… 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 !


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.

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.

A “seen better days” engine block
Not a key out of place – Barry and Bernard know where every key for every car is – all 300+ of them
Barry trying to answer a customer’s query
Bernard, Barry’s brother and part-owner of the business
Ethan works weekends dismantling Volvos while he studies for A levels at college
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.


... 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.



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.

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.