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Issue No. 46 [Back Issues]
24th May 2005

This Week - [Wok and Roll - Amy's Award - Ready Steady Win] [Pub & Club - Rugby Awards] [Pub & Club - Ross in Bloom]
[Nature Watch - Photographic Memories] [Topical Photography - Archive Ross-on-Wye]

Ross-on-Wye Nature Watch

This week's Nature Watch is more of a report, rather than the usual nature photographs and covers two events. The first, pictured below: Lea Primary School took part in the 'Fantastic Bird Watch' last Wednesday, 18th May. The school's Eco-committee organized the event through 'Action Earth' and the RSPB. Volunteers were invited to attract birds to the school by putting up bird feeders, tables and boxes around the school grounds. Mr. John Pullen took small groups of children and volunteers around the local orchard in the morning, to spot some of our native and visiting bird species.

One member of the ECO-committee is also a member of the RSPB and helped to organize the bird watch. The title of the day, 'The Fantastic Bird Watch' was the idea of pupil, Bethany Sherwood. Lea Primary School's ECO-committee have already won a 'Silver Award' and are now aiming for the 'Green Flag' award.

Pictured below, a group of pupils out bird watching in the orchard with John Pullen and the School Eco-committee.

For those at the school - I have not had time to put all photos in the gallery for viewing as promised yet, but if you look back here in a few days, or just check the gallery, I shall do it as soon as humanly possible. (Lots of things happened this week!)


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Pictured below - photographs of butterflies at a local Butterfly Zoo.

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Personal Photographic Memories

Photography is one of those things I got into by accident really
. I have always been 'kind of' interested and throughout my life have photographed the odd family event here and there but it was building which really got me involved. I started taking photos for the web site and suddenly newspapers and magazines started phoning to ask, 'Would you be able to . . .' I now take quite a high percentage of the Ross Gazette photos and some for other local papers and this is keeping me busy - earning the money to keep my family whilst I work on this web site.

I found the photo above whilst hunting my own archives the other day. It is the very first photograph I ever took. I took it back in 1962, as a nine year old boy when 'Jublies' were fourpence from the local sweet shop (if I spent my bus fare and walked home from school) and a 'mobile' was something to keep my baby sister amused. I had badgered my parents into buying me a 'Brownie 127' camera for Christmas because I had seen a 'Winter' photographic competition on 'Blue Peter' which I wanted to enter. The photo is a January shot of a tree, close to the Parish Church in Cranham, Essex. Had I taken it the following January, the tree would have been under about nine feet of snow as the coldest winter I remember, with blizzards beginning on Boxing day and lasting until April happened later that same year. Needless to say, I didn't win the competition! (Didn't even get a Blue Peter badge.) That camera travelled with me on a school trip around Europe and North Africa though and I have black and white shots of dolphins in the Bay of Biscay, shots of Lisbon, the Rock of Gibraltar and Tangier in Morocco, all taken with the Brownie. I still have that camera to this day, and if Kodak 127 film was still available, I am certain that it would still work just as well.

The two photographs below were taken with the same camera, seven years later, from the television screen in the living room of my parent's home at 132, Westrow Drive, Barking Essex. It was taken on one of those days, most people can remember exactly what they were doing - when Apollo 11 blasted off destined for the Sea of Tranquillity. Video recorders were science fiction in those days and we expected to see jagged pointy mountains when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. It was my final year at school and I followed the event right through, staying up all night to watch the landing, feeling sorry for Michael Collins, who had to stay in lunar orbit whilst the others got to do the moon walk. I still have all the daily newspapers and Sunday Supplements from that week. The television was actually one of the very first colour television sets, although the event was broadcast in black and white. The 'amazing' colour television was given to my father as a gift by the Dutch owners of a ship he designed. 'Dad' commuted to Holland weekly from London, Heathrow for something like nine months of that year to complete the job, whilst the whole neighbourhood used to visit our house, just to watch the idiot's lantern in colour.

I don't think I could take a television screen shot anywhere near as clearly these days with my current SLR cameras. Sometimes it is the simple things which work the best!

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