The power of the written word, and other community stories

By mrswoolybill
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 Community photography

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LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 7:25AM
Only getting up to V9 thus far Moira but they all look like very high quality images for the New Year edition of The Back Of Beyond Bugle to me, great reportage. Will come back later to view the rest of tis fine photo journalistic record.

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LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 7:28AM
Back again, love them all but version 16 is particularly special. Nice to see somewhere with a real sense of community.
CarolG Plus
11 199 20 Greece
31 Dec 2012 7:57AM
A fine set of reportage images, Moira, so much of interest goes on in your small town, and you have captured the numerous events so well. May 2013 be as succcessful as 2012 Smile
31 Dec 2012 8:26AM
16 is a great shot - fabulous.
Jasper87 Plus
8 1.9k 150 England
31 Dec 2012 8:38AM
A fine collection of what must have been a pleasure to have been involved with/in. The power of the written word indeed, admirably demonstrated by your write up - lovely subtle humour.

A very Happy New Year to yourself and Bill,

All the best,

morpheus1955 11 3 2 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 8:55AM
Superb set of images, all the very best to you and Bill for 2013

Tibetan 5 3 England
31 Dec 2012 9:57AM
There is the difference between living in the south, and living in the North! we had happier times in the North, as your photo's show their spirit, a very nice set, Happy new year to you both!, regards Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
nonur Plus
9 17 13 Turkey
31 Dec 2012 9:59AM
What a good idea, a lovely assemblage of the yearly community dealings! I can tell from your shots that yours is a very successful community as it keeps nourishing the spirit all year round. Very well done and I love V5 the most among others for personal reasons.

I wish you and Bill a very peaceful, healthy and happy New Year with lots of opportunities to be photographed!
woodlark 14 542 1 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 10:14AM
Love the community spirit, V2 could be a great idea for a project a close up documentary of people leaving the library and what books they have chosen.
All the best in the New Year to both of you x
31 Dec 2012 10:37AM
WOW! a mammoth end to 2012 from you Moira, brilliant! V1 shows good taste, and I really like the innocence of Childhood in V16. (Can't believe I'm saying V16) Smile

Have a good Evening and welcome in the New Year as you mean to go on. With a Glass in your Hand Wink

All the best to you both,

John Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1871 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 11:10AM

Quote:Nice to see somewhere with a real sense of community.

Quote:so much of interest goes on in your small town

Quote:There is the difference between living in the south, and living in the North! we had happier times in the North

Quote:I can tell from your shots that yours is a very successful community as it keeps nourishing the spirit all year round.

Quote:Love the community spirit

Thanks for noticing that... We work very hard on it, we need to. We are sandwiched between a much wealthier, more self-assertive town (Hexham) on one side, and Newcastle plus the Metro Centre on the other side. We are struggling to prevent the place from turning into a dormitory town. Not helped by a) a major new housing development which has no convenient pedestrian access to the town centre, and b) the North East Co-Op which owns half the main street and does its utmost to prevent any competition moving in. I could go on...

Quote:V2 could be a great idea for a project a close up documentary of people leaving the library and what books they have chosen.

That's a very interesting idea. I'm a Trustee of the Community Partnership that runs the building, I shall raise the idea at our next meeting - it would be a way to mark the library's first birthday in April.
Cheers everyone,
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1871 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 11:17AM
PS I think V16 may get her own moment in the spotlight tomorrow...
rontear Plus
14 8 8 England
31 Dec 2012 11:19AM
Fond memories of 2012 Moira Grin a very good year for you photographically. May I wish you and Bill a very pleasant New Year and an exciting 2013!!!
Rende 11 38 4 Netherlands
31 Dec 2012 11:28AM
What a lovely series Moira; looks like a wonderful sense of community where you live.
Happy New Year!
helenlinda Plus
10 360 22 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 11:45AM
What a wonderful year for you - so much has gone into these images - I hope the coming year is also full of rich experiences for you to record.
Its hard to choose a favourite - but I love the variety of headgear in v17 SmileSmile
barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 11:51AM
lovely to see these...
children win every time....
everythng we do I feel is for the children....
SlowSong Plus
9 7.3k 30 England
31 Dec 2012 12:12PM
A superb record for yourself and for those you've recorded. Lovely to look back on. Smile
All the best, and onwards and upwards, in 2013.
TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
31 Dec 2012 12:15PM
A fine collection of photo journalistic images here, Moira - you've certainly been a busy girl throughout the year! Wink
A Very Happy New Year to you too! Smile
All the best,
Trev Smile
AnnChown Plus
8 207 1 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 12:21PM
An excellent record Moira - and good to see so much activity in your town. Love the dancing in the street....
All the best to you and Bill during 2013.
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
31 Dec 2012 12:27PM
You have been a very busy lady!
Wishing you all the best in the coming year, with much happiness and health.
danbrann 13 636 17
31 Dec 2012 1:31PM
I couldn't face them all happy new year
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 2:07PM
A wonderful digitial record Moira. As I was once a Sunderland Stroller I shall opt for image number twelve.

I hope that you have a Happy New, and that you continue to upload many more great photographs

Regards as always Nathan GrinGrinGrin
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
31 Dec 2012 3:13PM
I know I don't need to choose or vote...but that's the human part of life..we all have a choice and a vote..I choose to hope that 2013 is a great year for photographers...I vote for V14.

HNY from NI GrinGrinGrin
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 13 Canada
31 Dec 2012 3:14PM
You've had a busy year with a lot of fun times. What a great community you live in. V6 was quite funny. Have a wonderful NYE and all the best in 2013.......Sandy
franken Plus
15 4.5k 4 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 3:18PM
A fine set of interesting images here Moira.

Have a great 2013!

AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
31 Dec 2012 3:22PM
A nice round-up of images to commemorate your year Moira.

I do have favorites: V5, which brought back memories of my own childhood - I love rooting around in dirt Wink

V2 where the shadows on the pavement look like puzzle pieces.

V14 because it moves me.........

V16 - a celebration of childhood joy.

Have a great New Year's eve - you are staying up to toast it, aren't you? We have the googletalk app open so we can ring in 2013 with mum.

See you next year Smile

ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
31 Dec 2012 3:31PM
What a great way to close the year, Moira. People doing good.

I love V12. It sends the message ---> Fly high, and have fun doing it.

Here's me wishing you and Bill a most satisfying 2013 Smile

taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
31 Dec 2012 4:38PM
Happy New Year!
31 Dec 2012 5:18PM
Lovely set of Images Moira, I particualrly love v 14. Have great New Year ! Steve
Sezz 13 617 15 England
31 Dec 2012 5:42PM
You've certainly been busy this year Moira, I hope they all appreciate your work Smile A fine selection here and I look forward to viewing more in 2013! Wishing you and Bill a very Happy New Year! x

Sarah *
RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 8:03PM
A marvellous set to finish up with, Moira! Happy New Year to you and look forward to your delicious glimpses of life in Prudhoe and elsewhere in 2013.

31 Dec 2012 9:31PM
A lot happening here, Moira! Didn't do it half of this! New year, new......TongueTongueTongueTongueTongue
Have a good one!Smile
pdcche 7 4 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 9:48PM
Great set Moira, a collection of allsorts, but getting back to V1, you seem to have had the last word, Peter..
Have a great New Year..
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
31 Dec 2012 11:40PM
A de light full new year to you Moira, thanks for your support and bonne annιe
Great to see what goes on in your world.. could not see them all, french outback connection on 128 kb/s
pascalg Plus
10 37 France
1 Jan 2013 8:54AM
Happy New Year Grin

loved #7 & 14 (beautiful portrait / lady)
Glostopcat 11 255 2 England
1 Jan 2013 6:11PM
An interesting and eclectic set of images recounting what went on in your local community in the year 2012. I look forward to seeing more of the same in 2013. Happy New Year to you and Bill, Ed

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