Anne was my housemate from 2013-2018 and was a dear friend, without her support and advice over THOSE FIVE YEARS IT IS ALMOST CERTAIN I WOULD NOT BE A PHOTOGRAPHER TODAY.
The events of Thursday 19 April 2018 will stay with me forever, having someone die in your arms is something which I hope never to experience again. It was made even harder by the fact I have lived with this person for five years and experienced many highs and lows along the way.
Anne Hervey, born Anne Pamela Lamberty on 9 October 1949 was a unique and wonderful person, a person I am privileged to have known, called a friend and shared a house with.
Anne was a very private person and often underplayed her remarkable achievements, even in the four walls of THE houseS WE SHARED. After attending University in Leicester, she headed for London, and ended up working for the renowned designer Terence Conran.
Anne was a professional photographer, and her work was truly stunning. In the 1970’s she got the opportunity to photograph Arnold Palmer at The Open here in St Andrews. She gave me he negatives of these photos and they are gifts which I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I do not know everything about Anne, although the names she mentioned, such as Andrew Neil, give an indication that she had an extraordinary career.
After getting married to her partner John they developed their own photographic lab, Tarquin Photographic Limited produced high-quality photographic materials for marketing campaigns, with Edinburgh Woollen Mill among their many clients.
In her career post-photography, she became a great collector and her eye for a bargain and for something special was renowned.
In 2009, now divorced and with a new partner, also called John, she opened Methuselah’s in St Mary’s Place, St Andrews. This wondrous store sold collectibles (she hated the word antique!) from all over, and it was very popular with locals and tourists alike. She was often stopped in the street in the years after it closed by former customers, many of whom she didn’t know at all.
She was also invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as a reward for her charitable work. After her relationship with John broke down Anne fell on harder times, and this is where our paths crossed for the first time.
In 2013 I returned to St Andrews, and established St Andrews GOLF MAGAZINE (NOW SHANK), and began working at the New Golf Club. I moved into the tourist hostel, with the aim of saving money and finding a place to live. Some five months later I was still there, and Anne moved in. Over the next few months we got to know each other, and along with another friend, Richard, we moved out of the hostel for the first time in January 2014.
We were both relieved and happy to have moved out of the hostel, but with just a six month lease it would prove a short hiatus. In June we were left with no alternative but to move back into the hostel. I will never forget that moment. We were both shattered emotionally as the hostel, one of the worst examples of short-term accommodation anywhere in the UK, was even worse than when we left it 6 months earlier. This time our stay would be much longer, and a much less-happy one. Despite searching, visiting and inquiring for accommodation we could not find any. Then through an acquaintance of Anne, just before The Open in 2015, we found somewhere.
However, this proved to be unsuitable for the long term and our landlords were less than trustworthy and the house was not up to standard. We were faced with having to find somewhere again. With both of us ruling out the hostel as a possibility, the pressure was on, so I took a punt.
I saw an advert on Spareroom.co.uk, and despite it being well above either of our budgets, I contacted the landlady. To my complete shock she responded positively and after viewing the property and some hefty negotiation, largely led by Anne, we moved in on 1 February 2016. Anne adored this house, and much of the art which decorates it was bought by her for the house. She had an eclectic taste for the unique and quirky.
Over the years we knew each other, and the years we lived together (she hated that phrase, and always referred to me as her “house share” person, much to my amusement), Anne gave me many nuggets of advice. Particularly focusing on my job at the New Golf Club and St Andrews Magazine.
She was an integral part of developing my business plan, and when it was required she gave me a swift kick up the arse to sort things out. Above all Anne was a truly great friend, and sometimes being a friend involves saying things you might not want to hear. But she was always there.
Then, suddenly, she wasn’t.
The days and weeks which followed were hard. That is an understatement, they were brutal. I couldn’t have got through those times without my mum and dad, and my close friends in St Andrews.
On the day after she passed, I sent a text, as a kind of closure, I guess. Obviously, it was one which I knew there would be no response. But I guess it sums it all up.
I miss you so so much you cannot imagine. For five years you have been by my side as the greatest friend anyone could have. I know I drove you crazy with my ways and we had ups and downs like any friendship but we have both been there for each other. I am absolutely devastated that I will never be able to see you again or talk and enjoy the things we did. After all the struggles and all the advice you have given me. I am so upset you aren't here to see the magazine succeed. You are a truly wonderful human being and you are going to be missed by so many people.
I know you will be looking down on me, probably saying "leave it" "cut the crap" or "behave yourself". I will succeed in what I do for you and I will never forget the last five years. I would not be where I am without you.
Goodbye. Love Matt x
THESE PAGES WILL BE DEDICATED TO SHOWCASING ANNE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND SHARING MUCH OF HER WORK WITH THE WIDER WORLD. AS WE APPROACH THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF HER PASSING I FEEL THIS IS A DEEPLY PERSONAL TRIBUTE, TO SOMEONE WHO HAS PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN ASSISTING MY JOURNEY TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER.