An angel too soon

By mrswoolybill
Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Rob Maltby were just an ordinary, sweet, gentle young couple in love, who happened to be Goths. A bunch of thugs, who couldn't cope with anyone who wanted to be different, beat them up. Sophie suffered severe head injuries, from which she died.
A Trust has been set up in her memory, to try to increase tolerance of young people's cultures and life-style choices.
This memorial bench is on the seafront at Whitby, spiritual home to all Goths and a rather lovely place to be commemorated. Memorial benches are usually dedicated to loved ones who lived to a ripe old age, enjoying walking and country views in their retirement. I found the mix of tradition and Goth black flowers poignant.
The title is taken from the plaque, see V2.
Thanks for looking,

Tags: Photo journalism Specialist and abstract

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
26 Apr 2012 8:13AM
Your description is perfect, very poignant. We didn't manage to get as far as the West Cliff this time. The black rose is a very apt tribute and your portrayal is very sympathetic.


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

rontear Plus
15 8 8 England
26 Apr 2012 8:14AM
A sad and poignant indicment of todays society Moira. Photography is a powerful tool in highlighting these tragedies, a moment to pause.
Alvar 11 23 2 France
26 Apr 2012 8:17AM
Dreadful story Moira A very fitting tribute
AnnChown Plus
8 207 1 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 8:30AM
What a tragic story. I like your portrayal Moira.
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 8:42AM

Quote:Dreadful story Moira A very fitting tribute

I agree Moira. This is so sad.

pascalg Plus
10 37 France
26 Apr 2012 8:46AM
this is moving
SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
26 Apr 2012 8:46AM
I love the black flower against the colour. A minimal bouquet but powerful nonetheless.
CaroleS Plus
8 433 3 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 9:19AM
Such a tragic story - Carole
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
26 Apr 2012 9:27AM
How very sad, Moira. Everyone in the world is different, for various reasons, but why should they be penalised for it? A moving tribute. Carol
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 9:30AM
Thank you folks. Northumberland is currently making up for two months of drought, so I should actually get some time on the site today!
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
26 Apr 2012 10:11AM
Sad story...V3 for me (from a photographic point of view)
9 10 10 England
26 Apr 2012 10:24AM
What a very sad ending for Sophie but your images are a great tribute to her.
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
26 Apr 2012 11:00AM
Hate crimes of any life style is heinous. V1 is the most moving for me.
TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
26 Apr 2012 11:04AM
A very sad story, Moira, but a fine set of images of this tribute.
Trev Smile
26 Apr 2012 11:32AM
V2 for me Moira the sweeping composition somehow suits goths and their fashion style, Poor Lass to die at her age in such a terrible fashion.
There's some consolation that the people who did this were dealt with, but no consolation for the family and friends of Sophie, the loss would be indescribable. They damaged so many lives with thoughtless actions and their own as well.

Your image is a fine tribute to Sophie and Rob, he has to live with his loss.

pluckyfilly 11 351 33 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 12:00PM
so sad, makes you wonder what the next generation will be like, you have taken the picture and shown it wellSmile and with tenderness
26 Apr 2012 1:04PM
Very nice set Moira, i remember hearing about this tragedy on the news, such a sad story. It makes me so fearful for my children and makes me paranoid when i hear of similar occurrences where i live.
This is a lovely tribute.
taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
26 Apr 2012 1:27PM
A vignette of today's world--very poignant image!

Good reportage!
mikbee 11 3 8 Scotland
26 Apr 2012 1:42PM
Edinburgh is full of benches Moira,for past council members who did sod all for all their years of service there.
A more worthwhile tribute for a bench here in my book.
And I can't think of a better location for such a bench as Whitby !!
A fine set.
26 Apr 2012 1:44PM
Lovely poignant images. Such a sad story, and a great tribute.
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
26 Apr 2012 2:13PM
A very sad story. Beautiful images to remind us of what happens and what we should try to prevent from ever happening again............Sandy
footloose 7 1 England
26 Apr 2012 2:34PM
Very sad,I see this bench twice a year when we attend the Goth festival.
danbrann Plus
13 637 17
26 Apr 2012 3:54PM
A fine tribute Moira. I think I have seen similar on this site before and it upsets me just as much now.
nikshot 8 9 1 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 4:15PM
So so sad, what a waste. Thanks for the reminder of the price of intolerance.

26 Apr 2012 5:34PM
Very sad, very poignant. The flower colour is so right.

Nearly put a similar shot on the site a week ago, a man had drowned assumed by his own hand in a local loch the previous day, like danbrann, it just upset me to look at it. I took the image then thought about sharing it, I'm still undecided.

Intolerance? Seen so much of it experienced some of it, have friends devastated by it, remarkably human failing that we can so easily persuade ourselves that ours with all its faults is the true way and no other.

26 Apr 2012 5:40PM
Sorry I can't comment Moira, but your images, write up and title have left me speechless.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 5:43PM
Thanks again everyone.
I find the story disturbing too, partly because I can imagine it happening again, and anywhere. I'll admit that I didn't recognise Sophie's name at the time. I saw the bench on our way into town, knew that it was something special, and made a detour to photograph it on the way back.
Searching online afterwards I remembered the case immediately. I couldn't see any reference in the articles that I read, but I'm sure I remember that Sophie died because she tried to defend her boyfriend, who was the thugs' main target.
And she was so very young.
jonwebber 9 4 1 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 5:45PM
Very expressive. And a reminder of how bad folk can be.
RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 6:01PM
An excellent set and V1 is so very poignant. A fine tribute, I'd say, but such a shame it's necessary.

pdcche 7 4 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 6:11PM
Nice set of images for this terrible tragedy.. Peter
Richsr 11 91 223 England
26 Apr 2012 7:08PM
So sad Moria, and good of you to research it and bring back to people memories
SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
26 Apr 2012 7:18PM
A terrible story, but I am glad to have heard it. Thank you for giving us this.
jaktis 14 84 Sweden
26 Apr 2012 7:47PM
What a beautiful flower and sad story

LexEquine 12 19 United States
26 Apr 2012 8:56PM
'Superb color, tones, processing, details, & artistic composition,' Moira, on these three Images~

~ Peter
the story was on radio 4...mindless violance nice images
SandraKay Plus
11 233 4 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2012 7:39PM
A very sad story, Moira but a lovely image.
Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
29 Apr 2012 8:40PM
A very poignant tribute to this young couple Moira, I remember reading about this in the news
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
30 Apr 2012 5:36PM
This is too sad. Bah...
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
2 May 2012 8:17AM
Very shocking, I never heard of the case... How well you paid tribute in your series and description.
Tolerance seems to get forgotten society tolerates outrageous violence and starts to find excuses but sadly can"t deal with those that are peaceful and different.
brownsilent 11 7 2 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 10:26PM
A sad story, and unfortunatly not the only one to be told. this is a lovely tribute, the dark flower against the green bench looks pretty.
gajewski Plus
13 10 9 United States
21 May 2012 11:03PM
This is so heartbreaking. This image is a touching tribute. Thank you for including the words which must be shared.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.