Whitby Goth Weekend – 20th Anniversary

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary since the Whitby Goth Weekend first began. Each year it grows bigger and bigger becoming increasingly more popular. The weekend event brings together thousands of extravagantly dressed followers of Victoriana, Steampunk, Cybergoth and Romanticism and those who are into the buzzing music scene that forms the roots of Goth culture…

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth /  London News Pictures

Pickering wartime and 1940’s weekend

Once again Pickering wartime and 1940’s weekend came to the Yorkshire town this weekend with re-enactors, enthusiasts and fans of all things 40’s getting involved and having a great time. I was down today shooting for Getty Images and arrived at the showground in Pickering at first light and spent a few hours there before heading into town to finish off the day. It was a good day of shooting and I met some great people…here’s a few of the pictures…

 

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Some of the pictures appeared soon after on The Guardian  website, the Daily Mail website and in today’s Observer…

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All images were taken on a Leica M9 with a Summicron 50mm f2 lens and a Fui X Pro 1 with a 18mm (28mm equivalent) f2 lens. Photographs were edited in Lightroom. No editing techniques were used that couldn’t be carried out in a traditional darkroom.

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth & Getty Images

No usage without prior arrangement

Week of weeks

So this week has been pretty good to us with the surf…..The most memorable day being Tuesday which, as far as Saltburn goes was pretty much as good as it gets! Some epic swell running through all day and I think it’s safe to say that everyone, including myself left the water on Tuesday evening fully stoked and with noodle arms hanging limply by our sides!

The rest of the week at the beach has seen some fairly decent surf coming through. Not as big as Tuesday however but fun waves nonetheless and with some decent dawn sessions for those who prefer cold water, damp wetsuits, great sunrises and early starts to a nice warm bed…

So here’s a small selection of pictures from the week for you lazy sods who couldn’t be arsed getting up showing a little bit of what it was like in the orange glow of morning…

 

Saltburn morning surf

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See more of my pictures on my website and other blogs….. HERE

All images copyright Ian Forsyth – No usage without agreement

The engine shed

Work continued in earnest this morning at the engine sheds of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in the small Yorkshire village of Grosmont. The work was to prepare the steam locomotives ‘Chiru‘ and ‘Eric Treacy‘ for a short ceremony to mark the construction of a second platform at Whitby train station. This second platform will now provide passengers with more options for travel to reach the popular Yorkshire seaside town.

Whitby is at the end of the line on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This hugely popular railway remains the only heritage railway in the UK that runs over both the Network Rail lines and the heritage line. The line runs for 18 miles between Pickering and Grosmont Stations, and then for a further 6 miles to Whitby. It was first opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway and was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a way of opening up further trade routes from the sea port of Whitby.

The two locomotives arrived in Whitby station, under steam, before moving into position side by side – the first time this has happened at Whitby in half a century.

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TECHNICAL STUFF: All photographs in this set were made with a Leica M9 with a 50mm f2 Summicron lens and a Fuji X Pro 1 with an f2 18mm (28mm equivalent) lens. Editing and black and white conversion was carried out using Lightroom 5.5

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/ Getty Images

Pitmen’s Pride

From early morning on the twelfth of August in 1871 groups of miners and their families made their way steadily towards the City of Durham. Like small conquering armies they headed towards the cathedral city along the small roads and tracks that snaked through the countryside marching behind heavy canvas banners held aloft by those at the head of the column. Many travelled by foot but some rattled their way towards the city on horse drawn wagons. The pitmen, whilst a little apprehensive about the welcome they might receive from the city folk marched proudly and with purpose.

The city people were not happy that these pitmen were making their way towards their city. They were, in the eyes of those who lived within the relative comfort of the city, a race apart. Living hand to mouth in small isolated villages they eked out a meagre existence. These pitmen who lived constantly within earshot of the clatter of the winding engines and who were always covered by the ever present black dust that permeated everything they owned. Living in their small homes engulfed with the sulphurous fumes that spewed from the ventilation furnaces they appeared, at least to the city dwellers like marauding clans. Coming into their city and taking pleasure in the ale-houses, gambling at pitch and toss or wagering on cockfights. On their way to town they poached the squire’s pheasants and game and stole turnips from his fields and if all of this wasn’t bad enough it was their smouldering discontent, which could erupt at any moment into riot, that was feared most.

 

These days the Durham Miners Gala is no less lively or busy. The people still come but these days they make their way into town in buses or cars rather than making the long walk. People are still partial to the odd pint…or several and in its recent past even the odd fight…or several have been known to break out. But generally speaking the Gala, or ‘Durham Big Meet’ as it is called locally is a little less troublesome. There is a little less of the smouldering discontent and more of a carnival atmosphere pervades. But some still remains. As the speakers, including long time Labour MP and former miner Dennis Skinner address the crowds at the racecourse once the march through the town has ended the political and trade union rhetoric is strong. Feelings remain high among the gathered crowds who listened to the speakers. It always will be in what remains a strong Labour and union area. But in as far as the pits are concerned the winding engines have slowed to a halt. The black dust has now settled. The sulphurous fumes no longer rise into the air and where once a hundred mines made up the mighty Durham coalfield today none remain.

 

Events this Saturday began with many hundreds of people coming together in the Market Place – the main assembly point for the start of the parade through Durham. The colliery brass bands play with vigour as they are followed by their respective banners. Carried by proud men from the outlying towns and villages. Behind these come those with allegiances to those former great colliery villages and together they begin the march from there to the racecourse. Many hundreds of people stand watching along on the route and applaud them as they pass. As they come to the County Hotel on Old Elvet they pause as each band plays a tune to the union leaders the invited guests and local dignitaries who greet the march as they look down from the hotel balcony before stepping off again on the last part of their journey through town.

With thousands of people watching or taking part in the procession it can take three to four hours to pass the County Hotel but an amazing atmosphere of street theatre is created making the occasion more a fiesta than a march.

On arrival at the Racecourse a platform awaits for the speakers to address the crowds. The racecourse quickly fills up with everyone sitting around on the grass. A thousand picnics. There is a lot of drink. Around the perimeter of the field there are food stalls, funfairs and rides offering excitement and thrills to those willing to have a go. Bells, whistles and loud music rise up from the showground amusements in an endless and confusing din as they compete for trade. The smell of food floats through the crowds. Burger stalls. Chips. Candy Floss. Ice cream. Children run playfully amongst the crowds. Younger people drink and have a laugh. Groups of lads show off to groups of girls. Groups of girls show off to groups of lads. Older people and families sit amongst them. The banners that were carried with pride through the city are now all secured to the perimeter fence. Colliery and town band instruments placed carefully at the foot of them. Marking their spot.

 

This year is the 30th anniversary of the miners strike and Durham Big Meet remains a colourful tapestry of traditions and working class history. Police said around 100,000 people attended this meet – the biggest attendance since the miners strike. It remains more about the people than the politics. This is how it should be but both are intertwined. It is about the people who take part or line the streets. Especially for the younger people or children who will come to know and understand an important part of their regional history. It remains a source of great pride and long may it be so and yet it is also tinged with some sadness. Sadness for an industry lost forever to the people of the Durham coalfield.

 

The following poem is by John McNally.

A miner of the Morrison Busty Colliery, Annfield Plain.

The Durham Big Meeting

I see them invade our fair city, their coloured banners high.

I hear the martial music, as each lodge goes marching by,

My heart is filled with northern pride that all we miners know,

And I, with teaming thousands more, reflect an inner glow.

Oh! Come you Durham miners, come across the River Wear,

With many a laugh, and many a song, and many a hidden tear.

With banners fluttering in the breeze, and many a head held high,

Each Lodge comes gaily into view, and then goes marching by.

As I pass the County, each band outplays the rest,

For there the miners’ leaders stand, with many an honoured guest.

I wonder what our leaders feel, like generals, as they view,

The best shock troops of Europe were never quite as true.

They must be proud, Sam Watson, Jimmy Kelly, and the rest,

To know that passing years have proved they really stood the test.

Above the River Wear so proud, erect, serene,

The beautiful Cathedral lends its grandeur to the scene,

As it has done through all the years the miners rallied here,

A monument to all their hopes, and to their God so near.

So yearly let it still unfold, this pageantry so dear,

And let the miners’ lodges march across the River Wear,

And, we’ll be there, we Durham men, to give a Durham greeting,

To welcome all the miners as they come to their BIG MEETING.

Below are a few of my shots from the day…..

Durham Miners GalaOne of the colliery bands and their banner stops outside the balcony of the County Hotel to play in front of large crowds

Durham Miners Gala

Nora Newby, 80, from Chilton is one of the first to arrive. Standing in the same spot from 6am for 59 years.Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala

Former miner Billy Huitson, 88, stands and salutes one of the colliery bands as it arrives at the County HotelDurham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners Gala Durham Miners GalaDurham Miners Gala

Durham Miners Gala Long time Labour party politician and former miner Dennis Skinner addresses the crowds on the racecourse

Durham Miners Gala

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CAMERA INFO – All my pictures from the day were shot with a Fuji X-Pro 1 fitted with an 18mm f2 lens (27mm equivalent) and a Leica M9 fitted with a 50mm f2 Summicron lens. The Summicron lens was also fitted with a 3 stop ND filter allowing me to shoot at wider apertures in the bright sunshine. All pictures were subsequently edited using Lightroom 5.5 and Photo Mechanic. Some minimal dodge and burn techniques were used on some of the pictures using Photoshop CS3. No excessive manipulation of any images was carried out and any editing was in line with what could be achieved in a traditional darkroom.

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / London News Pictures 

No usage or reproduction without permission

Come to the Mela

The multi-cultural festival that is Middlesbrough Mela kicked off in heavy rain today with a parade by children and community groups around the town centre to mark the official start of the weekend.

Numerous events and stalls will be based around the town’s Centre Square area on the weekend of June 7 and 8 and promises a diverse and colourful line-up of musicians, acts and activities.

Here’s a few pictures from the very start of what promises to be a busy and entertaining weekend…

 

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Technical stuff – For those who are interested in these things all the above pictures were shot with either a Leica M9 with a 50mm f2 Summicron lens and a Fuji X-Pro 1 with an 18mm f2 lens (28mm equivalent on full frame). Images were edited with Lightroom 5 and Photoshop. All images are edited minimally using only techniques that could be achieved in a traditional darkroom.

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

Ian Forsyth Photography

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/ London News Pictures

‘Weihnachtsfrieden’ – For all those that fell

For just the briefest of moments around Christmas time in 1914 a small reminder of normality amidst the chaos and madness of warfare returned when men, very young men, sitting in the cold trenches of the German Army and dug into the mud of the French countryside began to sing Christmas carols. As their voices rose up and filled the air this small escape from the hardships they were enduring led to a series of widespread and unofficial ceasefires that took place along many parts of the Western Front.

When these German soldiers started to sing the British troops responded and gradually both sets of soldiers moved out of their trenches and met in no-man’s land. The British soldiers on the Frelinghien-Houplines sector on the western front were the main allied participants in the Christmas festivities. After exchanging stories, food and gifts, seasonal greetings, and holding joint burials and singing carols together several games of football broke out – The only result recorded was a 3-2 victory by the Germans, quoted in soldiers’ letters from both sides – On some parts of the front hostilities were officially resumed on Boxing Day at 0830 with a ceremonial pistol shot marking the occasion. In other areas non-aggressive behaviour lasted for days and, in some cases, weeks.

At the time this was all happening around 40,000 Britons had lost their lives – a tiny number compared to the body count by 1918 – as well as thousands more on the French, Belgian and German sides and the Christmas truce or to give it its German name of Weihnachtsfrieden is now looked upon as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amongst one of the most violent and destructive moments in our history. Over the following years however and despite a small number of truces continuing there were far less of them as orders from the military hierarchy warning against fraternisation with the ‘enemy’ were strictly enforced. As following years saw battles taking place at places such as Verdun and the Somme and with both sides employing poisoned gas and aerial bombardment each increasingly thought of the other side as less than human and became increasingly bitter before eventually any form of truce became unthinkable.

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An event in Saltburn at the weekend commemorated the moment when the opposing troops came together during an event organised to help raise money for the Royal British Legion. Thousands of visitors came to the beach to watch the football game with the players wearing the respective uniforms of the British and German armies. Many visitors bought remembrance crosses that were then planted by Army cadets in a temporary memorial garden created on the beach. Stalls offered food and music was provided by a brass band. The event and the day culminated in a fly past by a vintage Tiger Moth aeroplane that dropped 45,000 poppies over the spectators on the beach as it flew past overhead

 

DSCF0046Both sides line up behind the memorial poppies planted on the beach

 

DSCF0005An on duty RNLI lifeguard watches over visitors to the beach

DSCF0007Army cadets help to move sandbags into positions around the ‘pitch’ created on the beach

DSCF0015Emma-Kate Young from Redcar and a member of the RBL dresses in period clothing

DSCF0027Phil Meadows from the Teesside pipe band plays on the pier

DSCF0032Elliot Kennedy (L) and Barry Jones from Preston Hall are dressed in period police uniforms

DSCF0047David Lambert (L) and Nick Wall are dressed in the uniforms of the 8th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment

DSCF0051Soldiers shadows are cast on the beach

DSCF0056Thousands of visitors watch the football game on the beach

IF1_5300Teddy McGill, 2 from Redcar helps to hang bunting at the beach huts

DSCF0008A visitor carries deck chairs onto the beach

DSCF0014Thousands of poppies are planted in a temporary memorial garden on the beach…

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IF1_5366‘German Army’ footballers wait to start the game

IF1_5394Both sides line up behind the memorial poppies planted on the beach

IF1_5371A photo of a cross marking the location of one of the actual football games that took place is held

IF1_5389A young boy dressed in period uniform stands with the soldiers

DSCF0082The German Army

DSCF0091The British Army

IF1_5412The football match begins…

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IF1_5486-2A Tiger Moth make the first of three runs over the beach and pier

 

Some of the pictures from this set also appeared here….

Daily Mail

Belfast Telegraph – World in pictures

Chicago Sun Times – Pictures of the Day

Zimbio

Visit the Royal British Legion website here

More of my pictures can be seen on my blogs and website here

 Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Getty Images