Chalon Way Car Park

View from Chalon Way Car Park, St.Helens approx 1977.

Taken on a Saturday morning walk from the photo department of the Gamble Institute. Given freedom (and film) to walk around town and document what we saw. I headed to the multi-storey car park and photographed Pilkington Glass works next to St.Helens town centre.

Looking down I thought it also worthwhile at the ground based car  park at the rear of the multi-storey. Of interest is the oil patches on the unoccupied bays, cars in the 1970s all seemed to slowly leak oil as part of their functioning.


Pilkington Glass Works, Burtonhead Road, St.Helens. 2017. Not film, Panasonic G7

The Wasteland

No, not a shot of a failed Mars Lander.

Abandoned carcass of a black and white valve TV set, possible early 1960s vintage. Photo approx 1976/7. Taken in St.Helens on some wasteland, possibly after some street demolition. This shot reminded me that I used to enjoy taking the backs off old TVs to poke around and see how they worked, surprised I’m still alive thinking about it now.

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Foggy hometime

St.Helens, across Ormskirk Street to the site of the new NatWest Bank yet to be built. Mid 1970s.


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 bouffant 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.

Meeting ourselves

Waiting for the lights to change at the pedestrian crossing on Bickerstaffe Street, St.Helens approx 1975.

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