In the first of our participant contributions, Nigel shares about his experience of returning to Didcot to re-stage a photograph after the loss of his wife Carol.
“Carol and I had been together for just under 15 years. We shared a love of art, culture & social history. We loved going on adventures together to visit Churches, Cathedrals (both modern & historical) and especially Heritage Railways, Carol’s Father having worked for GWR all his life.”
“One week-end we went to the Didcot Railway Centre to one of their special events where they had all their locomotives in steam. We had a great time and I took (what turned out to be) my favourite photograph of Carol, standing next to one of their branch lines. I specifically asked Carol to stand next to the 15 sign, as we were to have our 15th anniversary soon.”
“A couple of months ago I went back to Didcot with my friend Steve. Steve had been introduced to me by the Vicar who conducted Carol’s funeral service, as she knew that we both liked steam engines. Steve & I had a good day out and as we walked passed the ‘15’ sign, I turned, pointed the camera, took the photo and walked away. Steve didn’t know why I did it – I then told the story of Carol’s photograph. Going back there with Steve was bitter-sweet. I really didn’t think I’d be able to pass the ‘15’ sign, but something inside me lead me there. I couldn’t dwell at the ‘15’ sign, hence my walking straight away. But now when I look at both photographs side by side it sums up what is missing from my life. Although I have many photographs of Carol and I together, the significance of the ‘15’ will always stay with me, as we never reached that magical number together.”