With three Nikons now I'm spoilt for choice but used at most two on any occasion where longer and shorter focal lengths may be required. The 10 year old D90 is still performing well and you would be hard pressed to know here which one I had used when.
2 Feb 2019: Snow Scenes - I find that I'm drawn to photographing snow scenes. The Common in particular looks good in a white blanket whereas townscapes soon lose their seasonal look.
20 Mar 2019: Installation of Rev Mike Saunders as Waterways Chaplain - A ceremony to mark the appointment of the Rev Saunders as Waterways Chaplain - apposite as the church of St Lawrence has a long association with the Canal. The Bishop of Reading was in attendance.
Apr 2019: Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race - The Devizes to Westminster is the big race of the calendar. Shown here are 10 pics of some early season warm-up events to give crews practice in race conditions taken on 7 April and 20 pics of the race itself taken on 19 April. The big day enjoyed unusually shirt-sleeve weather. Support crews and spectators are thronging the towpath and Jubilee bridge. Popular local photographer Ken Rayner has been making good use of his big Nikon.
26 Apr 2019: Mayor's Reception - The Royal British Legion club has put on a good spread for the Mayor, who is busy socialising with her many guests after the formal speeches and presentations. I grab a bite to eat when I can fit it in!
30 Apr 2019: Town & Manor Awards - The Town & Manor had run a competition designed to encourage innovative projects for the Town. In an event held at the Corn Exchange, winning ideas were celebrated with the presentation of grants by the Constable Ellie Dickins to further the projects.
30 Apr 2019: Tutti Day - Constable Ellie Dickins officiated in her last Tutti Day before handing over to a new holder of the ancient office, and the sun shone on the occasion, hoorah!
30 Apr 2019: Children's scramble for sweets at the URC - The former 'sweetie scramble' with street urchins has been made more in keeping with modern safety standards. Children were able to rough and tumble for sweets, coins and oranges in the URC church hall after a handicraft workshop to make Tutti poles.
5 May 2019: Constable Sunday - The new Constable Nicholas Lumley also had the sun shining on his parade - a good omen. Town Band leader Tim Crouter was a little over-enthusiastic beating out time for the march to the church.
May 2019: Last HSTs - The GWR franchise announced they were discontinuing the use of the well-regarded and comfortable HST passenger trains some 40 years after their introduction on the previous Western Region of BR. By then the brand new Japanese bi-mode (diesel or electric) IETs were available in numbers to render the HST sets redundant. The last service ran on the evening of the 18th June, headed by the Flying Welshman - Geraint Thomas – wearing his race winner’s yellow jersey, signified on the stylised Welsh Dragon. A fortnight later GWR ran a commemorative special which I pictured by the A4 passing into the sunset, both figuratively and literally, with one of the power cars of the first production set 253001 in the original livery bringing up the rear.
8 Jun 2019: Youth Centre Open Day - An Open Day at the Youth & Community Centre giving some of the chief officers of the Town the opportunity to 'let their hair down' (if they have any) and relive the days of their youth.
17 Jun 2019: John Newton's Funeral - Funeral day for staunch Hungerfordian John Newton marked by a display of steam engines outside the Town Hall, an exhibition inside celebrating his love of them and a magnificent spread laid out for the wake catered by the Tutti Pole.
18 Jun 2019: Great West Way signs - One of the more visible elements of the Great West Way marketing initiative and Hungerford's place at the centre of it. The new road sign is officially launched by the Mayor and Constable, accompanied by Cllr Martin Crane, OBE and the CE of GWW.
19 Jun 2019: Freedom of Town Awards - The Freedom of the Town awards this year are being presented by High Sheriff of Berkshire, Lucy Zeal - a photogenic subject in her official couture. Photos of family groups for the awardees were also in demand.
29 Jun 2019: Armed Forces Day - The High Sheriff was back again a few days later for the Army exhibition and taking the salute at the Parade, Lt Col Cummings' last in command before moving on to another position in the Army. Hi all – what a glorious day for the Parade and what a fun occasion it was - if you didn’t have to march in full ceremonial kit or man-handle an extremely heavy anvil until everyone agreed that it was in the right place! I’ve done my usual job of preparing a selection of photos from before, during, and after the parade including the high-jinks of two ladies in high office who were obviously in high spirits and rising to the occasion.
5 Jul 2019: Scouts - A party of Danish Scouts had been camping by the Hungerford Scout hut during the week and took part in a ceremony with their hosts during which new recruits were inducted.
20 Jul 2019: Town Council Awards - The Garden Room at the Croft Centre was barely large enough to contain all the beneficiaries of the Hungerford TC grant awards this year. No wonder there are so many happy faces!
21 Jul 2019: Visit by the Bishop of Oxford - The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, visited St Lawrence's Church and led the Communion Service. In the church hierarchy Oxford trumps Reading so this was an important day for Hungerford and all concerned did their best to give him a good impression of the town.
Jul 2019: Cleaning up the canal "swing" bridge - The canal bridge at the bottom of Station Rd was becoming an eyesore, and possibly influenced by his Water Chaplain role the Rev Saunders mobilised a working party to spruce it up. Pictures from before, during and after the work was completed.
3 Aug 2019: Hungerford In Bloom Awards - The Garden Room was again the setting for the presentation of awards in the Hungerford in Bloom competition.
27 Sep 2019: Macmillan Coffee Morning - The Macmillan Cancer charity fund-raising event held in the hall at the United Reform Church with the usual generous donation of prizes for the raffle.
28 Sep 2019: URC Flower Festival - A thanks-giving theme for the flower display in the URC, with a picture of the frontage for their use in publicity materials, taken from across the High St rather than looking up from below!
8 Oct 2019: Cattle on the Common - I was asked at short notice by the Town & Manor for pictures of cattle on the Common in the dark to support their application for a lower speed limit. Surprisingly not having any, I obliged that evening but apparently not within the required timescale.
15 Oct 2019: Pre-Christmas Pop-up Shop - A joint Town & Manor and Chamber of Commerce initiative to use one of the vacant outlets in the High St as a pre-Christmas pop-up shop for local small traders to bring their products to the people. Official opening, with razzmatazz, by the Constable.
14 Oct 2019: Cascade of Poppies in St Lawrence's Church - Act of remembrance in St Lawrence church in the form of a waterfall-like cascade of several hundred poppies on a fine mesh with name tags for the fallen of Hungerford woven into the display.
4 Nov 2019: Rick Stein book launch - I noticed a crowd queued up outside the Bookshop as I walked down the High St. Much reduced on my return, to discover celebrity chef Rick Stein installed and signing copies of his new book. Felt obliged to buy one in exchange for the photos!
10 Nov 2019: Remembrance Parade - Back to my preferred location on the canal bridge, but challenging photography with back-lighting and deep shadows. This is an 'untidy' parade to photograph, understandable because everyone wishes to be involved - in solidarity. Additional photos of the usual intimate wreath-laying event at the War Memorial in Bulpit Lane.
11 Nov 2019: Armistice Day - Easier for me to operate at the War Memorial on Armistice Day without the crowds thronging the restricted site. The multitude of wreaths from the previous day set the scene for the solemn act of remembrance.
1 Dec 2019: Advent Service - Nice to be asked to do a candle-lit service with the implied assumption that you can do it, and not make a fuss about achieving a result. Of course the technical quality is not great but I've tried to capture the spirit of the occasion.
1 Dec 2019: Christmas Lights switch on - The celebrity for this year switching on the Christmas lights is Will Young, who has risen from his Hungerford childhood (a surprise to many) to be an international star, something of a coup for the team organising.
14 Dec 2019: Town Band Concert - The annual Christmas concert of the Town Band with an extra twist this year. Leader Tim Crouter and wife Sandy were given a surprise presentation to mark their 25 years of dedication to the band. Susan & Tim – pics from the concert and presentation this evening. As agreed with Susan, I took a variety of performance pics for the first half, many using a long lens which I have recently acquired and need to practice in use. So most of this material is more likely to be of interest to those immediately concerned as souvenirs of the concert. For those unaware of what was planned for the second half (including Tim himself), the band started with a rousing version of “for he’s a jolly good fellow”, which Tim eventually came to realise was for himself, not for the Constable’s fictitious birthday shortly. So my main job was to capture the presentation of gifts from the Band to Tim and his wife Sandy for his 25 years of leadership, during which time the Band has become a valuable asset to the Town.
15 Dec 2019: Mayor's Carol Service - The usual combination of festive carolling and social interactions. Almost unrecognisable Lt Col Paul Cummings in mufti and in the process of redeploying from 6REME at Tidworth.
Trains: Apart from the withdrawal of HSTs the other big change for the student of railways was the award of the contract for stone haulage to the Freightliner company (US-owned) taking over from the German DB British operation, swapping red locos for green.
Local Views: Including some shots in case I got an late call for pictures for a 2020 calendar.