This is Stewartby Brickworks, the last brickworks in the Marston Vale, taken on a misty morning in February 2008 shortly before the works closed down. The mist, the smoking chimneys and the 1920s buildings sum up an industrial scene from a byegone age.
Much of the Stewartby Brickworks process required manual labour. The sorting and re-stacking of cooled bricks onto palettes was one such activity. This is a Sikh brick stacker. The brickworks had a strong multicultural workforce that started during WWII when prisoners of war were used to replace the men that had left to serve in the forces. After the war, the huge demand for bricks to rebuild the cities meant that it was difficult to employ enough people from Bedfordshire and so immigrant workers from across Europe were brought in. In the 1950s, Italians formed the biggest number of recruits and later, Indian and Pakistani nationals joined to make an international workforce.
This fellow was known within Stewartby Brickworks as Three Hat Solomon because he always wore three hats. His job was to load and unload the kilns so I have recorded him in front of some of the kilns that he worked with.
John is one of the volunteers who helps to restore and maintain the exhibits at the Cambridge Museum of Technology.
This is the variety known as Gold Heart. I liked the shape of the stem in the image area. Fortunately, the plant was in a pot at the time and I was able to move it to a location where there was a fairly dark backdrop (actually the backdrop is a distant Ceonothus).
I had bought myself a Canon EF100-400 lens and wanted to try it out. I found these tulips in the Fellows Garden at Queen’s College, Cambridge and wanted to use a longish focal length to isolate the tulip and a wide aperture to give me a narrow depth of field. (I didn’t keep that lens long – the size and weight as well as the trombone action didn’t justify the quality that it delivered.)
I suppose all photographers have a poppy shot of some kind. And why not? Their vibrant reds certainly add impact to a picture. This is my poppy.
This isn’t really a derivative shot at all. It was taken at the 1940s weekend on the Poppy Line (North Norfolk Railway) in 2010 and is an image of the locomotive wheels shot with a slow shutter (and panned) as the train came into the station. I quite like the somewhat surreal effect but it doesn’t please everybody.
These trees may be found along the Kingsbridge Estuary close to East Prawle. I like the shapes but the original image was a little flat and uninteresting and so a little Photoshopping and a gentle sepia tone was used to give the image a lift. I’m still debating as to whether it has worked or not…