The man seemed very quiet and not quite sure if he wanted to be taking part in this new group. He looked at the images and began to show interest. I asked him if he had played football himself. He had, but he said that his brother had played at a good level. It transpired that his brother had been a player of some note and had played for Queens Park, Scotland and indeed had represented Great Britain at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki . We had an immediate contact. I informed him that I knew another member of that team, Derek Grierson who had played for my team-‐Falkirk.
I looked at my set of images and brought out a picture of Queens Park F.C. From about 1951/52. Hamish immediately lit up. "That's him. That's my brother-‐ there." It was one of those moments when you realise the power of the recall which the image had triggered. We started to discuss the players in the picture and he rattled off all the names, adding in the names of the club officials for good measure. The discussion became animated as we recalled famous personalities from that team.
We were on a roll. I produced another image -‐this time of the Scotland Amateur team from the same era. Unknown to me, Hamish's brother was the captain of that side and there he was in the centre of the picture with the ball at his feet.
The others were amazed to hear the stories of the team and of the Olympic experiences. Hamish was now centre stage and he was really enjoying sharing the stories in the group. The staff arranged for Hamish to get copies of the team pictures featuring his brother and he was keen to show them off to friends as they arrived after the session had finished.
It was reported that Hamish never usually socialises and is always very quick to leave the centre and doesn't engage with other people much at all.
Not only did he hang around to tell another man who had missed the session all about it and his photo, but he deliberately left his photos behind so that he can show them to other people the next time he comes in. Hamish was a lovely man and I was proud to have been in his company and share his stories. The images were the key to the whole session and I know how much that experience must have meant to him.