Preparing Sunday dinner in the 1970s

Approx. 1978. In the kitchen in our house in Haydock. Mum prepares the meal. Dad is in his Sunday best in the pub across town with his brothers drinking beer, a drive home in the Austin 1100 then a short sleep before eating.


Two bikes in the garage of our house in Ledger Road, Haydock. Taken in approx 1978.
I seem to remember playing with depth of field and perhaps using a small aperture (f16) on my Russian Lubitel II 6×6 camera to get the most depth of field.
Transparency film in this format was expensive so I was careful to take time with each image.

The crazy pathed floor shows signs of the (normal!) oil leak of the family Austin 1100 car. The car was bought second or third hand for either £25 or £70 (one of the two).
The whole garage was built using cynder blocks produce at the Parr Bold power station and brought back a trunkfull at a time.

My father did most of the work with his brother Bob helping with the wood work. As a teenage boy I should have helped him with the build but seemed to prefer
listening to my radio and reading in my bedroom. I should of course helped more but I did not.

He built it with crude materials but built it well, it was far wider than most UK garages, garages that would struggle to contain a car let alone allow someone to open the car door to get out.

Reluctantance at the start

Haydock Racecourse N.W. England. Summer 1980. Lining up for the race.
Pentax K1000 camera, Kodachrome 25 transparency film.

CB Radio in the 1970s

Whilst still at school I worked on Saturday mornings at Fishwicks in Haydock. This was a camera store and I served customers at the counter. This chap also had a part time job there and we got on well as we were both into the analogue technology of the time.

After work I went round to see his Citizens Band radio setup and I took a few frames.  CB was the social network of the day, a chance to chat to friends in the area or talk to passing traffic, usually lorries (not usually in Convoy). In the days when British Telecom had a monopoly on telephones it must have been very liberating to talk as long as you wanted without per minute charges.

Like Facebook there was an etiquette to using the equipment, moving chat to different channels and not interrupting people etc. I never got into CB myself but liked the idea.

Rig confirmed to be a Colt 320 FM “Black Shadow SSB”, many thanks to the Facebook community for the details.

35mm Ilford HP5 film, 400ASA.

Haydock races

Haydock Park, horse race in progress. Early 1980s shot on Kodachrome 25.

Im not a gambler but I knew it was worthwhile taking a few frames of the scene behind me on the stands, far more interesting than the horse race.

Photographing a horse race does not need to show horses, a valuable lesson.


Waiting for the bus

Early morning routine, taking a bus into St.Helens town centre from a bus stop in Haydock. Late 1970s.

Mum would have been on her way into work as a cleaner at Blundells on the corner of Chapel Street and my sister Susan would have been on her way to Central Modern school on North Road. I would have a second journey from town to Cowley boys school, sometimes also by bus but most of the time by walking.

Part of the daily drudge to wake up early and walk three quarters of a mile to the bus stop, nice on sunny days not so much on a grey rainy day.

Self Portrait 1970s

Listening to a Radio 4 play, one of the episodes of the Foundation Trillogy by Isacc Asimov in 1977. One year later I was listening to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in the same bedroom on the same Radio Cassette. Radio 4 became a part of me in those days when something new and interesting was always just around the corner…


Favorite quote from HitchHikers:

“Many men of course became extremely rich, but this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of because no one was really poor – at least no one worth speaking of.”

– Douglas Adams.