Life’s a Bench

So I’ve been dipping in and out of a project recently that began, quite without intention, a number of years ago where I document the plaques left in memorial to loved ones on benches that I happened to pass as I was out and about on various other jobs or projects. What started out as a couple of quick shots quickly grew until I now have quite a large collection of pictures from towns all along the North Yorkshire coast – Whitby, Scarborough, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Marske, Robin Hood’s Bay and Port Mulgrave to name a few.

Some are witty and some are simple while others are more complex but each one shows that at some point someone, somewhere cared enough to go to the trouble of making a lasting reminder of someone they knew.

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2017

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

Holocaust Memorial Day

A service took place today at St Barnabas Church in Middlesbrough to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The hour-long service brought together people from the local community and from all backgrounds and religious beliefs to mark the 70-year anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and also to remember the millions that were killed by the Nazi’s in all of the camps across Europe during World War Two.

One of the other themes of this and other events throughout the country was also to acknowledge and highlight the other genocides that have taken place such as those in Srebrenica in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and Cambodia.

 

You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces

Extract from…SHEMA by Primo Leiv

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

The Bombardment

Memorial events have been held today in Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough to commemorate a naval bombardment of the towns 100 hundred years ago, by German warships during World War One.

Of the three towns Hartlepool was the most affected by the shelling with over 1,100 shells falling on the community during a frantic forty minute period that saw men, women, children and military personnel killed. Dozens of buildings were destroyed or damaged and many of those hit are still scarred by pieces of shrapnel embedded in the walls. The Headland area of the town which was home to the Heugh gun battery, suffered some of the worst damage with Moor Terrace, Victoria Place and Cliff Terrace being particularly badly hit.

The Headland’s Heugh Gun Battery returned fire in what was the only battle to be fought on British soil during World War One, and one of the Battery’s soldiers, Theo Jones of the Durham Light Infantry, became the first British soldier to be killed by enemy action on home soil since the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

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Flight Lieutenant Anthony Moy stands at sunrise next to a gun (not of the WW1 era) on Hartlepool Headland

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Members of the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry Commemoration Society stand as honour guard during the service…

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IFXP0005David Little from the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry Commemoration Society

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Local schoolchildren released balloons into the air as the names of those killed during the bombardment were read out

IFXT0046Veterans stand at sunrise during the morning service

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Representatives of military and civilian services laid wreaths

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The window of a nearby house has a poignant poster in the window remembering

those who were killed in that house 100 years ago

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Veterans stand during the service in Hartlepool

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Members of the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry Commemoration Society prepare to place a ‘time-capsule’ into the ground

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Crosses of Remembrance

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A woman looks on during the service

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Schoolchildren from St Aidan’s Primary School plant 130 ceramic poppies – some of the ones used at the recent Tower of London memorial – in

memory of the 130 people who were killed during the bombardment

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A standard bearer from the Royal British Legion

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Buglers from the Royal Marines played the Last Post before a minute’s silence was held

 

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth. No usage without arrangement.

Middlesbrough remembers…

A Remembrance Sunday ceremony held at the cenotaph in Middlesbrough in Cleveland earlier today saw veterans, serving soldiers and Army cadets join hundreds more members of the public to show their respects. Following the ceremony the troops marched along Linthorpe Road which was lined on both sides by the public.

Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November which is Armistice Day which marks the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. This year also marks the centenary of Britain’s entry into World War One.

Remembrance Sunday is held to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

 

 

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Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough

Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough Remembrance Sunday ceremony  in Middlesbrough

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

Jim Maidens Memorial Fishing Competition

The annual Jim Maidens memorial beach fishing competition took place on Sunday evening in Saltburn by the Sea in Cleveland.
The competition is held each year to mark the death of the Saltburn plumber and keen fisherman Jim Maidens, who died in 1998 when he was killed after being swept overboard from his boat ‘Corina’ close to the beach at Saltburn.

Around 70 fishermen and women attended the event which helps to rise money for the RNLI and the Great North Air Ambulance

Here’s a few pictures from yesterday…

 

Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition Memorial beach fishing competition

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 via this link…..

HERE

All images remain copyright Ian Forsyth. No usage without agreement.

The light’s go out in Yarm

To commemorate and remember the start of World War One on the 4th August, 1914 and as part of tributes and events taking place around the country the people of Yarm near Stockton came together last night to hold a service to show their respects to amongst the many thousands of others the 91 men from the town who died during the war. Held as part of the countrywide event organised by the group ‘1418now’ called Lights Out .

Ninety one candles, representing each of the men from Yarm who died during the Great War were lit and placed in specially made glass poppies. As the names of those men were read out to the gathered crowds each candle was extinguished until only one remained and at the stroke of eleven – the time that Britain entered into war with Germany – the final candle was blown out….

 

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To see more of my work visit my website and blogs…… HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth /  Getty Images

Life’s a bench

This is one of those projects that starts in a very unassuming way as this one did a few years ago. Without any real planning or forethought it was a project that just seemed to take shape only after a number of pictures had been taken and the collection was added to. Let’s face it this project isn’t demanding in the sense of logistics or kit requirements or any of the other technical issues that may be a concern as a project is planned. It isn’t particularly demanding of my photographic skills either but in a way that’s kind of the point.

I like the simplicity. If I see a bench with a plaque attached to it as I pass by then I might shoot a picture of it.

The pictures speak for themselves. It is obvious in the pictures what the sentiment is but I like the idea of documenting the ways or more accurately the words, in which people have chosen to make these small gestures to remember someone they were close to and how they are tied in to a particular location or to an activity or to something that they enjoyed doing.

I’ve always had an interest in seeing really old black and white pictures – doesn’t matter that I might not know who they are or in what context the picture was taken – I just like the idea that a picture, for whatever reason was taken and that there is a story behind it – for someone. This is similar in a way. I have no idea who these people were, I don’t know anything about their lives or what they did but it is fascinating to think about or to imagine who they were, what kind of people they were and what they did and how they lived their lives?

So next time you take a seat on a bench someplace check behind you and see if anyone else used to sit there enjoying the same views that you are?

 

It also begs the question though…..What would YOU have written on your bench..?

 

Click on the first picture to view it larger then click on the picture to move to the next in the series….

 

 

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

Pictures copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without arrangement