Having had to dispose of the effects of a couple of passed relatives, I
can vouch that deciding what to do with material THEY valued, but which I
had little knowledge of was a challenge.
With the best intentions in the world, the people who come after simply
cannot know what should be kept, and what goes to the tip.
Being faced with a room full of slides and negatives is so overwhelming
that many will give up. At best they will grab a random handful "to
remember Grandpa by", and the rest goes to landfill. Our life's work. :(
My approach was to get all images digitised and put on a couple of hard
drives with with a note on the box of who should have it. The idea being
that this makes it easy on the people clearing my place and clears their
There's a lot of good stuff people have been photographing out there. If
you get it digitised and nominate to whom or where it should go, it has a
good chance of surviving. Otherwise, the chances of a lifetime of photos
surviving at all are quite low.
On Sun, 10 Oct 2021, 11:05 pm espee8800, espee8800@...> wrote:
> *In my trawling through old emails whilst reducing my inbox, I came across
> David Featherstone's #143 post and I think his comments are worthy of a
> repeat. Of course the answer is obvious, material should go to a museum
> that will look after the material. As for which one, wellI don't have any
> opinion. Non Government papers often go to SLV but I have no idea whether
> they accept stuff from anyone. Indexed Government material will be welcome
> at Public Records. Perhaps one of the Universities? Maybe even Ballarat
> who seem to be well organised in the archive area. Andrew Cook has well
> known views about another tramway organisation. Even the sharing of photos
> on-line is fraught with danger, witness the yahoo groups debacle. TDU is
> fortunate that Malcolm Miles maintains an archive but what happens when the
> inevitable happens to Malcolm? Anyay keep reading --------------*
> That's it folks, we finally got there. Thanks to the photographers who
> took all these photos, hard to believe they are over 50 years ago Thanks to
> Ron Scholten who sold them in the first instance. These are a classic
> example of shots that would have sunk without trace if they weren't put out
> I always get the distinct feeling that a lot of our history has ended up
> on the tip. Say I have all these shots, I tell my wife to give them to my
> mate Frank, who is probably as old as me, when I move on. Sadly Frank
> eventually drops off the perch too, what is Frank's wife to do will all my
> stuff? Then Frank's wife has a stroke, the family comes in to deal with
> things - they don't care about tram photos. They may be historically
> mindful, probably not, they languish somewhere, then they are gone. It is
> remarkable how little people have regard to things they are not interested
> in. This is what happens.
> Publish while you are still here, while you are in control, imparting your
> story about your journey via your photos, and the marvellous stories you
> can tell, or perish, as it were.
> Enough sermonizing from me, it is just that I care about what you have
> done and don't want your legacy lost to those disinterested relatives.
> Best wishes to you all.
> David Featherstone.
> Well expressed views David on a topic that should be of interest to ALL
> tram (and other transport) enthusiasts.
> But, from the (non) reaction I’ve had to similar postings here on TDU and
> discussions (usually at funerals) it seems there is little interest among
> enthusiasts about what happens to their photographs and other “treasure”
> after they take the final journey - to the tram depot in the sky.
> I’ve been surprised how many enthusiasts (in the mature age group) I’ve
> spoken with who don’t have up to date wills that cover their current
> wishes. Some don’t have a will!
> And, with so many single/unattached people in “the hobby” there’s often no
> immediate family to “take care of things”.
> Several I know who live in what they openly describe as “shambolic”
> conditions can’t keep on top of their current “treasure” let alone leave it
> “in order” to be shared “for the benefit and education of future
> Two pieces of advice I received many years ago:
> (1) make sure the intended recipient(s) of any “treasure” is/are willing
> and able to “receive” it when the time comes. We should aim to leave a
> “bequest” not a burden.
> (2) ensure there’s some financial support for your “treasure” to be
> I’ve known of people who’s “treasure” has been sent to the tip by well
> meaning family members who didn’t realise or appreciate its “value”. In one
> case the wife couldn’t get rid of it quick enough. (But there was a third
> party hanging around).
> But, as I mentioned above, all this seems to be of little interest in the
> TDU community so, no doubt, there’ll be quite a lot of “stuff” that ends up
> in the tip.
> There must be SO MUCH material in the possession of older enthusiasts who
> don’t DO social media and prefer not to share their knowledge and photos,
> etc. I know many such people.
> I’ll conclude with a quote from a highly respected enthusiast of the past,
> Vane A Jones (of “Traction and Models” magazine fame):
> “Knowledge is of no use unless it is shared”.
> Paul in Melbourne
> cheers and best wishes,
> David in Avenel.au,
> [Before you change anything, learn why it is the way it is.]
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