Chris Porsz is a dedicated paramedic who spent a lot of his time in the 1980s pursuing another passion of his – photography. He would take photographs of seemingly normal people, but he had something special in mind at the time.
He decided to release a book called “Reunions.” He managed to track down everyone from his original photos in the 1980s and recreate those old photos. Here are some of the brilliant photos showing people’s journey through life 40 years later.
This photo shows a man standing proudly with his Ford Cortina. His name is Paul Smith and he was a porter for the same hospital our photographer – Chris Porsz.
Chris remembers, “The photo was taken outside my flat and it was my neighbor’s car. I had asked Paul to dress colorfully to bring the old mono picture alive and as you can see he didn’t disappoint!”
Zahida Parveen is the little girl being served ice cream. She bought it from a man named Genesio Borrillo who bought the ice cream van after moving to Peterborough, England from Italy.
Gino, as he liked to be called, would drive around the country in the summer heat and sell ice cream to all of the local children.
Since then, Gino has started his own Italian restaurant with his wife. He also now has three children.
Now all grown up, Zahida says, “I used to live near Cromwell Road and I’d often buy 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.”
Nathan and Lisa Yates can be seen in their double stroller on a sidewalk in Peterborough. The two and three year old siblings were out on a walk with their mother until they happened upon Chris.
Chris said, ““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.
Jayantilal Kotecha is the policeman in this photograph. He was born in 1939 in Uganda and one day he met Chris Porsz. He was busy writing a ticket on King’s street when the photograph was taken.
Kotecha remembers that day, “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.”
In Cathedral Square, Peterborough, Chris happened upon Howard and Sharon Marshall shopping for a wedding ring, they were busy looking for the perfect wedding ring. The two met a few years prior and got married soon after the photo was taken.
After getting married, the two had children. Howard worked as an engineer for Royal Mail for 40 years before retiring and Sharon became a stay-at-home mom once their baby was born.
Best friends Bashir and Abdul Karim decided to take a stroll through Gladstone Street. Abdul lived nearby and worked at the local brick and paper factory in Peterborough. He later moved up to a car salesman.
He’s now retired in Nottingham and has a wife and nine children. His health has deteriorated over the years.
In this photograph, five friends sit together to get their picture taken on Glinstones street. From left to right they are Nasar Ali, Ali Shauqat, Mohammed Shanawaz,, Khalid Mahmood, and Mohammed Riza.
With the help of Chris, they managed to get the gang back together for a reunion. They wanted to originally do it in 2010 but one of them wasn’t available. So they took it in 2021.
Shujah and Zia Saklain are brothers that live in Gladstone. The two used to enjoy playing on their neighbor’s wall. Chris noticed them and decided to take a photo of the two on the wall.
The two still live in Peterborough but they moved away from their childhood home. Still, they decided to come back for their reunion.
Andy Ireland may look like a chimney sweep in this photograph, but it was merely an outfit for a dress-up competition at the Gladstone Street Carnival in 1981. As he grew up he became an accomplished physiotherapist.
In fact, he studied under Sir Andy Murray. He retired some time ago and he moved to London to be a consultant for a clinic there.
This is a special photo, as it is a photograph of our photographer Chris Porsz and his wife, Lesley. The photo was taken to show their accomplishment of hitchhiking across Europe and North Africa in getting back in three weeks!
Five years after this photo, they were happily married and even had three children together. Today they are celebrating the fact that they have seven grandkids!
Paul Yates can be seen doing what he did best, keep the streets of Peterborough clean. He used “The Green Machine” for two decades to make sure the citizens of Peterborough could walk on clean paving.
After 20 years of work, he retired with a pension in 2006. But these days, he loved to reenact grand medieval battles in his free time. Here he is with his newest cleaner, “Glutton.”
This photo was taking at the country and western show in 1984. Joe Wright could often be seen with his pet barn owl – Rocky. Joe recalls, “We hand-reared several rescue Barn Owls and I’d take Rocky into town on my shoulder, which made people smile.”
Joe even had something to say about the reunion, ”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.”
Bernard is a man with humor, evidently shown as he was more than happy to set up for a funny reunion with Chris Porsz. Bernard has been married to his wife, Irene for the last 58 years and now owns several donkeys.
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.” In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.