Sepia portrait for special 80th birthday in Bo’ness

A chip off the old block, Grandfather and grandson (both Tom Melville).''Image by: Malcolm McCurrach
A chip off the old block, Grandfather and grandson (both Tom Melville).''Image by: Malcolm McCurrach
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A Bo’ness man has received a very special present ahead of his 80th birthday from his 16-year-old grandson.

Senior and junior have three things in common; both handsome young men have the same name (Tom Melville), they were born on the same date (October 17) and they were the same age when their pictures was taken. The main difference between the two photos is time, as they were taken 64 years apart.

“We were struggling to decide what to get my dad for his 80th birthday” explains yet another Tom Melville(49), son of “Auld Tam” and father of “Wee Tom”), “until I came up with the bright idea of recreating an old family photograph”. The photo in question was taken in 1949 and features a proud 16-year-old telegram boy showing off his new bike and uniform.

Although he wasn’t sure if he’d stick with the new job, he eventually retired from the Post Office in 1992, after 43 years service.

Reproducing the original picture in 2013 was a real team effort, with help from the Scottish Opera and The Bike Station in tracing props.

The bicycle and grandson Tom (16) were photographed by his sister Sally, who is a geography student at Dundee University. She then 
digitally adjusted the image to give it an antique feel.

The family also hope to organise a family party, and may rope in sister Elaine, manager at the Richmond Park Hotel.

Grandparents Tom and Isobel, who live in Grahamsdyke, Bo’ness, are delighted with the results of their family’s labours.

However, Tom (49) still has one concern. “I wonder if we’re going to have to do this all again in 20 years’ time, so my dad can get a 100th birthday telegram from the Queen?”