This little piggy


I thought I might have a Cartier Bresson ‘Decisive moment’ here, something to do with the brevity of childhood and the inevitable brutality of the future.

Rubbish really.

It’s a kid in a pram and a butcher carrying some carcasses.

Now what strikes me is you don’t get prams like this any more, and where is the kid’s mam anyway? Popped into the shops? These days we don’t dare leave prams with children alone, and just as unacceptable would be the state of the butchers white coat, not to mention carrying bloodied carcasses in full view of the public down a busy street.

But that’s how we lived at the time.


The Girlfriend

The Anchor Pub Hessle Road

So he’s Bruce and she’s Anita… at least I hope she is. Three weeks out at sea and three days home must have made for whirlwind romances.

How did they manage it?

Somehow obviously.

He looks like ‘Jack the Lad’ and his hair style is fabulous, something of the sea surely, and thank goodness for narrow ties, they don’t date. Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack wore them to stunning effect with white shirts and suits.

So maybe that’s the attraction then, sharp dressed, dangerous men in suits with money to spend… if only for three days.

This story has a sequel. The image was seen in the Daily Mail. A young lady wrote in to say it was her dad and the girlfriend was his wife, the young lady’s mum . So Bruce and Anita stayed together and raised a family.

Then a daughter-in-law wrote in to say Anita and Bruce were married for nearly 50 years – wonderful story. 

Please get in touch I would love to hear from you – I think I owe somebody a photograph!

David – email:

The river we once knew Exhibition on at the HIP Gallery Princes Quay until 24 June

See my website for more details and the rest of this section in the Blog


On the doorstep

I liked the way both the child and the dog looked at me from their open front doors, both curious but accepting, standing on their doorsteps as equals, quietly confident in their right to be there.

The image felt a bit sad to me. We lived on Bilton Grange a relatively new housing estate; it was all fresh air, green verges, trees and parks. A place of bright hope after the Second World War.

These streets seemed a shabby place to live in comparison. But they held communities who looked out for each other.

When they knocked Hessle Road about and moved the families that had lived there for generations to the big estates like Bransholme it wasn’t a success.

They ended up pulling newly built houses down because people didn’t want to live in a neighbourhood without neighbours.



Man with a cigarette Hull 1972

In the Paragon Pub… I think

Smoke your roll ups right to the tip, drain your glass of all its beer, stay in the pub ’til the Landlord slings you out. Enjoy every pleasure you can, while you can, because Sunny Jim, there’s not a lot of it about – and maybe not a lot of time left, if the cross in the wood next to him is any kind of a clue.

Hull was always a city that seemed to face tough times and only brief rewards, but the trick was – always dress smart.

Just one of the photographs on show at HIP Gallery 2 June – 24 June.

See the rest of this section for more details


Three day millionaire

The Anchor Pub Hessle Road

We had to choose ‘Archetypes’ for a college project. I settled on ‘Deckie Learners’.

I remember being disappointed that this chap Mick didn’t have the right hairstyle – a greased quiff with the ducks-arse finish.

I wanted him to fit an image I had of what a Deckie Learner should be.

They had a reputation for being tough and big drinkers who could cause trouble, so I posed him against the bar and asked him to look mean… but he was holding a half pint, another disappointment.

It’s a dishonest attempt at a portrait.

But Mick transcends all that with his own honesty.

A young man in an immaculate suit, out to celebrate his short-lived wealth. Simply pleased to be where he was, young and alive and cash in his pocket.
His immaculate suit with its pleated back and wide waistband, white socks and loafers, a jubilant celebration of his tribe.

A lady called Ven who I met at the Preview night of the exhibition told me that she worked at Sidney Scarborough as a young women and that they had coined the phrase ‘Three day millionaires’. She said that as soon as the crews were off the boat a lot of them were in to Sydney Scarborough’s to buy music before they even got home. And of course they were loaded with money, so the staff coined the phrase.



Trinity House boys

Taken in the old Paragon Bus Station, one of my first photographs, it’s just an experiment really, testing out a long lens, but Clee liked it. So he printed it up for me.
This was my first realisation that these little strips of negatives once magnified on to paper could give you interesting compositions and tell intriguing stories. But the biggest surprise of all was the power of black and white photography to transform the world of the everyday.

I’ve since been told these boys art not from Trinity House but from a rival nautical school. Does anyone know any different? Please post comments.


The Revolution starts in five

Queen’s Gardens
The Student Revolution in Hull in the late 60’s and early 70’s was good natured and a largely peaceful affair. I realised the second the young man turned round I had the shot, I suddenly felt like a proper photojournalist. Does this photograph tell us anything other than this was an optimistic time.

The young felt they could do anything, change the world, overturn the system, make a better place for people to live.

Now when I look at all those split ends I can only marvel at the revolution that’s changed the world of hair products.

Just one of the photographs on show at HIP Gallery Hull Preview 2 June 6.30pm to 8.30pm

More details here:

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