The Marshall Clan

Back in the bed the other morning I also reflected on my own name as well as domain names – and of course there are some links with and both of which point to web sites containing my work. But I know of at least two other photographers in the UK who are also called Peter Marshall and I’m sure there are more.

Silverprint used to be just a few yards from the Elephant. 2015

I became aware of these two in rather odd circumstances, the first when buying photographic materials in one of my favourite shops, Silverprint, now moved from London to Dorset and concentrating on on-line sales. I’d been a customer since the company began (and of Goldfinger which was its precursor) and knew the boss slightly, and usually would have a chat with Martin when I called in at the shop when it was in Valentine Place, but one day I got a very frosty welcome. Eventually things resumed their normal friendliness when it became clear that it was another Peter Marshall whose cheque had bounced.

EDL protesters barrack another photographer, 2010

My second rather disconcerting encounter with another Peter Marshall came when I got an emailed death threat from an ultra-right nutter and couldn’t understand what it was about at all – but was later contacted by another Peter Marshall and things became clear – they didn’t like the pictures he had taken. I’ve had my own threats and hostile comments from the extreme right both on-line and in person – and often because I’ve been mistaken for another photographer, though one with a different name – and been protected at times by both police and saner right-wing elements, so I wasn’t too worried.

A man with fearless ferret – but not me! 2007

Over the years we’ve also had a number of phone calls at home – ours is one of the few numbers still listed in the printed phone book, which gets slimmer each year – clearly intended for other Peter Marshalls. My favourite is still the guy who asked my wife “Is he the Peter Marshall who keeps ferrets?”

Bruce Kent speaks at a rally against Guntanamo in 2003. I turned down the invitation to speak there which was almost certainly intended for another Peter Marshall. 2003

I’m often also confused with the Peter Marshall who has written a number of fine books including ‘Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism’, and I only wish I had, but my works are fairly strictly photographic. We do have a slight connection in that he wrote ‘Into Cuba’ with photographer Barry Lewis, who was a fellow student with me back in Leicester in 1970-71, both of us learning to teach chemistry, but where I also managed to study media, film and photography.

Another person I’ve been confused with is a TV journalist and reporter who I sometimes hear on Radio 4 and there are many more. You can find a few of us by putting the name ‘Peter Marshall’ into Google. When I tried this while writing this post I came up at number 11, and also this site at 14 and more again at 18, 27, 28 and a couple of times lower down in the first page (which for serious searching I have set to 100 entries.) But I gave up looking then, as Google tells me ‘About 64,300,000 results’!

One of my grandmothers was Welsh, but not quite a dragon. 2009

There are apparently at least 400 of us in the UK alone. I sometimes wonder if I would have done better had I chosen a less common name (though why Ralph Pierre LaCock, decided Peter Marshall would be a better stage name remains a mystery.) I do actually have a middle name that I never use, Gwyn, and might have gone down better in Wales as Peter Gwyn Marshall, or Gwyn Marshall or just Peter Gwyn – or I could have chosen something completely different (though it wouldn’t have been LaCock, or even Lacock, where the inventor of photography William Henry Fox Talbot lived.) And though I am Welsh enough to play for Wales, though I don’t have the accent.

Lacock Abbey, now owned by the National Trust and housing the Fox Talbot Museum. 2007

Seriously, a good name can be a great advantage, something that sticks in peoples’ minds will greatly improve your chances of becoming well-known. Sticking out from the crowd is very useful in building a reputation – and why some photographers make a silly hat their trademark. I’ve always tried to be inconspicuous when taking pictures, avoiding bright or unusual clothing, wanting to blend in, but while that may help in taking good pictures, it does nothing for your publicity.


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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