Judy Graham with her family

Judy Graham’s photo memories

Old pictures pulled on Judy Graham’s heart strings and motivated her to immortalise her photos digitally

Up in the attic, the 23 old photo albums lay covered in a thick layer of dust. In them were hundreds of yellowing snapshots depicting every age and stage of my 77 years. Understandably, no one wanted to lug them down – too dirty, too heavy, too old. For all anyone cared, they could languish up there forever and a day, unloved and forgotten.

Then one day, acutely aware my days are numbered after 50-plus years of multiple sclerosis (MS), I hit upon an idea. I would make a pictorial scrapbook of my life so my grandson Kylian would know something about me after I’ve gone. But to do that the albums needed to be down from the attic and brought back to life.

My son Pascal, now 38, was also keen to see photos going back to his birth in April 1985, some of which he had never set eyes on. None of us had space to keep albums. So he suggested we send all the photos to a company who digitise photos and put them on a memory stick. We could make selected prints from these.

Pascal with his French grandmother

This brainwave galvanised those concerned to somehow get the old albums down from the dusty attic and into my bedroom for me to painstakingly go through after giving them a thoroughly good clean.

I could not have imagined what a deeply emotional journey these albums would take me on. Talk about a tear-jerking trip down memory lane! Instantaneously, the photos took me straight back to the time they were taken – the childhood birthday parties, the seaside holidays, the domestic scenes, the visits to Pascal’s French grandmother.

This was a hugely poignant and sentimental journey. With tears in my eyes, I looked at photos of dearly beloved people long since departed. Here they are, sitting smiling at a dining table, very much alive, the photos preserving their precious memory forever.

As well as sadness there is joy from these old photos. I could turn the clock back to 1985 and relive wonderful moments in Pascal’s life and see how he’s grown from a baby to a man.

Most of these photos are just family snapshots taken with a basic camera. In many, the quality of the photography is groaningly awful. As photos, they have no merit. But as snapshots which spark memory and feelings, they are priceless. Suddenly, the photos in these forsaken albums became the most valuable things, the most precious possessions in my house.

I spent days upon days going through the albums and selecting the photos I wanted to keep for posterity. This meant a ruthless culling. I jettisoned the blurry ones, the duplicates, the pictures where I had no idea who the people are. The discarded photos and heavy albums filled three recycling bins. I was left with roughly 1,000.

Now I had to find a company who could digitise the chosen photos. I did a Google search and found a company near me in Borehamwood called reLOVE. It had 5* reviews, was reasonably priced, and promised to ‘scan your family photo memories, convert camcorder tapes or digitise your slide collection.’ Just what I wanted!

What I particularly like about reLOVE is the way they went above and beyond to help me. Paul Krisman, reLOVE’s managing director, realising I am bedridden (and live nearby!) kindly offered to pick the photos up and deliver them back. It was a wonderfully personal service.

The results could not be better! They are superb and look so much better than the originals. “Wow!” said Pascal, so happy to relive his childhood, even though some images still tug as fiercely as ever on the heartstrings.

reLOVE Photos are specialists in professionally turning precious photos, videos and slides digital. Book online and within days you can be sharing all of your wonderful family memories in digital splendour – comfortable in the knowledge they are safelyarchived for future generations to enjoy.

Get 15 per cent off with the code MSUK by clicking here or calling 020 3930 9985 and quoting MSUK or scan the QR code to take you to the site. MS-UK will receive 10 per cent of the value of our purchase as a donation.