‘Know your boxes” I was once told by a photographer, meaning know what you’re photographing and how it adds to what you’ve shot before, know what projects you have on the go and how it all fits together. So it was this weekend as I photographed Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in Glasgow.
Last week in collaboration with Craig Atkinson at Café Royal Books I published a zine of my black and white photographs taken twenty years ago over the weekend of the Golden Jubilee. That work had been shot on assignment for The Sunday Times Magazine, but the story and images never ran in the magazine sadly. The images then sat slightly ignored in my archive for the last two decades until this new publication. That’s the beauty of Café Royal Books, bringing unseen and forgotten documentary photography from Britain back into the fore, bringing it back to life and giving it new audiences, and at the same time building a huge published archive of post-war Britain though documentary photography.
Whereas twenty years ago I photographed on black and white film on my Leica cameras, this past weekend I was out with my Fuji camera shooting colour digital. Times have changed, as I’m sure Her Majesty, a Leica user herself, would agree.
This past weekend Glasgow city council had declined to mark the Platinum Jubilee, but as I found as I crossed the city many locals were still providing their own entertainment. From the Bristol Bar (a well known Rangers FC supporters’ bar) surprising many by renaming itself as the Queen Elizabeth Arms, provided time for families and children within the bar, and then latterly entertaining their clientele with music by local flute bands, or local churches catering to their congregation and anyone who wished to partake in the celebrations, there were celebrations taking place. You just had to maybe search for them, unlike in London.
I saw local communities get together to meet the neighbours and hold street parties, a nursing home entertained their elderly residents, and churches held street parties and gave out meals and at these I could sense some of the participants were there for the free food, such is the current society we live in. Good people working hard in their communities to help others, People Make Glasgow.