Going straight from school to Polytechnic was not an easy journey, the art students I shared first year accommodation with were older and more world wise. They were good guys and I hope that life has treated them well since I last saw them in 1980.
Summer 1980. One of my fellow flatmates (right) enjoys the company of a guest in first year student accommodation in Flat 8 Hampden Street Nottingham. The majority of boys I shared with were art students which made it easier when I did a small photo documentary project of the place as part of my first year Photography course. Im currently digitising the rest of the images to recreate the whole project. Would be nice to hear from the people who lived there then.
Team photos taken at Cowley Boys School in the mid to late 1970s. It was sleeting as I took the pictures. As always I shot a few frames of each team so as to minimise the chance of anyone spoiling the shot by blinking or gesticulating.
Some forty years after taking these images I can recover a time element by animating between the three negatives, a highish definition black and white video of a time gone.
Fellow Cowley pupil Robert Williams takes a photo as I record him and Victoria Park during a 6th form Photo Society outing in 1979. Pilkingtons Glass was a major manufacturer based in the town and employed a whole lot of townsfolk in the factories dotted around.
I have come to love this hopeless light, neglected and fading.
Two memories come to mind.
Ladies in their older years always wearing scarfs over their heads, though I don’t think it was for religious reasons. Memory is of them hiding curlers or perhaps a bouffount protected from the wind.
A visit from the new manager of the bank when it was completed to the Cowley Sixth form. I cannot remember the purpose of the visit (perhaps recruit future staff?). I recall taking a very low view of the new bank, it seemed to me to be a way of extracting money from the local economy.
Decades later after many scandals and fraud it turned out that I may have had a point.
St.Helens, my home town is about half way between Manchester and Liverpool. I don’t recall many trips to either city but this (rare for me) 1970s colour image shows me departing from Liverpool and heading towards New Brighton on the ferry.
I must have been 3 or 4 years old when I first saw a large body of water. It was the Mersey Estuary seen from the docks. In that one moment I remember being completely overwhelmed seeing the waves dancing with the wind and the sheer scale of the scene in front of me filled me with awe.
The Summer of 1979 being the end of secondary education for me it was a treat when a film company used the school as a location in the final week of term. Being a little less than honest in saying “I was from the school magazine” I was fortunate that the director Hugh Hudson allowed me to photograph the scene he was filming in the changing room. This was destined to be the Paris Olympics changing room towards the end of the film “Chariots of fire”. Click on the image to see the whole sequence from 1979.
Bakelite products from the Patrick Cook collection, Brockley London late 1980s. I met the artist Patrick Cook whilst volunteering at the Age Exchange in Blackheath. He very kindly let me photograph his studio and collection of early plastics, this is one of a few images based around egg cups.
My first income from photography came from taking over the team photos at Cowley Boys School. I didnt charge very much, 50p bought a whole plate (8.5″x6.5″) print in black and white. Cheap even at the time this enabled me to buy short lengths of outdated film or chemicals for the darkroom.
Sleet added to the atmosphere in this shot. Of course I should really have followed a Masters advice and photographed the teams directly after a match – much less smiling!
One of my fellow “last Diploma in Photography” students at Trent Polytechnic taken in approx 1980/81. After our year group the course changed to a degree level one as the Polytechnic moved towards becoming a University.
For some reason root vegetables were over represented in still life work, not sure why.
Jackie is using a Weston Euromaster light meter to work out exposure, an essential tool in fully manual photography. We were incredibly fortunate to learn all manual photography from the ground up.
I was returning to the large building on the right which is the Gamble Institute and needed to finish the film I had been given at the photo department there.
I had been loaned a twin lens reflex camera and told to go for a walk and learn to use it.
I would not have printed a frame like this at the time as I would have considered it “too ordinary”. With the passage of time it becomes more and more interesting, the clothes, the attitude, the smoking, the lack of smart phones…
Some of the people noticed a shy 14 year old with a funny looking camera pointed at them and responded, as is natural.
With time I have realised that capturing the “ordinary” is one of the greatest of photography’s gifts
Part of a second year photo project at Trent Polytechnic to illustrate the courses available at Newark College. This was taken in the violin making school approx 1981/2.
I was accompanying the designer who was also a student and who would make the prospectus for the college. We had very little time in each department and building so was a bit rushed but going into the violin school there was an immediate sense of peace and I wanted to capture the calmness.
I had prints of these on the wall of my darkroom at Tony Stone Images, perhaps hoping that some of the feel of craftsmanship in them would rub off on me in some way!