taking most of my pictures."

As we mentioned before, Chris released a book titled, "Reunions 2" which is a sequel to the first part of his project. We wanted to know how people who were in these photos felt having finally seen them published after so many years.

"They were over the moon as were their friends and families when they finally saw the published book. Some reunions were bittersweet where characters had died young and parents were saddened but pleased to see images they never knew existed. It was very poignant when family members generously stood in for them and the book would be a permanent tribute to their loved ones in happier times.

The best bits were to see old friends, old soldiers who had not seen each other for over three decades united again and with me too. So it was very emotional with some tears, hugs, and kisses. Some friends and siblings who had fallen out were talking again and it even led to a school reunion. Once strangers to me, they have become firm friends."

#16

Andy Ireland (Original 1981 - Reunion 2020)

Andy Ireland (Original 1981 - Reunion 2020)

Andy Ireland dressed as a chimney sweep for a fancy dress competition at the Gladstone Street carnival in 1981 and today he is a former physiotherapist to Sir Andy Murray and now works as a consultant at a clinic in central London.

chrisporsz Report

Kona Pake
Community Member
5 months ago

Still behind bars.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#17

Snoggers! (Original Christmas Eve 1980 – Reunion October 2020)

Snoggers! (Original Christmas Eve 1980 – Reunion October 2020)

Rhyder Hunt and Julie Gracey (nee Davies) were snapped snogging in Cathedral Square in Peterborough on Christmas Eve 1980. They were part of a group who hung out together at scooter rallies and liked Northern Soul.

chrisporsz Report

Robert T
Community Member
5 months ago

Loving the policeman and two other people as well, as they just look like random bystanders, so tracking them down must've been hard.

View More Replies...
View more comments

We couldn't help but also ask Chris if there were any moments when he was moved by something that happened during this project.

"Reuniting characters that I never dreamed of finding and had almost given up on after searching for so many years. The community spirit willing me to succeed and people's desire to help me find people and who made it all possible.

Lots did not want to take part or were very reluctant, which was frustrating, so it was a really refreshing change when many were so positive, enthusiastic, and said felt privileged to be part of such a unique project. It was impressive when one character drove a round trip of 700 miles in his little Polo car from Glasgow because he had promised me he would be there to be reunited with his mates. Others came from the four corners of the UK."

#18

Tea Break (Original Circa 1983 – Reunion September 2020)

Tea Break (Original Circa 1983 – Reunion September 2020)

Nurses Karen Belson, Maggie Moore, Anita Downs and Jane Kew (left to right) The friends all worked nights so their tea break would often be around 1am.

chrisporsz Report

Daniel Atkins
Community Member
5 months ago

I like that she found a copy of The Sun with a similar headline on front.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

Madhouse (Original 1991 – Reunion August 2021)

Madhouse (Original 1991 – Reunion August 2021)

Emily Wright (nee Adams) and her brother Jimmy Adams are pictured sitting in the doorway of the Madhouse shop in Bridge Street in Peterborough in 1991. Emily and Jimmy grew up in Werrington Village with their two other siblings and attended The King’s School in Peterborough.

chrisporsz Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
5 months ago

She's still got a red jacket

View more comments

Lastly, we asked Chris if he had enough material to perhaps make a part 3 to the series at some point in the future.

"Unfortunately, I did not take that many pictures back in the day and many got lost or destroyed in my terrible ‘filing system.’ Many were ruined by basic mistakes in my amateurish hands in the camera and dark room so I was lucky that enough survived for my two books. Never say no, though! I started again in 2009 so maybe give it another thirty years in 2051 as I will only be 98 and can always bolt a camera to my Zimmer frame! Perhaps to be on the safe side, make that 2041!"

#20

Boy To Man (Original 1982 – Reunion February 2021)

Boy To Man (Original 1982 – Reunion February 2021)

Mohammed Mustafa was seen behind the wall of his home, 64 Cromwell Road, in 1982 when he was about four. He now works in Tesco’s warehouse in Peterborough and has five children. His mother still lives in that house.
Chris said: “When I took Mohammed’s picture nearly 40 years ago I never thought I would ever see him again, so it was wonderful to see how he now towered above that wall and to be able to stop and chat about those intervening years.”

chrisporsz Report

Pearl
Community Member
5 months ago

Aww

View more comments
#21

Famous Five (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

Famous Five (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

riends Nasar Ali (left), Ali Shauqat (middle), Mohammed Shanawaz (right), Khalid Mahmood (crouching on left) and Mohammed Riza (crouching on right) are pictured by the Gladstone Street sign where they all lived. They returned for a reunion photo in 2010 but Khalid Mahmood was not available and Mohammed Shanawaz’s twin brother, Muhammed Shazad stood in for him. All the boys returned for the new reunion photo in May 2021.

chrisporsz Report

Kona Pake
Community Member
5 months ago

Glad to see that they are not building higher walls.

View more comments
#22

Emma And Abbey (Original 1996 – Reunion March 2021)

Emma And Abbey (Original 1996 – Reunion March 2021)

Friends Abbey Gordon and Chris Porsz’s daughter, Emma Porsz, are pictured shopping in Westgate in Peterborough in 1996. Abbey said: “I’ve known Emma all my life, our mums were best friends, and we were born within a month of each other. We went to nursery and then all the same schools together. I think I was about 14 in the original photo. Every Saturday we’d meet up at 9am and wouldn’t be home until 5pm. We’d head to Westgate and meet up with other friends and go shopping.” Abbey now lives in Stanground and works at Morrisons. She has three children and is getting married next year.
 
Emma said: “Abbey and I used to go to town every Saturday, shopping and spying on the boys! My dad spotted us, called out our names and we turned, snap! It was so nice to catch up again after all those years. It was like things had never changed!” Emma, who now has two children, always enjoyed sport at school and became a PE teacher and personal trainer. She enjoys boxing, camping, hiking and working out in the gym and garden to keep fit.

chrisporsz Report

Micah<3
Community Member
5 months ago

They're both so gorgeous!

View more comments
#23

Fur Coats (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

Fur Coats (Original 1980 – Reunion May 2021)

Amanda Bayford (nee Phillips), Pamela Albanezi (nee Bevilacqua), Lisa Springthorpe, Carmelina January (nee Bevilacqua), and Karen Pycroft (left to right) were out on the town in Peterborough wearing their fur coats in 1980.

Karen Pycroft, who had three daughters, died aged 47 and her sister, Helen, stood in for her in the reunion photo. She has two sons and a daughter. She said: “It was lovely to recreate the picture on behalf of Karen.”

Amanda Bayford (nee Phillips), Pamela Albanezi (nee Bevilacqua), Lisa Springthorpe, Carmelina January (nee Bevilacqua), and Karen Pycroft (left to right) were out on the town in Peterborough wearing their fur coats in 1980.

Amanda was waiting for her boyfriend Mick, who later became her husband, in the town square and photobombed the picture as she knew the other girls from school. She said: “I would have been about 18. I think it must have been a Saturday night and I was waiting for Mick.” The pair met in 1978 and have now been together for more than 40 years. Amanda has worked part-time at a school for the last 20 years, still lives in Peterborough, and has three children.

Pamela lived in America for 22 years and returned to Peterborough in June 2006. She has three children and now works nights as a cleaner at the hospital. She said: “We would have been on a pub crawl in Peterborough. I was best friends with Helen Pycroft, but she remained at home and her sister Karen joined us that night. I’m still great friends with Helen, we’re like soul mates.”

Lisa said: “I was about 15 in the picture and best friends with Karen. The others were all a little older than us but we were all good friends, lived near each other and grew up together. They were some of the best years of my life.” Lisa, who has a fiancé and now lives in Downham Market, said she lost touch with the girls over the years but they plan to meet up now they are back in touch. She added: “It was lovely to see them all again.” Thanks to Alison Lynn for loaning Lisa her mother’s coat.

Pamela’s sister, Carmelina January, has lived in Lowestoft for 24 years and has two children. She said: “I was 17 in the picture and would have been potato and onion picking at that time. There are only 11 months between me and Pamela so we call ourselves twins for one month of the year. Helen had a baby so she didn’t come out that night and her sister Karen came out instead. I remember we wore rabbit fur coats.” Carmelina has worked in a school kitchen for the last 20 years. She added: “I tried to leave but my children loved the hours I worked and the fact I had the long school holidays with them so I stayed.” Her daughter lent her a fur coat for the reunion photo. She still sees Helen a lot and all the friends are planning another catch-up soon.

Karen Pycroft, who had three daughters, died aged 47 and her sister, Helen, stood in for her in the reunion photo. She has two sons and a daughter. She said: “It was lovely to recreate the picture on behalf of Karen.”

chrisporsz Report

tired_panda_
Community Member
5 months ago

they look so happy 😄

View more comments
#24

Sister Bambridge (Original Circa 1980 – Reunion August 2020)

Sister Bambridge (Original Circa 1980 – Reunion August 2020)

Elizabeth (Bess) Bambridge was a Senior Sister in the A&E department at Peterborough District Hospital for 40 years. She worked at the hospital at the same time as Chris was a casualty porter and he captured a photo of her suturing a patient, a very common procedure after road accidents.
 
Chris said: “I would often go along a line of accident victims with a bucket and sponge so that the nurses and doctors could see what they were dealing with.”
 
Bess added: “It was horrendous as people would go through the windscreen and I would spend hours carefully taking the glass out of their faces. There weren’t as many members of staff in A&E in those days and less paperwork. It was very hands on. I remember one morning at 7.15am the porter called me as there was a couple with their 13-year-old daughter in the car and she was having an asthma attack. There was no receptionist or doctor around and I resuscitated her in the back of an ambulance. I’ll always remember that day. Fifteen years later her family sent me a photo of her at her wedding and said she wouldn’t be alive if it hadn’t been for me. The job was very rewarding. We saved lives and helped people every day.” Elizabeth is now retired and does charity work for the Thorpe Hall Sue Ryder hospice. She lives in the village of Thorney and the reunion photo was taken in her back garden.

chrisporsz Report

Jessica Combrink
Community Member
5 months ago

She has such a kind face!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Flares (Original 1980 – Reunion June 2021)

Flares (Original 1980 – Reunion June 2021)

Friends Muhammad Bashir and Abdul Karim (aka Uncle Paloo), were pictured walking past a house in Gladstone Street, Peterborough in 1980. The men both lived nearby. Abdul worked in the brickyards and a paper mill close to Peterborough in the 1970s and later went into car sales. He has been in poor health for over a decade, lives in Nottingham, and has nine children.

chrisporsz Report

WannabeScarletWitch
Community Member
5 months ago

sorry but 9 children? wow, that guy must be strong.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Buggy Kids And Mr T (Original 1987 – Reunion May 2021)

Buggy Kids And Mr T (Original 1987 – Reunion May 2021)

Nathan and Lisa Yates were photographed in a double buggy in Peterborough when they were aged two and three, eating crisps while out shopping with their mum. The siblings used to live near the city centre. Nathan, who works for Peterborough City Council, now lives in nearby Farcet and has a partner and four children. He said: “It’s wonderful how Chris captured that moment of time in my history.” He still regularly sees his sister, who lives in Peterborough and is a shop manager. Chris added: “I really admired their enthusiasm to take part, especially when Lisa even sourced a Mr T T-shirt. Since the reunion Nathan and I are no longer strangers but friends and often stop for a chat on our travels around town.”

chrisporsz Report

VeryDarkMatter
Community Member
5 months ago

Lol she even has a Mr. T shirt

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#27

No Parking (Original 1978 – Reunion September 2020)

No Parking (Original 1978 – Reunion September 2020)

Traffic warden Jayantilal Kotecha was seen writing a parking ticket in King Street in Peterborough in 1978. He was born in Uganda in April 1939 and came to London in 1971 before the President of Uganda, Idi Amin, expelled Ugandan Asians in 1972. He moved to Peterborough in 1972 and worked as a traffic warden for a few years but left because he suffered abuse and was once threatened with a knife. He spoke Hindi, Gujarati, and Swahili and occasionally helped the police in courts as an interpreter. He then worked in Barclays until his retirement in 1992. He is married to his wife Champa Kotecha and has three children, one of whom is a doctor.
 
He said: “In 1978 the winter was so severe the roads were frozen and the diesel froze so there were no buses or cars. Out of 26 traffic wardens, my friend and I were the only two to turn up for our shift after walking several miles to work. I remember the working conditions were very strict and we weren’t allowed to walk in pairs, not even to lunch."

chrisporsz Report

Jessica Combrink
Community Member
5 months ago

Legend!

View more comments
#28

Wedding Rings (Original 1981 – Reunion September 2020), Howard And Sharon

Wedding Rings (Original 1981 – Reunion September 2020), Howard And Sharon

Howard and Sharon Marshall (nee Bird) were spotted by Chris browsing wedding rings at Ernest Jones on Cathedral Square in Peterborough in the Spring of 1981. The couple met on a night out at The White Lion pub in the city in 1976 and got married at St John’s Church in Stanground in November 1981. They had their reception at London Brick’s Phorpres Social Club and a two-week honeymoon in Tenerife.
 
The pair, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2021, bought their first house in Peterborough in 1980, but spent a year renovating it before moving in together after they got married. Sharon worked for SodaStream after leaving school, then in 1984 she became a stay-at-home mum. Howard worked as an engineer for Royal Mail for nearly 40 years until retiring seven years ago.

chrisporsz Report

Tara Moov
Community Member
5 months ago

Amazing that they could be tracked down based on a candid from behind.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

Ducking Stool (Original 1985 – Reunion July 2021)

Ducking Stool (Original 1985 – Reunion July 2021)

Cheryl Geeves was pictured plunging into cold water in 1985 while her friend Pam Jackman (nee Huddlestone) awaited her turn. Cheryl said: “In the early eighties the big event in my husband’s household was the Deeping show where my late father-in-law, Jack Geeves, raised money for the junior section of the Deeping Angling Club. My childhood friend Pam and I used to go on a stall where the public threw balls to try and duck us into a pool of water, which was great fun.” Cheryl, who now has three children and two grandchildren, used to work in care homes. She married her then boyfriend George and most of the Geeves family involved in the Deeping show are still local. The shows finished quite a few years ago but she said: “The memories of those good times will never fade.” Pam works as a cleaner, has five children and eight grandchildren, and enjoys cycling.
 
Chris added: “My original idea was for Cheryl to jump in from a chair until she told me about her recent knee replacement! Worryingly she fell in, which explains why she is soaking wet and Pam is laughing her head off! As you can see it was a really fun reunion but this time in her garden on a very hot summer's day.”

chrisporsz Report

Tonya Wallace
Community Member
5 months ago

I love the reunion pic! They look like they're fun to be around.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

Brothers On The Wall (Original Circa 1982 – Reunion July 2021)

Brothers On The Wall (Original Circa 1982 – Reunion July 2021)

Brothers Shujah and Zia Saklain were seen playing on their neighbour’s wall in Gladstone Street in Peterborough in the early 80s. They moved to the road when Shujah was three and stayed there for 14 years. They both still live in Peterborough. Shujah works as a driving instructor, runs humanitarian charity, Children of Adam, and teaches boxing, whilst Zia works as a car trader. “It was great fun climbing up on the wall again but strange to be back at our house again after so many years,” said Shujah. Unfortunately the other two boys could not be found to join Shujah and Zia on the wall again.

chrisporsz Report

Pat Bond
Community Member
5 months ago

They still have a mischievous look now.

Note: this post originally had 35 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.