Northern Ballet

Northern Ballet is a dance company with a strong repertoire in theatrical dance productions where the emphasis is on story telling as well as classical ballet. Regarded as one of the world’s leading ballet companies they are committed to creating new ballets and tour widely to perform to a wide range of audiences throughout the UK and abroad.

I spent all day and much of the evening with the company shooting pictures of their intensive preparation during their company class at their headquarters in the morning before they attended rehearsals at the Grand Theatre in Leeds prior to their performance that evening of The Nutcracker in front of a full-house.

Shooting entirely behind the scenes from the wings and back-stage it was easy to see the hard work and dedication that goes into every performance and the passion and enthusiasm that the company have for what they do.

Here’s a larger edit in black and white from through the day…

 

The COMPANY CLASS

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The REHEARSALS & PREPARATION

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The PERFORMANCE

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Technical stuff: All pictures were shot on 16Gb Sandisk Extreme Pro memory cards in both RAW and high quality JPEG using either a Leica M9 with a 50mm f2 Summicron prime lens, a Fuji XT1 with a 16mm f1.4 WR prime lens or a Fuji XT1 with a 50-140mm f2.8 WR zoom lens.

All were shot in manual exposure mode with auto-white balance set. Editing was done in Lightroom 5 with colour versions of some of the pictures filed for the job with an extended edit of black and white pictures posted here.

 

See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2015 / Getty Images

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement

Coast People – Life on the north east coast

As many of you will know I have been planning to produce a book about a project that I have been working on for a number of years called ‘Coast People’. Initially things with the publishers were going well and the layouts and text were all sorted and it was starting to take shape. However when I saw the print quality of the book and saw how the pictures had been reproduced I had some issues with the overall quality and so I pushed back the release date to give me a chance to rectify things because the last thing I or any other photographer would want to do would be to release a book with badly printed photographs in it!

After several weeks of trying to resolve things it has unfortunately reached the stage where it was obvious things weren’t going to be as I wanted them as far as print quality was concerned. As a result I have now decided to go completely through the self-publishing process via the on-line book publishers, ‘Blurb’.

This is a company I have used before on several occasions for ‘one-off’ books that I wanted to get printed myself and I know that their printing, bindings and paper quality is amazing so I have opted to go down this route.

Because of the nature of book publishing in general it potentially works out cheaper for me to buy a hundred copies in the first instance which in turn reduces the price per copy of each copy of the book and then sell them myself to give the buyer a better deal. But to do this I would have to pay out a few thousand for those 100 copies in the first instance which is something that I’m just not in the position to do right now.

So what I’m doing, at least for now, is to design, create and make available a book that I have designed from scratch and which I will make available to buy via Blurb.

I have slightly reduced the number of images from the initial book design in order to reduce the overall production costs and I have totally changed the layout. The book is now designed in a square format, sized at 18cm x 18cm and with 140 pages and the image quality is now far, far better and is more fitting to a book of photography. The price per copy of the book now is the minimum I can achieve for the size, number of pages and the design and I have only added £0.01 (1 pence) to the overall price of the book, which is the minimum that can be done when you sell a book on Blurb so that they cover their printing costs. Again to try and keep that price down as low as I can.

I’m also not making the book available on Amazon as there was a £5.99 surcharge to do that which I didn’t want on top of the price. So Coast People will be available through Blurb only. A preview of the book can be seen on the main page and the price per copy of the book is £23.40.

Postage costs are set by Blurb and are £6.99. So the total price would be – £30.39

So to date this has been a frustrating journey to get this far and I’m disappointed that I won’t be taking delivery of a few boxes full of my first published book but this at least is a compromise that I have reached that is achievable at the minute and whilst I won’t gain financially with this book it has been an interesting process to go through and one that will help when I publish, ‘Country People – cornerstone‘, which is my next book-publishing endeavour. More on that coming soon, so as they say, ‘watch this space’…

So to see a preview of Coast People, to read about the book or to purchase a copy please follow the link below….

COAST PEOPLE – Life on the north east coast

 

Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2010 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

 

See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2015 /

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

Ironopolis – The day the steel stopped

As the steelworkers from ‘C’ shift prepared themselves to carry out the final coke push on oven 64 at the SSI UK steel works at Redcar this week they were not only starting the process by which the ovens would gradually cool down rendering them useless for any future use but it was also marking an end to a legacy of steel making in the Teesside area that had built up over the preceding 170 years and one which had seen the steel that was manufactured here reach across the world.

At around 6am when the coke was pushed and the final column of steam and smoke rose up from the ovens and was carried away on the morning breeze, gradually fading before disappearing completely into the dark morning sky over Teesside’s industrial heartland it carried with it any hope that this rich heritage could be saved and steel making on Teesside came to an end.

IFXT0024-2The final plume of smoke and steam rises out of the coke ovens at Redcar

Middlesbrough or Mydilsburgh as it was known began its journey in Saxon times as an ancient settlement. The term ‘Burgh‘ refers to an ancient settlement and ‘Mydil’ was possibly the name of an anglo saxon who may have had involvement with the early settlement or indeed it could be a reference to the position of the settlement’s location at that time, half way between Whitby and Durham. During this time it would have seen much activity as people passed through Middlesbrough between the two towns but even by 1800 it still remained a small farm of between 20 to 30 people.

In 1829 Joseph Pease from Darlington headed up a small group of Quaker businessmen and bought this small farmstead and its surrounding land and began the development of what they called `Port Darlington‘ on the banks of the River Tees. They then planned to build a town on the site of the farm in order to supply labour to this new coal port and Middlesbrough was born.

By 1830 the Stockton to Darlington railway line had been extended to Middlesbrough and made possible the rapid expansion of the town and port.

The small farmstead gradually grew and became the site for North, South, East and West Streets, Commercial Street, Stockton Street, Cleveland Street, Feversham Street, Dacre Street, Durham Street, Richmond Street, Gosford Street and Suffield Street, all of which were laid out in a grid style centered on Market Square.

Plots of land and businesses premises were quickly bought up in the town and before long shippers, merchants, butchers, innkeepers, joiners, blacksmiths, tailors, builders and painters were moving in and by 1851 the population had grown from around 40 or 50 people in 1829 to around 7,600 and it was quickly becoming the main port on the Tees ahead of Stockton.

IFXP0006Looking out over Teesside from the Eston hills

The seeds for the future steel heritage were sewn in 1850 when iron ore was discovered near Eston in the Cleveland Hills by John Vaughan, the principal iron master of Middlesbrough. Iron now slowly replaced coal as the lifeblood that carried the town. Whilst John Vaughan and his German business partner Henry Bolckow had already established a small iron foundry and rolling mill at Middlesbrough using iron stone brought from Durham and the Yorkshire coast this new discovery of a local supply of iron ore resulted in them building Teesside’s first blast furnace in 1851.

SSI_114Blast furnace, Redcar, Teesside

Iron was now in big demand in Britain, particularly for the rapid expansion of the railways being built in every part of the country. More and more blast furnaces were opened in the vicinity of Middlesbrough to meet this demand and by the end of the century Teesside was producing almost a third of the nation’s iron output. This growth saw the population of the town increase to 20,000 people.

By the 1870’s a much stronger and more resilient metal was in big demand. That metal was steel. In 1875 Vaughan and Bolckow opened the first Bessemer Steel plant in Middlesbrough using phosphorous ores that had to be imported from Spain and which were needed for the steel making process but within 10 years new methods were developed which allowed the use of the local iron ores from around the Eston hills and the steel produced in the area began its journey around the world. At its peak there were with over a hundred furnaces along the banks of the River Tees.

Dorman Long, a name synonymous with steel making began production in 1917 and the steel produced at the site was used to build structures including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Tyne Bridge and the Harbour bridge in Auckland in New Zealand. As part of Labour’s plans after the second world war Dorman Long was brought under a newly created nationalised company called the British Steel Corporation and in 1988 after privatisation under Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1988 it became British Steel. In 1999 the company then merged with Netherlands-based steel maker Koninklijke Hoogovens and formed Corus who used the site at the company’s Redcar blast furnace for basic oxygen steel making.

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In 2007 Corus was bought by Tata Steel but following the termination of a large contract in 2009, Tata stopped production at the Redcar site and 1,700 jobs were at risk. Steel workers and their families within the community rose to demonstrate their frustrations and thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar on 18 July of 2009 on a march to try and fight to safeguard Teesside’s steel industry…

Thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar, Cleveland today 18 July to join a march to fight to safeguard Teeside's steel industry. Following recent announcements of redundancies at Corus Steel, the people in the area came to show massive support for the Save our Steel March. Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2008 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar, Cleveland today 18 July to join a march to fight to safeguard Teeside's steel industry. Following recent announcements of redundancies at Corus Steel, the people in the area came to show massive support for the Save our Steel March. Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2008 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar, Cleveland today 18 July to join a march to fight to safeguard Teeside's steel industry. Following recent announcements of redundancies at Corus Steel, the people in the area came to show massive support for the Save our Steel March. Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2008 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar, Cleveland today 18 July to join a march to fight to safeguard Teeside's steel industry. Following recent announcements of redundancies at Corus Steel, the people in the area came to show massive support for the Save our Steel March. Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2008 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Thousands of people filled the streets of Redcar, Cleveland today 18 July to join a march to fight to safeguard Teeside's steel industry. Following recent announcements of redundancies at Corus Steel, the people in the area came to show massive support for the Save our Steel March. Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2008 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

https://player.vimeo.com/video/11838325 <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/11838325">Save Our Steel</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user3846199">Ian Forsyth – Documentary Photog</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>” target=”_blank”>

Save Our Steel

Alas it was unsuccessful and the jobs were lost. The site underwent a mothballing process with hope that sometime in the future a new buyer could be found and once again steel production could carry on. In the meantime and inevitably, Redcar and the surrounding areas started a sad slide into decline as the ripple effect of the job losses was felt across the entire region.

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Then on 24th February 2011 a flame that had been slowly dying started to flicker a little brighter. A new buyer had been found. Thai-based Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) came in and took on the site and finally in April 2012, and with much publicity the plant was officially reopened and as the first slabs of steel rolled a new found optimism, albeit tentative had began to come back into an industry that had been brought to its knees by economic pressures, global changes in the steel markets and a general run of bad fortune.

15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

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© Licensed to London News Pictures. 18/04/2012 SSI Steel, Teesside, England Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant, the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside was re-lit at the weekend as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. Today, the furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaviriya Steel Industries saw the first steel slabs come out of the furnace. The steel will now be shipped direct to SSI in Thailand for use in the car or white good industries. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth/LNP

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15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

Over the following years production continued. The slabs of steel continued to come out of the site. There were some underlying wobbles and concerns through those years but despite these the steel still came. But then a change of events began that seemed to gather pace. A storm was coming. There’s something that is often referred to called the ‘Butterfly Effect’ in chaos theory and you’ll have heard of it I’m sure. It states that when a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world then there is an inevitable connection to a hurricane that occurs thousands of miles away on the other side.

© Licensed to London News Pictures. 18/04/2012 SSI Steel, Teesside, England Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant, the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside was re-lit at the weekend as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. Today, the furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaviriya Steel Industries saw the first steel slabs come out of the furnace. The steel will now be shipped direct to SSI in Thailand for use in the car or white good industries. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth/LNP

© Licensed to London News Pictures. 18/04/2012 SSI Steel, Teesside, England Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant, the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside was re-lit at the weekend as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. Today, the furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaviriya Steel Industries saw the first steel slabs come out of the furnace. The steel will now be shipped direct to SSI in Thailand for use in the car or white good industries. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth/LNP

Well there was a butterfly flapping its wings in China. Their economy was starting to slow after a few years of strong growth. Businesses, Industry and the economy in general had done well off the back of the boom but as that economy slowed so to did the demands for products right across the board. With the construction industry slowing the need for steel started to drop but China’s steel furnaces were still producing a huge amount of cheaper steel and selling it to world markets, including Britain and it wasn’t long before there was a significant overcapacity of steel.

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As oil prices also began to fall the oil companies began to reduce investment in the exploration of new oil fields or stopped trying to get more oil and gas out of their existing fields because the prices just didn’t justify the investment. As a result companies all along the supply chain, including steel plants who produce steel for pipes needed for extraction and movement of oil, started to see their order books going unfilled.

With prices for steel dropping, poor trade opportunities and the knock-on effect on the supply chain it seemed that there were butterfly’s flapping their wings everywhere and for those at Redcar it seemed that it was only a matter of time before the hurricane hit!

SSI_113Ponding

In August Cornelius Louwrens, the SSI chief admits that the business is facing problems. Then on 18 September, production was paused due to the declining steel prices with some reports suggesting that SSI was also facing a September deadline after missing a series of payments to its banks. Then on 28 September the plant, the second largest steelworks in Europe was once again mothballed and at the start of October it was announced that SSI UK had entered liquidation.

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Against this backdrop local Teesside MPs like Labour’s Anna Turley and Tom Blenkinsop lead calls in the Commons for the government to intervene and help the steel industry…

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Meetings were set up with the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle to give steel workers an opportunity to speak to at least some government ministers, from Labour at least, but one look at the faces of those at the meeting told more about the questions they had and the uncertainties that they and their families faced than any number of meetings might have done.

032Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley

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037 036Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle speak with Brian Dennis 035 034

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Like any community threatened Redcar steelworkers rallied around to try and protect their way of life. People like Linda Robinson, a writer from Billingham and who has four generations of steelworkers in her family and who has taken it upon herself to stand outside the entrance to the SSI UK steel making site each morning for 22 consecutive days (as of 2 days ago) holding placards to help raise awareness to the plight of the steelworkers…

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Local shops all across Redcar and surrounding towns started displaying posters supporting the steelworkers and a petition was started that quickly gained thousands of signatures…

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Steelworkers like Brian Dennis, a steelworker of 26-years became a public face of the workers as he stood up at the Labour Party Conference recently and gave a passionate speech about the real effects of what this all meant to the workers once you looked beyond the business speak, the corporate jargon and the political bullshit. You can see his speech HERE

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Within 24 hours of a social media post initiated by members of the local community and supported by Anna Turley, thousands of steelworkers and their families, members of the pubic and supporters attended a ‘keep the light burning‘ rally one evening near the beach in Redcar…

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But despite all this, despite a few slim opportunities that seemed to offer a potential last minute reprieve to secure the site if local businesses or suppliers stepped in and despite all the other efforts that were made it became increasingly clear that the end was coming and on 12 October 2015 the receiver formerly announced there was no realistic prospect of finding a buyer and the coke ovens, for the first time in thirty years, were to be extinguished.

On the 15 October the final ‘coke push’ was carried out at Redcar and after 170 years, the steel stopped on Teesside. The sounds that emanated from the site over years ceased and towns like Dormanstown who sit in the shadow of the giant steel and iron monolith of the blast furnace fell silent. Familiar noises now gone. The backdrop of an industrial pulse that had driven the communities around the blast furnace slowly ebbed away.

So what of the future for Redcar and Teesside in general? What of the future of those leaving this way of life? What will happen to the thousands of people in the supply chain for the steel works and the security of their jobs and businesses? All will be affected and we have already seen job losses at PD Ports and Hargreaves coal suppliers and more will follow it is certain.

To step away from the emotion of it all, to ignore the effects this closure will have on the family of a steelworker or another contractor…to forget how this might affect his partner and his children as they approach an uncertain Christmas and an even more uncertain future…to not allow any emotional connect to this story then that answer is a simple one – A private business got into financial difficulties and a government, hands tied and restricted by law under EU rules and regulations couldn’t act to do anything. Even if it had wanted to it couldn’t do anything. Although the lack of government involvement or intervention or empathy has been shameful.

There are talks of police investigations into SSI regarding their insurance cover for employees at the site. There is a risk of the closure being used as a political football for point scoring. There is a minefield of redundancy packages to be negotiated, so this is a long way from over. But to turn away from all this, to ignore the emotion and to disregard the confusion and uncertainty and doubt etched on the faces of workers, of hard workers, of proud men – and women, with a background of determination and dignity and with a pride in a world-building industry with a heritage that contributes to what makes us collectively as a country what we are then ignoring the feelings permeating through Teesside right now is indeed a very tragic thing to do.

Yet despite it all, despite the difficulties it is those very same qualities that they and others like them possess that will be the very same reasons that will ensure that whatever the future may hold for the steelworkers and contractors on Teesside who may have taken a hard hit this time, they’ll get through it. One way or another. They’re made of strong stuff. Maybe as strong as steel?

 

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15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

15/04/2012 SSI Steel Works, Teesside, Cleveland Two years after the closure of the Corus steel production plant the huge blast furnace on the site in Teesside is once again fired up as the process of bringing the furnace back to operating temperature begins. The furnace, now owned by the Thai company Sahaririya Steel Industries is expected to see the first steel come out of the furnace early next week. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth

Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2013 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

 

#saveoursteel

 

See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2015 / Getty Images

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

COMING SOON…My new book!

I’m delighted to announce that my new book – ‘Coast People – Life on the north east coast’ has gone to print and will be available soon.

Coast People‘ is a photo-book that tells the story of a stretch of British coastline from the area known as South Gare at the mouth of the river Tees, south, to Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire in a set of 190 black and white images and brings to a conclusion a project that I began back in 2009.

Over the following years I have tried to put together a collection of personal images of the people who live and work on this characteristically industrial, but deeply cultured, stretch of coastline and of those who simply visit the coast for their own recreation.

Covering more than 85 miles of coastline and over 16 coastal towns the photos explore the relationships between the commercial and industrial and the day to day activities that form the unique heritage of England’s North East coast.

Throughout this project I have discovered some of the steadfast seafaring traditions that intertwine with the modern ways residents and visitors harness the North Sea for profit, for their livelihoods and for recreation. I’ve also been able to explore parts of the coast that I might otherwise not have known about and I’ve met some great people along the way and ultimately gained a wider understanding of this important part of our culture and heritage.

Shooting in my own documentary style and showing the light hearted humour that characterises the north east I hope this book illustrates that the coast and its heritage are a spectacular asset that must be protected for years to come.

The Yorkshire Post and the Gazette both ran a piece about the book which can be seen on their websites here and here or below in the cuttings and some of the pictures from the book can be seen after that.

I will post further information on availability as it gets nearer the release date.

The softback photo-book (ISBN 978-1-78091-507-4) is 156mm x 234mm with a single picture on each page and is retailing at £14.99 (P&P if required is not included).

It will be available in print from various bookshops across the region and can be ordered online here on….

 

Amazon

 

Updates on ‘Coast People‘ will be posted here, on my Facebook page or on my Twitter page using the hashtag #coastpeople

Feel free to email me at: ianforsyth2003@yahoo.co.uk to reserve your copy and as usual questions and feedback are always welcome.

 

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‘Coast People – Life on the north east coast’

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2015

 

Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2010 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2011 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2011 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

Saltburn street photography Photographer: Ian Forsyth Contact Number : 07786 076618 Copyright Ian Forsyth 2012 None Exclusive unless through prior arrangement. Do not Syndicate If purchased you have a one use licence - No resale

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© Licensed to London News Pictures.  04/01/2015.  Saltburn, United Kingdom Zeta Hill, 13, from Guisborough practices her dance moves on a freezing cold start to the day on Saltburn beach in Cleveland. Photo credit : Ian Forsyth/LNP

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‘Coast People – Life on the north east coast’

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2015

#Coastpeople

See more of my work on my website and blogs….. HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without arrangement.

All rights reserved.

Appleby Horse Fair

The Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering for Gypsy, Romany and the travelling communities. The event has existed under the protection of a charter granted by James II since 1685 and it remains one of the key meeting points for these communities. Around 10,000 travellers are expected to attend the week long event who traditionally come to buy and sell horses.

 

 

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See more of my work on my website and blogs via the link…

 HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2015 /  Getty Images

No usage without arrangement.

Grassroots

So it’s all over and normality has returned. Well normality might have returned if the leaders of three of the political parties hadn’t all resigned the morning after the count. Or if the Lib Dems hadn’t taken such a thrashing or if Labour hadn’t done pretty badly across a lot of the country or if the Conservatives hadn’t managed to defy all the odds as well as the poll forecasts and actually secure a majority victory. But yeah, apart from that normality has returned.

The election rhetoric and the speeches, the promises, the declarations, the endless sound bytes, the tit-for-tat argumentative blame game, the TV debates or non-debates, the celebrity endorsements, the canvassing, the bus tours, the scripted walkabouts, the ice-cream-eating-baby-hugging-school-visiting, the big buses, the pink buses, the frenzied clamour of the election machine may have ground to a halt, spluttered a little and then fallen silent but this election story is far from over.

The day when your door mat looked like a dumping ground for a colourful selection of wanted posters that stared up at you as you walked past may have passed but there is still a little way to run with this one. So once again we trust ourselves, willingly or otherwise, happily or reluctantly, eagerly or indifferently into the hands of the political leaders and jump, are dragged or are pushed onto the roundabout. So enjoy the ride. Wherever it may lead.

 

I began my #Grassroots photographic election coverage way back in February! Joining the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a wet, cold and slushy door-knocking trip around Eston. Since then I’ve been to Dormanstown with Labour’s Dan Jarvis, attended the UKIP north east conference in Hartlepool. I visited a factory with Ed Balls and I’ve spent a whole day shooting in Horden and meeting some of the great people who live there before attending a UKIP public meeting in the town later in the evening. I walked around Redcar with Liz Kendall and went leaflet dropping with Chris Gallacher from UKIP in Coatham.

I photographed Ed Miliband on a visit to Redcar and went to the Stockton South constituency with Emma Reynolds and Louise Baldock. I went over to Sedgefield to take pictures of Tony and Cherie Blair at a train factory before climbing aboard ‘The Pink Bus’ with Harriet Harman. Then I went on a trip to Eaglescliffe for a visit by David Cameron and what had to have been the shortest factory tour of all time! I took pictures of Ed Balls eating an ice cream – the first of the election. I headed over to Dormanstown to shoot Hilary Benn as he walked around a garden and joined David Blunkett in Redcar town centre.

Staying in Redcar the soap actors were brought in by Labour to show support for the campaign and I spent one morning with David Neilson (aka Roy Cropper from Corrie!) as he visited the town. I met up with Justine Thornton, wife of Ed Miliband as she visited Thornaby and then a couple of days later Nigel Farage made a speech at the grand Hotel in Hartlepool. Things livened up a little after that as John Prescott visited a boxing club and climbed into the ring for a bit of sparring with a Channel 4 journalist.

Then I rolled into the polling day coverage on May 7 before later spending a long and sleepless night covering the Sunderland and then the Redcar counts as they took place.

So there we are, my election coverage has, for now anyway, come to an end so below I’ve put together a round up of some of my favourite pictures from those jobs and included some of the cuttings that were used as a result. There are also links to all my other #Grassroots blog posts at the bottom of the post.

 

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Below are some of the pictures that I’ve managed to find which featured in print and online with publications such as The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times,  The Sun, The Irish Times, The Daily Mail, Sky News, BBC News, Daily Express, New Statesman, The Daily Mirror, London 24, Metro, New York Times, abc News, Illinois News…

 

 

#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Day of Choices

Grassroots – Back in the Ring

Grassroots – Hartlepool 2

Grassroots – Justine Thornton

Grassroots – Bit of Corrie

Grassroots – Redcar 3

Grassroots – Down the Farm

Grassroots -Lemon Top

Grassroots – Eaglescliffe

Grassroots – Stockton

Grassroots – Election Train

Grassroots – The pink bus

Grassroots – Redcar 2

Grassroots – Coatham

Grassroots – Redcar

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Stockton

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

See more of my work on my website and blogs via the link…. HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Grassroots – Day of choices

So the day finally arrived. Thursday 7th May 2015. Polling day.

All that remained was for the people to play their part. To make their way to the nearest polling station, mark their choice, stick it in the box and change the world. Or maybe not.

On assignment for Getty Images I covered a number of the polling stations around my area to get some generic ‘pictures of polling stations’ which all help to fill the media appetite on the lead up to the results coming in. Then later that evening I attended the count in Sunderland. For the past five elections Sunderland has been the first in the country to count the votes and declare its winners. So covering this was of interest. Late last night they were successful once again and returned three constituency results all before midnight. An incredible achievement when you consider all that must be done at a count to ensure accuracy.

But their well rehearsed and practiced machine worked well and the results showed Labour winning in all three of the constituencies. First across the post was Bridget Phillipson representing Houghton and Sunderland South. Behind her was Julie Elliot representing Sunderland Central and Sharon Hodgson of Washington and Sunderland West.

There were somewhere in the region of 100 media representatives accredited to attend the count. Photographers, Radio, TV – Even Eamonn Holmes and Fiona Bruce turned up so now you know it must have been an important event! To keep the floor of the count as clear as possible photographs from ground level were shot on a pool basis by Paul Kingston from North News and Pictures with everyone else confined to the balcony area. Whilst a little frustrating to not get the access I might want this is the way of it at times and it’s fair enough so I just had to shoot what I could from the position I was allowed in and see where it went from there.

Once Sunderland had come to an end I then headed down to photograph the count at Redcar and as the hours dragged by into the early morning the count finally finished and the Labour candidate Anna Turley was announced as the winner for the constituency.

So below are a few of my pictures from the day, and the evening, and the night and the errr morning! Twas a long day indeed!

 

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Back in the Ring

Grassroots – Hartlepool 2

Grassroots – Justine Thornton

Grassroots – Bit of Corrie

Grassroots – Redcar 3

Grassroots – Down the Farm

Grassroots -Lemon Top

Grassroots – Eaglescliffe

Grassroots – Stockton

Grassroots – Election Train

Grassroots – The pink bus

Grassroots – Redcar 2

Grassroots – Coatham

Grassroots – Redcar

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Stockton

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

See more of my work on my website and blogs via the link…. HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement