• Dan Gardner

A Time Ago

I grew up in Strood, a small town in Medway, in the South East of England.

As a kid I was never too fond of the area to be honest, I didn't feel much of an attachment toward it, or care for it a great deal. I suppose it's not something you give much thought to, or that really matters to you when you're young, at least that was true for me.

Around 11 years ago, at the age of 19, I moved out of Strood with my family. We still lived close by (within Medway), just a few towns away, but since that time I had never really returned to the areas in Strood that I spent many of my years as a youngster.

But in 2020 I started thinking about Strood and my younger years a lot more. As I did, so many mixed up memories came flooding back, and to my surprise, I really started to feel something deep down for the town I had grown up in.

I decided that I needed to go back there and take a walk around the streets that surrounded my old house. So that's what I did. In July 2020 I drove to Strood, parked at the bottom of my old road and spend the day walking around those familiar streets with my camera, making photographs of where I grew up.

The power of memory provided an abundance of nostalgic emotions toward the area as I wandered about.. Emotions I never really knew I had for it, until I was there again re-living it all within my mind. Things like the wooden fence & brick wall outside our old house, that my brothers and I would play football against almost every evening. The hill by Cuxton road that we'd throw water-bombs at cars from in the Summer Holidays. The alley at the top of our road we'd run up after playing knock down ginger. The railway bridge we'd dare one another to walk over at night. The park we'd meet our friends at and spend most Friday nights. The cinema & McDonalds down by the river that we'd go at the weekend. The offy we'd get beers from, in our later teens.

So many little memories that collectively created something more than a memory, more than nostalgia. Something that's very hard to describe really. It's just an ordinary town, with ordinary things.. but this place really means something to me.

As I wandered around the streets surrounding my old road, I wanted to capture scenes that explored and illustrated the relationship I had with them. Whether the root of that relationship was something sad, sentimental or some form of joy. Although of course many places had changed in small ways, I tried my best to recall and savour the memories that were made here, and attempt to represent the place they hold in my heart through the photographs.

Here are just a few images from this personal photo project that I decided to start and conclude within the same day.

Hope you enjoy them.

For more photo projects click here.