‘Champions 4 Change’ boxing academy, Charlton – October 2018

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I spent a really lovely Saturday morning recently photographing Champions 4 Change, a boxing club at St Thomas’ Church in Charlton that does outreach sessions for underprivileged kids, particularly child carers. I was massively impressed with the way the whole thing was run. There was a really positive atmosphere, and the kids were just great; they start learning boxing techniques and dong a lot of fitness work, then the teenagers are put through GB boxing qualifications and go on to help teach the over-40 classes, amongst other things.

I wrote about it in more detail for the Charlton Champion (the community website I help to run in my spare time) here, and I’ve put together an extended gallery of pictures here.

I enjoyed the whole thing so much I ended up going back the following Tuesday to try out the Over-40’s class. I’d never done any boxing before, and I ended up really enjoying it; I’m hoping it will be a good complement to swimming as a way to keep fit.


My local MP, Matthew Pennycook, was also there to find out about the club. Pictured here taking a lesson from Scott O’Connor, director of Champions 4 Change.

Ali Baba’s Ice Cream Van, Giffin Square, Deptford – October 2018

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More of that Saturday afternoon autumn light in Deptford, this time in Giffin Square just off the High Street. Today’s started as grey and damp as can be, and it’s almost impossible to imagine that the light looked like that yesterday.

All photos shot on a Fujifilm XT20 with XF35mm f1.4 lens, in case you’re interested in that kind of thing.
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More of my Deptford pictures here.

Campaigners in Parliament Square – October 2018

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Women's Pension Rally Parliament Square 2018

Marchers on their way to the women’s pension rally in Parliament Square on 10th October 2018

I realised recently that I really want to add to the portraits in my portfolio, which obviously means actually taking photos of people. Taking photos of demonstrators feels a little like doing street portraiture on easy setting, but maybe I shouldn’t get so hung up. Anyway, walking through Parliament Square on my way to Westminster tube I shot these in the space of about 5 minutes. I should go there more often, really.
Anti-Brexit Campaigner outside the Houses of Parliament
Anti-Brexit Campaigner outside the Houses of Parliament
Anti-torture protestor in Trump mask in Parliament Square

Down by the river: Last days of the old Woolwich ferries – September 2018

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The Woolwich Free Ferry has been taking people across the Thames for centuries, most latterly as a key route for lorries to avoid the Blackwall tunnel. The current roll-on, roll-off boats, built in 1963, are to be taken out of service this week to be replaced by new vessels which promise hybrid diesel-electric power (check out the exhaust fumes in the picture above to see what the current boats produce), and magnetic berthing. One striking feature of the soon-to-be-redundant ferries is the large space for foot passengers under the car deck, not barely used, but a reminder of the ferry’s past role in getting dock and factory workers back and forth before containerisation and deindustrialisation arrived.

I thought I should get some pictures before these boats bow out, and went down for a trip to North Woolwich and back on a bazlingly bright late September day. See the full album ‘Last days of the old Woolwich Ferry here’.



Open House London 2018: the Quaker Meeting House in Blackheath (and more)

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It’s been a few years since we’ve managed to go to any of the Open House London properties, but today we made it all the way over the heath to see Britain’s only Brutalist Quaker Meeting House, tucked away down a side road near the station in Blackheath. Designed by architect Trevor Dannatt OBE and opened in 1972, it’s a clever building, split over two levels and making good use of a small corner. I particularly like the way light is let in around the corners of the main meeting room’s ceiling, as well as through the wooden window structure in the centre. The mood in the building was as serene as you might expect. You can see more of my photos of Blackheath’s Quaker Meeting House here.

After that, we walked over to Boone’s Chapel on Lee High Road; I’d never heard of this until it was mentioned when I went to visit Charlton House’s Summer House on Thursday to take some photos of the restoration works in advance of Open House Weekend for The Charlton Champion. It turns out that the architect responsible for the restoration work had done similar work at Boone’s Chapel and is now based there, and part of the display explained the history and importance of Charlton House’s Summer House in a much better way than I’d seen previously. I failed to get any photos, though: too many people in the way – hopefully I’ll get back to an open day there at some point soon.

Also on the subject of heritage open days, I have some photos on the Charlton Champion today of the Grade II-listed structures you can visit night or day, any day of the week, namely two K2 telephone boxes

Down by the river: The Thames Barrier and ‘Royal Iris’ – September 2018

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The Thames Barrier and Royal Iris

Viewed from the top of the ramp leading the Thames Path up the relatively new ‘missing link‘ east of Thames Side Studios on the Woolwich-Charlton border, the Thames Barrier and the former Mersey ferry ‘Royal Iris’. The latter, which has featured here before, looks a little sadder each year. I saw a rumour on Twitter that it is likely to be cut up soon, but haven’t been able to confirm it – if you know better, get in touch!

Gruff Rhys at the Barbican, London – September 2018

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Gruff Rhys and the LCO at the Barbican September 2018

An excellent night with good friends at the Barbican Centre, watching Gruff Rhys perform his latest album, Babelsberg, with the London Contemporary Orchestra. I’ve seen Gruff Rhys a few times with the Super Furry Animals and solo (the American Interior show at the Southbank being a highlight), and he always brings something new and special to the show. This time the orchestration really brought the new songs to life and shone extra light on his melodies; I hope I can catch him again soon and look forward to seeing whatever he does next.Gruff Rhys and the LCO at the Barbican September 2018Gruff Rhys and the LCO at the Barbican September 2018 Gruff Rhys and the LCO at the Barbican September 2018

11 Views of East Greenwich Gasholder – September 2018

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A walk around the south-western end of Greenwich Peninsula to take some pictures of the under-threat-of-demolition gasholder. There seems to be a growing realisation in the area that this will be missed when it’s gone, but the chances of saving it via the planning process seem slim, unless owners SGN (a gas distribution network) have a change of heart and decide to develop along similar lines to the King’s Cross gasholder.

Eight more photos of the East Greenwich gasholder taken on my walk here.
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