Thursday, 23 April 2015

Marathon Man

A runner in fancy dress puts in a final sprint along Birdcage Walk towards the end of the London Marathon in 2002. The famous athletes have long since passed but running 26 miles in a silly outfit, to raise money for charity, can bring its own rewards, not least the smiles and affection of a vast audience of Londoners. From my book, "Being English"

War by Other Means

            England had just defeated Argentina in the 2002 Football World Cup and this victorious fan, his face emblazoned with the Cross of Saint George, was celebrating beneath the lions of Trafalgar Square, named for another famous conquest involving Lord Horatio Nelson and the Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar. From my book, "Being English"

Monday, 20 April 2015

Coming Out!

In 1780 King George 111 held the first Queen Charlotte's Ball in honour of his wife. Nearly two centuries later, in 1976, the event continued as part of the Social Season for debutantes hoping to meet suitable partners. However, it now took place in a Park Lane hotel rather than Buckingham Palace, Prince Philip having described it as "bloody daft". The mind boggles at what comment he might have reserved for the confused young man in this picture. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 17 April 2015

Royal Ascot

Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and Royal Acot is a highlight of the horse racing year and the English Social Season. Dress code in the exclusive Royal Enclosure, seen here in 2002, is rigorous... day dresses and hats for women with no bare midriffs or shoulders, while men are required to wear black or grey morning dress with a top hat. No wonder I was confined to the Press box! From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 10 April 2015

Model Release!

A sunny afternoon on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London. It's 1975 and the photographer and her model are creating new pictures for their portfolios. Models, even as lovely as this girl, could expect a short and uncertain career but the photographer, Suze, emigrated to California and endless sunshine, won staff jobs at both Playboy and Hustler magazines, and still remains a successful glamour photographer. From my book, "Being English"


In September 2002, the people of Kirkby Lonsdale, a small town in Cumbria, dressed up to celebrate their Victorian Weekend. Brass bands, parades and street vendors all helped to create a nostalgic atmosphere and an escape into a bygone age that, sadly, was never as rosy as this image suggests. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 3 April 2015


 In 1976 this little charmer was just about to win first prize in a Beautiful Baby Competition in Finchley, North London.  I do remember asking permission to photograph this event and being made  welcome to do so. Usually, the very nature of candid photography is to shoot first, to catch a fleeting and special moment and then, if necessary, to get the subjects' blessing afterwards. Sadly, with changing attitudes and a less trusting society, I think it's now wiser to get that blessing first when photographing children. From my book, "Being English"

Easter at Longleat

Only in England would Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs parade with Alexander Thynne, then Viscount Weymouth and now the 7th Marquess of Bath. But this was Easter at Longleat House in 1985, where the Thynne dynasty has resided since the fourteenth century. A combination of democracy and death duties has led to the house and grounds being opened to the public, and also to Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, Sneezy and Dopy. From my book, "Being English"