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 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.

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

Connie Kelly

Family friend Connie Kelly outside her antiques shop at 164 Duke Street late 70s / early 80s.
St.Helens

North Road in 1975

The film “Tommy” was released in March 1975 so I must have taken this picture at about the age of thirteen and a half. Standing in the middle of the road was a bit safer in those days. Lubitel II tlr camera.
St.Helens.

Industrial herritage

Some of the older industrial buildings for Pilkingtons Glass Works were still standing in the late 1970s.
St.Helens.

Cotham Street.

Heading to school through St.Helens town centre. Late 1970s. Camera: Lubitel II tlr.

Selective focus

I must have taken this picture in the mid 1970s at about the age of 14 or 15. Its inside the museum part of the Gamble Institute in the centre of St.Helens.

The formal (and quiet) atmosphere in the room seemed at odds with the doll and I think this is what caught my attention and provoked me to take a picture.

Decades later its not so much the novelty that I get from the image but more about “how we are”. I could easily imagine that when we are concentrating on something we need to put other things out of mind , perhaps move them behind us so that they don’t distract both metaphorically (and in this case) physically.