Another year over, another collection of community stories from a small town somewhere at the back of beyond. This is the photography that occupies most of my time.
V1 The big story of the spring was the opening of our new library/community services building. This title was sitting serendipitously on a shelf as I photographed the librarians unpacking our 16,000 brand new books.
V2 Meet Michael, a lovely man. He had followed the library's progress with keen anticipation, always asking us for copies of any new photos. On opening day he volunteered to serve the refreshments. We were both so busy, I clean forgot to take a picture of him in action. I took this one the following day by way of an apology.
V3 Northumbria in Bloom, the Spring Judging visit. Of course it rained.
V4 The Town Council's annual open meeting usually attracts a turnout that could be counted on the fingers of one foot. This time they had the bright idea of inviting local community groups to set up displays. They also offered refreshments. Oh, and there was a slide show of our photographs on a big screen. When it came to the actual meeting the place was packed to the rafters, we were having to pass extra chairs over people's heads.
The Hexham Courant, predictably, only reported the one acrimonious discussion of the evening.
V5 Hanging Basket Day at our wonderful Community Allotment project. This little girl was having a lovely time digging holes in compost and exploring plant roots. The press photographer arrived and started telling her to grin at the camera. She burst into tears.
Now two from our Royal Jubilee Street Party:
V6 Dancing in the street.
V7 Spam on the table.
And only a fortnight later...
V8 Our Community Band entertaining the people waiting to see the Olympic Torch.
V9 Local girl Wendy Neal having the time of her life.
Then life got back to normal.
V10 Our Ground Force litter-pick volunteers showing off their new team strip.
V11 Work goes on at the Community Allotment, where able-bodied volunteers enable mentally and physically disabled enthusiasts to enjoy gardening.
V12 They're off! July saw the revival of the Miners' Race, a tradition from the first half of the 20th Century when local miners raced for cash prizes. We don't have many miners around these parts now...
V13 An Inspector calls. The local In Bloom judge comes visiting.
V14 A patriotic summer rolled on...
V15 Awards presentations. I get to photograph a lot of these in the course of a year.
V16 The Kite Festival.
V17 Rounding off the year school children carol-singing in the town centre.
Thanks for looking, particularly if you have got this far.
And here's wishing everyone here, Pete, the ePHOTOzine staff and all the members, a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year.
Tags: Photo journalism