1 Three members of the Gilson family - Paul, Bill and Glyn - at their fishmongers in Southend. This family of fishermen have been working the Thames estuary for around 200 years and are well-known locally. The shop has been there for over 40 years and I can remember others around town in the past. Paul’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all fisherman but Paul believes he will be the last - when he retires the business will likely close. Dredging in preparation for the London Gateway project has depleted the fish and shellfish stocks in the estuary.
From my series Essex Chronicles.
2 Photographed for the centenary of my local theatre, the Palace Theatre in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
David is the Palace Theatre Club’s archivist. He has been voluntarily cataloging and sorting various programmes, photographs, posters and scrapbooks, most of which have been acquired through donations. Pride of place is the earliest programme, for ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’, performed in January 1920. The club own the artefacts but the Palace Theatre’s lessee, HQ Theatres, has provided a room at the theatre for the collection. I photographed David in the archive, which in fact was previously a Gents toilet which was converted to an office in the late 1970s. Whilst David catalogues items in the archive, other volunteers in the next room are busy scanning every page of every programme so that the collection can be digitised.
3 Photographed for the centenary of my local theatre, the Palace Theatre in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
Michael is responsible for “teching shows” in the Dixon Studio (a secondary stage at the Palace) - this includes building sets and programming the sound and lights. He is also the ‘operator’ during shows there. The Dixon Studio opened in September 1982, and was originally designed as a rehearsal stage, but also staged cabaret, small-scale touring theatre, puppets and dance. Michael says that late 2012 was the busiest period the Dixon has ever had. About 90% of local amateur dramatic groups have performed here, and this is on the increase since the local Empire Theatre closed down. I photographed Michael on the stage in the Dixon, midway through a run of Edinburgh Festival comedy previews.