The Lake District. Fellow ex Cowley pupils, perhaps 1981. We had gone our separate ways to college/university/polytechnic but met back up in the Summer for a few days. In the car on the way up from St.Helens we played an Imagination tape none stop, “body talk” and “just an illusion” being favorites. Some enjoyed a swim in the freezing water, I just kept my camera dry.
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.
A separate image from another day and using the side of the quad rather than the steps.
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.
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.
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 Cheap even at the time this enabled me to buy short lengths of outdated film or chemicals for the darkroom.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!
Fellow Cowley Boys 5th form pupils play for one night only at the YMCA in St.Helens town centre in 1978. I was asked along to record the evening by Les Glover one of the singers.
Petrol were opening for another band and the hall started to fill up as they played. I had to use flash as it was so dark, manual cameras and slow film were the tools at hand and compromise had to come somewhere.
It would have been good to photograph the audience as well, perhaps a modern dSLR or mirrorless camera and a time machine would finish the job.
The headmaster leaves the stage after morning assembly at Cowley Boys School in St.Helens in the late 1970s.