Getting into Polytechnic with only one A level

I was keen to study Photography after school and Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham offered a three year course in visual communications photography and film.

I turned up for an interview there with a very small portfolio of images, I was still at school and in retrospect should have done a foundation course at the local art collage before even trying there.

Euan Duff the course leader at Trent was a little hum and ha’ry about things till I showed him these slides and how I talked about documenting ordinary things around me. This was exactly the button to push with Euan (I found out afterwards) as he had undergone a journey of documenting the everyday since the 1950s.

A game of monopoly at Cowley sixth form centre became my chance to advance to Trent. When I told the Polytechnic I had only achieved one A level instead of the two required to join the course I was told to “Come anyway” a “get out of jail card” for me,, sometimes the dice are lucky.

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.


A cup on the Formica top of a table inside a caravan in Wales.

Late 1970s.

Elegaic light

Nottingham Municipal War Memorial next to the river Trent. A nightime walk with my camera and tripod in the early 1980s.

The light brings out the sad beauty of the monument, it would seem to me that a lot of thought has gone into it, a focus for complentation.

But What?

Taken on (my only)  skiing trip to France. Late 1980s? Kodachrome 35mm slide film.



Taken on a late 1970s holiday trip to stay at a caravan in North Wales. Mum taking a rest with Cindy the miniture Yorkshire terrier dog beside her. Perhaps tea bags were considered to be a suitable replacement for cucumber? Mum would have been horified that I had taken the picture. As a learnt later under the guidance of my Photography course tutor Euan Duff, there is nothing wrong in showing “how we are”. You have to admire the multitasking show here.