Now and then

I’m not the first in my family to carry around a little book and make pictures; My dad has had sketchbooks for as long as I can remember.

I never knew his dad very well, but after grandpa died I found out he made a few drawings too. Looking through one of his sketchbooks months ago in New Zealand, I saw this drawing of St Salvator’s chapel in St Andews, Scotland – Dated June 1945

 
If my understanding of family history is correct, at that time he would have been back in the UK for only a few months, studying botany at the university after training as an RAF pilot in Texas.

A couple of years after this drawing, he left for Northern Rhodesia, where he and my grandmother spent 20 years before immigrating again, this time to New Zealand. To my knowledge, he only returned to the UK once after leaving, and probably didn’t see his old university town again. 

I managed to find his likely viewpoint – a set of steps outside a hotel – and made a drawing of the same view he did, 70 years earlier. The trees have grown and there were a few cars in the way, but the buildings are just the same.  

 

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