It’s strange how objects or songs or odd little things can fire off your memories. This morning I was walking down the high street of our small town and noticed something in a shop which brought back recollections in an instant. Our town is full of charity shops and coffee shops and I rarely glance into either. However, having not been down in the town this week I was window gazing more than usual and in a charity shop I noticed a Brownie 127 camera. It was only offered at £5 but the memories it triggered in my head were priceless.
Even without holding the camera I could feel in my head the curved, bulging shape of the body and the cord hanging down the sides. It was the first camera I had and was probably passed onto me by my mum and dad. I was around eight or nine and we were on holiday in Cornwall. I have a photo of me standing on a hill or cliff side using the camera. I can still remember the canvas-type holdall it came with too, a sort of light brown material.
I still have some of the black and white photographs I took with the 127 and they aren’t bad considering the age of the camera, I’m assuming my parents must have had it some years, and my youthful fingers on the camera and button. I can still hear the click of the button, a very definite sound and quite a forceful push required if I recall correctly.
Like many people, the holidays we took with our families in our early years, say between seven and thirteen are very precious, especially as now our parents have passed away and only our memories and photographs remain of those happy, innocent times when we had so few responsibilities. I found out later in life my father wasn’t the keenest of drivers so taking us all the way from Kent to Cornwall and on another occasion to North Wales means a great deal to me. I guess the photos I have of all the castles in Wales must have been taken with the 127 too.
A few years later I went on a trip to Paris with my secondary school and I have photos of some of the places we visited. I’m guessing I used the 127 for those too, including one quite impressive photo taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower. The camera was stoutly made and must have survived several days being bashed around in a twelve-year old’s bag.
All these memories, and this blog post, all have come about because my eyes caught a glimpse of that Kodak camera in a charity shop. I guess if you wanted the starting point for a story of memory and intrigue you could take a flight of fancy and imagine that camera was the one I owned and somehow it has ended up in that shop and could be reunited with me after all these years…