Northern Soul

Dex Drugs and Northern Soul Looking back on a time of youthful excess, at Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca’s Highland Room. It’s not often I can pinpoint what I was doing on a given date, let alone one from forty years ago. But I have near-perfect recall for the 23rd of September1973, which is the […]

Everton Goodison Park

Goodison Park Everton The brother of a friend tells a good story about Everton’s football ground. In the days when he worked for a Spanish bank, he decided to take one of the bank’s bigwigs to a European night match against one of the Spanish sides. The fact that it was November 5th and bonfires […]

Highbury Stadium Arsenal

Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium on Match Day Photographically, I have many regrets, especially in relation to those football grounds that have disappeared forever. But I’m super-glad I had the foresight to get to Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium, before it shut its doors to football’s paying public. Highbury Stadium has been part of the fabric of Highbury and […]

South Beach Miami

Colony Hotel Ocean Drive, South Beach I think this picture of the Colony Hotel at sunrise is amazing and not just because I shot it (print available here). I’ve been many times to shoot pictures at the tennis tournament on Key Biscayne, just south of Miami, though I always ended up in some cheap and […]

Es Vedra

Es Vedra, Ibiza The rock of Es Vedra, on Ibiza’s Cala d’Hort, was the body double for the Island of Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific and – amongst many other walk-on parts – it featured on the cover of Mike Oldfield’s Voyager album (not his best work). In fact, the house with the […]

Salamanca

A while ago I had an idea for a (grown-up) younger person’s novel, about the ghost of a Priest from the Spanish Inquisition, who – for his sins – had been condemned to tread unnoticed amongst buildings from his own time, until one day he meets….(hey, the idea’s too good to share). But where to […]

Downham

There’s a subtle perfection about Downham, and throughout the stunning May of 2018 I’ve intended merely to pass through (on my way to Bolton-by-Bowland or the Trough), only to get hijacked by seasonal subtleties of light and texture that won’t let me go until I’ve done it some kind of justice. On sunny summer days, […]

Goya

Francisco de Goya I’m tempted to state that anyone even remotely inclined towards artistic expression will know the pain of compromise, particularly if working with (and in) the media or on commercial commissions. But this is perhaps less true now than it ever was, and here are two of the reasons why: Firstly, to know […]

Andre Agassi

Ode to Andre: An essay, which grew out of a review of Andre Agassi’s Autobiography, ‘Open’. I first saw Andre Agassi play live at the French Open, in 1987. I was keen on becoming a tennis coach in those days, and I already knew about Andre. So when I saw he was scheduled to play […]

Doctor Jack & Calcutta Rescue

Doctor Jack Preger and  Calcutta Rescue remembered. Doctor Jack Preger has a slightly twisted sense of humour and I hadn’t been in Calcutta long before I was on the receiving end. Driving through the city in what was then a twenty six year old Jeep (and for all I know, Jack’s original four-wheeler is still […]

Missionaries of Charity Calcutta

Shishu Bhavan and Mother House in Calcutta / Kolkata remembered Like many others, it was Malcolm Muggeridge’s book about Mother Teresa, Something Beautiful for God, that inspired the first of my two visits to Calcutta, and on the first visit I booked a flight to Delhi because it was a cheaper option than flying direct. […]

Jimmy Connors

I thought tennis was a game for pampered wimps, until the day I saw Jimmy Connors play, on a school trip to a local tennis tournament. With a mile-high chip on his shoulder, and groundstrokes to thump the opposition with, Jimbo left an indelible impression on my cocky, working class sensibilities and pretty much changed […]

Yorkshire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to do and see, in Yorkshire and the Dales. This is just the beginning of a list of worthwhile places to visit in Yorkshire and The Dales … 1: Bolton Abbey Being honest? I’d rather be somewhere else. Usually. But for reasons that you need not share. 2: Skipton This […]

Lancashire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to see and do in Lancashire 1: Clitheroe Best town in Lancashire by a route march. Good cafes, eateries, pubs, a baby castle and generally a great market town atmosphere. 2: Sunrise over Downham Downham is impressive at any time of day or year, but sunrise is something to treasure. […]

Malcolm Muggeridge: A Man for All Seasons

Meetings with Malcolm Muggeridge remembered. In my youth, I turned on the television to find Michael Parkinson interviewing some gnarled old chap I’d never seen before. Another guest shortly appeared, singing the praises of America and how generous the people were to him, a ‘poor Englishman’. With an uncanny likeness to my mental picture of […]

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral This main image of Durham Cathedral in some of its glory is a few years old, and it was languishing in a box of transparencies until I discovered that, owing to major repair work to the weather beaten sandstone, Durham Cathedral is now wearing an ugly chef’s hat around scaffolding, and is off […]

Royal Exchange Theatre

One of my favourite places is the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, though not entirely for the theatricals. I find it at its best in the mornings, especially when the music has been muted so as not to interrupt rehearsals. The silence is somehow embellished by distant voices ricocheting around the theatre round, and the […]