Concrete wonder­lands

Published Categorised as Photography, Popular Posts, UK 4 Comments on Concrete wonder­lands

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Flickr have massively changed their website recently, and I took the chance to go through all my old photos and re-organ­ise them a bit, so I’ll be digging up vari­ous things from the archives over the next few weeks. Here’s some of Brack­nell from 2005.

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It was built in the post-war peri­od to house all the people leav­ing London. At the time a lot of people wanted to leave the city and have their own house with a garden. My family included, that’s why most of them are still in London, but I grew up in N Kent. I’ve often passed through Brack­nell by car, I went to univer­sity in Read­ing, very nearby, and some family friends live a couple of miles away too. Driv­ing through Brack­nell would often make my dad yell things at build­ings through the window. My dad’s a (retired) survey­or, and he gets very het up about bad town plan­ning and dodgy gutters.

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I have never had a nice time in Brack­nell. In 2005, I was work­ing in a camera shop in Read­ing, and they used to send me to cover at Brack­nell some­times. Their branch was tiny, and the manager was very unpleas­ant to work with. I had the choice of eating my lunch in the stock cupboard under her crit­ic­al eye, or go for a wander around the desol­ate 60s town centre. I went for the wander every time. I got a massive sack of expired slide film from work, and I could devel­op it for free anyway, since I worked in the lab, so I tried out every brand of slide film, to see which I liked most for x-pro. This Fuji Astia was my favour­ite, but it seems very hard to get hold of. All the photos are taken on an Olym­pus XA2- an ideal camera when you don’t want to lug an SLR around with you- and on Astia x-pro’d in C41.

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In 2005, a lot of the build­ings were empty, and there was a strong smell of urine on concrete around. Appar­ently things have improved a little, and there are grand plans to rennov­ate the place, but I have no reas­on to go there. The last time I was there, in 2008, I dislo­cated my shoulder play­ing bowl­ing. I didn’t know this was some­thing that can happen, but there you go. Bowl­ing is more danger­ous than you thought.


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