Hull Photos: 23/2/17-1/3/17

March 10th, 2017

Photos added together with the comments I post on them on Facebook. At a later date I intend to add these comments to the Hull Photos web site, Still Occupied – A view of Hull.

23 February 2017

The view across a wharf with sand and gravel to the buildings on the opposite bank of the River Hull.

The buildings visible in the background, on the opposite bank of the River Hull are, from left to right: the roof and chimneys of Wilberforce House behind trees in the garden; a large shed, now demolished, Lister Court, built as warehouses around 1880 and converted to flats in 1985 and Grade II listed in 1994; and lastly the Pease Warehouses, Grade II listed in 1952. Wilberforce house, the home of William Wilberforce and now a museum was built for the Lister family.


28k65: Wharf on east bank of River Hull, Tower St, 1981 – River Hull

24 February 2017

Much of Charles St was facing demolition as I took these pictures, some being cleared for the building of a kind of bypass road around the north of the city centre, the Freetown Way, named for Freetown, Sierra Leone, which Hull twinned with in 1980. Freetown is the largest city in Sierra Leone, rather larger than Hull, but like Hull is a port, though on the Atlantic rather than the Humber and with a fine natural harbour. The first settlers in Freetown were black Britons who had been born as slaves, and were emancipated and shipped out from London by the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor. There settlement didn’t last long, being burnt to the ground two years later by the local black ruler, who had probably not realised they intended to stay permanently. The city’s formal beginning came a few years later when it was settle by over a thousand former slaves from Nova Scotia.

All this happened a little before Wilberforce became involved in the fight against slavery in 1787, but it was his connection with Hull that, at the suggestion of former Hull University student and High Commissioner of Sierra Leone, Dr S T Matturi, the two towns became twinned. Which also explains why Freetown has a Kingston-upon-Hull Way.

People in Hull voted overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit, with over twice as many wanting to leave as to remain despite the fact that the city has benefited enormously from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, which have supported pretty well every major development in the city since we joined Europe – including the Freetown Way. The vote came despite too (or perhaps because) Labour’s ‘In’ campaign being led by Hull MP Alan Johnson, and Hull’s two other MPs both supporting remain.

The picture shows bargains in Bedding and Jewellery (cheapest in Hull!) painted on the window of a shop with fine ironwork around its windows, and a row of shops opposite reflected in the glass; the only name across the street I can read clearly is that of Oswald T Hall, who was I think a family butcher.


28l12; Open and closed shops, Charles St, 1981 – City Centre

25 February 2017

I don’t know exactly where this yard with workshops and a wall with the peeling sign ‘PIONEER’ was, but I think it was near Charles St, and I am fairly sure it has now been demolished, though a few small workshops remain not far away from here. It could have been closer to Beverley Rd as I was probably wandering through back streets from Charles St towards Springbank to catch a bus.


28l16 Pioneer, workshop in yard, Charles St area, 1981 – City Centre

26 February 2017

These two doors, next to each other I think down Baker St or Union St, one with a Celtic cross and its neighbour with a permanent ‘Meeting in Progress’ struck me as a mystery. The meeting was apparently still going on undisturbed around ten years later when I walked past. For years I couldn’t decide what the name above the notice had been, though it was familiar. The letters ‘Soft’ remained, followed by the trace of an ‘e’ and another letter, perhaps a second ‘e’, and much later I recognised it as a part of the ‘Mister Softee’ ice-cream logo. This US franchise came to the UK in the 1960s and Massarella Supplies Ltd took a franchise in Doncaster through Lyons as Mr Softee UK. The door is numbered 2, with this crossed out by a rather fish-shaped daub of paint – or perhaps solidified ice-cream.


28l23: Softee meeting in progress, Baker St area, 1981 – City Centre


27 February 2017

The sign that greets travellers approaching Hull by rail while their train waits to go into Paragon Station. The sign was still visible the last time I remembered to look out of the window at the right moment, but most of the black paint has peeled off, leaving the remnants of the white lettering on red bricks, with just a few black flecks.

Trippetts were drapers and had stores in Bradford and Nottingham as well as a large block in Ferensway, Hull, and was “noted for value in Yorkshire since 1887” as a department store with a ‘cash only’ policy. They occupied an ugly 1930s block on the corner of North St which extended to Prospect St and the block was recently demolished. The store closed towards the end of the last century.

The store belonged to the Trippett family. I don’t know if it is simply a co-incidence that the area of Hull immediately to the north of the old town between the walls and the Charterhouse was the liberty of Trippett, which although owned by the corporation for several centuries was only incorporated into the parliamentary borough in 1837. There is still a short and rather empty Trippett Street there.


28l32: Trippetts for Gloves & Hosiery, Railway Houses, Londesborough Street 1981 – Springbank area

28th February 2017

On a street near Chanterlands, Newland or Princes Avenues and was a fairly common sight during the school holidays in many areas of Hull. This one was perhaps unusual in the amount on offer, including the small Coleus plants; most seemed to have just a few toys, outgrown and often rather played out. We stopped and took a good look at what they had for sale and this is one of 5 pictures while my wife (not in picture) talked to them and looked at the books and toys on offer. I think she bought a children’s colouring book.


28o11: Childrens sale on street, 1981 – Springbank

1st March 2017

I wasn’t actually driving the train. Some of the diesel units used for local services had the driver’s cab separated from passengers by glass giving a view out of the front of the train. The glass was often scratched and appeared never to have been cleaned since the unit left the factory many years previously, and once the driver got in the view was less clear. The glass in front of the driver wasn’t too clean either, though the train did have windscreen wipers. You can see a little of a rather cleaner area at the extreme right

Our two sons were keen on railways and we often sat behind the driver. We were on our way to Broomfleet, a station around 14 miles west of Hull by the Humber, where I think you had to tell the driver you wanted the train to stop, and hold out your hand as the train came to travel back to Hull. They didn’t sell many tickets to Broomfleet. It now gets six on seven trains each way every day Mon-Sat.

Broomfleet is where the disused Market Weighton Canal enters the Humber, opposite one of very few islands in the Humber, Whitton Island. In 1981 when we visited this was still just part of a sand bank, the Whitton Sands, but was promoted in status around 2002.

I chose this picture as the cover picture for my Hull web site. Though it would have been better if it were coming in to Paragon rather than preparing to leave, but then the driver’s back would have been obscuring my view.


28015: Waiting to leave Hull Paragon Station, 1981 – City Centre

You can see the new pictures added each day at Hull Photos, and I post them with the short comments above on Facebook.
Comments and corrections to captions are welcome here or on Facebook.
Read the rest of this entry »

34 Women plus one

March 7th, 2017

Today on Facebook, curator Peggy Sue Amison shared a link that so impressed me that I stopped writing the post I was preparing for today to share it with you. It might have been better to keep it to share tomorrow, which is of course International Women’s Day, but I may be too busy covering International Women’s Strike (IWS) events here in London to have time to think about writing anything.

Women in Photography: 34 Voices From Around the World by Time’s Kira Pollack and Katherine Pomerantz came about because Pollack, one of the jurors of the this year’s World Press Photo was stunned to learn that only around 15% of the entries were by women – and that this figure has been around the same over the last 10 years.

As a result, “TIME reached out globally to the most acclaimed female photojournalists, curators and directors of photography in the industry, asking them to select one female photojournalist that they believe is worthy of recognition” and the results are impressive, truly as they write and I agree “an astonishing collection of brilliant work from around the world. For me, this list includes many photojournalists I have never known, was delighted to learn about and excited to get to know more.” Among the 34 there are only two or three whose names I recognise, and it is truly a list from around the world.

One of many other woman photographers whose work impresses me is Abbie Trayler-Smith, and I recently watched a video interview with her on Lensculture, The Big O: A Female Photographer on Approaching Obesity. In it she looks at the benefits of being female when it comes to making intimate work, stating “I love being a woman, and I love the access that gives me as a photographer…”

I mentioned Trayler-Smith a couple of years ago, appropriately in a post about World Press Photo, Man Up?

PDN’s 30 to watch

March 6th, 2017

Perhaps I’m getting old, but this year’s PDN 30 seem to have less to offer than in most previous years. Well, of course I’m getting old, but while there is a great deal of very competent photography by all of those in the list, there was little that made me really think I was seeing something new and different, and rather a lot that made me think I’d seen stuff like this before.

Those that interested me most on an admittedly quick run-through were Souvid Datta, Yuyang Liu, Yael Martinez and Xyza Bacani. Though if I take another like I expect I might find others.

You can of course look back at previous years PDN30 choices and decide for yourself if you think this year’s crop is a vintage one or not.  While being picked for the list is certainly a great honour and I’m sure has helped all of them in their careers there often seem to be relatively few who have really become well-known in photography.

There are of course different areas of photography, and many countries around the world. PDN relies on nominations for the list, and while not entirely from the US, the list of those who nominated this year is certainly dominated by those working for American magazines and organisations. As you would expect from Photo District News, which got its name from New York City’s photo district along lower Fifth Avenue; though it rapidly expanded to other American professional photographers and others in the business it’s base remains in New York.

More Road Deaths

March 3rd, 2017

We moved from being a horse-drawn economy to one dependent on motorised vehicles in a relatively short time, and it was a change that took place without a great deal of thinking about road safety. One of my grandfathers, whose main business had been building horse-drawn vehicles, died in the 1930s after his horse-drawn trap turned into the driveway of his house in front of an oncoming car, whose driver had seen him but said at the inquest he was unable to stop in time to prevent the collision. The pace of life had speeded up considerably but brakes and perceptions had not kept pace.

Almost 30 years later, as a sixth-former, I went on a visit to the Road Research Laboratory, established around the time of my grandfather’s death, then still at Harmondsworth (and later, as a teacher I went with students to Crowthorne.) There I saw a great deal of research taking place about improving junctions for cars and about the safety of drivers in collisions, but little or nothing about the safety of pedestrians. And I don’t think cyclists were ever even mentioned, except on the later occasion when they wanted them to all wear cycle helmets – doubtless a cheaper if not too effective prescription rather than making roads safer.

It’s a bias that still operates widely, particularly in some local authorities, but also in the calculations of cost-benefit of various transport schemes. Or rather road schemes, as planners seldom seem to think of walking or cycling as means of transport or of them having any financial value. There are a few signs of change – and even back in the 1930s we got cycle paths alongside some of the new dual carriageways, though most of these have become unusable for cyclists because of lack of maintenance and widespread use as parking areas.

More recently we’ve seen more cycle paths and shared paths between cyclists and pedestrians, though many of these are half-hearted and essentially unusable for anyone for whom a bicycle is a means of transport, riddled with ‘give way’ signs and injunctions to dismount and sometimes ending abruptly with no place to go. In part it has been poor implementation, but it has also been due to guidance (doubtless from the now privatised Transport Research Laboratory that still saw cyclists as second (or third) class road users.

It’s a perception still held by many motorists – like the driver, who aggrieved I had beaten him to a mini-roundabout by a yard or two, kept beeping his horn as he drove behind me for the next hundred yards or so as I rode a safe distance beside a row of parked cars, or others who have swerved past me shouting ‘Get off the road!’ often rather less politely. And by government transport minister Chris Grayling who recently knocked a cyclist off his bike by careless opening of a car door, and argued that cyclists didn’t count as road users. It’s an opinion that should have resulted in his resignation.

But some things are changing a little in London, with a few advances even under Boris as Mayor, with the introduction of a few ‘cycle superhighways‘ and some other local schemes. There has been a huge increase in cycling in London, particularly since the introduction of Ken Livingstone’s cycle-hire scheme (Ken’s Cycles doesn’t have the alliterative attraction of Boris Bikes.)

Cyclists and pedestrians are still getting killed on London’s roads, largely by drivers who fail to see them, either because of poor vehicle design or failure to make proper observations when turning left over them. The London Traffic Deaths Vigil took place a month after London got a new mayor, and it was a month in which 3 cyclists and 8 on foot were killed by drivers on the streets of London. The aim was to persuade Sadiq Khan to take the problem seriously and take the urgent action needed to protect people on London’s streets. Unfortunately there seems to be little sign he is so far doing so.

These deaths are not accidents. As I write in My London Diary:

It’s wrong to think of these deaths as accidents; they happen because road users make mistakes, often made harder to avoid because of poor vehicle or road design. Many of them result from a lack of proper facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in a road system which prioritises getting motorised vehicles from A to B as fast as possible rather than safety. Some are caused by the failure of police to enforce road traffic law – for example on advanced stop lines at traffic lights. 

 London Traffic Deaths Vigil
Read the rest of this entry »

WPP Fake News Controversy

March 2nd, 2017

As now seems to be usual, this year’s WPP awards are mired in controversy, this time over the award to Iranian photographer, Hossein Fatemi of the second prize for his long-term project titled ‘An Iranian Journey.’ The same project also won Fatemi  the 73rd POYi World Understanding Award, and it was the responses that Ramin Talaie received following this that made him begin an investigation into Fatemi’s work.

Talaie writes that he “was flooded with individuals claiming to have helped or witnessed Fatemi stage his subjects for this project. Others claim Fatemi had plagiarized their work and in some cases even copied images frame by frame.” and so  “Over the following months I began compiling testimony and evidence and started verifying sources, locations, website and other information.

You can (and should) see the evidence in his post 2017 World Press Photo Awards Fake News, and he supplied that same evidence to the WPP along with details of his sources. The WPP appointed  Santiago Lyon, former director of photography at The Associated Press to investigate, and have now concluded “there was not sufficient evidence to declare a clear breach of our contest entry rules.

Looking at the evidence it is hard to see how that conclusion was reached, and it reflects badly on the WPP as well as one of the finest agencies around, Panos, that they have not yet taken action against Fatemi.  It isn’t necessarily wrong to stage images, and as Talaie states, it would be impossible to take many of the pictures in the essay without staging them, but it goes completely against our understanding of photographic ethics to then present them as ‘news’.

Plagiarism is a more difficult case to assess, and many of us end up taking similar photographs to other photographers when we were working in the same place at the same time. The examples given are perhaps more about a breach of trust between Fatemi and the photographers he was at the time working for. There also seem to be clear breaches of trust with some of those he photographed, who he assured that the pictures would not be made public. It also seems clear that some of the captions are deliberately misleading, ‘sexed up’ to make the pictures sell in a way that is completely unacceptable.

Talaie concludes his article with the comment:

Also there is simply not enough debate and discussions about ethics and ethical journalism in the Middle East. People learn how to make films and take pictures in Iran, but they do not always learn about ethics.

Cleaners protest

March 1st, 2017

It was I think simply a coincidence that in the first few days of June I covered four protests by cleaners.  Cleaners are low paid all through the year, and the struggles by their unions to get a living wage – specifically the London Living Wage, which reflects the higher living costs in the capital – continues throughout the year.

In the City itself, where some of the wealthiest companies in the world have their offices, many begrudge paying the people who clean their offices enough to live on –  and cleaners often have to work up to 60 hours a week at several jobs to get by.  Often they have to get up to go to work in the middle of the night, perhaps at 2.30 or 3am, to travel long journeys to work by the infrequent buses which run at these early hours.

Of course these businesses don’t want to be seen paying employees poverty pay or denying them the kind of decent pensions, sick pay and holidays that most of us expect from employers – so they attempt to save their reputations by getting other companies to actually employ them. Out sourcing their dirty work.

But the cleaners and their unions refuse to accept this abnegation of responsibility. They make it clear to companies such as Capita Property & Infrastructure Ltd (previously Capita Symonds) that they cannot ignore the responsibility they have towards the people who keep their offices clean by getting Mitie to actual employ them. And they do so by going to the offices and showing them up in public with noisy protests. It ain’t just money. Cleaning companies cut costs by paying workers badly and they cut cost by paying the people who manage the workers poorly too – and appear to encourage the poor staff they get through low wages to treat the workers badly. Most seem to have a culture of bullying and of failing to properly care for the health and safety of their employees.

At Capita, the workers also allege racism, with African workers having been singled out for redundancies and cuts in hours, and other trade unionists including RMT Regional President Glenroy Watson and NSSN Chair Rob Williams  came to speak in support of their union, the CAIWU, while others sent messages of support.

Capita Cleaners strike against racism

The cleaners returned the following week to continue the protests, and I was there I think for the third time to photograph them.

Capita Racism Protests Continue

At SOAS, one of London’s best known universities with an outstanding reputation around the world, cleaners have been campaigning for ten years and with some success. They get paid a living wage, but are still campaigning, supported by students and staff. They demand to be taken in-house, to be employed and managed by SOAS rather than by cleaning contractors, who change every time the SOAS contract comes up for renewal.

SOAS came close to agreement earlier in the year, and appear to have agreed in principle, but still awarded the contract to yet another cleaning contracotr, though saying they will in time bring the cleaners in-house. But the cleaners don’t wnat future promises, they want action now.

10 Years of Cleaners’ Struggle at SOAS 100

As well as marking 10 years of struggle by the cleaners, the day was also a day of celebrations by the university, with SOAS celebrating its centenary. As a part of this they were to bury a time capsule in a hole dug for the occasion, to be dug up again in another hundred years.

I should really have hung around to watch the ceremony, as one of the things that time capsule was to contain was one of my photographs, of an earlier protest here, with a text by Ed Emery, the fiddle player in my picture.

A couple of days later I was back in the City for another protest involving cleaners, this time by the UVW union. The offices at 100 Wood St are managed by CBRE and mainly let to Schroders and J P Morgan,  but the cleaners are employed by contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited.  Rather than negotiate with the union, Thames went to the HIgh Court to try and get an injunction to try and stop them striking over poverty wages and unfair sackings. They didn’t succeed in stopping the strike, but the court did impose strict conditions on picketing and protests by the cleaners – and they were charged costs which, at around £11,000, were far more than the union could afford.

Fortunately many who were disgusted at the action by Thames and the court’s decision came to their aid with donations, and the strike went ahead. But the injuction meant that any protest had to be at least 10 metres away from the doorway.

In the picture Class War are measuring out that 10m with a length of yellow hazard tape, while a pedestrians walk under it along the pavement.

The strike is said to be the first such strike in the City of London, and continued for the rest of the month, with one of the strikers vowing to go on hunger strike. It was a long battle, but after 58 days a successful agreement was reached and the action stopped.

UVW Cleaners on Strike in City

Read the rest of this entry »

The Capa Controversy

February 28th, 2017

Regular readers will have seen (and perhaps got rather tired of seeing) my frequent posts about the persistent detective work by A D Coleman and his co-workers, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist J Ross Baughman, photo historian Rob McElroy and military historian Charles Herrick. Together they have succeeded in putting together a minutely detailed and evidenced examination of Robert Capa‘s exploits on D-Day and the subsequent processing and publication of the ten or eleven frames he took before leaving Omaha beach along with the stories fabricated around this begun by Life‘s then assistant picture editor John Morris within hours or days of the events and shortly after by Capa himself but with later embroidery by others.

It was of course obvious to any photographer who looked at the published images and thought about the story that was being told that it was absolute bunkum – film just doesn’t melt like that – but that didn’t stop it being repeated in book after book after film and web site, even those of some of the most prestigious organisations in photography (or perhaps especially them.)

I return to it because of a post by Coleman in iMediaEthics, Conflict of Interest, Cubed: Robert Capa’s D-Day Photos, John Morris, and the NPPA in which he looks at the article in the US NPPA’S (National Press Photographers Association) publication, News Photographer, The Fog of War – D Day and Robert Capa by Bruce Young. You might like to read both before continuing with my comments, though if you have been following the story I think you may well agree with me.

Young got considerable cooperation from Coleman and Baughmann who hoped he was going to acknowledge their work and put the record straight, but he does the opposite, muddying the water, adding some half-baked and unsubstantiated suggestions and parading a great deal of ignorance while somehow pretending to make some kind of objective overview that would put the matter to rest. NPPA members surely deserve better – we all do.

When Young gets down to business, he quotes at length from Capa’s own published account, written in Capa’s best story-telling mode, a fictionalised Hollywood version of his life story, followed by John Morris’s totally unbelievable account of the darkroom mishap. Young’s next paragraph is interesting, beginning by stating that this was the established story and legend for 70 years (which isn’t quite true – many of us challenged parts of the story long ago) and goes on to say “but if the devil is in the details, this story carries enough demons to populate all nine rings of Dante’s Hell“, going on to list a series of questions.

If he had bothered to read all of the published research by Coleman and others and had understood it, he would have found we now have answers to all or virtually all those questions, supported by evidence from various sources, but instead he goes on to suggest that Coleman, one of the best known and highly regarded critical writers about our medium over very many years, is not really qualified to comment because he has never been a professional photographer. While I sometimes think it helps, being a pro is neither necessary nor sufficient, why mention it when the research was the result of a team including one player with a Pulitzer for photjournalism?

There are many other curiosities in Young’s piece. Speaking about Morris’s reactions to Coleman’s research he suggests “But what if John Morris, now 98, sticks to the story because … well, it’s true? There are problems with some exacting details, but…” But it isn’t exacting details there are problems with but a fairly tremendous weight of evidence, and Morris himself has since accepted at least some of the facts, whilst spinning new fictions.

Young then goes into rather a lengthy digression on memory, which is to some degree irrelevant, as the fictions were written down close to the event, but rather fails to see that what he says about memory makes a nonsense of relying on Morris’s memory – having based his life and career around the story for the past 70 years he doubtless came to believe in his story. That’s how memory works!

I started writing not meaning to criticise Young, meaning to leave it to readers to make their own judgements. But it is really so bad I couldn’t resist, but I’ll spare you the rest of my thoughts. Of course Coleman has a lot more to say about it and about many details, and its hard not to feel his criticisms are at least largely justified.

But does it all matter about Capa? Well, obviously it does, from the angry responses that publishing the series of articles has generated from much of the photographic establishment. I think it matters because of the wider issues. Personally I’ve never been a great advocate of academic research that is too concerned with the details and minutiae, I’ve always been more concerned with the fate of the forests rather than the leaves on the tree. Integrity is the bedrock of photojournalism and documentary practice, and I think this research calls into question not so much the integrity of Capa – who didn’t make up the story about this or about the Falling soldier (about which Young also seems uninformed about the most recent research) but of the whole system that promulgates news to the public – immediately through Life Magazine in this case, but in the 70 years since then various other organisations including Magnum and the ICP.

Of course I didn’t know Capa, who was killed when I was still in short trousers, but I get a strong impression of him from his writing and photography and the stories about him I’ve heard over the years. I can imagine him opening the magazine and seeing the caption under the ‘Falling Soldier’ or the D-Day pictures, shrugging his shoulders and saying ‘Oh well, it’s a better story’ and thinking it was in any case too late to stick to the truth.

And of course the picture is still the same, still a powerful, truly iconic image of war. For me it isn’t diminished by knowing the truth, and it in no way diminishes my respect for Capa as a photographer to realise that he was only human, cold, wet, scared and shaking as he lay on the beach, only able to make ten or eleven exposures in the 20 minutes or so he was there. One was really enough.

You can read Coleman’s post about this at iMediaEthics and the NPPA, though I wrote this post before doing so. It contains a link to Young’s change of mind over the ‘Falling Soldier’ that I was unaware of, and also to another of Coleman’s own articles, Ethics in Photojournalism Then and Now: The Case of Robert Capa which I’m now reading with considerable interest.

NHS Bursaries

February 27th, 2017

The NHS is above all a service about people – nurses, doctors and other health workers, and of course patients, all coming together and working for the common good, for the health of the nation and the people of the nation. Providing a comprehensive service that  meets the needs of everyone, free at the point of delivery and based on clinical need not the ability to pay.  It never quite managed to meet those ideals on which it was based, in part due to the intransigence of the dental profession, and was eroded slightly over the years by the introduction of prescription charges,  but for those who work in it, and for all of us who use it as patients, these remain its guiding principles.

But for our current government, the NHS is viewed largely as a bottomless pit into which taxes are poured and as an opportunity for them and their friends and donors to make money from, with the aspects that are more easily converted to profit being hived off to be run by private companies. Still at the moment free to patients at the point of use, but that could well change, and pulling money out of the system and making it more expensive to run what remains in public hands.

For nearly all of those who go into any aspect of the medical profession it is more than a job, truly a vocation. Many jobs involve unsocial hours, excessive workloads and considerable stress. They don’t do it for the money – and almost all could earn more in various overseas countries. They do it because they care for people and want to help them.

The NHS bursaries are vital for many who want to train to be nurses and allied professions, and in particular make it possible for many more mature entrants to enter training. The government’s decision to get rid of them and replace them by loans appears driven by a kind of mad logic that it will enable them to get more people to take up nursing training because it will cos the government less to provide it, while ignoring the fact that it is only these bursaries that enable many to take the courses. The cutting of bursaries will transfer training costs from the NHS to students, resulting in an increase of around 70% for them.

It’s also deeply unfair, as nurses in training are a vital part of the NHS workforce, providing nursing care while learning on the job, working long hours in the wards. They work for those bursaries, and the long hours they need to work preclude them taking on the part-time jobs most other students need to supplement their loans.

I’ve chosen pictures here to show some of the people campaigning for NHS bursaries, not on their own behalf, as the changes will only affect new students, but because they realise how important these bursaries are for future students and the future of the NHS. Of course I took other photographs, including those of the celebrities and others who spoke at the rally and more general pictures of the protest. We have now seen that the axing of the bursaries has, as expected cut down the numbers applying for courses, down by 23% this year, at a time when the need for nurses is desperate and growing with ouver 24,000 vacancies – and when Brexit threatens to cut the supply of nursing staff from the EU.

Rally against axing NHS student bursaries
March to save NHS student bursaries

Read the rest of this entry »

Heathrow at 70

February 24th, 2017

It often isn’t easy to photograph some of the ideas that people have – and this occasion was one, with the Harmondsworth village green planted with over 750 small black airplanes and people holding 70 heart-shaped balloons with the message ‘No 3rd Runway’. There aren’t quite that many balloons in the picture, partly because a few had escaped into the sky, but also because quite a few of the protesters were standing behind me or to one side, some taking pictures themselves and others feeling shy. And a few people (and balloons) had escaped into the Five Bells behind me, where there were a number of balloons on the rafters.

But the real problem was one of scale – which is of course the main problem with Heathrow too. It started as a relatively small (and allegedly military) airport, though the military aspect was always a deception by the aviation lobby to enable a civil airport to be built here – which would probably never have got off the ground otherwise. By the 1980s it was clear that it should be replaced, but the government of the day chickened out – and so we never got the airport London needed, but had to suffer a huge and unsuitably placed expansion at Heathrow, with terminal 4 (promised as the last expansion the airport would ever ask for) and terminal 5 (ditto.)

As a local resident, I celebrated when plans for a ‘third runway’ (Heathrow began with six, but larger, heavier and noisier planes have made all but two unusable) were dropped, with a firm promise from then PM David Cameron and his party that this expansion would not take place, but the aviation lobby would not take his ‘No’ as an answer.

But there were other opportunities for pictures: Armelle Thomas, a Harmondsworth resident holding a photograph and the medals of her late husband Tommy who had flown as a rear gunner in Lysanders and later worked at Heathrow for BEA had brought the piece of the cake from last year’s protests which she had tried to present to Heathrow bosses but they had refused to see her;

John Stewart holding a giant cheque for ZERO pounds – the amount Heathrow want to pay towards the huge infrastructure costs that will be needed if the third runway ever goes ahead – and will be borne completely by the taxpayer;

several campaigners with boxes of empty promises – made by Heathrow over the years;

and what is still the only attempt at a practical solution to the huge problems of noise and pollution the extra traffic – in the air and on the ground – the extra runway would produce, the Heathrow Adobe Hat, complete with portable air purifier in a environmentally bio-diverse suitcase.

Apologies for all the typos that are in the captions to the photographs of the event at No 3rd Runway Heathrow 70th Birthday, which I will try and find time later to correct.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hull Photos: 16/2/17-22/2/17

February 23rd, 2017

The posts last week were rather more difficult than usual as I spent most of the week in Hull, making pictures for a new project, and the software on my notebook made rather a mess of editing the files. And it didn’t help that I had forgotten to put the file with my notes about the pictures on to the memory stick… But I hope things are back to normal now.

16 February 2017

Another view of the tenfoot, with Essex Street crossing it in the foreground. Unusually this image also includes a person, though rather in the distance; at the time I tended to avoid people in the pictures of buildings and places, regarding them as sometimes diverting attention from the subject.

28k24: Tenfoot, near end of Essex St, Gipsyville, 1981 – Hessle Rd

17 February 2017

A portrait format view of Cawoods from the end of Essex St, which I think was the view selected for the National Building Record.


28k26: Cawoods, Essex St, Gipsyville, 1981 – Hessle Rd

18 February 2017

Trend had I think been a shop selling Ladies Fashion, but by the time I took this picture appears to have moved to premises closer to the centre of town at 274 Hessle Rd, opposite Eton St. It appears to be no longer trading, though is still listed at that address in some internet directories, both as selling ladies clothing and also as a hairdresser.

28k36: Trend, Hessle Rd/Dorset St, 1981 – Hessle Rd
19 February 2017

This was a five storey warehouse at the north end of the Pease Warehouses that had been largely destroyed by fire. It was about to be rebuilt and, along with the rest of the warehouses turned into flats in 1981. The warehouses date from around 1750 and were Grade II listed in 1952.

Robert Pease and his family fled Hull at the restoration of the monarch in 1660 to escape religious persecution as they were Puritans and settled in Amesterdam, where his businesses prospered and his son Robert married into one of the wealthiest banking families there, the Cliffords. In 1708, the youngest of that family’s three sons, Joseph Pease, was sent back to England to set up the family business here. Having failed to find suitable premises in London he came up to Hull, and bought A house in High St with riverside frontage, setting up warehouses for various businesses including whaling, shipping as well works in Hull for linseed oil milling, whiting, lead and paint. And on the High St site he set up Yorkshire’s first bank in 1754. One of the most successful businessmen of the era, when he died the businesses were estimated to be worth over half a million pounds


28k41: No 17 Warehouse, Wilberforce column and Hull College, 1981 – Hessle Rd

20 February 2017

Erdmann Ltd advertised themselves on the board as welders, fabricators, burners, turners and I think were on or just off Tower St, probably where the Royal Mail site now is. I can find no record of them as a limited company.


28k52: Erdmann Ltd, Welders & Fabricators, Tower St, 1981 – River Hull


21 February 2017

The swinging area was in a fairly deserted area when I was there, with a few small craft in the picture moored at the back of it behind the Clarence Mills. Swinging areas were to allow boats to turn around in the fairly narrow River Hull, and on a later occasion I photographed this area being used for that purpose.

The leftmost boat has the name ‘Commander Snowden‘ on top of the cabin and was apparently at one time to be the reserve Hull roads launch for the pilot cutter and was a former fishing boat in the Scottish Lochs.


28k53: Swinging Area, River Hull, Tower St, 1981 – River Hull

22 February 2017

Boats and barges crowded the River Hull and their names often intrigued me. Gilyott and Scott (Transport) Ltd (part of the The Transport Development Group) had a whole series of ‘Poem’ barges, such as Poem 24 shown here and also owned the tug ‘Gillian Knight’ tucked in behind, and R35 behind.

It’s long been a mystery to me that Hull despite being a city has no cathedral, and that Holy Trinity is just a parish church. Apparently it isn’t unique in this, sharing the distinction (according to Wikipedia) with Bath, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Lancaster, Leeds, Nottingham, Plymouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, and Wolverhampton. Perhaps the reason is that the church, although large just wasn’t fancy enough, though as part of this year’s celebrations it is apparently being upgraded to a Minster on May 13th. Or perhaps the Church of England was simply ignorant and prejudiced about Hull like so many who’ve never really been there.

The buildings at the right are still there, but the large central building has gone and this area is now a car park. The trees are in the garden of Wilberforce House.


28k55: River Hull with Poem 24 and other barges and Holy Trinity, 1981 – River Hull