A Relative Decline…….January 2018



I always have a few personal projects on the go, some of them are very long term, in that they may never get finished and some are more short term and actually get done. I have rushed into 2018 actually (nearly) finishing a project!

This is something I have been thinking about for many years. Travelling around the country I noticed that a lot of factories were being closed down and being replaced by shopping centres or housing estates. I wondered what all the factory workers went on to do. Did they get another job, were they happy in their new jobs, why did the factory close and what was happening to the old factories.

I employed the services of an archival researcher called Hywel Maslen, who found me 50 sites that used to be factories and were now something else.

For instance the Cadbury factory in Somerset, where the US company Kraft came in and bought Cadbury with the promise that they would keep production at the site. Within months they had closed the factory, with the loss of 750 jobs, shipped production to Poland and sold off the land to a property developer! Of course, not all factories were closed in such a manner, and some have gone on to be replaced by enterprises that really benefit the local community.

Here are a small selection from the series with a brief synopsis. (Re-touching by the wonderful Rachel Thorlby)


A Relative Decline:

In the early 1950s, Britain was an industrial giant with manufacturing as the industry’s bedrock. In 1952, it produced a third of the national output, employed 40 per cent of the workforce and made up a quarter of world manufacturing exports. Today, manufacturing in this country accounts for just 11 per cent of GDP, employs only 8 per cent of the workforce and sells 2 per cent of the world’s manufacturing exports.

These images taken over the course of a year are part of a larger series depicting sites, all over the UK, where factories once stood proudly at the heart of their communities. Slowly and surely they have been replaced by housing estates, supermarkets and business parks.

The iconic names of industrial Britain are history; in their place are the service economy and supermarkets selling mainly imported goods.

What happened and does it matter?

A Relative DeclineTobacco Factory, Bristol BS3 1TF

A Relative DeclineBally Shoes Factory, Norwich NR4

A Relative DeclineWedgwood Eagle Pottery Works, Stoke-on-Trent  ST1

A Relative DeclineLiverpool Garden Festival Site L17

A Relative DeclineOakdale Wind Energy Park, South Wales NP12

A Relative DeclineSpike Island, Bristol BS1

A Relative DeclineOrgreave Colliery, Yorkshire S60

A Relative DeclineOrgreave Colliery, Yorkshire S60

A Relative DeclineMersey Match Factory, Liverpool L19

A Relative DeclineSolar Farm, former RAF Coltishall, Norfolk NR10

A Relative DeclineCadbury Chocolate Factory, Somerdale, Keynsham BS31

A Relative DeclineVulcan Foundry WA12

A Relative DeclineLongbridge, Birmingham B31

A Relative DeclineLesney Matchbox Toys factory, Hackney E9

A Relative DeclineMerry Hill Shopping Centre, West Midlands DY5

A Relative DeclinePaulton and Polestar Print works, Midsomer norton BS39

A Relative DeclineFort Dunlop, Birmingham, B24

A Relative DeclineSanyo factory, Lowestoft NR33


Pinker-ian, Pinker-ist, Pinker-ton, Pinker-fan, Pinker-ism…….December 2017




The Spanish newspaper El Mundo called up to see if I could nip into central London to take a few portraits of a chap called Steven Pinker.

I sat in on the interview and can’t claim to understand everything he said (!!), but I do know that most of it made sense and it was a real treat just to listen to such an intelligent eloquent man. Turns out Steven Pinker is one of the great thinkers of our time.

I think I might be a Pinker-ian!


Steven PinkerSteven PinkerSteven PinkerSteven Pinker

Suits, The City and Graduates…….November 2017


I do a fair bit of  photography for companies in The City and had an enjoyable few days taking photographs of the young graduates who had just joined Dechert.

A cool building in the city, cool looking graduates, great team to work with, makes it all good fun.


Dechert_London_Aug 17_RB2_230Dechert_London_Aug 17_RB2_336Dechert_London_Aug 17_RB2_214Dechert London_Aug 17_RB_095Dechert London_Aug 17_RB_021Dechert London_Aug 17_RB_245

Soas, Clever and Cool Students…….October 2017




Pretty sure I have mentioned how cool SOAS is.

The vibe there is great, the students are very clever, politicised and passionate about their subjects.

So, it is always a great pleasure to get the call to go in and take some portraits of their students for the latest campaign.


SOAS Freshers Week_26 Sept 17_RB_343SOAS Freshers Week_26 Sept 17_RB_650SOAS Freshers Week_29 Sept 17_RB_153SOAS Freshers Week_29 Sept 17_RB_392SOAS Freshers Week_29 Sept 17_RB_182SOAS Freshers Week_29 Sept 17_RB_416SOAS Freshers Week_29 Sept 17_RB_462SOAS Freshers Week_26 Sept 17_RB_275

Eighteen Year Olds, College Life, Tears and Pyrotecnics…….September 2017




Bill turned 18 in July, so we had the best ever summer party for her and now she is off to college for three years!

I was so proud of her as we drove up to Derwen College in Shropshire. We had visited the college on a few occasions and knew it was great, as a number of our friends children go there. It is a college for 300 young adults of varying degrees of physical and learning disabilities, some of which are quite profound.

I had already witnessed the level of care, respect and understanding of the staff to the students, so we knew she was going to be in safe hands, but that didn’t stop us crying like babies as we got into the car after having settled her in!

(I am writing this in February of 2018 and I can report that she LOVES college. She is amongst her peers and has made some great friends and as of a couple of weeks ago she has a boyfriend! We miss her terribly, but can facetime etc, so she is never far away.)

I don’t have any photographs of Derwen, but I did spend a lovely few days at Culford school taking photographs for their brochures and website. Culford school is a boarding school set in 480 acres of beautiful Suffolk parkland. They are a centre of excellence for tennis and golf, there is a wonderful atmosphere and it is not in any way stuffy.

I took many images and I’m not sure if they will use it, but these two were my favourite shots of the day!

And Die Zeit were on the phone again and it was lovely to see these guys printed in the newspaper.

Teenage girl with Down syndrome in a bar on her 18th birthday.Teen girl who has Down syndrome, laying on her bed reading a magazine.Teenage girl with Down syndrome at collegeCulford School_Day 2_RB_0521Culford School_Day 2_RB_0488

Culford School science experiments! Health and safety gone mad….brilliant!

Duck copyCurly Rat copy

Die Zeit, ‘You look, how I feel’.

The London Loop, Cycle Rides and Funny Animals…….August 2017



Is this summer proper?

Lets pretend that it is and do some summery things.

A swim in Hampstead ponds anyone?

We have friends who take a dip in Hampstead ponds nearly all year round. I’m not quite that brave, but I did drag the two girls up there one Saturday afternoon to take a dip and it was lovely!

I occasionally drop off my son at ‘I can dance’ where he volunteers and then go for a Parkrun on the heath. I keep meaning to go for a swim after, but haven’t got round it yet….

If that sounds exhausting then doing a 60 mile bike ride around Norfolk, when you are not really a cyclist, is quite tough. Sore bottoms all round, but very enjoyable!

Somewhat more leisurely was the Prudential bike ride around Central London. I hired a tandem for myself and Billie-Jo and off we all went. The roads were closed and it was great fun…..until we lost Daniel….and it started to pour down. Well worth it though.

We finished the London Capital ring, so next on the list is The London loop.

The London Outer Orbital Path — more usually the “London LOOP” — is a 240-kilometre signed walk along public footpaths, and through parks, woods and fields around the edge of Outer London, England, described as “the M25 for walkers”

The first stage is from Erith Riverside to Old Bexley Village and then on to Petts Wood.

We came back from walking Hadrian’s wall and the Capital ring thinking why on earth  hadn’t we photographed at least one person each day. So this is what we are going to do on each leg of the walk and first up is Bill and his dog buster!

So that was all nice and even nicer was a call from Die Zeit asking if they could use some of my animal portraits for a regular section they run called ‘You look like I’m feeling’.

DSC_0829 copyLooking over London from Parliament Hill, Hampstead HeathCouple on bench, Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, LondonThe men's swimming pond at Hampstead Heath, LondonScreen Shot 2017-08-26 at 09.40.03 copyScreen Shot 2017-09-01 at 11.05.23 copy

Alumni, barristers, ULaw and Set For Success…….July 2017



The lovely team at Ulaw have been keeping me busy taking portraits of their Alumni, for their ‘Set for Success’ campaign.

It has been really interesting to see the diverse range of jobs alumni of the University  have gone into.

Portrait of Rachel Wang, Chocolate filmsRachel Wang, Chocolate films.

Portrait of Mukhtiar Singh, BarristerMukhtiar Singh, Barrister

Portrait of Emine Mehmet, Duncan Lewis LawEmine Mehmet, Duncan Lewis Law


Portrait of Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Assoc.Karen Betts, Whisky Association

Portrait of James Lipson, Mischon De ReyaPortrait of James Lipson, Mischon De ReyaJames Libson, Mischon De Reya

Portrait of Nicholas Conway, DeloitteNicholas Conway, Deloitte

Portrait of Nicholas Plant, DentonsNicholas Plant, Dentons

Portrait of Merrick Ming Tao HoULaw_Guildford_13_07_17_RB_191Portrait of Sarah Tilly, BarristerSarah Tilly, Barrister