In what were known as the Wakes Weeks, industrial cities in the North of
England used to send entire working communities to holiday in Blackpool, Lancashire. But by the time this image was made in 1976
the workers were choosing sunny Spain and Blackpool's optimistically named Golden Mile, the stretch of promenade between its two piers, was
left to stoic souls like this windswept book reader to endure a day at the seaside. From my book, "Being English"
A Napoleonic trooper confronts an American Sherman tank crew from World War Two in an English field of golden corn. Not a posed image but one one of those fleeting moments which make being a documentary photographer so rewarding. This particular moment was captured in 2002, at a battle reenactment weekend near Oundle. From my book, "Being English"
At a care home in Blackburn, Lancashire, Salvation Army musicians entertain the elderly residents in 1976. This peaceful Army was founded in the East End of London in 1865 and calls itself a Christian style church structured in a quasi-military fashion. Despite this rather alarming description its soldiers are highly regarded for their charitable work with the old, poor and dispossessed. From my book, "Being English"
Hound Trailing at the annual Grasmere Sports in the Lake District, in 2002. When released the hounds follow a trail of paraffin and aniseed oil across moorland, fields and fells, while owners and spectators lay bets on which dog will return first, to the sounds of shouting, cheering and whistle blowing at the finish line. From my book, "Being English"
For over one hundred years boys of all ages have been sailing their model boats on the Round Pond, in London's Kensington Gardens. After a successful Sunday morning launch, in 1972, this proud skipper kindly posed for a picture with his hand built sailing barge. From my book, "Being English".
In 1969 this guitarist's headband proclaimed Woodstock but the British flag confirms that this was nine days later at the Isle of Wight Pop Festival. Woodstock's loss was the island's gain because Bob Dylan, recovering from a motorcycle accident, chose to make his comeback here. From my book, "Being English".
In 2008 Jo and Las, joined by their families and friends, borrowed a field in Devon overlooking the River Dart and spent three muddy days preparing for this moment...their wedding. On this occasion I was not photographing for an assignment but for the happy reason that the bride is my own daughter. From my book, "Being English".
Dawn in Cambridge, 1991, and after dancing the night away at Clare College's May Ball these undergraduates are following tradition by punting up the River Cam to the nearby village of Grantchester for breakfast. From my book, "Being English".
It's 1966 in the coal mining village of Horden, County Durham, and this miner has just come off an eight hour shift underground. He's showered at the pithead and he's now finding a moment of serenity among the racing pigeons he sends to distant places. Fifty years on there are only two coal mines left in England and a tough and honourable way of life is passing away. From my book, "Being English".
This is the cover for my new book, "Being English", published by the Bluecoat Press. The photograph was taken in Kensington Gardens, London, in 1976 and the biker who appears to have crash landed was actually practicing his yoga. Only my own health was at risk as I raced through the trees to capture this apparently terminal moment.