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 that really matters to you when you're young, at least that was true for me anyway.
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 then I have never really returned to the areas in Strood that I spent many of my years as a youngster.
Last year though, I started thinking about Strood and my younger years a lot more. So many mixed up memories came flooding back, and I really started to feel something for the town I grew up in. I decided that I'd 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 Nostalgia. Something that's very hard to describe really. It's just an ordinary town, with ordinary things.. but this place 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 a form of joy. Although of course some places had changed in ways, whilst making these photographs 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.
Here are just a few images from this personal photo project.
Hope you enjoy them.
For more photo projects click here.