Forward Assist Photo & Writing Project

Geoffrey Bennison (88)

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“When the war broke out I was working as a farmer. I wanted to join the RAF but farming was a reserved occupation so I left and got a job as a porter in Thornaby Hospital. That way I could enlist.

I was a driver in the army and stationed in Egypt for two years. I would often drive from Egypt to Palestine. You had to be careful not to get sunburnt – that was a self-inflicted wound and you’d be put on report. My rank was Leading aircraftman (LAC) and I was also stationed at Thornaby Aerodrome and Bicester Airfield.

I once went on a training flight and the pilot allowed me to take the controls for a while even though I’d never been trained to fly a plane. I also got to drop a bomb and I hit the target.

I stayed on after the war for a further 6 years.”

Joyce Millett (90)

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“I was in the Land Army. We worked out in the fields. It was hard work. We had to feed you lot!

I went to school around Grove Hill. My husband was in the RAF.”

Dennis Metcallfe (89)

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“When I was about five years old I remember going round the streets with the other kids looking for bits of shrapnel to collect. It was like finding treasure, and I’d keep it till it went rusty. We’d explore in places we weren’t supposed to go. I found shells and even part of a rocket once.

After the war I did my National Service in the Army and went to Italy and Egypt. It taught me to look after myself and keep my uniform smart. I thought it was smashing! The food was good but I couldn’t afford to drink because I would send most of my wages home to my mother.”

Alice Irving (94)

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“I served in London as an ambulance driver and remember all the bombing night and day. It was very scary. I treated lots of children, it was such a sad time.”

Vera Sparks (93)

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“I served in the Women’s Auxiliary Force between 1942 and 1946. It was a big thing to serve your country in those days and I wanted to do my thing. I was a cook at Thornaby Aerodrome. I enjoyed being with the lads, serving them their food. I would wave off the young airmen as they left in their aeroplanes, never knowing if they’d return again.

I was also stationed in Alness, Invergordon for about three years. The people were very sociable. The villagers used to come out and wave to us, I felt very safe there. I remember in August 1942 we had a very special visitor: Prince George, the Duke of Kent. We waved him off but were shocked to hear his plane had crashed further north at Caithness.

After the war I went back home to look after my father, but I missed the company.”

Marjorie Roberts (90)

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“My Dad served with the Bantam Regiment during World War 1. He was injured during the Battle of the Somme, losing a leg and sent home for medical care.

During World War Two I served in the Women’s Land Army. Once I was married I followed my husband Theo to his various postings, including Turkey. My Mam was a widow and I wouldn’t leave her on her own so she came with us wherever we went. She didn’t mind travelling as long as we went with her.

When I gave birth to our son Jeff, Theo came home to see his new-born. He was put on a charge of desertion because he hadn’t got permission to leave the base.”

Jimmy (90)  and Margaret Kirk (90)

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“Just after the war I was in an Able Seaman in the Navy. I went to Jamaica, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Gibraltar and served on the HMS Paladin. They were happy days. We’d get a small cup of rum every day, which we called sippers or grog.”

“I was a volunteer Police woman in lodgings in Bedale.”

Joan Forman (94)

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“I was underage when I joined up. I was supposed to be 18 years old but they just turned a blind eye. I joined up at the start of the war and stayed in service for four and a half years – the whole tootie!

I was in the Women’s Auxiliary Force and I served with Bomber Command at Bicester Airfield doing accounts. The lads there bet me five shillings to jump from the parachute trainer platform. I did it more than once.”

From the opening today:

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

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.