Appleby Horse Fair – 2016

The Appleby Horse Fair is held each year in early June when around 10,000 – 15,000 English and Welsh gypsies, Scottish and Irish travellers gather to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relations, and celebrate their culture.

These different groups share a similar lifestyle and culture, and many gypsies and travellers regard Appleby Fair as the most important date in the calendar and it remains one of the largest of their gatherings. An estimated 25-30,000 non-Gypsy people also visit the fair during the week.

The fair is held outside the town of Appleby where the Roman Road crosses Long Marton Road, not far from Gallows Hill, named after the public hangings that were once carried out there. In the mid-20th century the story developed that the fair originated with a royal charter to the borough of Appleby from King James II of England in 1685. However, recent research has shown that the 1685 charter, which was cancelled before it was enrolled, is of no relevance. Appleby’s medieval borough fair, held at Whitsuntide, ceased in 1885.

The ‘New Fair’, held in early June on Gallows Hill, which was then unenclosed land outside the borough boundary, began in 1775 for sheep and cattle drovers and horse dealers to sell their stock. By the 20th Century it had evolved into a major gypsy and traveller occasion. No one bestowed the New Fair, no-one ever owned it and no-one was ever charged to attend it. It was and remains, a true people’s fair

The fair has no organised or scheduled events. The main activities take place on Fair Hill, the main Gypsy campsite field, with some catering and trade stands and more recently on the Market Field or Jimmy Winter’s Field, which was opened up by a local farmer several years ago, and is now the main stall trading and catering area. There are half a dozen licensed campsites nearby. Most horse trading takes place at the crossroads, known to the local authority as Salt Tip Corner and on Long Marton Road, known to the gyspies and travellers as the flashing lane where horses are shown off or ‘flashed’ by trotting up and down the lane at speed.

Many of the horses are also taken down to the Sands, near Appleby town centre and beside the River Eden, where they are ridden into the river to be washed. There is no auction at the fair with arrangements for any sales made between buyer and seller for cash. When the deal is done, the seller will hand back a small part of the price to the buyer for ‘Luck Money’.

The story behind luck money is that if the horse goes wrong, or hurts the new owner, then the luck money will ensure that you cannot curse the seller and a failure to give this money can be seen as grossly insulting.

 

The horse fair has generated some controversy over the years with complaints of mess and rubbish being left in the town and on the camp sites, crime and animal cruelty.

In 2014 there were 28 arrests at the fair, the lowest for several years, for among other things, drug use, drunkenness, and obstruction which senior police confirmed was not disproportionate to other large scale public events.

As regards rubbish and clean-up costs, although the trade stands leave a few tons of waste, the market field and Fair Hill are cleaned of litter the day after the fair, at no cost to the ratepayers, and within a week there is little trace that a fair has been held.

As regards animal cruelty, the RSPCA patrols the fair scrupulously, and although in 2009 Animal Aid called for the fair to be banned the instances of cruelty are few, and they are prosecuted where they do occur. Warnings and advice are given in borderline cases, and the great majority of horses at the fair are well looked after, well treated, and in good condition.

What is clear is that the fair is continuing a proud heritage and tradition among the travelling community and one that brings in much needed income to the town and it remains a colourful and exciting experience for all who attend.

Below are a selection of pictures from the first day of this year’s fair…

L1007682 L1007684 L1007688 DSCF0948 DSCF0949 DSCF0953 DSCF0971 DSCF0973 DSCF0975 DSCF0979 DSCF0985 DSCF0995 DSCF1010 DSCF1023 DSCF1025 DSCF1042 DSCF1044 DSCF1050 DSCF1063 DSCF1068 DSCF1081 DSCF1100 DSCF1102 DSCF1115 DSCF1119 DSCF1122 DSCF1130 DSCF1137 DSCF1140

L1007712 DSCF1145 DSCF1160 DSCF1165 DSCF1168 L1007691 L1007697 L1007700 L1007705 L1007710 L1007717 L1007730 L1007741 L1007746 L1007759 L1007760 L1007761 L1007762 L1007764 L1007772 L1007773 L1007737 L1007735 DSCF1135

0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

Hunting through long grasses

From the crazy and chaotic traffic in Kenya’s capital Nairobi where the biggest vehicle and loudest horn rules the day to the red ochre dust covered roadsides with their brightly coloured shops and businesses scattered for miles along the endless routes to the vast expanse of the game reserves…

…to the poverty and people lying on the road sides asleep,

…to the children walking miles to reach school,

…to the sleek sided skyscrapers,

…to the motorbikes carrying three or more passengers or a cargo of chickens stacked in boxes,

…to the huge speed bumps before and after built-up areas scattered along the roads,

…to random police check points

…to the dark brooding storm clouds,

…to the clear morning views of Mount Kenya,

…to the long endless dusty roads stretching for miles out in front of you,

…to the hard sells and bargaining opportunities in the curio shops along the main tourist routes,

…to the Masai villages opened up to the traveller,

…to the sound of their voices as they sing their songs,

…to the noise, smells and colour that overloads the senses as you drive through busy towns and leaves you feeling overwhelmed after you pass through them,

…to the dusty unused rail tracks that lead to nowhere,

…to the hundreds of faces that stare back at you as you pass. Some with a smile, some with no interest, some with suspicion, some with animosity, many with curiosity,

…to the road side fruit sellers,

…to the street hawkers and beggars to the top end and sleek black-windowed 4×4’s,

…to the security checks in the malls and their shiny tiled floors,

…to the dangerous driving and the road safety warnings,

…to crown paint adverts and Coca Cola painted walls,

…to the market stalls and bags of fruit,

…to the banana, pineapple and mango plantations and the vast fields of wheat,

…to the coffee trees bending over when ready to drop,

…to the cold bottles of Tusker beer,

…to the sound of the crickets,

…to the open spaces and the oppressive tight streets,

…to the smells before the rain comes,

…to the smell as it rains,

…to the smells after the rain has been,

…to the smell of the soil,

…to the diesel-fume spilling trucks lumbering up the Rift Valley escarpment,

…to the smells of cooking meat coming from the choma,

…to the breeze blowing through the branches of the Acacia,

…to the warm towels on arrival at the lodges to the chilly morning sunrises,

…to the painted wall murals and the smell of timber yards,

…to the long-drop toilets and the sound of hyenas at night,

…to drifting over the Mara River in a basket under a balloon,

…to the quiet forests and the traffic jam symphony of horns in Nairobi,

…to elephants trumpeting,

…and the sounds of a leopard hunting through tall grasses.

 

Kenya might not be for everyone and I’ve made several trips there with work over the years but now after this latest trip outside of my former work, I’ve realised even more what an amazingly chaotic, contradictory and beautiful place it is on many levels. Mesmerising, addictive and frustrating in equal measures it offers much for the visitor. But for the photographer…? Well for the photographer it offers a wealth of picture opportunities whatever your photographic interests. So if you get the chance to go then take it. If you need to take out a ridiculously large loan that will take ages to repay (as I did!!) then go for that too.

You won’t regret it.

 

0141 0142 0143 0144-2 0144 0145 0146 0147 0148 0149 0150 0151 0152 0153 0153A 0154 0155 0156 0157 0158 0159 0160 0161 0162 0163 0164 0165 0166 0167 0168 0169 0170 0171 0172 0173 0174 0175 0176 0177 0178 0179 0180 0181 0182 0183 0184 0185 0186 0187 0188 0189 0190 0191 0192 0193 0194 0195 0196 0197 0198 0199

0015A 0200 0201 0202 0203 0204 0205 0206 0207 0208 0209 0210 0211 0213 0214 0215 0216 0217 0218 0219 0220 0221 0222 0223 0224 0225 0226 0227 0228 0229 0230 0231 0232 0234

0233

0100

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

New Year’s Day Hunt

Horses, riders and hounds from the Cleveland Hunt prepare to ride out on the traditional New Year’s Day hunt this morning. Prior to 1827 this pack was known as the ‘Roxby and Cleveland’ and their hunt country covers an area of around 25 miles by 15 miles and varies from vale to high moorland. Established in 1722 it is one of the oldest in the country.

0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

York Flooding

The River’s Ouse and Foss in York flooded riverside homes and business premises after heavy rain caused severe flooding in parts of the city on 27 December and which forced the evacuation of residents and visitors from homes and hotels. Heavy rain over the Christmas period has caused severe flooding in northern England with homes and businesses in Yorkshire and Lancashire evacuated as water levels continue to rise in many parts.

Emergency services including the Police, Fire Brigade, Mountain Rescue Teams, paramedics and soldiers from the 2 Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment assisted with the evacuation across the city.

I covered the floods on assignment for Getty Images and spent the day documenting the effects of the flooding on the city and the people who lived there…

 

0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027 0028 0029 0030 0031 0032 0033 0034 0035 0036 0037 0038 0039 0040 0041 0042 0043 0044 0045 0046 0047 0048 0049

 

A story about unprecedented flooding affecting so many parts of the country was always going to bring high media interest and some of the pictures I shot appeared across various publications and websites around the world. Some of those publications I’m aware of are – in no particular order ; The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Belfast Telegraph, New York Times, International Business Times, BBC News, SKY News, Wales on Line, Irish Times, New York Daily News, Daily Express, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Buzzfeed, Bloomberg, MSN News, Mashable, Eco Blog, WVTM Alabama, Mail on Line, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Sun and ABC news.

A selection of how the pictures were used in print or online is below: Click the first pictures to open a gallery slideshow…

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

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

0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0009 0010

The REHEARSALS & PREPARATION

0011 0012 0013 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027 0028 0030 0031 0032 0033 0034 0035 0036 0037 0038 0039 0040

0029

The PERFORMANCE

0041 0042 0043 0044 0045 0046 0048 0049 0050 0051 0052 0053 0054 0055 0056 0057 0058 0059 0060 0061 0062 0063 0064

 

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

UKIP Annual Conference

On assignment for Getty Images recently I headed to Doncaster Racecourse to cover the UK Independence Party annual conference. After increasing their vote share following the May General Election campaign the UKIP conference this year focussed primarily on the campaign to leave the European Union ahead of the upcoming referendum on EU membership.

After two long, busy and very purple coloured days I’ve included some of what I shot, edited to black and white below….

00010002

0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027 0028 0029 0030 0031 0032 0033 0034 0035 0036 0037

0038 0039 0040 0041 0042 0043 0044 0045 0046 0047 0048 0049 0050 0051 0052 0053 0054 0055 0056 0057 0058 0059 0060 0061 0062 0063 0064 0065 0066 0067 0068 0069 0070 0071 0072 0073 0074 0075 0076 0077 0078 0079 0080 0081 0082 0083 0084 0085 0086 0087 0088 0089 0090

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.

Behind the Scenes – The NYMR

A look at the hard work that goes on behind the scenes with the dedicated volunteers, staff, firemen and drivers at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway who start each day at 5am at the engine sheds in Grosmont to ensure that all the steam locomotives used are fired up and ready to go and are in tip top condition and fully ready to carry passengers on this historic Yorkshire railway.

I went on assignment for Getty Images to look at some of the preparations that were taking place ahead of the Autumn Steam Gala that runs from tomorrow, Friday 25 September and continues over the weekend…

 

0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027 0028 0029 0030 0031 0032 0033 0034 0035 0036 0037 0038 0039 0040 0041 0042 0043 0044 0045 0046

 

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.