Thursday, 24 December 2015


Wishing all visitors to my blog a most Happy Christmas! I was trudging home a few years ago - all of London's transport having ground to a halt due to the wrong kind of snow on the train lines/roads. My final stretch to my home here on Taggs Island was across Bushy Park and this is where I came across these deer, and bird. Thank heavens for snow on the line!

Saturday, 19 December 2015


I was at a garden fete at the Hurlingham Club in London in the 1970s and saw these young dancers, framed in a window, waiting to perform. They were watching older ballet students dancing on the lawn outside and I guess they were wondering anxiously how their performance would measure up. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 18 December 2015

FIre Lighter

Keeping the home fires burning last night on the winter trail, part of the Christmas at Kew celebrations in Kew Gardens, West London

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Time Warp

Back to the Swinging 60s? Not quite, but what a feast of colour and light after the mean and dowdy canyons of Oxford and Regent Streets, where Mr Scrooge has obviously provided the Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Snow Flakes!

Man made snow at the finish of this year's Santa Dash on Clapham Common, which raised funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick Children.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Take Off!

Those Magnificent Women in their Flying Machines!. I spotted this high flyer above the roof of the Hayward Gallery, on London's South Bank, where she became an eager participant in Decision,
Carsten Holler's interactive artwork of flying machines and slides.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Under the Hammer

On a bed of nails at the Medieval Fair in Battle, East Sussex, site of the momentous Battle of Hastings in 1066. So, are these gleeful fans of gruesome deeds descendants of King Harold or the Duke of Normandy? From, "Being English"

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Curtsy

At Miss Vacari's Dancing Class for Young ladies, in Knightsbridge in the 1970s
From, "Being English"

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Lewes Fireworks

A few days before Lewes holds its Bonfire Society parades on November 5th, the Nevill Juvenile Society parades through its suburbs, supported by the Lewes Borough Society, founded in 1853. These parades are really special, but do take ear plugs!

Guy Fawkes!

On November 5th the Bonfire Societies of Lewes parade through its streets, before heading off to their bonfires and fireworks displays in surrounding fields. These women are in the Waterloo Bonfire Society, who kindly gave me access to follow them over two years. From, "Being English"

Friday, 30 October 2015

Hello, Hello, Hello!

An Old English Dance group meets on Parliament Hill Fields in 1976, accompanied by their Hobby Horse. From, "Being English"

Friday, 23 October 2015


No, not America's Deep South but a spare bedroom in North London in the 1970s. This young English couple shared their devotion to the Southern Skirmish Society, a battle reenactment group, and this was their precious collection of memorabilia.  From, "Being English"

Saturday, 10 October 2015


In Brent, North London, Hindus celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. There's a similar event in Trafalgar Square but this, on a shopping street close to the local temple, seems far more involving and genuine. From, "Being English"


Sunday morning on a village green in the West of England, in the 1960s. A Salvation Army brass band sets out to entertain and to save souls. Their audience is two young girls and me, probably more concerned with composition than the hereafter. Fifty years on the former has become instinctive but the latter remains a dilemma. From, "Being English"

Friday, 25 September 2015

Punch and Judy

on the beach at the Victorian seaside resort of Broadstairs, the perfect setting for a Punch and Judy Show, but one girl preferred a suntan to murder and mayhem. From, "Being English"

Fancy Dress

"Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep" runs the nursery rhyme, but this one found hers and won the Fancy Dress Competition at a garden fete in the Cotswolds, in the 1970s. From "Being English"

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Judgement Day

Pontin's Holiday Camp, Weston-super Mare, 1970s, and it's time for the Knobbly Knees Competition. I don't usually brood about these things, but with my knees, I think I should have won. To quote Marlon Brando, "I coulda' had class. I coulda' been a contender". From, "Being English"

Friday, 11 September 2015

'Obby 'Oss!

At the Hobby Horse Festival in Padstow, Cornwall, in 2003. It's celebrated on May Day, when two 'obby 'osses parade through the town and try to catch young maidens.Tradition has it that if a woman is covered by the Oss during the chase she will become fertile and fruitful. The hypnotic beat of drums and plentiful alcohol may also help. From, "Being English"

The Nanny State

At the Norland School for Nannies in Berkshire in the 1990s. Founded by Emily Ward in 1892, who created the uniform so that nannies would not be mistaken for housemaids. The school, now in Bath, is still going strong with no vacancies left for this year's intake. It's good to know that the offspring of British aristocrats and Russian oligarchs are being well cared for! From, "Being English"

Friday, 4 September 2015

Counting Sheep

In 2003 I went to photograph the Malham Show in the Yorkshire Dales and came across this scene on the road above the village. I'm not sure if the Highway Code covers this dilemma, but the motorist survived and got down to the show a few minutes later. From, "Being English"


I made this portrait of a Pearly King and Queen at their home East London, in the 1970s, for the magazine New Society. It was at a time when soul-less high rise flats were replacing and destroying a former, more friendly community. From, "Being English"

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Take Off!

The Devil has all the best tunes, and the wildest gales, as the vicar of Painswick found out. He was trying to retain his dignity during the annual Clipping the Church ceremony in 2002. From, "Being English"

Teddy Boys

These Teddy Boys, and their girls, posed for me in 1973 outside their home-from-home, the Black Raven pub in Bishopsgate. The boy on the right is sharp, which suggests that I manged to hold the camera steady and that the rest of the gang were swaying, after a merry evening of drinking and rock'n'roll. From, "Being English"

Friday, 21 August 2015


Just one week till the Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest Caribbean celebration of music and dance in Europe. This picture was made two years ago on a street I used to live on. Twiggy lived a few houses away, with her boyfriend always outside trying to get his Lamborghini to start. From, "Being English"

God Bless the Queens!

1977 in Fulham, West London, and these four "girls" were celebrating at a street party for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Let's hope she WOULD have been amused!  Though here suggesting a second meaning, Flash was a popular washing powder at the time. From, 'Being English"

Friday, 14 August 2015


Kirkby Lonsdale, Lake District, in 2002 and the town's whole community has dressed up to celebrate their Victorian Weekend. They're not visible but rose tinted spectacles were also worn by all, as they re-lived a bygone age that was never quite as blissful as this. From, "Being English"

My Mona Lisa

I made this picture 40 years ago in Hyde Park at the Miss Selfridges Parade. There was a magic in this woman's face that seemed to perfectly complement her period outfit, as though she'd cycled in from another age to join us for the day. A brief encounter that I still treasure. From, "Being English"

Friday, 31 July 2015

Sunday Best!

Pearly Kings and Queens arrive at St Martin's in the Field church in Trafalgar Square to celebrate their Harvest Festival. When London had a real and neighbourly East End they did all sorts of good works among the poor and dispossessed. From my book, "Being English"

The Winner

At the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the 1970s...a prize for the horse and a stern gaze for your painter with light, perhaps for not wearing the obligatory suit and bowler. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 24 July 2015


Sunrise in Hyde Park on a chill Sunday morning in November. Ancient oily engines being coaxed back to life for one more triumphant journey. This was the scene shortly before the start of the annual London to Brighton run for veteran motor cars and their vintage owners. Most of them arrived there too! From my book, "Being English"

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Toys for Boys

I took this picture back in the 1970s, long before man eating seagulls became a threat! This angler was fishing near the source of the River Thames, at Lechlade, and was using his catapult to fire bait out to the middle of the river. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 17 July 2015

On the Towpath

This was at the Henley Royal Regatta, where this couple's sartorial splendour is normally only to be found in the Stewards Enclosure, but then dipping your toes in the River Thames might not be so encouraged there. The second straw boater helped my composition but what happened to its owner? From my book, "Being English"

On Parade

I'd been to a rehearsal of Trooping the Colour and these Guardsmen were marching across St James's Park on their way back to barracks. For a few brief moments this elegant lady became their inadvertent leader. Only old soldiers will notice she's out of step, while the rest of us salute her! From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 10 July 2015

Lunch Break

An every day scene on the beach at Bognor Regis. I went to photograph a Sandcastle Competition but a sadistic Dad with a large bottle of tomato ketchup had other ideas. I know I should have called Child Welfare but, being a true snapper, I concentrated on getting the exposure right! From my book, "Being English"

Beauty Queens

This picture was made in the 1970s on Blackpool's Golden Mile, the promenade between the seaside resort's two piers. Even then there was a sadness about Blackpool, a town long past its golden age and already losing its battle with Mediterranean beaches. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Dancer

This fellow was getting in touch with his feminine side at London's Gay Pride event in 2009, which took off with dancing classes in Hyde Park. From my book, "Being English"

Crash Landing?

....well, I could tell a fib some forty years later but this biker, spied in Kensington Gardens, London, was actually practicing his yoga. The photograph was cropped square for the cover of "Being English", an act usually against my religion, so here is the original image as shot.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Lift Off!

The Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta might sound posh but is in fact a relaxed family affair. It's only a few miles up-river from the very grand Henley Royal Regatta, where this particular dress code and greasy pole competition would probably cause heart failure among the guardians of the Stewards Enclosure. From my book, "Being English"

A Knees Up!

This photo was made in the 1970s at Pontin's Holiday Camp in Weston-super-Mare, during a Knobbly Knees Competition. It's hard to believe than one lived through such an innocent age with such simple pleasures. Still, my vote goes to the second pair from the left! From my book, "Being English"

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ladies' Day!

Thursday is Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot. Apparently, there is some horse racing too but these women and their delightful hats are the real winners. From my book, "Being English"


This gentleman was astride a wooden horse at a Savile Row tailor in 1975, where he was being fitted for a hunting jacket. The coat was being cut to look its best in the saddle, and to impress the foxes who, fortunately, are no longer being hunted. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Furry Dance

Also known as the Flora, this dance takes place in and around the Cornish community of Helston, in early May. This photo was made shortly after sunrise, in 2003. It's quite usual for the dancers to weave in and out of houses in the town, all to celebrate the coming of Spring and increased fertility!
From my book, "Being English"


These kids were at a dance competition in North London in the 1970s. So eager to win, so much uncertainty.... From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 5 June 2015

Mud Bath!

At the Malham Show in the Yorkshire Dales, in 2001. This was mainly a rural show, with cows and sheep winning the prizes, but these kids were far more thrilled by the roaring engines, fumes and flying mud created at the start of the motocross event. I think my camera survived. From my book, "Being English"

On Guard

At a sale of stuffed animals in Clerkenwell in the 1970s. While the lions and tigers were being auctioned upstairs this rhinoceros, too big for the lift, was being protected from passing hunters in the downstairs lobby. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 29 May 2015

Langdale Sports

Cumberland Wrestling at the Langdale Sports in the Lake District, 2002. The unique outfits, known as strips and featuring embroidered velvet pants, have been worn for over 150 years. As recently as 2006 the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association reinstated them after a year's trial run with more modern sportswear. From my book, "Being English"

School's Out!

Is this the next Tory Cabinet? Not quite, as these Eton College boys were photographed in the 1970s and may have missed their chance by now. Below them the annual Eton Wall Game, a kind of rugger unique to the college, was being played. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 22 May 2015

Wedding Day

2011 in West London and these girls, one surely in Mum's shoes, were at a street party celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The artist seems to have had a better eye for the Queen's corgis than for the newly weds. From my book, "Being English"

Thumbs Up!

1963 in Workington, Cumbria. I was shooting a story on towns in decline for the Sunday Times and came across these lads among the back-to-back housing that gave some community focus back then.
Photography is such a strange medium...these boys are caught in this moment, so bold and optimistic, yet by now they'll be in their sixties, having led pretty tough lives. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 15 May 2015


Flyers at the International Birdman Competition in Bognor Regis, in 2002. The serious competitors glide off the pier to win fame and prize money while others, like this eccentric pair, are here simply to entertain the crowds packing the town beach. From my book, "Being English"