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The old town area of Funchal in Madeira has a busy market that takes place on most week days but the Fridays are busiest when farmers and fisherman make the journey to the market to sell their produce. Following on from the pictures in a previous post on Room2850 showing the Tuna arriving on fishing boats into the port of Canical on the south eastern side of the island this set shows the Tuna arriving at market and being weighed, gutted and prepared for sale in the market. Along with the Tuna is another specialty of Madeira, the Black Scabbard, an ugly eel like fish that lives in the deep waters around the island but which, one you get past the stunning good looks, has a really nice white meat flavour.
Canical is situated on the South Eastern coastline of Madeira. Once famous for its whale fishing fleet until 1981 when whaling was banned it remains a thriving fishing port.
One of the main catches from the larger boats that put out to sea from this port is Atlantic Tuna.
This vessel had just returned from a fishing trip and was unloading her catch which would be taken to the port-side refrigeration factory where the fish would either be bought by local restaurants and hotels as well as being prepared for export to mainland Portugal and elsewhere.
As in other coastal communities the successful return of one of the fleet brings locals down to the harbour to chat to the returning crew and to see the catch with some being able to get hold of one of the Tuna to take away with them.
Which is probably about as fresh as you can get it!
The Monte Sledges on the archipelago of Madeira are traditionally made of wicker and whilst gravity provides the momentum they are assisted and controlled during their descent by two sledge drivers called “Carreiros”.
Originally used by the people living in the village of Monte as a means of quick transportation into the capital Funchal, the Monte Sledges first appeared in 1850 and are still used to this day attracting thousands of tourists every year.
The Sledge drivers dress in their traditional clothing that consists of white cotton clothes and a hat made of straw. They also use rubber soled boots so that they are able stop the sledge when necessary as it glides down the hill. The wooden runners on the sledges frequently smell of burning caused by the friction of sliding down the tarmac covered roads as they speed towards the bottom of the hill.
A “Carreiro” sits in the shade on wicker toboggans
A “Carreiro” enjoys a beer in a local bar during a break
“Carreiros” enjoy a beer in a local bar between runs down the hill
A “Carreiro” stands in a doorway in the village of Monte
“Carreiros”prepare their toboggans at the top of the hill in Monte
The toboggan drivers, known as “Carreiros” walk to work in the village of Monte
A Monte toboggan slides down the hill towards the capital Funchal controlled by the “Carreiros”
The Labour Party candidate Emma Lewell-Buck has won the South Shields by-election held yesterday. She retains a Labour led constituency that has held South Shields since 1935.
The by-election was triggered after the former foreign secretary David Miliband announced recently that he was resigning from the House of Commons in order to leave Britain and head up the New York based International Rescue Committee humanitarian organisation.
I covered event yesterday and a few pictures are below with further shots via the link HERE
A voter makes his way into one of the 45 voting stations in the South Shields constituency
Councillor Ernest Gibson, the Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, hangs party banners at Harton and Westoe Colliery Welfare Club
Voters make their way towards one of the portable voting stations in South Shields
After the polls closed at 10pm the ballot boxes start to arrive to be counted
Ballot papers are emptied out onto the tables to be counted
The count begins at Temple Park Leisure Centre in South Shields
A member of the Monster Raving Loony Party looks on as ballot papers are counted
Labour candidate Emma Lewell-Buck reacts to well wishers in the gallery above after arriving to watch the count
Labour candidate Emma Lewell-Buck
Labour party members are in high spirits as the result is about to be announced
The candidates in the South Shields by-election line up as the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Eileen Leask, prepares to read out the results
Labour candidate Emma Lewell-Buck makes her speech after being announced as winner of the South Shields by-election.
All pictures remain copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Sailors compete during racing in the Redcar land sailing Regatta on Coatham Beach on April 28, 2013 in Redcar, England. The event brought together some of the United Kingdom’s best land sailors across all classes of competition. This was the first time land yacht racing has returned to the beach in nearly 30 years.
Here are a few from the event. Click on the first image to view larger then click anywhere on the picture to see the next……
Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
A march and rally against public sector cuts was held on Saturday 27th April 2013 in Middlesbrough, Cleveland. The march was organised to voice opposition to the Government’s continuing austerity measures which are believed to be having a damaging affect on the economy and the people of the Northeast.
Twenty years to the day after the closure of Easington colliery in County Durham former miners and their families held an event today to remember the closure of the mine and the resulting impact it had on what was one of the major coal production mines in the country. Coincidentally the funeral of Margaret Thatcher was also held on the same day in London following her death last week. Many former miners around the country blame Margaret Thatcher and her conservative government for the decline of the coal industry when she took on the mining union during the 1984/85 miners strike and which ultimately led to the resulting pit closures and all that that these closures then brought to their communities.
The impact of these closures is still felt in these communities and feelings still run very high.
The event which was held at Easington Colliery Club and Institute saw a small number of the former miners display banners outside the club which expressed their continuing strong feelings towards Baroness Thatcher.
During the course of the day I spoke with and photographed a number of ex-miners around Easington who were kind enough to let me take some pictures and who told me a little of their own stories and whilst the pit may have gone and a level of poverty, continuing unemployment and uncertainty about the future may still be in evidence one thing that comes through is the no-nonsense determination of the former pit-men and the pride they still have when they think back to the glory days of British coal production.
Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
I wrote a post here on Room 2850 in December 2011 (which can be seen HERE ) showing some photographs I had taken and explaining a little about Parkinson’s Disease and how it affects people. In this case my father Dave Forsyth, who has suffered from Parkinson’s for a number of years. In this post I look further into the effects on him and the strains that have started to show on both him and my mother, Judith who now finds herself in the role not only of wife but also carer.
Parkinson’s is a long-term neurological condition that affects the way the brain co-ordinates body movements, including walking, talking and writing and affects both men and women, it is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The nerve cells in this part of the brain are responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine acts as a messenger between the brain and the nervous system, and helps control and co-ordinate body movements. If these nerve cells become damaged or die, the amount of dopamine in the brain is reduced. This means that the part of the brain that controls movement cannot work as well as it should and this in turn causes movements to become slow and abnormal.
My fathers condition is gradually and inevitably deteriorating. Apart from the endless tablets consumed daily and the inherent side effects of some of those tablets the disease itself is making things difficult for both my parents. The periods of lucidity are mixed with confused ramblings and difficulties in being able to carry out even some basic activities and whilst I believe that my father is able to know inside what he wants to say he is unable to do so at times because of the disease and must consider the whole of the sentence he is about to say before he is able to speak it.
Irregular sleep patterns, frequent toilet needs, uncontrollable and violent tremors, lack of general mobility and balance and at times hallucinations and confusion caused by the medication are just some of the issues that must be dealt with each day and mean that it is a difficult task for my mother to ensure all the usual household needs are carried out whilst still maintaining care levels for my father. The demands of which become greater each week.
After his medication there are times of great awareness from my father who can recall many small details from years ago. Occasionally he will visit the local pub to watch the football and he still enjoys the odd visit or day out and visits a day centre on two days each week for a bit of a break and distraction – for him and for my mother – he is still able to enjoy pottering in the garden and continues to do some of the general household chores and requirements but almost as quickly as these periods of lucidity come they can go and almost in the same sentence the rationale can change and a confusing statement or thought highlights once again that inevitably, unavoidably and sadly my father is slowly becoming a shadow on a wall.
This week is Parkinson’s Awareness week.
Become aware and support it if you are able.
For more information feel free to visit Parkinson’s UK
A shadow on the wall
Medication reminder list pinned to the fridge
The constant demands of the illness and the care that is needed to offer the most basic of assistance causes strain on my mother as it mounts and in what is similar to the vigilance and care that is given to a child so too my father needs round the clock assistance with many things
Heading out to the garden
The back garden is a haven offering comfort to my father
A keen gardener all his life my father is still able to care for, plant and carry out general maintenance in the garden
The back garden offers great pleasure and comfort to them both and the flowers and plants are well maintained and many species of garden birds are frequent visitors
As the condition becomes worse the sufferer’s balance is affected. My father fell backwards off this step 3 weeks ago landing painfully on the concrete driveway
Result! After a bit of a search he finds the all purpose plant feed
An old chest of drawers had swollen up due to the damp conditions in the garage and the drawers needed a little persuasion to open
Part of my fathers collection of Royal tea caddies, tea pots and other assorted porcelain that he has collected over the years.
Part of his large collection sits on display on the dresser. My mother is a collector of Wedgwood china tableware and every 6 months they each begrudgingly take down their own collection to make room for the next one to rotate onto display
Sitting in the front room
A dry and occasionally sarcastic sense of humour often comes through and gives a reflection of what he is was like before the illness took hold
At times housebound for much of the day the comings and goings on the street outside offer subjects for discussion and help to pass the time and offer something different to chat about
The front room
The ‘Forsyth‘ family crest hangs on a wall in the corridor . My father has amassed extensive paperwork from investigating the genealogy of the family and has an archive running into many thousands of documents gathered from years of research and investigation
Sometimes, regardless of the weather you just have to make a trip to the beach. These kids were well prepared for a cold, damp and wet day on Saltburn beach today and considering we are in Spring the hot water bottles were still necessary. Fair play to them though for getting out and about today.
This picture forms part of my ‘Coast People’ project and further photographs from this collection can also be seen on other posts HERE on my Room 2850 blog.
On Sunday 31st March at the Saltburn School an exhibition begins looking at Saltburn Miniature Railway and the volunteers who keep this classic Saltburn attraction running.
For a few months at the beginning of last year I photographed the volunteers of the miniature railway as they maintained the locomotives, the track and generally prepared for the season. To coincide with the season this year the exhibition at the school brings together some of the photographs that I shot during that time and some of the equipment used by those volunteers who spend their spare time keeping this attraction running.
The exhibition is launched on Sunday at 6pm and some of the volunteers will be speaking about the work they do with the miniature railway as well as a few words from yours truly about the pictures. One of the volunteers who cannot be there on Sunday is Reg Blacklock who sadly died last year. Reg, who apart from being one of the volunteers with the railway also had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the railway and was also a teacher at Saltburn School for some 20 years back in the day when it was a school before an art gallery.
By clicking the link HERE you can see some of the pictures that can be seen at the exhibition as well as some of the other photographs that I shot on one of my blogs.
You can also view a short photofilm that I made showing the volunteers with the railway and at the bottom you can view a preview of a book that I put together. Please allow a few seconds for the book to load.
I hope you enjoy the pictures if you get the opportunity to visit the exhibition.
Stuart Buckle is a farmer in Cumbria. Stuart along with his father and the rest of the family own and run Bleathgill Farm which is situated a couple of miles off the A66 at one of the highest points on the fell. The recent heavy snow which is said to be the worst March that the country has seen in 50 years has caused some issues with the lambing season resulting in many of his Swaledale sheep having to be brought inside to lamb to avoid the harsh conditions outside.
Constant care is needed to ensure they have the best chance possible to give birth to their lambs and with this weather the simplest of tasks become more difficult.
As I photographed there today there was one successful birth resulting in two new lambs to add to the fold but the worry is that if the weather doesn’t improve soon the chances of a successful flock this year is reduced.
However one thing you can be assured of is that farming at this time of year in the snow covered Cumbrian hills is hard graft indeed.
Pictures remain copyright Getty Images/Ian Forsyth
Starting from this Easter weekend and taking place in the spectacular surroundings of the Riding House at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire highly trained riders and equally well trained stallions will perform breathtaking displays of horsemanship for visiting members of the public. ‘Cavendish’s Horses‘ carry out a series of advanced dressage training techniques. Techniques that were first introduced to England in the 17th century by William Cavendish, the first Duke of Newcastle and once riding master to King Charles II. They remain the only displays of their kind seen regularly in the country.
The intricate displays of circles, turns and leaps that the stallions are trained to perform come from the need to train horses for times of conflict and these moves acted as defensive actions that could be carried out on the command and the actions of the rider to use the horse and its size to protect them both from attack by an enemy. Modern dressage comes from this early method of training horses.
The white post or ‘pillar’ that can be seen in the arena is used to encourage the horse to move into increasingly smaller circles and which allows the horse to ‘centre’ itself before performing an explosive move such as a Capriole. This is where the horse rears onto the hind legs before jumping up and kicking out with all four legs. Other displays include the demi-capriole where the horse only kicks out with its rear legs or the Levade – where the horse rears up onto its hind legs. To do this the horse uses inner core strength from its stomach muscles to raise itself up and is an extremely difficult move to perform.
The Pesade is where the horse rears up on hind legs and holds the front legs straight out and the Half-pass is where the horse walks sideways crossing its legs and like all the moves demonstrate great control, strength and discipline all under the great skill of the riders.
Ben Atkinson who has worked with horses since a child is one of the riders who carries out the displays at Bolsover. The black horse in some of the pictures is Ocle, a 6 year old Spanish stallion. This particular horse is more explosive than the others and as a result is used for the more dramatic displays such as the Capriole. The other horses, Almonzor a 14 year old stallion and Bonito, a 10 year old gelding are still highly trained and capable of performing many of the other routines. However the picture in the gallery where the white stallion, Almonzor is lying forward on his front legs with his head lying on the floor isn’t part of the actual Bolsover display and was part of another routine that Ben performs.
I spent most of the day with the horses and with Ben and his father Mark as they conducted rehearsals of the display routine as I was shooting a feature story for Getty and whilst I’m not particularly a ‘horsey person’ you can’t fail to be impressed by these highly trained and artistic stallions – well worth a look if you’re ever passing by Bolsover and have the time to pop in.
Pictures remain copyright Getty Images
The full set of pictures can be seen HERE
As unseasonal weather continues to batter the United Kingdom strong winds and large seas combine to create huge waves that crash against the seawall and cover the lighthouse at South Gare on Teesside.
Image remains copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Alison Wake makes the trip to South Gare at Teesside each day to feed her beloved seagulls. The gulls have now become familiar with her and take food from her hands as they hover in the breeze surrounding her. As she has come to recognise some of the same birds that visit her she has started naming a few of the more familiar ones.
My previous blog post which can be seen here looks back at some of my thoughts and experiences from my time in Iraq in 2003 as one of the soldiers fighting into Basrah. This post shows a selection of images I shot on my second tour there in 2006 as an army photographer. I deployed with 19 Light Brigade and spent seven months photographing various aspects of Brigade life during their deployment.
Images remain crown copyright
Lying on the ground in the dirt next to the tracks of my Warrior armoured vehicle. Blue grey sky overhead. Covered in dust. Rats. Everything smells of shit. Everything smells of smoke. Burning. The sound of engines. Occasional shouts. Can’t remember my last shower. Hungry. The brews are on.
An abandoned bus depot. ‘Bridge Four’. ‘Route Red’. Basrah. Iraq. A shout goes up… “Incoming”. Rocket fire. Lands 20 metres away. Shrapnel peppering the vehicle. No injuries. Weapons cleaned and ready. Orders group. H-Hour and timings given. Brief the lads. Keep them informed. Keep observation across the river. Reports of enemy. Dark figures moving around between the buildings. My first fire mission called in. Brought down on the Fedayeen in the technical college across the canal in front of us. Buzzing. A relief to get the first mission away. No feelings for those under my artillery fire. They know how it works. They didn’t run so fair play to them. Ready to do more. That chance comes. Many times.
Preparing to drive out. Hot exhaust fumes blowing in my face. Heading up Route Red. Towards the College. Again. Third or fourth time of trying. I forget how many. Strong resistance. Each time getting further up the road. Mines either side in the ditches. Bunker positions. Dark figures flitting across the streets in the distance. Reports of ‘contact’. Tanks firing. Shock waves sucking the air from your lungs. Enemy soldier evaporating in a mist as a tank round passes through him. Kinetic energy unleashed. Machine guns chattering. My turret scanning through my arcs as we more forward. Empty cartridge cases rolling on the metal floor of the turret. Sit-reps passed over the radio to my Commander. Listening to three different frequencies on a sweaty radio headset. Helmet squeezing my head. Sweat running into the eyes. Keep the vehicle moving forward. Gaz the driver is doing really well. Give the lads in the back a brief. Tell them what’s going on. Send another sit-rep.
Three of our turrets all swing round together. Guns pointing at an outbuilding. Responding to a ‘contact’ report on the net. Floor peddles pressed. Machine guns burst into life…and death. Four more down. Clear to move forward. Progress made. A car rolls towards the vehicle in front. How come he doesn’t stop? What’s he playing at? Engaged from the side by another call-sign. Car doors dancing. Axle twisted. Limping forward and comes to a halt. A Guardsman runs forward to take a look. Hoping to administer first aid. Ironic. Part of life. Door pulled hard to open it. Twisted metal sticking. A flash of red. A large lumpy splash of colour bursts over the grey tarmac. Driver evacuated to aid station. He dies. We roll forward.
‘Contact’ right! RPG round launched. Seen in my peripheral vision. Hits the side of my warrior armoured vehicle. Doesn’t detonate. Bounces off. Happy days. The crew are ok. Crack on. Tanks firing. Dust and smoke obscuring the road ahead. We move forward and through the gates. Into the college of Literature. Defensive positions….all round defense. Keep ‘eyes on’. Get the brews on in the back. Everyone ok. The crew did well. Amazingly well. Grab some food while you have the chance. Vehicle is ok. Weapons are good to go. Work out a ‘stag’ so the guys can try and catch some sleep. Keep switched on. Be dark soon.
A long burst breaks the silence. Tracer leaps and dances. Rounds strike the wall above my head. Three or four foot? Fucking close. Wankers. Guns ready. The radio chatters. Adrenalin filled voices fill the radio. Confusion. Unknown. Attack on another vehicle. Two men down. Insurgent still active. Snipers deployed to try and locate him. Using our night vision kit to try and find him. Everyone on alert. A dark figure comes crashing towards us through some bushes. Running hard. ‘Hold your fire!……Don’t shoot till you can ID him!’…I shout at the crew. I don’t know what’s happened and don’t want one of our own blokes shot in error. Our guns are following the shape through the darkness as he gets closer. Safety catches off. Adrenalin buzzing. Control. Think. Concentrate. He bursts through the bushes towards us.
A young guardsman. Forced to flee from the vehicle as it was attacked. No kit or weapon. Scared shitless and jabbering. Poor bastard. Shock, adrenalin and fear fucking with his head. Get him in the back of the truck and have a sit down. Calm down mate you’re ok now. Have a fag. Any more casualties mate? What’s the score? Are you injured? What call-sign are you? Sit-rep sent on the radio. That’s all that crew accounted for now and all personnel are now accounted for and in the cover of their vehicles. Anyone seen walking around from now is to be engaged. We didn’t find him. A long night.
Sunday April 6th, 2003. Two Guardsmen died tonight.
……Lying on the ground in the dirt next to the tracks of my Warrior armoured vehicle. Blue grey sky. Covered in dust. Everything smells of shit. Everything smells of smoke. Burning. The sound of engines. Occasional shouts. Can’t remember my last shower. Hungry. The brews are on.
Timings and H-hour given.
We move forward.
My shooting map from Iraq. The diagonal road moving across the map is ‘Route Red’
March 22nd, 2003 at 12:22 – We cross the border into Iraq
The map I used for the break into Basrah
During a quiter spell my Warrior armoured vehicle in ‘over-watch’ of Basrah ready to call in Artillery Fire.