… DOWNTOWN & DRIFTWOOD – new #printmag

I’ve recently launched a new UK based print magazine – I’m looking to promote photography, photojournalism, street photography, poetry and short stories. Issue 1 is exclusively my own work: I’ve wanted, for many years, to self publish a coffee table book with my own photography and poetry but as some of you may know, it can be very expensive. A hardback photobook, with decent paper for displaying photographs, would cost in the region of £80 so to make it more accessible I’ve launched a bimonthly print magazine and am looking for contributors.

Whether your preferred art is photography, in a street, journalistic, landscape, portrait or fashion ilk I’d be interested in seeing it. If you prefer to write poetry, I’d love to read it or if you prefer to write short stories, I’d love to read those too.

You can see the magazine online here or you can buy it by clicking on the Issue 1 cover image below.

If you would like to have something in print, like the look of the magazine and would like to submit, please do so by sending your work to mag@stevemurphyphotography.co.uk. I’d love to hear from you ! I have contributors sending poetry and short stories through and am looking for content for issues 2, 3, 4 and on and on …

Issue 1 cover
Issue 1 cover

I was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on Thursday which you can listen to by going to 02:16 of the show here.

I’d really love to hear from photographers, poets and short story writers – so if you, or your friends would like to submit please share and send work through.

Thank you and look forward to discussing work with you !

Steve

Senior …

… came over to see me this morning to pose for and be part of my Project 14. I hadn’t seen him for a few weeks so I went over to see him yesterday morning for a coffee and took my camera with me to photograph him doing what he normally does on a Saturday morning. I got there too late to go with him to the paper shop but he was back and doing the crossword when I got there, always The Times crossword, he used to do the crossword in the Telegraph but that got a bit too easy so he moved on to The Times.

Doing The Times crossword
doing The Times crossword

Project 14 is the project I set myself to photograph people and places that have influenced me or had a bearing on my life from day one in 1968 to the present day. I’m doing all this with the Mamiya C33 medium format film camera, using black and white film, developing that film and printing the negatives in the darkroom. So, obviously, Dad comes top of that list. I took a few shots with the digital camera which are on here today and I also took 6 rolls of Ilford Delta 400 over the two mornings so I’ve got them to develop and add to Project 14.

Never happier than with a book and a cup of coffee
Never happier than with a book and a cup of coffee

I always remember Dad watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on telly back in the late 70s – he worked shifts and was never able to get to see the scheduled 9pm on Tuesday night but along the way he always managed to catch a repeat or rerun so he could get to see the whole series (this was before the days of VHS and Sky+ wasn’t even on the horizon).

Smiley ... and his people
Smiley … and his people – Dad’s favourite

Lakes4Volvo at Wyboston, Bedfordshire – “it’s old school”

As old school family businesses go, “Lakes for Volvos” in Wyboston, Bedfordshire is a true gem. I have recently become the proud owner of a rather old 2.3l Volvo 850 T5 (T5 being the fast one, the one used by the police in years gone by) .

LA(K)ES for Volvos at Wyboston
LA(K)ES for Volvos at Wyboston

More often than I’d hoped in the last couple of weeks I’ve visited Wyboston in the hope to find the fix to my ongoing breakdowns and too frequent calls to the fourth emergency service.

Whilst there yesterday and talking to the owners I thought they deserved a piece being written about them so I returned this morning with my camera.

smp-2-ext-front-pump-bw
Cars for sale on the forecourt attracting northbound A1 traffic

All day long the phone rings, it was never off the hook while I was there this morning and the stream of visitors through the door kept part-owner Barry at the office.

The place is run by Barry and Bernard who have run their business at Wyboston for nearly 30 years. Bernard’s Grandson Ethan (18) was busy breaking an 850, he works weekends in the workshop while he’s at college studying Economics and Politics “A” Level, he’s got his exams this summer and is expected to pass with As all round.

smp-20-ws-engine-block-bw
A “seen better days” engine block
smp-18-int-keys-bw
Not a key out of place – Barry and Bernard know where every key for every car is – all 300+ of them
smp-5-p-barry-2-bw
Barry trying to answer a customer’s query
smp-6-p-bernard-1-bw
Bernard, Barry’s brother and part-owner of the business
smp-10-p-ethan-exh-bw
Ethan works weekends dismantling Volvos while he studies for A levels at college
smp-14-ext-sl-doors-3-bw
Ethan taking a break

Barry is very proud of the fact they work in an “old school” fashion doing honest and fair business with customers who return time and time again.

Worldwide March Against Government Corruption (London)

Let's get this party ROCKING !!
Let’s get this party ROCKING !!

Hundreds of protesters turned out in Trafalgar Square in London last Saturday (01/03) to demonstrate against alleged corruption within the government. Marches took place around the world for the same purpose – to raise awareness and spread the word about the belief that world governments are corrupt.

Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square before moving off to march through the streets of Central London
Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square before moving off to march through the streets of Central London

The crowd moved off to reconvene at the Ecuadorian Embassy where Julian Assange is holed up in asylum limbo – the Ecuadorians offered the founder of WikiLeaks sanction while Sweden try to extradite him there on rape charges.

Protesters showing their support for Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy
Protesters showing their support for Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy

Members of the “ANONYMOUS” Movement wore masks showing their support for the movement that is planning a lot more demonstrations and action throughout 2014 culminating in Project V planned for early 2015 – “We are Anonymous, we are Legion, We do not FORGET, We do not FORGIVE, EXPECT US” is their strapline.

Supporters of ANONYMOUS at the steps of the Ecuadorian Embassy
Supporters of ANONYMOUS at the steps of the Ecuadorian Embassy
Organisers promoted a "No Trouble" ethos both before and during the day - families turned out showing support
Organisers promoted a “No Trouble” ethos both before and during the day – families turned out showing support

 

 

 

Coming together for …

… Luton in Harmony. The Mall in Luton was alive with some of Luton’s hottest talents today. Coming together to support the Luton in Harmony movement – their website describes the movement – “Its aim is to celebrate the diversity and unity of our communities, and to build a positive reputation for our town.” Lots of the town’s positives were on show belting out tunes and flinging themselves through somersaults and spinning on their heads.

LiH-singer-with-guitar
Smile

Waiting
Waiting
... in Harmony
… in Harmony
Street Dance
Street Dance
Kevin Leo
Kevin Leo

 

 

 

Lewsey Farm 12 Months On

This time last year I was working in Brixton and chatting with people from the area. When they found out I was from Luton they gave me funny looks and asked how things were up there. I didn’t really understand what they meant – I knew there had been some trouble in Luton over the previous months but didn’t realise it was far reaching. The news of gang rivalry between the Marsh Farm and Lewsey Farm Estates (where I grew up) of Luton had travelled to, and shocked the people of, Brixton. I was amazed that the people of Brixton (somewhere I had always associated with trouble, the riots of ’81 and “Bloody Saturday” considered Luton to be an unsafe place to be, whether living there or visiting – “I’ve got friends up there and I won’t go there !” was just one comment) would be interested or shocked at little old Luton.

The idea of Luton being a rough, but more to the point, unsafe, place to visit surprised me. I gave it some more thought and started a photodocumentary on the area where I grew up. Lewsey Farm never seemed unsafe to me but maybe that’s because it’s where I grew up, it’s where I played knock down ginger as a kid, I knew the area and I knew the escape routes should I need them, so maybe my familiarity with the area was giving me a false sense of security. I decided to get around and meet a few shop owners in Dominic Square – you know the type of place, local shops, small supermarket, a betting shop and a bakery, where Grandad gets his paper in the morning and where kids in hoodies on BMXs sit around and talk when it gets dark.

Bringing home the bacon
Bringing home the bacon

I spoke to 3 or 4 of the shop owners and they all confirmed what I thought – that Luton and more to the point Lewsey Farm was not full of racketeers and gangsters terrorising the local people. So had the press blown things out of proportion ? This was very possible but there was evidence to back up the bad stories the people of Brixton had heard. On 5th September 2012 Delaney Brown, a 19 year old man from Lewsey Farm was mown down by a car mounting the pavement and knocked off his bike, he later died in hospital. This sparked a number of tit for tat attacks and fatalities between youths from Lewsey Farm and youths from Marsh Farm. The trouble and tensions went on for about 6 months, there was a lot of news coverage and sitting down to watch the 6 o’clock news I would be wondering what the next Lewsey/Marsh Farm story was going to be.

Delaney Brown Snr speaking at a Rally for Peace at Luton Town Hall in June 2013
Delaney Brown Snr speaking at a Rally for Peace at Luton Town Hall in June 2013

Over the first few months of 2013 there was a huge police operation and it combined with community leaders in and around Luton to combat crime on the two estates. Armed fire arms officers were patrolling the streets during the day and at night, community leaders were out and about on the streets talking to kids, the local radio got involved and ran programs dedicated to the subject and a rally was held in Luton Town Centre to bring awareness of the troubles and the ongoing fight to bring law and order to the streets of the town. All in all a huge effort was being made to calm things down.

A year on and I think things have calmed down, Luton is very rarely on the 6 o’clock news so I no longer have that dreaded sinking feeling when it starts. I had a cup of tea and sat and talked to Kath who works in the bakery while I was at Dominic Square yesterday. She’s been working at the bakery for a year, she’ll be 60 next month and would have been looking forward to retirement if the retirement age hadn’t been extended to 67 by the government. She gets up at 6 every morning to be at the bakery for 7 to arrange the loaves and cakes for the days trade, she lost her husband after a long illness 4 years ago after nursing him for 10 years and has been forced back to work but as most people around here she would rather get up at 6 and trudge through the rain and snow than sit at home and claim benefits. And I think Kath is the type of person that sums up Lewsey Farm, hard working, honest, tough but all the time doing it all with a smile on her face. I take my hat off to Kath and all like her in and around Lewsey Farm.

dominic-sq-kath
Kath

N7

We lived in the furthest tower block of the four in the distance
We lived in the furthest tower block of the four in the distance

As mentioned last week I’m trying to photograph, and document through photography, where I grew up and what I’ve been upto in the last 45 years – in 15 to 20 photographs. I was out and about with the Mamiya C33 this morning in North London, where we lived between 1973 and 1976, after Dad left the army and worked at the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office.

Image
Couldn’t resist this doorway – I have a soft spot for old dilapidated doorways – especially if they are in the Arsenal colours

I’ve got a new website – it’s currently being housed here – but in the next few days will be house at http://www.stevemurphyphotography.co.uk.

Mandy and Tom (VII & Thomas VIII)

(L-R) Mandy, Tom (VII) and Thomas (VIII) - all will be explained
(L-R) Mandy, Tom (VII) and Thomas (VIII) – all will be explained

I was in the Navy with Mandy, we first worked together down the bunker at the NATO HQ in Northwood, Middlesex. I joined Northwood on 28th November 1988 – 3 days before my 20th birthday. With the words “don’t go down the hole hungover” from my PO at Yeovilton, Lindy, I was down the hole, hungover, within days.

Mandy’s getting married to Tom in April next year and they have asked me to do the photos – I’m delighted that they like my style and feel honoured they want me, and my style, to capture their special day.

We met at the wedding venue, Risley Hall Hotel, Derbyshire, yesterday so I could meet Tom (and Thomas), catch up with Mandy and get a feel for what they wanted from the photos. And of course it was a great opportunity to capture them relaxed before the big day …

Relaxed ?
Relaxed ?

Tom and baby Thomas are the 7th and 8th generation Thomases of the Nottingham Andersons. My rough maths makes a generation around 30 years so the family name of Thomas Anderson has been going for approximately 200 years – well done Thomas Anderson (all of you !!).

I’ve always been a big believer in black and white photography but while editing yesterday’s photos there was something about the colours the guys were wearing and the backgrounds. They were a lot of reds and greens and that made for some great edit opportunities …

tom-mandy-on-sofa-clr
Great colour choices guys !
Baby Thomas is adorable and was very well behaved throughout
Baby Thomas is adorable and was very well behaved throughout

Tom works in Aeronautics and is based in Kassel, Germany – they’ve been back in the UK for Christmas and have been busy making the wedding arrangements – I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to going home for a rest.

mandy-tom-thomas-walking-by-the-wall-clr
By the wall
to me ... to me
to me … to me
"Hey Dad !"
“Hey Dad !”
Naughty step ? No - the laughing seat !
Naughty step ? No – the laughing seat !

It was great to meet Mandy and Tom yesterday and with the addition of little Thomas, they make a lovely family. They are all off back to Germany in the next few days for some well earned rest – oh yes and work of course. Drive safely and see you all in April guys !!

Steve

Dunstable Kite Festival

The sun was out and the wind was blowing – what more could a successful kite festival want ? Well nothing of course – just a few shots of the fun …

AIR !!
AIR !!
Watching
Watching
In sync
In sync
12
12
Getting ready
Getting ready
Runaway kite
Runaway kite
Relax
Relax
Come on Grandad
Come on Grandad
Tumble tumble - rolly polly
Tumble tumble – rolly polly
Romancing the kite
Romancing the kite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bury Park

I took a wander down to Bury Park this morning and met the lady that runs the “In Bury Park” website, Marie. She told me what she was doing and I can fully understand the thinking behind it. For as long as I can remember the only time I have ventured into Bury Park, out of the car, has been to watch the football, and I’m guessing that’s the same for a lot of people.

The Doctor - I don't know why he's called the Doctor - but it made everyone laugh when they told me
The Doctor – I don’t know why he’s called the Doctor – but it made everyone laugh when they told me his name

My own ignorance, before I went for my wander this morning, made me think my camera and I might not be welcome but I’ve never met such a willing and friendly bunch of shopkeepers. Busy setting up, I knew I would get people busy about their business (I’ve been down to Covent Garden Apple Market while they were setting up and that was similar, although I must say they were not nearly as friendly and willing to pose as my models today).

The Boss
The Boss

There was a definite hierarchy at the larger shops as they were setting up – wherever you go and in every walk of life there will be a boss and underlings. It was very evident in these shops and almost gave me the feeling that there is a much stronger feeling of respect for the elders in the community. The boss would be stood on the pavement outside the shop directing the younger guys around and making sure the morning’s delivery was set out properly. It was the same in at least two shops and these were the only two large fruit and veg shops setting up. I think things get moving a bit later on – especially as it is Ramadan at the minute. I was advised to come back later in the day as things liven up once fasting is over and food and drink are aplenty after sunset.

Mr Shah - on the right - was most definitely the boss
Mr Shah – on the right – was most definitely the boss

The streets were clean and any rubbish was being picked up as they went along. It was a bit like going back in time on a few occasions – e.g. when the lorry was being unloaded and the fork truck was manouvering on the pavement – very skillfully I must say !

Unloading
Unloading
I say tomatoes - you say tomatoes
I say tomatoes – you say tomatoes
Smiler
Smiler
Kacha
Kacha
The butcher at work
The butcher at work
Danny Jamaica is a regular
Danny Jamaica is a regular
Lady shopper
Lady shopper
They didn't have my size
They didn’t have my size
gloves
The big man
Mango season - everyone was saying their mangoes are the best between here and Birmingham
Mango season – everyone was saying their mangoes are the best between here and Birmingham
Child's play
Child’s play

I met the local traffic wardens – they were keen to explain there is plenty of parking in and around Bury Park – there are two car parks at the Beech Hill end and plenty of street meters but they did advise to check the signs. On one side it might be ticketed metering but on the other it could well be resident permits only and a lot of people fall prey to the trap. Take a second look if you park on a meter – the wardens are double teamed and do their job well.

Warden
Warden

All in all it was a great morning. I was there too early but then I didn’t know any better. I will go back and I will, in the first instance, go back this week, later in the day, to see what happens as the day’s fast breaks. I will also go back on a more regular basis, the clothes are a bit colourful for me and I don’t have much money to spend on jewellery but if you are after some decent fresh fruit and veg and well butchered meat – Bury Park is the place.

As I said at the beginning Bury Park has been seen as a predominantly asian part of town and it’s true, most of the shops are run by asians. But there are a lot of other nationalities that run shops, units and street market stalls – among them are Polish, Turkish and Italian and I’m sure there are more. If you haven’t been down to Bury Park recently, park up in Sainsbury’s or on a street meter (watch the signs) and take a wander, buy some fruit and veg, have a coffee and have a chat with the people – I promise you you’ll gain from it.

Have a good week !

Steve