I understand that people like to consume stories differently. To experiment with this, I publish still images using a video format mixing in audio, text and sometimes even a little video itself. Click on the pictures below to see the videos

Ray Millington was born in HU3, Hull in 1953. A career as a merchant seaman took a dramatic change when Ray and a few friends planned to attend a drag show while onshore in Hull. Landlady Clarice Mack told them the act and let her down and would not be appearing. Persuaded by his friends Ray rushed to his mother’s house, shaved off his moustache and side burns, raided her wardrobe and delighted the pub audience with his drag act. There was no looking back and Kandy de Barry was created. In 1983 I lived yards away from the St Georges pub in HU3, where Kandy de Barry used to perform on Sunday nights, so I decided to document the chaotic, fun and slightly irreverent shows.
Ray, now aged 70, performs as Bobby Mandrell. I asked Ray to tell me about this career as a drag artist and what memories my pictures from 1983 bought back. I was also curious as to what drives him so I also revisited his act forty years later at the Nanouk pub in Hull, November 2023. If you click on the picture it will take to the short video I made.

In 1981, at the age of 17, George Norris followed in his father’s footsteps into the Rag and Bone trade in Hull. His father, George Norris Snr who, in 2022 was 81 years-old and still working, started collecting scrap aged 13. He was one six brothers, all sons of a fruiterer and horse trader. In 2022, George’s horse and cart has been replaced with a diesel truck and most of the Victorian housing used by the fishing community, where they used to do their rounds, has been demolished. Click on the picture above to go to a video that documents their life from the 1960’s through the 1980’s to today as they reflect on the similarities and differences in their communities; And why George says “When my dad goes that will be the last of the original scrap dealers in Hull.”

As part of my exhibition ‘New Town Youth 1985’ at the Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery that opened January 2023 I produced a video that told the story of three people, Sean, Julie and Paula (not their real names) who were all struggling with unemployment and homelessness. The video, that was only a part of the exhibition, was projected on the wall of the gallery in a loop. The soundtrack is a song titled 'Girl' written by Jennifer O'Neil. I wanted to present their story in a different format to the rest of the exhibition to set it apart. The whole exhibition document the aspirations, fears and challenges that young people in Peterborough faced as the country struggled out of a deep recession in Thatcher’s Britain in 1985.  The exhibition consisted of nine stories which you can see here.

To mark the coronation of King Charles III in May 2023 it was decided by residents of Hereford Road, Wanstead London to have a street party. I think most residents were keen to have a party and the coronation was just the excuse they were looking for. In the street there are many talented cake makers, event administrators, craft and games organisers to mention a few. My involvement was to shoot some pictures but then I had to decide how to share them. A video posted on YouTube was the answer. Handel's 'Zadok the Priest', written in 1727 and played at the coronation seemed a natural choice for the soundtrack.

Almost exactly two years to the day of the government’s announcement of the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’, February 22, 2021 the series of pictures I shot of walkers and their overheard snippet of conversation during lockdown were on exhibition. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in London February 2021, many had taken to daily exercise which was permitted under the rules. Most of us had slipped into a routine - same place, same time and often same conversation. The exhibition at the Temple enclosure in Wanstead Park, Epping Forest (February 11 until March 26, 2023) are portraits of the people on their daily exercise with partners, family or a friend, with a small snippet of conversation I overheard while walking, during the two weeks leading up to Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcement to outline the ‘roadmap’ to ending lockdown. Two years later life has, thankfully, moved on from those dark days. We now have different concerns that we share with family and friends, but I thought that it might be poignant to remind ourselves, two years to the month, what was overheard in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic to show just how far we’ve all come

For hundreds of years the high street has been the centre of communities throughout Britain. From as early as the Victorians and Edwardians photographs have been taken of shop keepers proudly posing in front of their businesses. Fascinated by this long tradition I photographed the business owners and staff who work on my local high street, in Wanstead, London. After years of shooting only colour I decided to shoot black and white film as a nod of respect to commercial photographers working in bygone eras. I used a 1966 Rolleiflex camera 80mm F2.8. I was curious to know when the business owners set up shop and why. I also wanted to understand what they think the future holds for the high street given the challenges of online shopping, rising costs and the impact of the Covid pandemic. The video is the collection of their answers and thoughts.

A black and white picture taken in the Star & Garter pub on Hessle Road in 1983 that shows former fisherman Eddie Cliff walking the length of the bar as others wait to be served is held up to match the same scene in the pub nearly 40 years later in 2022. The Star & Garter is now formally called Rayners, the name of a 1930’s landlord that the pub was known as by local drinkers. For me the superimposed pictures bring back these friendly ghosts for another quick pint or two.

As a historical document I photographed the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) information notices on every shop, business and residence along the the east side of High Street Wanstead, London, heading north from the George pub. I took the pictures on three days to the lead up to July 4, 2020, when the lockdown was eased in England. These signs will, hopefully, be forever consigned to history. The sound was recorded walking the same route, the High Street now filled with people enjoying, the shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. A bit of a departure for me as I like to photograph people.

All Rights Russell Boyce