Sometime in the mid-1980s I was drawn into the steering committee set up to establish a 'community law centre' in Lancashire, not thought to be the kind of place law centres normally flourish.  But Blackpool and other Lancs towns had, and probably still have, many of the problems more associated with deprived inner-city areas, especially to do with benefits and housing, or poverty in short.

In due course, cutting the story very short, the Lancashire Community Law Centre, later renamed FLAC - the Free Legal Action Centre, got going.  Soon the lawyers needed photographs of a shockingly ramshackle rented flat for a court case, only to find that contracting a high-street photographer was unaffordable under Legal Aid (several thousand pounds).  So I took the photos, charged a fair price (around 1/10th of that quote) and the Centre won the court case.

So it went on, for dozens and dozens of cases.  The Centre would decide the aggrieved tenant had a good case, a consultant Environmental Health Office would do a report highlighting the deficiencies and I would take the pictures illustrating his report.  In nearly all cases, the landlord's side (often a local council) threw in the towel when they saw the pictures.  A picture is worth a thousand words in court, as elsewhere.

*** Still available to refresh my expertise in this area! ***


I competed in 49 motor sport events, mostly night road rallies from 1969, followed by special stage events from around 1973, right through to 1987 or thereabouts.  A few of those events were other forms of motor sport, mostly sprint around East Anglia, especially Bassingbourn airfield, Duxford aerodrome and the like - I did those to try and sharpen up my initial speed on night rallies as it was very clear I was slow to warm up.

When I sold my faithful Mini-Cooper 1293 S, built by me in every detail, beginning with welding up a decent shell out of two crumpled write-offs, I couldn't bear to spectate so I left rallying alone for years.

return to rallying - the other side of the lens

Come 1997 and out of curiousity I took my cameras to the Scottish Rally and noticed at the end of the field a group of wonderful historic rally cars - Cortinas, Escorts, and so on.  I also noticed the regular motor sport photographers moved on before the historic lads arrived, so I took a bunch of slides and sent a selection off to Classic and Sports Car magazine.  They published some and paid me.  A new career, or at least addition to my freelance career, opened up.

For the next couple of years I followed the Demon Tweeks Historic Rally Championship, taking pictures and writing reports for a range of car magazines, such as Mini World, Classic Ford, Porsche World and so on.  Fees barely covered costs but I persevered.

enter the British Historic Rally Championship

Around 2000 Brian Thomas from the Historic Rally Car Register contacted me, said my efforts had been noticed, and would I like to be the official photographer for the new British Historic Rally Car Championship, which would be the first of its kind and an evolution of the existing Safety Devices Championship, with new sponsors etc.  I jumped at it so long as I was free to write my articles and to compose pictures - I hated the kind that just show a rally car passing in front of a sponsor's banner.  The HRCR was happy with that, we agreed a fee to cover my travel expenses, and so started a productive partnership.  It was up to me to earn additional income by selling to magazines, competitors etc.

For six years I covered every event and sent pictures and photos to an even wider range of publications.

all good things come to an end

Sadly it all came to an end after the 2006 season when the BHRC lost its major sponsor and they had to dispense with an official photographer.  And I had to return to my other activities, chiefly radio production.

Anyone like the services of an experience rally photographer, who knows what he's doing AND knows what it's like to compete?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coming soon:

Link to photo archive, historic rallying 1997-2006

More details of the above