Grassroots – The Pink Bus

Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister and Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South visited the Asda store in Thornaby on Tees earlier today on the next leg of their ‘Woman to Woman’ tour. During their visit they met with shoppers and spoke with staff members in the store before heading to Redcar to continue campaigning. The Pink Bus is the very visible face of the ‘Woman to Woman’ campaign and comes ahead of the General Election in May. The idea of this tour was developed by the Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman as a way of connecting the party with women who did not vote in the last General Election.

 

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Labour supporter, Di Hewitt stands with balloons as she waits for the arrival of the Pink Bus in ThornabyIFXP0019Emma Reynolds (R), Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister and Louise Baldock (L), Labour’s candidate for Stockton South

climb out of the ‘Pink Bus’ as it arrives at the Asda store in Thornaby

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Emma Reynolds (centre), Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister is pictured with Louise Baldock (L), Labour’s candidate for Stockton South and Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for Durham and Shadow Communities Minister for Planning in the Asda store in Thornaby

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Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister chats with a shopper

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Emma Reynolds (R), Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister is pictured with Louise Baldock (L), Labour’s candidate for Stockton South

during a visit to the Asda store in Thornaby

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Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister IFXT0020

Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister chats to staff members at the Asda store in ThornabyIFXT0030

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 Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South arrives at the Asda store in Thornaby L1001480

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Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister chats to staff members at the Asda store in Thornaby L1001495

Emma Reynolds (L), Labour’s Shadow Communities Minister and Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South

chat to a shopper at the Asda store in Thornaby

IFXP0101Labour’s ‘Pink Bus’ arrives outside the campaign office of Anna Turley in Redcar during the ‘Woman to Woman’ tour

IFXP0107The ‘Pink Bus’ drives along the sea front at Redcar

IFXT0044The ‘Pink Bus’ is parked on a slipway near to the vertical pier in Redcar

#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Redcar 2

Grassroots – Coatham

Grassroots – Redcar

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Medal parade in Richmond

Soldiers from K (Hondeghem) Battery 5th Regiment Royal Artillery paraded through the grounds of Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire today during a ceremony to present them with Afghanistan operational medals. The Battery held the parade to mark the end of the Regiment’s period of operations in Afghanistan and their deployment on Herrick 20.

It was the final Herrick medal parade from Regiment’s that are based in Catterick Garrison. Colonel Mike Kelly was the Inspecting Officer on the day and the musical accompaniment came from the Royal Armoured Corps band.

 

5th Regiment medal parade

5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade

5th Regiment medal parade

5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade 5th Regiment medal parade5th Regiment medal parade

 

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Circus of Horrors – The Night of the Zombie

On Friday I went along to shoot some pictures on assignment for Getty Images at the Town Hall in Middlesbrough. I was covering a performance by a bizarre circus act called the Circus of Horrors. I had arranged with the performers to go along a few hours before the main event began to shoot some ‘behind the scenes’ pictures as they got prepared, did their make-up and got ready before going on stage to perform.

After tying in with the venue organisers I met some of the guys and started working. Quietly documenting them as they relaxed and prepared themselves for that nights show.

The Circus of Horrors caught the attention of the country when the performers made it into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent recently and following this they then had a series of dates in London’s West End and were the first circus to appear in a West End theatre for a century.

The latest performance is called – ‘The Night of the Zombie’ –  Set in 2020 the show depicts a decrepit and corpse ridden London that is plagued by Zombies. It is a city that is ruled by the undead and the show climaxes in an awesome flaming apocalypse.

The story twists and turns with grisly murders and sensational shocks that are interwoven with some amazing and bizarre circus acts. Sword swallowers, knife throwers, daredevil balancing acts, astounding aerialists, a demon dwarf who does some pretty extreme stuff, a Guinness World Record holding ‘hairculian’ hair hanging woman, the Sinister Sisters and gyrating, fire limboing acrobats all entertained the crowd to the musical accompaniment of ‘The Interceptors from Hell’, a 4-piece rock band who perform throughout the show.

It’s a great show and one thing you don’t often see when you see these performances is just how much hard work goes into setting everything up before the curtain goes up. All the kit and equipment, the props, lighting, sound, instruments and the specialised equipment that they use all has to be unloaded from trucks, set-up and checked ahead of the show and then of course it all has to come down again and be packed away before heading off to the next venue. It’s a relentless routine that takes some serious graft.

So if you get the chance to go along to one of their many venues and see them then I would recommend it. Although it’s kind of an adult themed show so maybe leave the kids at home for this one…..but be quick! As they only have a couple of weeks left on the road from what has been a six month tour. Details of remaining gigs are on their website that you can get to through the link that follows.

So take a look below at some of my work from… The Circus of Horrors

‘BACK-STAGE’

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‘THE SHOW’

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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

All rights reserved

Paddy’s Hole

A misty first light over South Gare on Teesside this morning…

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without arrangement

Out and about – Whitby

So this weekend has pretty much been a ‘Whitby Weekend‘!

With a couple of stories that I wanted to look at, one yesterday and the other today it also gave me the chance to go out for a wander around the town with a completely free and open brief to go and shoot whatever I wanted without having to concentrate on the ‘story’. So with my Leica M9* in hand and fitted with an f2 50mm Summicron I headed out and about to shoot a few.

The Saturday job was to try and get a big picture of the steam locomotive K4 – No 61994 ‘The Great Marquess’ from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as it steamed out of Whitby station on route through the Esk Valley to Battersby. I was hoping for a bit of blue sky and sunshine to help lift the picture and make it more appealing to the papers but unfortunately it was a bit cloudy and overcast and was lacking a little but nonetheless I shot down on the train from the main bridge in Whitby that crosses the A171 and got a couple of frames. I’ve turned them black and white here and they can be seen below.

The Sunday job was to get pictures of the RAF Search and Rescue Sea King helicopter call-sign ‘Rescue 128‘ from RAF Leconfield. The aircraft offers invaluable help to those in need and often flies in support for the volunteers from the Coastguard, RNLI or the Mountain Rescue teams. It was due to do a fly past over Whitby before landing at West Cliff on the final flight before it is replaced.

Members of the public then had the opportunity to meet crew members and climb on-board the aircraft.

So with these two jobs as the main effort I headed down really early on each day. The early start was firstly to try and catch any nice light that appeared, although the forecast wasn’t great but it did work nicely a couple of times albeit briefly and then secondly I wanted to beat the crowds that were soon to appear. Whitby can get really busy!

I often visit different towns or places around the north east area to shoot some pictures. Even though I shoot news and feature pictures for my freelance work I find it relaxing and almost therapeutic to go for a wander and simply shoot what I see without any other pressures. It de-stresses and relaxes me even though I’m concentrating all the time and there’s always a picture to be had if you look hard enough.

 

So why not give it a go. Travel light and keep it simple and you’re photography will improve. I guarantee it.

Below are a few from over this weekend…

 

*All pictures below were shot with the Leica M9 and the 50 cron apart from the helicopter shots and the wide shot of the steam train. These were shot with a Fuji XT1 with a f2.8 50-140mm and a Fuji X Pro 1 fitted with an f2 18mm lens respectively.

 

 

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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 arrangement.

An honourable thing

On Friday 13th March, 2015 a National Service of Commemoration is due to be held in the UK to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan. The event is an opportunity for the country to collectively pay tribute to the contribution made by all those who served in Afghanistan and who worked in the county from 2001 to 2014.

The conflict came at a heavy toll with the number of deaths in Afghanistan standing at 453 British service personnel and MOD civilians. It was a controversial and incredibly complex conflict with the situation in the country changing so often it was almost impossible to keep track of what was going on at times.

Despite the higher-level political situation that caused the governments of countries involved in Afghanistan headaches over the years during the conflict and despite what opinions you may have on Afghanistan and the part our country played in it one thing that I believe needs to be acknowledged is the commitment and sacrifice made by all those personnel who served there.

 

During 2010 in my role at that time as an Army photographer I was sent over to Afghanistan on a short but very busy trip. The outline brief was to cover a range of stories to document various aspects of military life. I covered subjects such as the initial refresher training that all military personnel that regardless of their job must go through when they arrive ‘in theatre’. I covered some of the important and life saving work conducted by medical personnel and RAF crews. I photographed a visit by the Prime Minister, David Cameron as he met and spoke with some of the troops in Camp Bastion. Along with this I also looked at the training and mentoring of Afghan Army soldiers who were key in the longer term plan for them to eventually take over all military operations in the country.

I then headed to the ‘Green Zone’ and covered Royal Engineers who were clearing main routes of Improvised Explosive Device’s that would allow safe passage along the roads for the military and the local civilian population.

For the final stages of the trip I joined patrols into the ‘Green Zone’ with soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles based in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand Province and soldiers from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment who patrolled daily from patrol bases in the Shah Zad area.

The ‘Green Zone’ is a narrow strip of lush vegetation which cuts through the desert province of Helmand along the Helmand river. The nature of the ground had provided ideal fighting ground for the Taliban, offering a degree of cover unavailable in the surrounding desert. It was in this area that British Troops saw some of the most intense fighting during their deployment.

 

Below are some of the photographs that I shot during that trip to Afghanistan and I will go on to discuss the part that Royal Wootton Bassett had in commemorating those troops killed in Afghanistan and before that Iraq. Then I’ve included a couple of photofilm pieces that I produced after I returned from the deployment. You’ll find the links to them below the pictures…

 

LAND-2010-070 C17 Crews 0016The view from a C17 transport aircraft as it flies over Afghanistan before landing at Camp Bastion loaded with troops and equipment.

LAND-2010-070 C17 Crews 0021The pilot of a C17 transport aircraft checks the cockpit instruments before landing at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Reception, Staging and Onward IntegrationAfter arriving in Afghanistan British soldiers march through a dust storm on their way to rifle ranges to continue their mandatory

Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) training before deploying from Camp Bastion to their final locations.

Reception, Staging and Onward IntegrationBritish soldiers sit in on a briefing as a heavy dust storm blows over the desert as they conduct their mandatory

Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) training at Camp Bastion.

Counter Improvised Explosive Task Force.A soldier from the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force briefs newly arrived soldiers

on the methods of finding and clearing Improvised Explosive devices as a Blackhawk helicopter flies past.

British soldiers undergoing RSOI - Reception Staging and Onward Integration - training in Camp Bastion in Helmand province prior to deploying to their units in various areas around Helmand province.

British soldiers practice and refresh their patrolling skills as they undergo RSOI – Reception Staging and Onward Integration – training in Camp Bastion.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron visits British Troops based in Afghanistan.The British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to British Troops in Camp Bastion.

Hospital staff at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. Corporal Samantha Wadelik lives in Glasgow and worked in Wishaw General Hospital as a Reservist.

She was serving in Camp Bastion Hospital as a Radiologist.

Soldiers from Burma Company The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment are currently based in Patrol Base Shah Zad in the Green Zone in Helmand Province and along with Somme Company who are based at Check Point Taalanda are providing security for the clearance of Route Dorset.

Royal Engineers destroy an Improvised Explosive Device during the clearance of ‘Route Dorset’ in the Green Zone.

Afghanistan National Army soldiers graduate from training

An Afghan Army officer speaks to his troops during a graduation ceremony for around 100 Afghan Army soldiers at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. The camp, situated next to Camp Bastion is the base for 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps who at that time played the lead role in the training of new soldiers in the Afghan Army.

Gurkhas on patrol in Helmand

Gurkhas from C Company 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles cross a stream as they patrol from Patrol Base 2 in the

Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province in a joint patrol with soldiers from the Afghan National Army.

Gurkhas on patrol in Helmand

Gurkhas from C Company 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles discover a field of cannabis plants in a compound in the Green Zone.

Gurkhas on patrol in Helmand

A radio operator from C Company 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles patrols through long grass in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province

  during a joint patrol with soldiers from the Afghan National Army.

Gurkhas on patrol in Helmand

A Gurkha soldier from C Company 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles sits in a field in the Nahr-e Saraj region of

Helmand province as the patrol pauses.

A shura or meeting is held near to the base of B Company 1 Royal Gurkha Rilfes to discuss amendments to the route of Route Trident, a new road currently being built eventually reaching across 1 Royal Gurkha Riles area of operations with the intent being able to allow greater freedom of movement for the local Afghan population.

A shura, or meeting is held with local elders in the ‘Green Zone’ to discuss the building of a new road that would allow greater freedom of movement for the local Afghan population.

Gurkhas on patrol in Helmand

An Afghan man sits on the outskirts of a village in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province.

The mortar line fires from Patrol Base 4 in Helmand Province to support ground troops as they return to the base following an operation.

The mortar line fires from inside Patrol Base 4 in Helmand Province in support of ground troops.

The mortar line fires from Patrol Base 4 in Helmand Province to support ground troops as they return to the base following an operation.

A vehicle is illuminated with the red glow of its interior lights at dusk at a Patrol Base in Helmand Province.

The mortar line fires from Patrol Base 4 in Helmand Province to support ground troops as they return to the base following an operation.

A soldiers travels to Patrol Base 4 in Helmand Province in the back of an armoured vehicle.

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A soldier from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment poses for a picture holding his GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun).

Soldiers from Burma Company The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment are currently based in Patrol Base Shah Zad in the Green Zone in Helmand Province and along with Somme Company who are based at Check Point Taalanda are providing security for the clearance of Route Dorset.

A machine-gunner from Burma Company, The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment waves through his fellow soldiers during a firefight

in the Green Zone in Helmand Province.

Soldiers from Burma Company The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment are currently based in Patrol Base Shah Zad in the Green Zone in Helmand Province and along with Somme Company who are based at Check Point Taalanda are providing security for the clearance of Route Dorset.A Section Commander from Burma Company The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment moves, under fire, along a ditch giving

orders to his men as a machine gun fires in support behind him during a patrol in the Green Zone in Helmand Province.

Remembrance DaysA young soldier sits and rests in a compound immediately after a heavy firefight in the Green Zone.

As the commemoration service is due to take place it might also be fitting to mention the town of Royal Wootton Bassett. A small town in northern Wiltshire. It became known throughout the country and the world as a town that honours the servicemen and women killed on operations both in Iraq and then Afghanistan. Starting off with a small number of people who noticed that the funeral cars were passing through the town some members of the British Legion then stopped and acknowledged the passing vehicle. In a short space of time this show of respect grew until it was not just the people of Wootton Bassett who attended but people from all over the area and indeed the country made the trip there.

Each and every time, regardless of weather or time of day the road through the centre of town was lined with people who all fell silent as the cortege approached. Family members standing with quiet dignity in their grief moved forward with flowers and placed them on the passing car. Current and former servicemen and women standing in uniform saluted. The Standards held proudly by members of the Royal British Legion were lowered. Young people looked on and a wave quiet respect passed across the gathering crowd which had come to represent the collective grief and sadness of a country.

Remembrance DaysFamily members of a soldier killed in Afghanistan hold yellow roses as they wait the arrival of the cortege in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Remembrance DaysThe body of a soldier killed during operations in Afghanistan is repatriated back to the UK.

Remembrance Days

The cortege for two soldiers killed in Afghanistan passes through Royal Wootton Bassett. The town became renowned across the world

for the way it became the focus for the grief of the public and for the country and also for the way

it honoured those killed during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq with the dignified way they greeted the cortege as it passed.

Remembrance DaysAn image I shot on a small grassy hill outside the RAF Brize Norton base. After the repatriation ceremonies for troops killed in Afghanistan were

moved here from RAF Lyneham. It shows the diversity of people from all backgrounds and all ages who all felt an obligation

to attend a repatriation and show their respect to a soldier killed during operations.

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The following are a couple of multimedia pieces that I put together on my return. Some of the pictures appear in both films but hopefully they give an idea on the conditions, the environment and the people in Afghanistan.

The Poem

In one of the patrol bases I visited I was shown a poem written by a British Army officer, Lieutenant Ryan Davies. After chatting with another officer, Lt Jennifer Macmaster who served with the same unit I asked her if she would read out the poem as I recorded her voice. I then used some of my photographs from the trip to accompany the eloquently read poem and produced this piece:

 

Courageous Restraint

Several months later I was photographing the Saltburn Folk Festival. During the course of the weekend I ran into one of the musician’s called Bob Fortune . Bob is a very accomplished Folk musician and after chatting to him he kindly gave me one of his CD’s. One of the songs on the CD was called ‘Afghanistan‘. He had written the song for his daughter who at that time was a soldier serving in Afghanistan with the British military.

I knew that the song would make a good soundtrack to a multimedia piece so after asking Bob for his permission to use the track to accompany some of my pictures I laid the track over some of the pictures to produce the following:

 

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As for me this trip was a fitting conclusion to my military career and was my final trip to a conflict zone. A couple of years later and following a career that had spanned 22-years including nine operational deployments to areas of conflict around the world I finished my Army service. From a young soldier patrolling the streets of Northern Ireland, through Bosnia and then Kosovo and to the Iraq war in 2003 and finally to Afghanistan. I have visited some of these places on more than one occasion and each time it is a challenging, demanding and dangerous environment. An environment that unless you have been there it is difficult to comprehend.

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Over those years, in my previous job before becoming an Army photographer, I’ve lived for days at a time in a hole in the ground. Heard my belly rumbling as I’ve needed a good meal. Gone weeks at a time without the means to have a good shower. Had rats crawl over me. Seen extremes of heat, cold and wet. I’ve seen and smelled the mass graves of those poor souls murdered by Serbs. I’ve called in artillery fire several times onto Iraqi positions. I’ve been spat at and called some very imaginative names and I’ve had bricks and stones thrown at me. I’ve seen senseless and cruel acts. I’ve been shot at numerous times – occasionally coming closer than one might particularly want! I’ve had RPG’s fired at my vehicle and I’ve been on the receiving end of many mortar and rocket fire attacks but you know something…none of that matters. Not really. As it all comes with the job. It’s all part of the game and it was something you accept without moaning and thankfully I was able to end my career without injury.

Far more importantly however, during all those mad and chaotic moments I’ve also met some of the bravest, skilled and most dedicated people there are. From all branches of military service and civilian agencies whose commitment, fortitude and sense of humour in the face of complete madness continues to inspire and offers a reality check to draw on when I’m faced with some of the problems that we all face in the course of our regular daily lives. Then there are the civilians. Caught up in situations that nobody wants to be in. Often without any fault of their own and yet despite horrific circumstances still retain, in some cases at least, a sense of hospitality and decency. So for me on what was my final trip in my career, Afghanistan was another opportunity to once again see all of those things and to see the honour and dedication with which people continue to do the things they are asked.

There were however some real issues and problems with our involvement in Afghanistan. Many of these problems will continue to plague the country and will continue to do so for years to come. Some may never be resolved. Hanging over all of this was of course the increasing British fatalities that was gradually wearing away at the resolve of the country to continue with involvement in a conflict thousands of miles away and as an Army Photographer I photographed, as was part of our role, far too many repatriation ceremonies to be under any illusion that it was all going to come for free.

There is always going to be a cost. Both in terms of economics and far more importantly and tragically a human cost. On all sides. But despite the opinions people may have about our involvement in Afghanistan and whatever political views may be held, to which people are absolutely entitled, I also believe that for those men and women who were willing to meet that cost and who put themselves in the places where the danger was very real, some of whom you see in the photographs, then a small acknowledgment of that by the country is the honourable thing to do.

 

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

Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Crown Copyright

No usage without arrangement

Grassroots – Redcar (II)

As the days between now and the General Election in May gradually slip away the pre-election machines are starting to increase their activities in the marginal areas where a guaranteed victory in the polls might not be as forthcoming as in some other areas. Redcar on Teesside is one of these seats and after a couple of recent visits to the area by Labour MP’s it was time for the party leader Ed Miliband to come to town.

During the visit to Redcar and Cleveland College he addressed members of the public in a People’s Question Time event where following a short introductory speech by the Labour Party candidate for Redcar and Cleveland Anna Turley, he took part in a question and answer session before sitting and chatting with a few of the attending visitors.

 

I was on assignment for Getty Images covering the event and below are a selection of some of the pictures from the visit edited into black and white. Colour versions are available on the Getty Images website… HERE

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Coatham

Grassroots – Redcar

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Newcastle becomes United

Newcastle was very much united today as the city, its inhabitants and many others who travelled in from further afield came together to hold a counter-demonstration and march in response to a demonstration by the German based far right movement – PEGIDA. The group formed originally by a German PR agency owner called Lutz Bachmann, held its first ever demonstration in the UK and three to four hundred people attended.

The group whose name translates as ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamification of the West‘ claim to be trying to defend countries from the spread of extremism at the hands of Muslim immigrants.

In response, a newly formed group called ‘Newcastle Unites’ quickly put the word out and organised a counter-march and community groups, trade unionists, political figures, anti-facists, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and Islamic communities and other men, women, children and families formed a three thousand strong multi-cultural group that marched through the centre of the city in response to the Pegida demonstration….

 

Here’s a few pictures from the day that I shot whilst on assignment for Getty Images , you can see more via the link, and I’ve broken the pictures down into 4 groups as you will see from the sub-title above each set…

 

Anti-Pegida Demonstration organised by Newcastle Unites

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Anti_Pagida_0035 Anti_Pagida_0043 Anti_Pagida_0044 Anti_Pagida_0045 Anti_Pagida_0046 Anti_Pagida_0047 Anti_Pagida_0048 Anti_Pagida_0049 Anti_Pagida_0050 Anti_Pagida_0051 Anti_Pagida_0052 Anti_Pagida_0053

Police

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Pegida Demonstration

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Random

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#newcastleunites

#pegida

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth /  Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Boxing Clever

I was in Horden in County Durham a couple of days ago on assignment for Getty Images shooting material for a pre-election feature on the town. During the day that I spent there I came across a boxing club and after a little digging found out that it was open later that evening so I decided to go along to Horden Amateur Boxing Club and have a chat and try to arrange to shoot a few pictures.

On the evening I went back and there were around 15 people attending, ranging in age from 10 to 27 all under the expert eye of head trainer, Liam. During a relatively short period of time I photographed them training and it was good to see the commitment and dedication of the youngsters to their training and the keenness that they went about the training they were asked to do.

It offers the boxers and especially the youngest amongst them an opportunity to commit to something and gives them an outlet and it’s a place I’d like to go back to and spend a little more time there than I had the other evening.

Below are a few of the pictures I shot in the brief time I was there….

 

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

No usage without arrangement

Grassroots – Coatham

Continuing today with my coverage of #Grassroots party activity on the build up to the General Election in May later this year, I followed UK Independence Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar and Cleveland, Chris Gallacher as he led a leaflet drop campaign around the Coatham area of Redcar.

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Redcar

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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

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Grassroots – Redcar

As I continue with my #Grassroots coverage of the political parties as they ramp up their activities on the road to the General Election this coming May I once again headed out with Anna Turley, the Labour Party candidate for Redcar and Cleveland and some of her team as they went door to door in Redcar around the West Dyke Road area to speak to residents.

Anna was joined by Labour Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP who came up from Leicester to help support the team and after chatting to the party members in a local pub about some of the issues facing the party she joined them as they headed out onto the streets…

A few of the pictures are below and further links to previous #Grassroots features I’ve shot can be seen at the bottom.

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Horden

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

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Grassroots – Horden

Horden is a coastal town on the North-east coast of England in County Durham. Politically it is part of the wider Easington constituency and is a key marginal seat that is sure to play an important part in the General Election this coming May. Split between the Horden North and Horden South wards of Durham County Council it has been represented since 2010 by Grahame Morris of the Labour Party.

Built-up around a strong coal mining heritage the mine here was one of the biggest and most productive in Europe. Operated mainly for the purpose of working undersea coal it had three shafts and at the height of operating in the 1930s it employed over 4000 men and produced over 1.5million tonnes of coal a year.

Unfortunately large volumes of water and other geological issues meant that Horden Colliery failed to make a profit from the later part of the 1970s onwards, and in 1986 it was finally closed.

Inevitably after the closure the town started to suffer from increased unemployment, a rise in anti-social behaviour, higher than average health issues and a decline in some of the housing standards – with many of the original miner’s housing – the numbered streets such as Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets – becoming particularly neglected.

With around 130 of the homes in and around these streets and which are currently owned by Accent Housing Association remaining empty many of them have fallen into a state of disrepair and now require substantial work to repair them. Accent state that when millions of pounds of regeneration money was withdrawn following the government’s implementation of the bedroom tax they could no longer afford to follow through with the investment plan that they had in place. Discussions are now taking place to determine what can be done with the properties to improve them.

Over recent years Horden has benefited from the removal of mining spoil heaps and the redevelopment of its Welfare Park which houses Horden’s rugby, cricket and football teams. The Durham Heritage Coast Partnership is committed to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the coastline and is now home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.

 

To finish off the day of #Grassroots I also covered a public meeting for residents of Horden organised by the UK Independence Party as they look to increase their influence ahead of the General election this coming May. The UKIP MEP for the North East region Jonathan Arnott was joined by MEP and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dudley North Bill Etheridge and together they spoke to members of the public who attended the meeting about their approach to key issues before they opened up the floor to a question and answer session.

 

Below are some of the pictures I shot as part of the series whilst on assignment for Getty Images and which form part of a pre-election feature that I wanted to do on the town and also as part of the #Grassroots coverage I’m working on as we head towards the election. It was a very long and busy day but I met some really friendly people through the day and it was good to see that despite some difficulties in recent years there still remains a sense of community and a pride in a town that like so many other former mining towns around the north of the country that have suffered so much there still remains some hope that things may change in the future.

 

Hopefully it will and my thanks go to those I met during my time in Horden for chatting to me and letting me shoot some pictures.

 

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

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Harry

A few from today and Prince Harry’s visit to the charity Armed Forces & Veterans Launchpad at Avondale House in Byker, Newcastle. The charity provides accommodation and support for Armed Forces veterans who are making the transition into civilian life. The Prince met and spoke with former servicemen who are currently making use of Avondale House.

Before leaving he stopped to chat with members of the public who had waited in the cold and drizzle to see him.

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#princeharry

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Chinese New Year – Newcastle

The Chinese community came together today to welcome in the Chinese New Year in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Dragon and Lion dances and a celebration of Chinese culture and food were enjoyed by thousands of people who attended the event in the Chinatown area of the city…

 

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#Chinesenewyear

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Grassroots – Stockton

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP visited the Cotswold Manufacturing factory in Stockton-on-Tees today. The visit aimed to highlight Labour’s economic plans for better prosperity in the North-east of England. During the tour of the facility he was accompanied by Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South and together they met with employees from the company who produce a range of doors, door kits and frames for commercial, residential, leisure and education sectors of the construction industry.

Here’s  few from the job…

 

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#Grassroots

Click on the links below to see more in the #Grassroots series…

Grassroots – Hartlepool

Grassrots – Dormanstown

Grassroots – Eston

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

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

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The Cleveland Hunt

Horses, riders and hounds got together at Saltburn Riding Stables today before heading out on the annual Cleveland hunt meeting.

 

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#Clevelandhunt

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The Fleet

Some of Scarborough fishing fleet moored up in the harbour at Scarborough…

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Scarborough Skipping

The annual Shrove Tuesday skipping event in Scarborough, North Yorkshire officially started today with the ringing of the Pancake Bell. Traditionally the sign for the ‘women folk‘ to start making pancakes. The tradition of skipping on Shrove Tuesday is said to date back to 1903, when it’s thought that fishermen would use Shrove Tuesday to sort out their nets and ropes, and then hand over the discarded ones to the children to skip with.

 

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The Gare

The light was good the other evening so I headed down to South Gare to shoot a few pictures…

 

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Good from Bad

Disabled pensioner Alan Barnes, 67, was pushing his bin outside his home in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, on January 25, when he was attacked and pushed to the ground by an attacker and suffered a broken collar bone.

Following the assault, a 21-year-old beautician Katie Cutler, also from Gateshead, was so moved by the cowardly attack on Mr Barnes that she set up an online donation page which in a very short space of time generated three hundred and thirty thousand one hundred and thirty five pounds – all donated by well wishers.

Mr Barnes, who has suffered from sight and growth problems since birth, said he was overwhelmed by the response from all those across the globe who have donated and since the attack he and Katie have become good friends.

I photographed an event yesterday afternoon for Getty Images held at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle where Mr Barnes was formally presented with the cheque for the raised sum of money by Katie. Below are a selection of pictures from the event.

 

Pictures from this set were used here…

The Daily Mirror

The Daily Mail

NB: The second image in the Daily Mirror gallery link above has an incorrect byline. It should read ‘Owen Humphreys/Press Association‘ as that one is his shot.

 

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