Photograph To Remember
Project info

Photograph To Remember : My Dad -

In 1987, I lost my dad. His name was Roy Anthony Carruthers. It affected me in such a way I can honestly say I walked around in a daze, not really paying attention to much apart from Liverpool results and photography until my first son was born in 1996.

At the time of his death I was sixteen and had never experienced death or dying before. My family seemed to scatter and drift apart. As the family home was emptied, different people took different items that they wanted of my dad’s. I didn’t realise people did that, so I didn’t claim anything for myself. One day after coming home from football to a virtually empty house, even the cupboard under the sink had gone, which fascinated me – the sink was still there but sitting on wooden sticks.

I made a cup of tea and went and sat down, tired from football. I sat in my dad’s chair in the front room – a tv settee and chair was all that was left.

As I glanced down, in the corner next to the chair, was my dad’s tin. The tin he used to put money and other nick knacks in. It’s what I always remember him using. So, I thought to myself, nobody wants that important piece of my dad.

So, I took it up to my room and placed it in a draw. 33 years later during the Coronavirus lockdown we were cleaning the garage, and in a box called Paul’s stuff was that tin next to a glass box with tin from Poldark mine that I had collected during a family holiday in Cornwall.

I couldn’t believe how emotional this inanimate object made me feel. I even said as I picked up the tin ‘hi Dad.’

I thought how is it that this tin – all these years later – can still represent my dad, and it got me thinking about these dark and strange times of a pandemic and people losing loved ones, what items mean the most to their sons and daughters. The fact that the things we strive to get when we’re alive – like computers, cars and TVs, pale in significance to a small battered tin and it’s odd and strange nick knacks.

These are the images of the contents of that tin.