Southampton is my town, I was born here and have lived here virtually all of my life. Yes, I moved away for a while when I was first married but work brought me back and I have been here ever since. I don’t mind admitting it, I am a ‘towny’. I need to be within easy reach of my favourite coffee shop, I need to walk down a busy street and bump into people I have known for years, I need to feel as if the town is my lounge. The countryside is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
When I first started work in the 60’s I was involved in a slum clearance programme which was going to improve an area of my town called Northam and many of the streets were lost to give way to high rise tenement blocks. the community spirit was destroyed and replaced by an area which has housed terrorist bomb makers and prostitutes – they called in ‘progress’, but after 40+ years it is back virtually to square one.
I decided to start a new project called ‘Old Northam’ in an effort to record the area before any new scheme tries to improve it yet again, and I am posting here the beginnings of that project for their first public viewing. All the images were shot on the Fuji X-Pro1, mostly with the 18mm lens, and then worked on in Lightroom. The project will develop (forgive any pun) and may even become a Blurb book.
The final format has yet to be decided, and the whole project may even turn black and white, who knows, but here is a taster.