The headmaster leaves the stage after morning assembly at Cowley Boys School in St.Helens in the late 1970s.
The headmaster was very strict so this image was taken quickly and undercover hence the poor focus and camera shake.
Taken from the balcony the band played on though for this assembly Mr Dobbs the music master was at the piano to play along to the morning hymns.
I would have liked to have better focus but accept that the rarity of the subject matter makes this an important image for me. I find it helps me remember the period and better understand the dynamics that were present then.
The St.Helens I remember from my youth. I was thirteen and a half when I took this (I have a very clear memory of taking this image).
Very self conscious at the time, there was a break in the traffic but I was not nervous of the traffic just of what people might think.
Going through this pain barrier made it easier and easier to take photographs without worrying, the start of the journey…
St.Helens, view up to North Road.
Late 1970s image showing the corner of Cooper and (I think) Argyle street in St.Helens (since demolished).
The houses and shops of my youth were still pretty much unchanged from when I grew up there in the 1960s.
This particular shop was a favourite of my sisters and myself in the 1960s as they sold pocket money toys from a large box. These toys were made of plastic and had “Made in Japan” stamped on them. Japan was the land of cheap goods in those days but changes were underway…
It is difficult to reconcile my personal documentary work and my later commercial work. Some images cross the boundary a little easier. This image didnt sell too well through Getty Images but I still love it. Ferns shot on 6×7 colour transparency and the water shot on a Gandolfi camera using 10″x 8″ black and white film. Image composited in Barco Creator Software.
The Lake District / Brockley.
A miserable wet 1970 winters day in a northern town. The Victorians made the Industry but they also provided the park.
On a grey day you noticed the industry more than the park. Of course the chimneys are now gone and the park is in a more natural setting. Certainly something gained; but also something lost.
The images are part of a sequence I took on my walk home from school through Victoria Park in St.Helens, no exif data when shooting film but I would date these images between 1975 and 1978. Zenith E slr camera, 58mm lens FP4 film.
My photography started in the third year of secondary school, fellow 13 year old pupil Ian Griffiths showed me his Russian Zenith B camera and I just knew I had to get a proper camera and start taking photographs.
I photographed the world around me, didnt matter that it was the town centre, the home or in this case the classroom. Three frames taken one after the other and joined together 43 years later with Photoshop. The Zenith E camera was very noisy and taking images without the teacher noticing was never easy…
Zenith E slr camera 58mm lens FP4 film. approx 1976-1978.
Cowley boys school, St.Helens.
I was in Bristol for the Wildscreen festival and decided to go for a walk.
In one of the city squares an area was cordoned off for rebuilding but you could still kind of walk around it.
I spotted these trees overgrowing a statue and it reminded me of a part of the conversation between David Attenborough and Chris Packam at a talk I attended the previous day,
For just a moment, they speculated how the natural world would recover well from the extinction of humans, they didnt dwell long on the subject aware that they may have overstepped some boundary.
In the city centre I caught a little glimpse of the possibility.