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Following in the Family Footsteps

Richard Weaver visited Shakespeare's Birthplace as he retraces his family's footsteps.

We were delighted to receive a fantastic pair of photographs taken by Richard Weaver on a recent visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace. Read on to find out more about the images and what brought Richard to Stratford-upon-Avon in his grandparents' footsteps.

In 1972, my grandparents, Montie and Roberta Weaver, visited Stratford-upon-Avon. I have been traveling England with enlarged copies of their pictures. I hold them up at the various locations and take a picture of them in the middle of the current location.

Montie Weaver
Photographed: Montie Weaver in the garden at Shakespeare's Birthplace

My grandfather, Montie Weaver, served in the Eighth Army Air Force during World War II and was based in Saffron Walden, Essex. He served as an air traffic controller. Prior to joining the Army, he played professional baseball and more information about his career is available on the Society for American Baseball Research website.

My grandfather kept in touch with the family he lived with in Saffron Walden until his death in 1994. In his bedroom hung 2 paintings of Saffron Walden. In 1972, when my aunt (Betty Weaver) was a foreign exchange student at Wroxton College, he and my grandmother, Roberta Weaver, decided to come to England to visit her. It was the first and only time that she and my grandfather traveled to England together.

Roberta Weaver
Photographed: Roberta Weaver outside the front of Shakespeare's Birthplace, on Henley Street

They visited Saffron Walden, of course, but also saw the sights in London, Glastonbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh. They also went to the continent to see Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. My aunt, Betty Saulpaugh Weaver, is the keeper of the family photos and she loaned them to me to scan. Somewhere along the way, I had the idea to bring the photos back to the places where they were taken. 

I typically blow up the photos to the 8x10 size, then have them printed. I put them on cardboard to make them stiff enough to hold without bending. 

I'm very lucky to be on my 26th trip to the UK, and it's like I have my grandparents with me as I retrace their steps.