This week I was commissioned to be official photographer at a Royal visit to Rutland. I have been fortunate to be invited to photograph Royalty on several occasions and so knew the way this has to be handled. I have to say the Duke was a particularly happy chap and the whole day was a joy to photograph.
Achieving a special request by a builder and school
Looking back through the archive I came across this image that was shot in-camera not created afterwards in software. The request was for some images that shows a school having building work carried on while the school is open – but with no identifiable children in shot (other than staff children).
After the routine shots of building work I decided to try a long exposure with the camera hand held by me (long before “vibration-reduction” lenses were invented) while I was perched on a cherry-picker with the children running around some of the staff and workers. It turned out to be the most popular shot of the day despite having no buildings in sight!
One of the pleasures of working for the press is attending local drama productions.
The enthusiasm and ability that I have seen over the years is quite astonishing – I’m sure the parents carers and staff must be proud of everything that has been achieved, and it is a real delight to record this for the actors to look back on in years to come.
For this week’s article we thought it would be interesting to look back on some images from May in previous years.
This is normally a time for lots of fetes, and not surprisingly they feature strongly in our archive.
We have chosen just a few that we feel capture the spirit of May, and are something we can all look forward to enjoying again, when we are free to meet and mingle like before. We could fill pages and pages but lets take a quick look…….
Above are the proud winners of a previous dog show at Exton Fete – a brilliant event that really brings the community spirit of Exton to the fore.
May brings the annual event at Braunston in Rutland – known originally in the 1990’s as “The Happening” – this reinstated some of the historic events including maypole dancing, fun and games, and as pictured above the presentation of the May Queen with her attendants.
Each year brings the opening of the outdoor swimming pool on Abbey Lawns in Bourne. This is a fantastic achievement by the community who raise funds and maintain this amazing facility that is used not just by locals. The last time we visited to photograph a hot summer our commissioned photographer was greeted by his neighbours from Oakham!
Truly a brilliant facility for the community – and an exceptional example of community spirit to keep this pool open – unlike so many other outdoor pools.
Another example of community spirit, this was the first time we had been commissioned to photograph the Little Bytham Fun Run. Skillfully managed this course can be both fun and challenging in equal measure, and is a great fund-raiser. Well played to this small but close-knit community bringing this event forward.
Fun and games at the Game Fair at Burghley House – it really is a fun day for all the family at this annual event in May and we can’t wait for it to return so we can mingle with the excited crowds and capture the feeling of the day
May 2004 winners
Maypole dancing Stamford May 2004
Stamford Mayor 2004
Potential clients often ask about our length of experience as press photographers – here are some straightforward examples which are also from May – but this time May 2004 – we have been around for some time! Here you can see maypole dancing and May Queen in Stamford, some motorsport and some happy prizewinners at another fete.
We could go on forever but lets end this look back at a normal kind of May with a traditional scene from a fete – this time at Easton on the Hill. Something tells us that we are all waiting for the chance to get back to normal and share some ices at a village fete. It is perhaps now more than ever that we appreciate the simpler things in life.
For this week’s editorial I wanted to reflect on the other emergency services that seem to get so little press, but which provide such a vital service.
I am talking here about the emergency services embedded within our armed forces.
Normally when I have mentioned this the response is “Oh yes! You mean the military police.” This is probably because of the nature of their work – they are quite often to be seen out and about “off base” in their vehicles, particularly at garrison towns or near Navy and RAF bases.
They do a wonderful job of course – as does also the medical services within the armed forces- but my photojournalism has tended to be more about the RAF Fire Service.
Now despite 30 years working for the local press, I have to say that neither I nor any of my colleagues classmates ourselves as “ambulance chasers”. For that reason what you see here are training exercises at RAF Wittering just over the border from Rutland.
I have to say that this particular exercise was (from my lay person view) extremely realistic – and I was overwhelmed by the professionalism of the young people involved in the Fire and Rescue rehearsal.
As we rightly laud the efforts of our civilian emergency services, and of the Armed Forces, let’s remember that there is yet another class of hero – those who work in the emergency services with the Armed Forces.