A British paramedic who is also a street photographer nicknamed the “paramedic paparazzo”made an iconic collection of snaps in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. In his hometown, the city of Peterborough in eastern England he spent hours capturing hundreds of amazing characters including the punks, teds, and skinheads. But since then the people of the city where the son of Polish immigrants was born has changed a lot.
Now, almost 40 years later Chris Porsz’s has created his most ambitious project to date. He tracked down the same people and recreated their pictures. The result is astonishing. He succeeded to snap 135 beautiful reunions.
Chris gathered all the pics together and put them in a Christmas limited edition book titled “Reunions.” As it’s written on his website, this unique collection is a result of tenacious detective work, meticulous planning and, often, unbelievable coincidences. The writer Jo Riley is telling the stories of the people in the photos.
1. Dog and Tina 1985 – 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 traveling. They have twins but are no longer together. Tina now lives in Dorset and makes willow products and hosts weaving workshops. Dog does hedge laying and gardening and lives in South West Wales. “I remember the photo being taken, it was a brilliant time. I had various styles of punk hair for quite a few years,” said Tina. Dog added: “They were good times, I still had hair then”.
2.Railway Kiss 1980 – 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. It appeared over 30 years later in a local paper the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and was seen by Tony’s father. The pair, who are now both headteachers and live in Lichfield, Staffordshire, have two children Tom and Jenny who are themselves in their twenties.
3. Five boys running 1987 – 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.
4 . Pink Mohican 1985 – 2016
Punk Badger Farcue can still remember winning the Pizza Eating Competition in Cathedral Square. The contest was organized 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.
5. Sisters 1980 – 2013
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’. 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.