Looking Back: Memories of John Lewis is child’s play for Gary

For young and old the John Lewis store was a huge part of the Peterborough retail experience.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 10th July 2022, 12:00 am
Chris' photo from 1984 of Gary Saunders (middle) in John Lewis.
Chris' photo from 1984 of Gary Saunders (middle) in John Lewis.

In 1984 Gary Saunders (middle) was looking at a Chatbot (a toy robot) in the John Lewis toy department while in town with his mum when he was photographed by Chris Porsz.

Nearly 40 years later Chris pictured Gary once more at the store.

Gary said: “My mum loved shopping in John Lewis and would take me there two or three times a week.

Up to date - Chris photographed Gary Saunders outside what was John lewis.

"She would treat me to a Star Wars figure or a Matchbox car.

"I think I would have been about nine in the photo.”

Gary, who is now married with two children, went to university in London where he studied 3D furniture and product design, and lived in the city for 24 years.

Gary moved back to Peterborough seven years ago and is now a freelance designer and designs roof lights.

His projects include designing the roof lights and canopy at Peckham train station, the BT tower in London and the roof lights at the National Archives.

He said: “I had no idea my photo had been taken.

"My wife spotted the picture in the Peterborough Telegraph and sent it to me, thinking it looked like me.

"I was really shocked to see it was me.

"I’m really chuffed with the photo as it brings back lots of happy memories.”

The John Lewis store was permanently closed after lockdown lifted on April 12 2021.

Chris was unable to find the other boys in the picture.