Photographer Tracks Down People He Snapped In His Hometown To Recreate Photos He Took 40 Years Ago

Way back in the 1970s and 1980s a photographer walked around taking pictures of people. In this article you can read about how he went to find them after 40 years!

Paramedic Chris Porsz spent many hours walking around Peterborough taking his photographs, and after 40 years he has gone back with the intention of reconstructing a book of his subjects. He managed to track down most of them and incredibly they all remembered him taking pictures of them.

He published the original pictures in local papers and on facebook and many people contacted him. He then spent seven years tracking them all down and taking more photos of them for his new book, which has now been published. Porsz says the book is a ‘one of a kind’ book, he has never seen another one like it. He said that he had had many setbacks along the way, but enjoyed every moment of it.

content1
Dog and Tina – Original, 1985/ Reunion, March 2015. Punks Tina Tarr and her partner Dog were pictured near the Cathedral in Peterborough when Tina was 18. The couple left the city in the 1990s and went travelling. They have twins, but are no longer together.
Five Boys Running - Original, 1980. Left to right, Andy Jackson, Richard Hillson, Devinder Singh, Tony James and Aaron Meadows were around 15 years old here. They are seen running to the chip shop, then on to play arcade games at the A and B record store in their lunch break. About a year later, the all-boys school closed down and their year group was moved to a new school
Five Boys Running – Original, 1980. Left to right, Andy Jackson, Richard Hillson, Devinder Singh, Tony James and Aaron Meadows were around 15 years old here. They are seen running to the chip shop, then on to play arcade games at the A and B record store in their lunch break.
Five Boys Running - Reunion, June 2016. Andy, who has been married for 21 years and has a daughter, said: 'I remember playing the arcade game Phoenix, which involved birds hatching out of eggs.' Andy went into the Army after leaving school and drove trucks in the Transport Corps. He left in 1987 and has been working for the Royal Mail in Werrington, near Peterborough, ever since. Richard is now an electrician in Peterborough and is married with two boys. He said: 'There were only about 70 of us in our school year and we were all really close. They were happy times.' Tony James works as a stone cutter and has two children; Aaron works at Ikea and is married with three boys. Devinder moved to Yorkshire in 1986 and is married with two boys and works for the Housing Association. They've organised a school reunion and plan to keep in touch
Five Boys Running – Reunion, June 2016.
content2
Railway Kiss – Original, 1980/ Reunion, December 21, 2009. Tony Wilmot was snapped saying goodbye to his girlfriend Sally at Peterborough Railway Station in 1980 and a year later they got married. Tony was 22 and working in Essex as a teacher and Sally was 21 and based in Stafford as a local government officer. On this occasion they had met up in Peterborough and had no idea the photo had been taken.

His hard work borne fruit especially now that his photos are already published in a new book, Reunions:

“This book has been nearly 40 years in the making and I believe the project is totally unique. I don’t think anyone else has tracked down so many strangers and recreated photos in this way before,” said Chris.

“It has been very hard work and I’ve had lots of setbacks along the way, but I always believed this could be something really special and was determined to do at least 100 reunion pictures and it has been a labour of love.”

content3
Nobby – Original, 1980/ Reunion, September 2015. Scotsman Michael Ross, affectionately known as Nobby, lived in a bus shelter for 10 years in terrible conditions after his house burnt down.
Metal Mickey - Original, 1980. Steve Osborn was known as Metal Mickey in the 1980s as he broke both his legs several times in a series of motor biking accidents and had plates and bolts put in them. He said: 'I even carried on riding my bike with my leg in a cast!'
Metal Mickey – Original, 1980. Steve Osborn was known as Metal Mickey in the 1980s as he broke both his legs several times in a series of motor biking accidents and had plates and bolts put in them.
Metal Mickey - Reunion, May 2016. Steve, who now uses walking sticks to get around, lives in Spalding, Lincolnshire and is married. He had four children, but his son died in 2012. Steve plays the guitar with different bands and has raised more than £20,000 for the National Association of Bikers with a Disability
Metal Mickey – Reunion, May 2016. Steve, who now uses walking sticks to get around, lives in Spalding, Lincolnshire and is married.
Double Bubble - Original, 1980/ Reunion, April 2012. Sisters Anna (left) and Emma Hankins posed for a picture blowing bubbles with Hubba Bubba bubblegum in Bridge Street. Anna was 11 and Emma was 13 and the girls were waiting for their mum while she was shopping. The siblings, who both went on to have careers in hairdressing, are now married and have families. They still live in Peterborough and see each other regularly. Anna now works in a pharmacy and Emma works for the Ideal World shopping channel. 'It was hard trying to blow bubbles again after such a long time and took quite a few tries,' said Anna
Double Bubble – Original, 1980/ Reunion, April 2012. Sisters Anna (left) and Emma Hankins posed for a picture blowing bubbles with Hubba Bubba bubblegum in Bridge Street. Anna was 11 and Emma was 13 and the girls were waiting for their mum while she was shopping.

Chris, who oftentimes only had one opportunity of getting a certain photo, would develop his photos in a dark room at home and put the best ones in an album:

“I would often be drawn by certain expressions on people’s faces, or a fleeting moment. It became quite addictive,” he said. “I liked taking photos of people who stood out from the crowd, things which were a bit different, quirky or fun.”

content4
Eating Chips – Original, 1983/Reunion, August 2016. School friends Martin Coulson (left) and Andy Randall were eating chips bought from the arcade which has now been replaced with Wilkinsons.
content6
Good for Teeth and Bones – Original, 1983/ Reunion, January 2014. Layla Gordon is pictured drinking her daily bottle of milk at Queens Drive Infants School.
Ice cream Seller - Original, 1980. Genesio (Gino) Borrillo bought an ice cream van when he moved to Peterborough from Italy and travelled around the city in the summer selling ice cream
Ice cream Seller – Original, 1980. Genesio (Gino) Borrillo bought an ice cream van when he moved to Peterborough from Italy and travelled around the city in the summer selling ice cream
Ice cream Seller - Reunion, July 2014. In 1992, GIno set up a pasta shop in the city, which he still runs with his daughter. He is married and has three children and four grandchildren
Ice cream Seller – Reunion, July 2014. In 1992, GIno set up a pasta shop in the city, which he still runs with his daughter. He is married and has three children and four grandchildren

Last 2009, Chris came across his old photos and forwarded some to his local paper, The Peterborough Evening Telegraph. The readers loved them and soon he was receiving letters from readers who identify themselves in the photos:

“I had never taken anyone’s phone numbers or names and never expected to see any of the people in my pictures again, I just took them at random,” said Chris.

“Then I realised it would be fun to recreate some of the pictures and I became determined to find more people.”

Queuing for the phone - Original, 1981. John Morris, Paul Barnard and Andrew Pollard (l to r) were seen queuing up to use the phone in Cattle Market Road. The school friends used to hang out together at weekends and often cycled into the city centre on their bikes
Queuing for the phone – Original, 1981. John Morris, Paul Barnard and Andrew Pollard (l to r) were seen queuing up to use the phone in Cattle Market Road. The school friends used to hang out together at weekends and often cycled into the city centre on their bikes
Queuing for the phone - Reunion, May 2016. Now the phone box has been swapped for an ATM machine. John works locally as a plumber, is married and has two children. Paul, who is married with two children, works for a motor racing team and travels the globe looking after the car's wheels and tyres. Andrew, a window cleaner met his wife in Benidorm on an 18 to 30s holiday and moved to her home county of Essex so lost touch with the others. He said: 'I hadn't seen them for around 32 years - it was great to meet up again'
Queuing for the phone – Reunion, May 2016. Now the phone box has been swapped for an ATM machine.
Pink Mohican Wins Pizza Eating - Original, 1985/ Reunion, July 2016. Punk Badger Farcue can still remember winning the Pizza Eating Competition in Cathedral Square. The contest was organised by Stefan Malajny, who ran the Papa Luigi pizza restaurant. Stefan said: 'I remember Badger managed to eat his pizza in about two minutes, which was very fast.' Badger was 20 at the time of the contest and worked as a labourer, building dry stone walls. He said: 'My friends encouraged me to enter and we had to try and eat a 12-inch cheese and tomato pizza as quickly as possible. I won and got a round of applause and front page of the local paper.' Badger, who has five children, moved to Somerset in 1991 and now tarmacs roads
Pink Mohican Wins Pizza Eating – Original, 1985/ Reunion, July 2016. Punk Badger Farcue can still remember winning the Pizza Eating Competition in Cathedral Square. The contest was organised by Stefan Malajny, who ran the Papa Luigi pizza restaurant.
Punks on steps - Original, 1980/Reunion, January 2015. Left to right, friends John Church, Kim Guest, Gary Wymer, Mirko Obradovic, Ade Lawrence, Sean Adams and Mark Winsworth were pictured on the steps of Cathedral Square.��John is now a painter and decorator and plays in a band with Ade, who is now a bin man. Kim and Sean have died and Mirko works in a brickyard. Gary was working as a butcher when the original picture was taken. In his early 20s, he almost died after hitting his head on a bridge as he was cruising down the River Nene with friends. He was in a coma for a week but made a complete recovery. He went on to travel around the world, teaching English in Turkey and later settling in Colchester, Essex, where he now runs an industrial cleaning company
Punks on steps – Original, 1980/Reunion, January 2015. Left to right, friends John Church, Kim Guest, Gary Wymer, Mirko Obradovic, Ade Lawrence, Sean Adams and Mark Winsworth were pictured on the steps of Cathedral Square.
Out from behind the Curtains - Original, 1980. Left to right, Shehnaz Begum, her twin sister Rukhsana and their older sister Itrat were spotted sitting in the window of their house on Cromwell Road. 'We often used to perch in the window and watch what was going on in the road,' said Shehnaz. 'My twin sister and I were about seven and Itrat was nine. We loved riding our bikes with the other children in the street and were good friends with another set of twins. Mum said we were quite a handful'
Out from behind the Curtains – Original, 1980. Left to right, Shehnaz Begum, her twin sister Rukhsana and their older sister Itrat were spotted sitting in the window of their house on Cromwell Road.
Out from behind the Curtains - Reunion, January 2013. The three sisters still live in Peterborough and see each other regularly. Shehnaz, who is divorced, has a daughter and looks after elderly and disabled people, together with her twin, who is re-married and has five children. Itrat works for the post office and is married with six children
Out from behind the Curtains – Reunion, January 2013. The three sisters still live in Peterborough and see each other regularly.
Ice Creams - Original, 1981/ Reunion, February 2015. Donna Yarnell was five years old when she was photographed with her three-year-old brother Steven licking ice creams in their front garden. Her family moved out of the house two years later so it brought back lots of memories when the pair returned to the street in February 2015. 'I was really surprised because the front gate was exactly the same,' said Donna, who works in a pub, still lives in Peterborough and has four daughters. Brother Steven also lives in the city and has a son
Ice Creams – Original, 1981/ Reunion, February 2015. Donna Yarnell was five years old when she was photographed with her three-year-old brother Steven licking ice creams in their front garden. Her family moved out of the house two years later so it brought back lots of memories when the pair returned to the street in February 2015.

Previously, he found Ricky Clarke, a guy he had photographed in a derelict house, after answering to a 999 call.

“Ricky rang 999 as he was unwell and as a paramedic I was called to his home. While treating him, he said that I had taken his picture 30 years ago. I couldn’t believe it – it was a million-to-one chance,” Chris said.

“The first 50 photos took around four years to do, but social media made it easier and soon I was struggling to keep up, sometimes doing 10 reunions a week.”

“It has been enormously satisfying to do so many reunions and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they met up with old friends again. I’ve felt very privileged,” he said.

Butcher - Original, 1980. Richard Price started work at the butchers when he left school at 15 and is pictured here selling meat outside the shop when he was about 17
Butcher – Original, 1980. Richard Price started work at the butchers when he left school at 15 and is pictured here selling meat outside the shop when he was about 17
Butcher - Reunion, January 2015. Richard worked at the shop for three years. He still lives in the city and works as an entertainer. The butchers shop became a cafe
Butcher – Reunion, January 2015. Richard worked at the shop for three years. He still lives in the city and works as an entertainer. The butchers shop became a cafe
Pin Badges - Original, 1970s/ Reunion, January 2013. Punks (r to l) John Church, Gary Beckett, Ade Lawrence and Pippa Hodgson were pictured in Cathedral Square, wearing pin badges. John, who is now a painter and decorator in the city, said: 'The other lads were school friends and Pippa was a mutual friend. We used to hang out together and listen to punk music. I think I was about 15 and on the verge of becoming a punk.' John is still friends with Ade and they play in a band together. Gary emigrated to Australia, where he works as a project manager and Pippa now lives in Spain
Pin Badges – Original, 1970s/ Reunion, January 2013. Punks (r to l) John Church, Gary Beckett, Ade Lawrence and Pippa Hodgson were pictured in Cathedral Square, wearing pin badges. John, who is now a painter and decorator in the city.
Flute Player - Original, 1986. For many years, Neil wandered around Peterborough town centre and played the flute outside the Co-op bank in Westgate
Flute Player – Original, 1986. For many years, Neil wandered around Peterborough town centre and played the flute outside the Co-op bank in Westgate
Flute Player - Reunion, 2015. When the book went to print, Neil had not been seen for several months
Flute Player – Reunion, 2015. When the book went to print, Neil had not been seen for several months
Hairdressers Shop - Original, 1980. Dressed in a fur jacket and gloves, Sandra Burford was pictured going into a hairdressers
Hairdressers Shop – Original, 1980. Dressed in a fur jacket and gloves, Sandra Burford was pictured going into a hairdressers
Hairdressers Shop - Reunion, June 2016. Sandra said: 'I used to go there occasionally to have my hair cut by the apprentice, because it worked out a bit cheaper.' She used to work at the Hotpoint factory, but is now retired. Sandra is widowed and has a daughter and three grandsons. The hairdressers has changed hands and is now a Toni & Guy
Hairdressers Shop – Reunion, June 2016. She used to work at the Hotpoint factory, but is now retired. Sandra is widowed and has a daughter and three grandsons. The hairdressers has changed hands and is now a Toni & Guy
County school girls - Original, 1979/ Reunion, June 2016. Sandra Williams, Carmen Chin and Maureen Mayers were friends from County Grammar School but lost touch over the years and the school was converted into sheltered housing in 1985. 'Carmen was my best friend and lived in my road, so we were always together,' said Sandra, who is now married with four children and a step-daughter and works as a passenger assistant for disabled children and in a coffee shop. Carmen, who is married with four children and now lives in Lincolnshire, where she has a small holding said: 'I think we were the first year to go to the grammar school after it changed from being a comprehensive.' Maureen, who still lives in Peterborough and has four children, had broken her right arm when the photo was taken and hid it behind her back. She said: 'We'd had freezing cold weather and we were playing tag and I slipped over on the ice'
County school girls – Original, 1979/ Reunion, June 2016. Sandra Williams, Carmen Chin and Maureen Mayers were friends from County Grammar School but lost touch over the years and the school was converted into sheltered housing in 1985.
Tasbir's first job - Original, 1982. Tasbir Singh worked on a stall at the market for four years after leaving school
Tasbir’s first job – Original, 1982. Tasbir Singh worked on a stall at the market for four years after leaving school
Tasbir's first job - Reunion, July 2016. He then worked for BT and Royal Mail, where he is today. He still lives in the city and is married with three children and four grandchildren. He said: 'I worked on the stall from the age of 18 until I was 22. It was hard working in all weather'
Tasbir’s first job – Reunion, July 2016. He then worked for BT and Royal Mail, where he is today. He still lives in the city and is married with three children and four grandchildren.
Jewellery - Original, 1990. Vicki Gracey (nee Frost) worked as a sales assistant at a jewellery store in Queensgate Shopping Centre for two years
Jewellery – Original, 1990. Vicki Gracey (nee Frost) worked as a sales assistant at a jewellery store in Queensgate Shopping Centre for two years
Jewellery - Reunion, February 2015. Vicki has since had jobs behind bars, in retail, hairdressing and restaurants and currently deals with tenancy sustainability. She still lives in the city and is married with two children. 'I'm a people person and I've always had jobs which involve working with the public,' she said
Jewellery – Reunion, February 2015. Vicki has since had jobs behind bars, in retail, hairdressing and restaurants and currently deals with tenancy sustainability. She still lives in the city and is married with two children.
Star Road - Original, 1982. Sisters Maria (left) and Annamarie Plavecz were photographed in Star Road
Star Road – Original, 1982. Sisters Maria (left) and Annamarie Plavecz were photographed in Star Road
Star Road - Reunion, February 2014. The siblings, who have a Hungarian father, both now work as carers
Star Road – Reunion, February 2014. The siblings, who have a Hungarian father, both now work as carers

Read More: From Hubba Bubba sisters to Metal Mickey the accident-prone biker: Photographer tracks down people he snapped in his hometown almost 40 YEARS AGO to recreate the remarkable images