OK folks it’s time for a bit of Mumbling Photographic fun.
I absolutely love local newspapers and had many a happy year on them before the move to Fleet St.
The work involved was very similar to the nationals on occasion but mostly it was a genre all of it’s own. Often cheesy but also challenging it provided a great training ground. Working at The South London Press with the likes of Jeremy Young, Mike Powell, Jonathan Evans, Martin Godwin, Graham Barclay, Chris Bott and Peter Jordan was great experience. We had our own darkroom, we were in charge of ordering film, chemicals and photographic paper. We were also given a great deal of freedom to photograph jobs the way we saw fit.
Martin was at a job with The Mayor of Southwark once when she took to the stage and during her speech seized the opportunity to berate him (and us) in front of the great and the good for refusing to take her picture. We had a policy that we would cover the jobs but we’d never actually have the Mayor (or any mayor) in the photographs.
It was around the time of the launch of The Independent and Newspaper photography was in the ascendant. My first editor Richard Woolveridge told us to go and take nice pictures so we did. Simon O’Neil and Rob Bowden also just trusted us to get the work done.
I’m really fond of some of the real cheesy stuff I shot then, we all did it but it was with our tongues firmly in our cheeks. Having said that the big jobs did come along on occasion be it breaking news like The Clapham Train Crash or a royal venturing Sarf…
Anyway here are a selection of the good the bad and the ugly..
That should read copyright Jeremy young who took this one of me in action.
I vaguely remember that the gist of this story was that the bowls club only had one plug socket so the tea urn had to be plugged in in the ladies changing room with hilarious consequences…I think this chap was called John Gladden..he erected a Swordfish on his house in Norbury and a planning permission battle escalated to this…
..again no idea…Lookalikes at the opening of a furniture store in Fulham..this was actually for The London Newspaper Group. The Classic “Bad Smells from the drain” picture… A break from cheese to hard news during The Clapham Train Crash. Police enter a building during a seige..Brockley I think..no idea how I got so close. Security guard with gunshot wounds to his leg after an armed robbery across the road from our Streatham office. Typical dodgy housing story. “Someone stole our dog”… Diana visiting Kennington. The last days of the Peak Frean’s biscuit factory in Bermondsey. Queen Mum…no idea where. Iris Bentley sister of Derek Bentley who was controversially hanged in 1953 over the murder of a policeman during a burglary. Despite being in custody (held down by another policeman) and not actually firing the shot he was none the less given the death sentence. Iris campaigned for his pardon .” A Darwinian Nightmare” a “Bandog” a cross between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and an American Pitbull. My very first Page 1 for The Daily Telegraph after the SLP had used it. Local boy David Bowie back in Brixton..Tim Bishop of The Times is the chap in the background with the ‘Metz’ flashgun. Ballet for local schoolkids at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Police patrols in the underpasses at The Elephant and Castle. Armed police storming a flat in Kennington. “Healthy Fruit” God knows… Kids playing in an impromptu paddling pool following a mains burst in Bermondsey. Rough sleepers in the ‘Bullring’ under the roundabout at Waterloo. Simon Hughes…he’d do anything to get in the paper.. A very bizarre way to illustrate a story about a local carpet company fitting a blind woman’s house for free. Roy Hudd opening a charity shop. You can’t beat a raised eyebrow…I think it was a sponsored doughnut eating competition.. Not sure if the farm is still about but I doubt the protestor is.