In the Begining

85 Scoreby St the old home of Fox Photos
For those born into the pixelated world a little of what went on 30 years ago might be of interest.

     First thing to mention I got a job, I say this because in those days they did exist, I started work at a place called Fox Photos which at the time employed 4 senior photographers and at least as many juniors.  My big break such as it was  to work in the processing room.  A small unventilated room with 3 dipndunk lines one for C41, E6 and Black and white. My world consisted of a clock on the wall and the smell of gently warming chemicals. I got very good at it, managing to process all three lines simultaneously off one clock as long as no one came to the door and wanted a chat. In its heyday Fox photos was one of the top picture agencies on Fleet St ( for you youngsters all the papers and news agencies were concentrated along or very close to Fleet St unlike today), as a result of this the 2nd floor of the railway arch in which we lived was racked out with box after box of black and white prints recording both local and world events. On a slow day you could lose yourself in the thousands of prints and plot your escape from the 4 walls and the smelly chemicals of the darkroom, I often wonder where this incredible archive ended up.

After a few years in the coal hole I escaped the darkness and hit the streets with my leather camera bag, Hasselblad , Metz and euromaster light meter.  How we ever got anything sharp and correctly exposed i will never know. So this is how it used to work. Go out and shoot a job normally black and white, race back to the office with the film and beg the processer to dip your films. Whilst films are in the darkroom type (on a typewriter with carbon paper to duplicate) a caption. Soon as films are dry select a picture and beg the black and white printer to run you off some prints. Soon as the prints are washed whack them through the dryer stick on the captions, into brown envelopes and out to the car to race round all the picture desks to hand deliver to all the papers and agencies. This might happen 2 or 3 times a day and when the traffic was bad would drive you insane. Sitting in Costa with a laptop and a wifi connection would of been unbelievable.

Enough nostalgia for one day , that’s where I came from what about the dog well he came from a small holding in Doncaster and was secured with a brown paper bag full of cash.

Harvey the Wheaten Terrier