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"

East End Royalty

I photographed this Pearly King and Queen and family in East London in 1974. The uniforms have been passed down through generations of Pearlies but it's the boys who place this image firmly in the 1970s. Pearlies were once a cohesive force in impoverished areas of London and are still noted for their charity work. From my book, "Being English"

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Old Soldiers Never Die...

Every year, on the second Sunday in May, retired Cavalry officers gather in Hyde Park. There they solemnly march past, with their furled umbrellas and their bowler hats, in remembrance of their lost comrades whose fate was not to gently fade away. But for the gleaming medals and the pervading sadness the event might be mistaken for a rather posh English garden party. Photographed in 2001 for my book, "Being English"

Working Men's Club

This club, photographed in 1966, was in the coal mining community of Horden, in County Durham. This was a time when men who worked together played together, an age when men kept their caps on to drink a serious pint and had to be won over one by one by visiting entertainers. But perhaps this Southerner's camera failed to capture the genuine warmth he experienced from these hardy Northerners. From my book, "Being English"

Friday, 1 May 2015

Mr Big

I was shooting in the West Country in 1985, for a National Geographic book on Britain, when I came across the Cerne Abbas Giant. This 180 foot high chalk figure, cut into a Dorset hillside in the 17th century, has become part of local folkore and is associated with fertility, for reasons I cannot possibly imagine. Fom my book, "Being English"

Easter Parade

I came across this prematurely aging couple at the London Harness Horse Parade in Battersea Park, described as a show for well-kept and well-bred horses, in 1976. As usual, I got the main subject out of focus, being more intrigued by the well-kept and well-bred humans. From my book, "Being English"