Richard Would Have Been 110 Years Old Today

I was born 3 weeks after my biological father died of a burst duodenal ulcer, leaving my mother a widow. When I was 5 years old, Mum remarried to a man called Richard. He was a caring, kind, and hard-working man who wanted the whole family to have the same surname, so myself and my older sister were legally adopted by both Mum and our new Dad.
He was born on 13th November 1911, and is still thought of with love. He died on 13th July 2004, at 92. He worked at two jobs all his married life, one of which was as a wedding photographer. I learned my early craft from him: he was an excellent technician and knew the many different cameras he owned during his life inside out. I shared with him the darkroom he converted from the brick-built air raid shelter in our back yard and there learned, under his excellent teaching, to enlarge negatives onto photographic paper to produce black and white prints.
He always treated me as his son, never as a stepchild. He taught me about the night sky, naming many of the constellations, and his knowledge of birds and butterflies was extensive and led to my own love of the natural world. He was also a great reader, enjoying particularly the adventure books of Ryder Haggard and Jules Verne.
Typically for a photographer, he was always behind the camera and rarely in front of it. The picture above was taken in 1959 by my mother on the beach at a place called Spurn Point. The lad on his lap is my young brother, Stephen, aged two, the son he and Mum had together to complete the family.

9 thoughts on “Richard Would Have Been 110 Years Old Today

    1. Thanks, Noelle. I certainly felt like his son, and didn’t know he had adopted me until I was about 12 years old. His real son was always my brother, and we were just 6 weeks apart in age.

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  1. What a lovely post Stuart. I knew some of the background but not all of this history. You were blessed to have such a wonderful stepfather. Great photograph. He obviously really loved his new family. What a blessing. This is a kind tribute to him Stuart. You and Valerie have a blessed weekend. ❤️❤️

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