Thursday, 12 November 2009

How It All Began - The Dream

I recall several months earlier at the end of 2008, and indeed before photographing Undershaw, a very vivid dream. I dreamt that I was a photographer taking shots of a Victorian family of five stood in a doorway of an old house. I was using one of the old fashioned cameras with a black covering and a big flash light. It felt all so real and caused me to query who this family was which left me wondering whether the dream was indeed that of my ancestors. I made an effort to mentally record the occurrence as I felt that it was going to prove significant in the days or months to come.

The dream was partially correct in the fact that several months later I stood in front of Undershaw taking photographs but where and who were the family? On purchasing one of Conan Doyle's books and on opening the pages I starred directly at a family that I had seen before! Was this indeed the family that I had dreamt about? Was somebody trying to tell me something.

The picture to the left is how I saw the family in my dream minus the house and the front door. This was also the picture that starred at me from the book. The picture to the right is the front door at Undershaw and identical to that in my dream which was taken after the occurrence.

On the 22 May 2009 the organisation that I work for were organising an Arthur Conan Doyle Conference to mark the 150th anniversary of Conan Doyle's birth date. I was invited to put together a visual display of Undershaw. I was thrilled to have been asked but at the same time concerned as to the lack of knowledge I had of Undershaw and indeed Conan Doyle. I knew that research was the key - this led me to the Portsmouth Guildhall to visit the Doyle Room storing a collection of Conan Doyle artifacts that were bequeathed to the Portsmouth Museum by Richard Lancelyn Green for whom Stephen Fry is the Patron. ..................................................the story continues.

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