Mynarski – The last op

One of the only two remaining Avro Lancaster bombers that are still flying today was on display and did a fly-past for gathered crowds at Durham Tees Valley airport today.

The famous World War Two aircraft, named ‘Mynarski’ is owned by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and is beginning a 2-week tour of the UK. The aircraft is named after Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski who flew from the airport during World War Two and which was then called RAF Middleton St George.

Pilot Officer Mynarski, a Canadian flying with the Canadian Royal Air Force was posthumously awarded a VC after giving his life while trying to save a colleague when their Lancaster bomber was shot down in June 1944. A short service was held next to the statue of Pilot Officer Mynarski.

This is his and the crews story….

 

In the aftermath of D-Day attacks on 12 June 1944, Pilot Officer Mynarski was aboard Lancaster bomber KB726,taking part in the crew’s 13th operation, a raid on northern France. They reached their target at midnight, Tuesday 13 June. After encountering flak over the coastline and briefly being “coned” by searchlights, the Lancaster was attacked by a Junkers Ju 88 enemy night fighter over Cambrai, France. Raked by cannon fire with major strikes on the port engines and centre fuselage, a hydraulic fire engulfed the bomber. Losing both port engines, the crew were ordered to bail out. As Mynarski approached the rear escape door, he saw through the inferno in the rear, that tail gunner Pilot Officer Pat Brophy was trapped in his turret. The tail turret had been jammed part way through its rotation to the escape position.

Without hesitation, Mynarski made his way through the flames to Brophy’s assistance. All his efforts were in vain, initially using a fire axe to try to pry open the doors before finally resorting to beating at the turret with his hands. With Mynarski’s flight suit and parachute on fire, Brophy eventually waved him away. Mynarski crawled back through the hydraulic fire, returned to the rear door where he paused and saluted. He then reputedly said “Good night, sir,” his familiar nightly sign-off to his friend, and jumped.

Except for Brophy, all crew members of the Lancaster managed to escape the burning bomber. Five left through the front escape hatch on the floor of the cockpit. When bomb aimer Jack Friday, tried to release the escape hatch cover in the aircraft’s nose, the rushing wind ripped it from his hands. The hatch cover caught him above his left eye and knocked him out. He fell into the open hatch and jammed it closed until Flight engineer Roy Vigars reached him to quickly clip on Friday’s parachute and toss him out the hatch while pulling the unconscious crewman’s rip cord. Only Mynarski managed to leave via the rear escape door.

Mynarski’s descent was rapid due to the burnt parachute and shroud lines, resulting in a heavy impact on landing. He landed alive though severely burned, with his clothes still on fire. French farmers who spotted the flaming bomber found him and took him to a German field hospital but he died shortly afterwards of severe burns. He was buried in a local cemetery. Brophy remained trapped in the bomber and remained with the bomber when it crashed in a farm field. As the bomber disintegrated, and began breaking apart, Brophy survived the crash and the subsequent detonation of the bomb load. Still lodged in his turret, the crash broke the turret open with him pitched out, striking a tree and being temporarily knocked out.

Four of the crew members: Brophy, navigator Robert Bodie, radio operator James Kelly and pilot de Breyne were hidden by the French and, except for Brophy, returned to England shortly after the crash. Vigars remained with the unconscious Friday and both were captured by the Germans, being interned until liberated by American troops. Brophy joined French Resistance fighters and, after joining a resistance unit to continue the fight on the ground behind enemy lines, returned to London in September 1944, where he learned of Mynarski’s death. It was not until 1945 when Brophy was reunited with the rest of the crew that the details of his final moments on the aircraft were revealed. He related the story of the valiant efforts made by Mynarski to save him.

Mynarski lies buried in Grave 20 of the CWGC plot in the Méharicourt Communal Cemetery, near Amiens, France.

 

Lancaster Bomber visits North of England

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Lancaster Bomber visits North of England

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Lancaster Bomber visits North of England

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

Images remain copyright Ian forsyth

Behind the Job – Middleham Gallops

So to continue something new that I’ve started recently here on ‘Room 2850‘ where I pick some of the stories I’ve covered and then explain a little bit about how I came to get a particular shot we head down to a beautiful part of the North Yorkshire countryside for a snowy start to the day back in March…

 

Middleham in Wensleydale in North Yorkshire has a long association with the training of top flight racehorses. Several top stables call it home and have based themselves there for many years. Ideally suited to take advantage of the surrounding countryside to exercise and train the horses it forms a perfect base from which to develop future champions. Come rain or shine or in this case snow the horses are ridden out through the town each morning and up onto the ‘Gallops’ to be put through their paces.

I visited the area in March to do a feature on one of the stables based there and was fortunate (…if you’re a photographer) to arrive early in the morning in the middle of a heavy snow storm to catch the start of the morning’s workout.

As I pulled into the town I got lucky, photographically speaking, and saw straight away some riders heading up towards me through the snow. Grabbing my camera from the seat next to me I quickly jumped out of the car and shot some pictures as they came through the town. Auto-focus can sometimes be easily confused especially when there are so many ‘things’ in the frame – snow flakes in this case! So I pre-focussed on the apex of the bend using the white line as a reference point and waited for the horses and riders to reach it before shooting a couple of frames.

Once they had passed me I headed up behind them to the gallops and spent a couple of hours taking pictures of these impressive animals exercising before visiting one of the stables.

The colour version of this picture ran in the Daily Express and was shot with a Nikon D3S at the long end of a 70 – 200mm f2.8 zoom lens. The ISO was set to 2200 and was taken using an aperture of f2.8 at 1/200th of a second shutter speed.

 

 You can see my blog post called ‘The Gallops‘ which contains many of my other pictures and background from the day……… HERE

 

 

Middleham Gallops

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

Behind the Job – Tour de France

So something new that I’m going to try and do here on ‘Room 2850‘ is to pick some of the stories I’ve covered and then explain a little bit about the back story of how I came to get the shot or shots. Maybe throw in a few technical details here and there on camera settings and all that kind of stuff and generally ramble on about what happened….in the main I’ll use a single picture from each job but to open this idea I’m going to include three pictures, each taken over the 3 days that I covered the Tour de France when it came to Yorkshire.

 

The Tour de France Grand Depart hit Yorkshire like a whirlwind! For weeks, months even, before the event small villages in remote areas of the Yorkshire countryside were buzzing with talk of the Tour.

Street decorations, signs, bunting and yellow bicycles were cropping up everywhere as the day of the Grand Depart from Harewood House near Leeds drew nearer. Impromptu campsites sprung up all over the place in fields, sports grounds and on random patches of grass – more about this later – and the excitement started to build even amongst those who weren’t keen cyclists. I was shooting the weekend for Getty Images and had been given a broad brief about the requirements but it’s always good to be prepared for a ‘plan B‘ in case things change and in this case that was a good thing!

I went to Harewood House the day before the start to cover the prep and build up of fans and spectators arriving to camp within the grounds of the stately home for the weekend but as the slow trickle of people arrived and the rain came down it became obvious that the pictures weren’t really coming. So knowing that the start – and the royals – was going to be covered by another Getty photographer I got the word to go and find ‘a typical Yorkshire village‘…..and thus, Plan B kicked in!

1 Harewood House 003.jpg Day 1 – A cyclist rides passed Harewood House the day before the Grand Depart

 

After a quick scan of the route the name that jumped out straight away was Ilkley. So I packed up my gear into my Land Rover and headed over there. With a huge amount of roads in the area being closed at different times for the race and with thousands of people in the area to watch it was always going to be hard to find somewhere to stop. I definitely didn’t want to park on some road or street that was to be part of the race the following day and subsequently find my car getting towed! So the search was on to find somewhere as close as possible to the main centre of the town.

Fortunately after sitting in a slow moving snake of traffic all the way to Ilkley I happened to glance out of my window and noticed two things. Firstly a fish and chip shop! This is always a good thing to see when you’re hungry and secondly a small sign next to it saying ‘Camp Site’ and an arrow pointing down some side street. I knew I was virtually in the centre of town so in the true spirit of adventure and because of the chip shop I made a turn to check it out…

On further investigation I found a sign saying ‘Camping’ with a mobile number written below it on a fence post on the edge of a small strip of grass outside a scout hut. So I called the number and spoke to a chap who said he would come along and see me. Ten minutes later I was parked up, paid up and ready to head back along to the fish and chip shop for some food!

 

The following morning was an early start to get some build-up shots as spectators prepared themselves along the route for when the Peleton passed through the town. It also offered a good opportunity to check out a few potential spots that might work for pictures before it became too busy to move through the crowds later. I wanted to try and get at least one wide shot, preferably from a higher viewpoint so I went in and spoke to the manager of The Crescent Inn which is situated right in the centre of the town. They were really helpful and made space in one of the top floor rooms that was used as a storage room for bedding, sheets and towels.

After working the crowds for the hours leading up to the time when the Peleton was due to arrive I headed into the Crescent Inn and went and waited in the room. As the time drew closer the crowds became more and more enthusiastic and cheered pretty much anything and everything that passed them by on the road. Police motorcyclists, official cars, delivery trucks or any other vehicles were cheered as they passed but anyone who rode past on a bicycle – especially the young kids – with cheered with as much enthusiasm as if the lead riders themselves were passing by.

As the time for the riders to pass approached the pre-race caravan passed by throwing sweets and assorted merchandise out into the crowds. Loud music blared out from huge speakers wired onto the flat bed trucks that carried the young women who through out the ‘goodies’. The loudest cheer of the day went out as the ‘Yorkshire Tea’ truck passed by. At this point, apart from craving a cup of tea I’m taking a few pictures from the window on my longer lens. Trying to isolate some of the crowds and get some of the atmosphere. Once it was obvious that the caravan had passed and seeing the swarm of TV helicopters start to come overhead it was time to change to a wider lens.

Leaning out as far as I could, standing on tip toe with a high wall of sheets and blankets leaning precariously against me and threatening to fall at any minute I got ready for the Peleton. The light was changing all the time with bright sun one minute then clouds passed by and the light levels dropped so I hoped for at least some good light on the riders but not too much to make too many shadows from the buildings.

I had manually pre-focussed on a spot on the road. This wasn’t really the time for the auto-focus on the Nikon D3s I was using to decide to hunt around and risk missing the pictures and I was on the widest lens I had – a 28mm f2.8 – to try and get as much in the picture as I could. I would have preferred to have gone wider though if I could have. I was shooting at 1/800th of a second at f8 and was at 800 ISO.

You knew they were close because a collective cheer went up further along the road and built as they got closer. A wall of noise carrying the riders through. Then as they approached I picked my moment and began to shoot a few frames.

Thirty seconds later it was all over. The Peleton had passed and ridden through to the next town. Time to head back to my truck as quickly as possible to begin editing and then file the pictures back to the desk.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 20.13.17My spot – Top floor, fourth window from the left in the Crescent Inn

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Day 2 – The Peleton passes through Ilkley in Yorkshire on Stage 1 of the Tour de France

 

After waiting for the roads to re-open in Ilkley I then headed off to another impromptu campsite/field that I had found a couple of days earlier and pre-booked. One of the few that wasn’t full and which was near (ish) to the big hill climb on stage 2 at Holme Moss. Driving for just over an hour to the site I was making good time until the road I needed to use to reach the site was closed by police. The stage wasn’t even due to pass there until the next day but already the road had been closed. No amount of sweet talk by me could persuade them to let me through so a slightly altered route was needed to make my way to the campsite/field.

I won’t bore everyone with all the details of the journey but suffice to say that a good Ordnance Survey map of the area, a 4×4 vehicle and a very broad interpretation of trespass laws allowed me to find my way onto a road that would take me to the campsite/field I was looking for and soon enough I was parked up with a beer or three ready to go.

The thing with large events similar to these is that you’re kind of working all the time. You need some time to ‘admin’ yourself and your gear of course but when whatever is happening doesn’t occur very often then you need to shoot as much of what’s going on as possible. So even though I was parked up and ready for the next day I had to get some shots of the campsite and of those who had made this random field in the middle of Yorkshire their home for the night. So I wandered through the site for a bit shooting a few pictures and chatting to some of the people. There was a good vibe, the wine and beer flowed, kids ran around playing on the field and everyone was in a good mood in anticipation for the following day. I headed back to the truck, edited and filed the pictures in…I was able to get a good enough signal on my mifi to get on the t’internet which had been a concern – and then sorted my gear out for the next day.

 

Bulmers

Essential pre-tour administration sorted

I said earlier that the campsite/field was close(ish) to the hill at Holme Moss. Now close is all relative I suppose as it turned out to be about an hour and a half steady walk from the campsite/field to the hill. An hour and a half that meant quite literally that those heading to the hill would have to walk up hill and down dale to get there. So this presented a few logistical issues I had to consider. I had to carry my laptop, Mifi and associated ‘stuff’ that I would need to file my pictures. I didn’t know if I would get a signal from the hill but I had to try. It wasn’t like I could nip back to my truck to send them and I had to carry enough camera gear to ensure I could cover what I hoped to get. My only concern was battery power for the laptop!

So the following morning it was an early start and a leisurely walk to the hill. As I went I shot a few pictures of those other happy campers making the walk through what has to be said was a very lovely part of the world. The farmer who owned the field had very kindly assisted those who visited his campsite/field by laying a route marked every few meters with pink ribbons tied to markers or fence posts. All the way from the site to the hill which was a very considerate thing to do. I did however hear a few people commenting on the hill later on how they were going to get back after seeing a lot of people carrying small pieces of wire with pink ribbons attached to them sticking out of their rucksacks!

So I had arrived on Holme Moss hill. The path had brought me out near to the ‘S’ bends about half way up. Thankfully though there were a couple of burger vans parked here so it offered a good opportunity to not only recover from the walk in but prepare myself for what would be a busy and physically demanding morning making my way up and down the hill several times to get as many pictures of the day as I could in the build up to the Peleton passing through. I thought the best way to prepare for this was to have a coffee, a bacon bap and a fag and so, suitably prepared in the healthiest of ways off I went to join the throng on the hill and shoot a few pictures…

I’ve put a link to my original blog post at the bottom of this post where further pictures can be seen but the picture below is one that I like. I shot a few of this chap and his dog who were just chilling on the hill and watching the chaos below them as the crowds built. He lived in Holmfirth, a village at the bottom of the hill and had walked up here for the day. I don’t think he was a huge cycling fan to be honest but like many people he was just enjoying the occasion and every so often his mobile would ring and he would go into discussion with someone. He told me that his wife and daughter were in 2 separate locations on the approach to the hill and were sending him regular updates on the current location of the Peleton. He gave me the nod when they were 10 minutes away. Can’t beat local knowledge!

Now I had already filed some pictures in by this point from the hill. Surprisingly I was able to get a signal and the pictures zapped away at a reassuring rate and I felt a sense of relief that every photographer who has to file pictures in will know when they have a picture desk waiting for your stuff. So as the Peleton came and went I shot away and was reasonably happy that things were going to be ok to get the pictures out. The second feeling I then had was the frustration and annoyance that once again every photographer who has to file pictures will know when you then, for no logical reason can not get a signal for love nor money despite being in virtually the same place as earlier! The huge amount of technical knowledge I have (not) guessed wildly that the volume of traffic passing through the networks from all the crowds trying to tweet and update their Facebook status with random selfy’s may have been the culprit but nonetheless my pictures were going nowhere fast and I wandered around the hill sides of Yorkshire with my laptop held up above my head trying desperately to get something, anything that looked like a hint of a signal.

Failing miserably and tired of looking like a dickhead for the day (…”Daddy what’s that man doing..?”. “I don’t know son, come over here next to me...”) and noticing that I had 3% of battery life remaining on my laptop I decided there was only one thing to do. Head back to my truck. So it was time to forget all this leisurely bimble through the woods civvie stuff and for the ‘army head‘ to come back out and ‘tab‘ back as quickly as possible to my Land Rover….to an internet signal…..and to a power supply and my kettle. Now in military speak to ‘tab’ is basically to walk really, really quickly so after looking like a demented hill walker to the crowds ambling back through the countryside I reduced the walk to 45 minutes (not too bad for an old bloke) and arrived back and quickly began the process of turning the pictures around.

 

5 - Waiting 003.jpgDay 3 – A man from nearby Holmfirth sits with his dog watching the crowds build as the race approaches Holme Moss on Stage 2

 

So after all this adventure did the pictures make anywhere? Which is pretty much the point of it all really…well fortunately I had a few good shows in print and on-line and they were picked up by publications and websites in a number of places around the world such as The GuardianCBS News , The Telegraph Al Jazeera AmericaThe Metro and ESPN sport amongst a few others and it’s always good to see your work being used so I was happy with the result.

The three days spent eating, living, sleeping, editing and filing and using the truck as a base from which to work had come to an end and it was time to head off. All being said the truck did really well as I expected and I don’t have any real issues in preparation for the next time I use it like this although I do plan to fit a second ‘leisure’ battery to help with charging requirements…oh and to pack more Bulmers…obviously!

 

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The Truck! This is the campsite I stopped at on the third night after leaving Ilkley to cover Stage 2 at Holme Moss

FilingKettle on and ready to start editing and filing pictures back to the desk

downloadSleeping in the back of the truck

 

 

 You can see my blog post called ‘The Yorkshire Effect‘ which contains many of my other pictures from my three days of covering the Tour…… HERE

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

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.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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North Yorkshire Moors Railway

 

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

Danby Agricultural Show

Tucked away in the beautiful Esk Valley in North Yorkshire the 154th Danby Agricultural Show took place today. The show which was founded in 1848 is the oldest agricultural show in the area and offers demonstrations of sheep dog trials, judging of a variety of different animals such as cattle, sheep, ferrets, horses and rabbits along with many different classes of horticulture and dairy.

 

Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural Show Danby Agricultural ShowDanby Agricultural Show

Danby Agricultural Show

 

 

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / London News Pictures

 

 

 

Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show

Close to Whitby and tucked away in the North York Moors national park is the small village of Egton Bridge. Each year on the first Tuesday in August the village holds the annual Gooseberry Show.

Competitive gooseberry events used to be very popular until the start of the First World War with around 170 shows held in the north of England. Egton Bridge remains one of only two events of this type still held in the country – the other event is held in Cheshire but unlike Egton it is a closed event and only accepts entries from members whereas Egton is an open event – It  was established in 1800 and upholds a tradition of finding the heaviest berry. The gardeners enter their berries into four categories based on the colour of the berries – red, yellow, green and white and the variety of each type is noted. Names such as ‘Woodpecker‘, ‘Lord Derby‘, ‘Princess Royal‘ and ‘ Just Betty‘ are just some of the colourful names of the varieties.

The judging of the berries is a traditional affair. Each entry is carried carefully by the grower into the judging room. Berries are carried in using a variety of means to protect their precious crop. Delicately placed in egg trays lined with cotton wool and some even arrive carried in specially made wooden boxes. After a year of nurturing to bring the best out of the berries every precaution is taken to protect them.

The berries are then placed on the table where two judges examine and classify the berry. They are then handed across the table to two weigh men who have the responsibility of weighing the berries using old ‘Avery’ apothecary scales that were bought by the society in 1937. These scales are accurate enough to measure the weight of a feather! The weights are measured using the Avoirdupois system of measuring using ‘Drams‘ and ‘Grains‘ which break down to 27.34 grains to one dram, sixteen Drams is equal to one ounce and sixteen ounces to the pound.

The winning berries within each category are basically the heaviest berries. The condition of the berry is not that important as long as it doesn’t suffer from any splits in the skin or heavy bruising. Each category has a winner and there is an overall ‘Champion Berry’ which this year was a berry grown by Graham Watson weighing in at 30 drams and 06 grains. All the berries are then taken through to the main hall and placed on plates with each category winner taking pride of place on a specially made spindle that raises the winner up over the rest of the berries.

So if you fancy your chances and happen to have a gooseberry bush growing wildly at the bottom of your garden then you could do worse than head along to the Egton show next year and take your chances and meet with the friendly bunch down at the show. If you want further information on the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Society then follow the link….. here

 

Here’s a few interesting facts about gooseberries that you might not know:

 

  • Their Latin name is Ribes uva-crispa
  • Bushes can fruit for up to 20 years
  • The Gooseberry is crossed with the Blackcurrant to make a Justaberry
  • If a husband and wife compete and enter the competition then they must grow them in separate pens
  • An average portion contains about a quarter of the daily Vitamin C requirement
  • The phrase ‘playing gooseberry’ comes from the days when the fruit was a euphemism for the devil.
  • One ancient belief tells of how fairies used to take shelter in the prickly bushes. This is how they are also known as ‘Fayberries’
  • The berries can cope with temperatures as low as -35C / -31F

 

..so now you know.

 

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth /  Getty Images

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

Pickering Traction Engine Rally

Today saw the start of the 62nd Pickering Traction Engine Rally in North Yorkshire where homage is paid to the early industrial heritage of Great Britain and to a country who’s strength was built on steam power. The rally features one of the largest lines of showman’s engines and fairground organs seen in the north of England. Hundreds of vintage and classic cars, commercial vehicles, motor cycles, steam ploughing and other attractions will entertain the thousands of people who are expected to visit Pickering over the 4-day long event.

 

Pickering Traction Engine Rally

 

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Pickering Traction Engine Rally

 

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without permission

Ryedale Agricultural Show

The 148th Ryedale agricultural show took place in North Yorkshire today. The show was established in 1855 and is a traditional agricultural show renowned for its high standards of entries into the numerous livestock and animal categories and other events…

Ryedale Agricultural Show

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To see more of my work visit my websites and blogs…..

HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without permission

Sunderland International Air Show

Thousands of spectators gather on the seafront of Roker and Seaburn for the 26th Sunderland International Airshow. The annual event is the world’s biggest free airshow and features stunning aerial displays by a variety of civilian and military aircraft including the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth/ London News Pictures

No usage without permission

Freedom for Palestine

Around 1500 people marched through the centre of Middlesbrough today in a peaceful demonstration to show their support for Palestinians living in Gaza. People from all communities, religions and backgrounds attended the march through the town showing solidarity for the people of Gaza and calling for an end to the military action being conducted by Israel.

 

Teesside Solidarity Rally through Middlesbrough

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / London News Pictures

No usage without permission

Teesside Palestine solidarity campaign

Members of the Teesside Palestine solidarity campaign group gathered in the centre of Middlesbrough town centre earlier this evening to mount a peaceful demonstration to voice their opposition to the current Israeli actions in Gaza.

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / London News Pictures

No usage without permission

United in grief

Flowers, cards and tributes – including flowers from the club left on their seats in the stands – are brought to St James’s Park, home of Newcastle United Football Club in honour of John Alder and Liam Sweeney. The two lifelong and dedicated Newcastle fans died along with 296 others in the MH17 Malaysian flight tragedy in the Ukraine.

Cards and football shirts have been brought from all over the country by fans from rival teams along with messages from around the world as they all join together, united in grief and shock to offer their condolences and messages of support to the families.

 

 

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Andrew Robson, son of Newcastle legend Sir Bobby Robson lays flowers and pays his respects as he looks over the sea of shirts and flowers at St James’s Park

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You can see more of my work on my website and blogs via the link… HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without permission

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

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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

Public sector strike action

A public sector worker stands on a picket line during a strike outside the Vancouver House building in Middlesbrough town centre.

The strike is part of a country wide action that will see an expected 1.5 million workers including teachers, firefighters and civil servant members of public sector unions such as Unison, Unite, GMB, PCS, FBU and NUT take part in the strike over pay, pensions and working conditions.

 

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

Great Yorkshire Show 2014

Yesterday was the first day of the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show. The show is England’s premier agricultural event and is based on the 250-acre Great Yorkshire Showground near Harrogate. The Main Ring is the hub of the Show providing a setting for international show jumping and a world class cattle parade. The showground is filled with animals, country demonstrations, have-a-go activities and rural crafts with thousands of visitors expected to visit the show that runs over three days.

During the first day the Countess of Wessex visited the show and met livestock owners and held a Sea Eagle as she visited a number of the demonstrations.

The Great Yorkshire Show first came about in October 1837 when a group of leading agriculturalists, led by the third Earl Spencer, met at the Black Swan Hotel in Coney Street, York to discuss the future of the farming industry.

From this meeting a decision was made to form an organisation – the Yorkshire Agricultural Society – whose aims were to improve and develop agriculture and to hold an annual agricultural show of excellence. The Great Yorkshire Show remains the leading agricultural show in the country.

 

First day of the Great Yorkshire Show

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / London News Pictures

The Yorkshire effect

The helicopters buzzing around overhead indicated that it was getting closer. That finally and after many hours the waiting was almost over.

The relentless rise of cheering voices, the sound of whistles blowing and of cow bells being rung let everyone knew that it was almost upon them.

The cars and motorbikes sped past. Police motor cycle riders high-fived the crowds lining the streets. The sound of endless car horns left your head buzzing. Public address systems mounted on official looking cars shouted out instructions. Something in French that not many could really understand. Something about not standing too close. Nobody could really hear it anyway. Nobody seemed to care.

Then it was upon them. Speeding past in a blur of colours. Pumping legs and a bobbing sea of cycling helmets. An unfamiliar crescendo of noise as nearly 200 hundred riders roared past, their pedals turning fast. A rush of air washed over those standing close and the cheering reached a new, louder peak.

 

The Tour de France Peloton had arrived. In fact no, let me add to that. The Tour de France Peloton had arrived in Yorkshire and the people of Yorkshire were just a bit excited about that.

For the first time in the 111-year history of the race three of the stages were to be held in the UK. The 190km Stage 1 ran from Leeds to Harrogate. Stage 2, the longest of the three at 201km went from York to Sheffield and Stage 3 started in Cambridge and ended 155km later in London.

But over the first two days it was the people of Yorkshire who really took hold of this race and made it their own. The months of planning, the endless organising and logistical arrangements along every stretch of the route was all geared towards those 15 or 20 seconds when the Peloton raced past.

It is estimated that 2.5 million people lined the roads for the first two stages of the tour! That amounts to half the population of Yorkshire!

Bunting was strung out over the streets. The colours of the race – from the race jerseys – was the theme. White, green, yellow and white with red polka dots was everywhere. On cars, in windows, painted on sheep, on flags, drawn on the side of hills, hanging from lamp posts, painted onto people…it covered everything.

Wherever you went in Yorkshire there seemed to be a push bike of some description either propped up against or hanging from something and every single one of them was sprayed yellow. If you’ve always had an ambition to start a yellow bike re-cycling business then I would suggest now is the time.

 

The Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme, described Yorkshire’s Grand Depart as the “grandest” in the history of the race. Asked whether Le Tour will return to the UK, Mr Prudhomme said: “Yes. The question is not if, but when, although I don’t have the answer for the second part.

“Thank you. It was unbelievable. I can see the Tour in their hearts, and in their eyes. For that, I say thank you to everyone in Yorkshire who has made this Grand Depart so very, very special.”

 

The five-time Tour victor Bernard Hinault said that it was the first time in four decades he had seen such crowds.

 

Whether you’re ‘into‘ your cycling or not anyone who watched this event from the streets or from the hills of Yorkshire couldn’t help but feel caught up in the buzz that surrounded it. The build up to the Peloton arriving was a huge part of the event. The participation of the crowd. A young boy of around 5 or 6 cycling through the main street of Ilkley was cheered and encouraged as loudly as the race leader by onlookers. The 4-seater quad cycle making its way slowly up the steep hill of Holme Moss was treated to the shouts, the whistles and the ringing cow bells that all potential ‘King of the Hill’ riders get. Anyone and everyone on a bike was cheered along as a prelude to the main race passing by.

 

As for me? Well I was living, sleeping and eating out of my Land Rover for the three days I covered the event for Getty Images . I spent the Friday looking at the build up at Harewood House near Leeds prior to the start the following day. A wet and grey day that lacked a little of the colour that was needed to help lift the occasion.

On Saturday as the sun shone and the weather improved I covered the race and the crowds in Ilkley during Stage 1 before finally making my way further south to cover the Holme Moss climb on Stage 2 on the Sunday.

 

I’ve put a few of my pictures below and have broken them down in to the various parts that I covered. Enjoy.

 

Harewood House – The day before the ‘Grand Depart’…..

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Ilkley sees the Peloton arrive on stage 1…..

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One of the many impromptu campsites that sprung up to cater for spectators along the route – this one was just over an hours walk to the Holme Moss hill climb…..

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From the surrounding campsites spectators made the long walk in to get to the hill…..

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…and then they waited. Until the pre-race caravan past by to entertain the crowds before the Peloton made its way up Holme Moss hill…

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Riders

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Some of the photographs I saw coming out from other photographers during these stages were pretty amazing – the sort of pictures where you say to yourself “Shit! I wish I’d thought of that or done that!” But you can’t be everywhere and you can only keep working hard to get into a position that might work and do the best you can throughout the job and to be honest I’m reasonably pleased with the pictures I shot – but I’m never fully happy! No photographer ever is.

But nonetheless many of the pictures I shot have started to appear all over the place as a result. Too many links to put here and bore everyone with but I’ve seen some of the pictures used as far afield as St Louis in America to Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald.

On various websites forming part of the global coverage that this race in Yorkshire has received from the likes of CBS News, Al Jazeera, BBC, The Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, The Metro, Eurosport and so it goes on. As a photographer it’s always good to see your work out there, of course it is, but also to be part of the coverage of an event of this magnitude is a very rewarding experience even for a non-cyclist like myself.

 

 

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

    Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No reproduction or usage without permission

Degrees of separation

Middlesbrough town centre hosted two demonstrations yesterday. The first was a counter demonstration held to celebrate diversity on Teesside and also to show opposition against an English Defence League demonstration that had been planned for later the same day…

 

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TECH STUFF: All pictures were shot with 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 and turned into Black and White using Lightroom 5.5 and Photoshop.

 

See more of my work on my website and the links to my blogs here

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

Castlerigg

Visitors to the ancient stone circle of Castlerigg near Keswick in Cumbria celebrated the Summer Solstice and gathered at the stones to party through the night until the sun rose on the morning of the longest day…

 

 

Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle Summer solstice at Castlerigg Stone Circle

 TECH STUFF: Pictures were shot with 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 5.5 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 here

Pictures copyright Ian Forsyth/ London News Pictures

Redcar Land-Sailing

The final round of the British land-sailing championships ran this weekend on the flat sands of Coatham beach in Redcar. The event brought together some of the United Kingdom’s best land sailors to take part in the competition.

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See more of my work here…….

Ian Forsyth photography