Day Trippers

The 7th of July this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Woolton Church Summer Fete in Liverpool where a young John Lennon was introduced to an even younger Paul McCartney for the first time. That meeting has gone down in musical folklore leading to one of the most extraordinary writing partnerships that changed the face of modern music. Now, sixty years on, I’m interested in the relationship of the Beatles to this small part of south Liverpool - just a few streets. I am taken by the idea that tourists travel from all over the world to visit such ordinary suburban streets leading to the somewhat incongruous sight of international day trippers rubbing shoulders with locals in very un-touristy locations.

Often they have travelled from far and wide for a once in a lifetime visit to the UK: they take in Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and a few run down streets of council housing in Liverpool!

Having grown up in Liverpool, I’m intrigued by the power the band still has to attract people from far and wide and how the locals just go about their business semi-oblivious to the daily invasion.

In Arnold Grove in particular, where George Harrison grew up, the house is still occupied by an elderly lady - every day hoards of tourists walk past children playing in the street, as George would have done, to have their picture taken outside her house and sometimes peer in through her windows. In Madryn Street, Ringo Starr’s home, all the houses are now boarded up and visitors come to write on the metal shutters and sometimes to dance!

The Magical Mystery Tour bus passes Madryn St. the childhood home of Ringo Starreaston_beatles_01

Magical Mystery Tour bus tourists (on the pavement) and National Trust visitors (in the garden) of 20, Forthlin Road, the childhood home of Paul McCartney.easton_beatles_02

Canadian Tourists at Forthlin Road.easton_beatles_03

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Spanish tourists at 'Mendips', the childhood home of John Lennon.easton_beatles_05

A 'selfie' for the Magical Mystery Tour at the gates of Strawberry Fields.easton_beatles_06

"Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout", the Magical Mystery Tour passes the  'barber' and the 'bank' at the top of Penny Lane.easton_beatles_07

"In Penny Lane, there is a barber showing photographs"easton_beatles_08

A group of German tourists dancing outside the former home of Ringo Starr. Madryn Street in Dingle is one of 'The Welsh Streets', traditional Liverpool terraces, now all boarded up and awaiting a council decision on whether to demolish or refurbish.easton_beatles_09

A busload of tourists descend on the tiny cul-de-sac Arnold Grove where George Harrison lived as a young boy. The house and those surrounding it are still lived in and each day residents tolerate a stream of visitors from all around the world.easton_beatles_10

One from the archive....Polaroid Type 55

Just came across this in the studio from an old polaroid Type 55 neg. (fantastic film and much missed) Shot on a Sinar 'Norma' 5x4 believe it not - really a studio camera but I used to take it on the road sometimes..... Scouse wit with roadsigns.....

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starlings agatherin'

It's that time of year again when the starlings gather around the UK in enormous flocks called 'murmurations' - whilst it is still an incredible sight the RSPB tells us not to be fooled by the big flocks:"Despite the incredible size of the flocks, these numbers are just a fraction of what they used to be. Huge starling flocks used to gather over Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast, but you have a much better chance of seeing the birds in rural areas." "The starling population has crashed by over 70% in recent years, meaning they are now on the critical list of UK birds most at risk." "The decline is believed to be due to the loss of permanent pasture, increased use of farm chemicals and a shortage of food and nesting sites in many parts of the UK."

Here's a small show....

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For Sale

A few images from my little series 'For Sale' published in the Independent on Sunday Review yesterday. Shops and online shopping is soooo last year! I reckon you could just about get everything you need by the side of the road - even one or two things you didn't know you needed. Tank anyone?

Coney Island, NYC

With all the British-ness of the Scooter Club, here's some pictures from the US a couple of weeks back. Had an afternoon off in New York City and took the subway out to Coney Island for some clams and fries. I love it out there out of season when the fairground is closed midweek. What a joy to wile away a few hours on the boardwalk in the sunshine... easton_130416_7922

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A night at the theatre

Went to see Journey's End by RC Sherrif at the Lowry in Manchester at the weekend. Wonderful adaptation and very moving especially on this weekend of remembrance. There's still time to catch the end of the run if you can make it to the last leg of the tour at Nottingham Theatre Royal starting tonight - you won't regret it!

Along with the play, we saw the Lowry favourites exhibition which is well worth a visit and a small show of large prints by Nadav Kander - portraits that many of us will be familiar with, but great to see them beautifully printed and VERY big. All in all a fine day out at Salford Quays. Of course, I had the trusty Leica over my shoulder and took a few snaps - Meedya City is looking good.....

A few days in Valencia

Just back from a four day shoot in Valencia and enjoyed an afternoon off at  La Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias - The City of Arts and Science. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the architecture is extraordinary: light and airy in the hot spring sunshine. Don't think he's done anything in the UK yet, maybe it's the weather...

Variety really is the spice of life

Whilst shooting portraits for a corporate client in St. Helier, Jersey, this week, it seems that others have more leisurely activities for a Wednesday afternoon in March.....

this after a wet afternoon/evening in London on Tuesday shooting for VisitBritain and the Premier League....