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My paternal grandfather ‘Joe’ was a young lad of 15 when he signed up for ‘Queen and Country’ at the beginning of the 1st World War. He lied about his age to become a private in the Cheshire Regiment and to go to war. Like him many young men disobeyed their parents and left for a grand adventure never to return home, staying forever young. My grandad never spoke to us about what happened to him during the war, i know he was mustard gassed and shot in the face but don’t know where he fought. To his grandchildren he was a small grumpy man who walked with a stick, to others a hero. Now i am older and have learnt of the things he may have suffered i consider that small slightly built old man a true hero, for having the courage to disobey his mother, for bravely going into something that would change the shape of his life without knowing how truly horrific it would become and for coming home and remaking his life, for living in a society that had no understanding of the things he had seen and done and for getting on with living. I have a painting of him as a young man in his uniform, it was painted especially for his mother and has passed from great grandmother to grandmother, to father and now to me. I don’t think it is an especially good portrait but it is a true reflection of the man. It is framed nicely and has stood the test of time, being bombed, stuck up in the loft, left in the cupboard. I knew at an early age that i would keep it and cherish it. For my grandfather and all of the men and women who have heard and answered the call to war this photograph and poem is for them. The poem is written by Chris Lawrence.
Eight years ago the Open Golf came to The Wirral, we had money thrown at us to improve Hoylake, which they did really well but it didn’t go all the way through it just kind of stopped up by the Anchor, still Hoylake was left looking pretty. We had thousands of bodies and their cars visiting and they were neatly parked in massive carparks and shuttled in and out. They (quite a few but not all) visited our pubs and wine bars leaving behind their money and going home with great impressions and wonderful memories and we are doing it all over again this month. We have Tigers, McIlroys, Scotts, players from all over the world and they have brought their caddies, managers, families and goodness knows how many other people all geared up to make their week go without a hitch. http://www.royal-liverpool-golf.com/ Our hotels and guest houses are full and if you wander down Market St after 8pm you can hear people commenting on how it feels like you are in a foreign country as there is such a great holiday atmosphere.
During July we have also held Hoylake’s festival of firsts, a fortnight of entertainment and art, the shops, pubs and bars have local poetry and art in their windows and on their walls, which add’s to the great feel of excitement in Hoylake. Thursday was the first day of the Open and i went to Hoylake with Chris to say Hi to our artist friends manning their art stalls hoping to sell their art to the milling hordes. There were plenty of hordes and some selling of art but i was more interested in the movement of Hoylake, the people and the change of pace. People pored from the golf club, jumped on buses and trains or headed for the pubs and bars, they spilled out over the pavements onto the grass and laughed and joked and drank. Prime opportunity for some great street photography.
We wandered along Market St slowly, chatting to people we know, stopping and sitting drinking in the atmosphere and taking photos of the people doing the same as us. Along the way we walked past Jill’s Cookshop where i have several photographs entered into the Festival of Firsts art competition, in the window is the Lighthouse at Fort Perch and underneath it is….. a Silver award!!! :) Way to go me! and congratulations to all of the others awarded.
Of course we were really excited and whenever anyone went to look in the shop window Chris would dash over and tell them that i took the photo, i think he is rather proud of me. After we hung out and chatted and took loads of photos we drove down to the promenade and drove along to the RNLI station just in time for a beautiful sunset, a great time to take some photos of the Grace Darling sculpture.
The sister to the Black Pearl in New Brighton. We watched the sun go down together then headed home to replace the hustle and bustle of Market St with the hustle and bustle of family life. (Read BEDTIME) We have two more days of the golf and then weeks of getting everywhere back to normal again. I hope they bring the Open back to Hoylake eventually it is an amazing event and an amazing opportunity for Hoylake and the Wirral.
I am always looking for interesting tips on how to make my photography better and recently i have been experimenting with monitor calibration and bought a color monki to get more realistic colour in my images.
This article from Thephoblographer.com has some great tips.
Zenologue posted this great and very helpful article today, having read it i now have several ideas to work through, maybe you will find it helpful too.