Wednesday, 11 October 2017

From The Jam Feature In Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Seeing From The Jam perform the songs of The Jam is one of my favourite nights out in the musical diary. Recreating the arrangements with such precision and having the superb voice of Russell Hastings accompanying Bruce Foxton makes the whole thing work wonderfully well.

When I started to put the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book together I wanted to get as much stuff about The Jam, past and present, in the book as I could. What price getting Paul, Bruce and Rick together for a photo? Well yes of course we can all dream. I never managed to get a response from Paul or Rick, although I did manage to get a request to Rick through his book page on Facebook. Thankfully fortune was on my side as when I approached From The Jam to be in the book I was successful. I was given a photo pass for the Reading gig on the Settings Sons 35th anniversary tour.


Normally being in the photo pit you are restricted to the first three songs of the set, so I made sure I was primed and ready. As things turned out I needn't have worried as I was able to stay in there for the whole set, which gave me unlimited photographic access up close and personal. And of course I was also able to enjoy the concert from the very front!

SUB 89 in Reading is a great venue for bands to play the town these days, and From The Jam always fill the venue to capacity. The lighting in there makes photography quite challenging, and it took me quite some time to decide on which were the best photos to consider using in the book. These two photos of Bruce and Russell made the shortlist, but not actually into the book.

As a 16 year old I saw the final tour of The Jam at Wembley in 1982. Seeing these songs again 35 years later is nothing short of an absolute joy, and my heartfelt thanks to the band for participating in the book.

I published the Lives & Times book on November 27th 2015. It has so far raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. All proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to the charity.

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Although the operation to remove the tumour in her bowel was successful, Mum also had secondary cancer on her left lung. This is where the primary cancer spreads to another part of the body. She had four operation over four years on her lungs. The cancer also spread to her brain, and in spite of "Cyberknife" treatment her health declined and she passed away on August 29th 2016.

Information about the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.

I am currently doing a new book in my mother's memory. The challenge for this one is to try and Paul and Rick to take part... Can anyone help me with this?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Stiff Little Fingers supporting Bowel Cancer Charity Book



Back in March 2015, I travelled to Oxford to see Stiff Little Fingers play live at the O2 Academy. Having made contact with Jake a few weeks earlier, he invited me to go and photograph the band at their sound-check before the gig. This particular photo shows Jake sporting the bowel cancer tie, which I asked many of the people in the book to do a photo with to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It was fascinating going back stage to meet the band in their dressing room, and the gig itself was absolutely brilliant with the band playing many of their classic songs alongside tracks from their most recent studio album, No Going Back. This was a great chapter to write, as not only was it a brilliant evening, but having first seen the band play live in 1987, and buying the 'At The Edge' 7" single in 1980, there is a long history of me following the band. 

At the time of the meeting my Mum had been living with bowel cancer for three years. Although she had successfully had the tumour removed from her bowel in 2012, she also had secondary cancer on her left lung, and underwent four operations over a four year period to remove nodules. On the day that Lives & Times was published in November 2015, Mum had a seizure, and the cancer had spread to her brain. She underwent CyberKnife treatment in early 2016, but more seizures followed and her condition slowly deteriorated, and she sadly passed away in August, 2016. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer, and it has raised over £3250 to date.

41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives. Importantly, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done to raise awareness about this awful illness, to increase the numbers diagnosed early, and help reduce the number of deaths. There is still a stigma attached to anything related to bums and poo!

The book contains chapters on people from all walks of life, including the world of music, sport, television, and people affected by cancer. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lives & Times Meets Blowers From Test Match Special


Photographing Henry Blowers Blofeld for the book was particularly interesting as I met him in my Mum's road! Blowers was one of the main stays on BBC Test Match Special, commentating on cricket for over 40 years before his retirement after the final summer Test against the West Indies in 2017. His unique style of commentary painting such a wonderful picture of the game will be much missed, and I wish him a long and happy retirement, although I suspect he will remain pretty busy.

Henry was appearing with the former TMS producer Peter Baxter at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, and was very happy to meet me before the performance to be photographed for the book in spite of spending all day travelling to get to the venue. He was terrific, and it was another wonderful experience and a great addition to the book.

My mother is the inspiration behind the Lives & Times book. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and after a successful operation to remove the tumour, she also had four lung operations over the next four and a half years. At the end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain, and her health slowly deteriorated and she passed away in August 2016.

All proceeds raised from sales of Lives & Times are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with over £3250 raised so far. The book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 each year. If detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lives &Times Meets Dave Sharp From The Alarm

With Dave Sharp in Llandudno 2017

Dave Sharp played at The Gathering in Llandudno earlier this year, so it was really nice to have a quick chat and photo with him, and update him on the book, which has now raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer.

Dave Sharp at The Railway Inn

I met up with Dave, the original guitarist with The Alarm, at his acoustic gig at The Railway Inn, Winchester in October 2015. I had been on Dave's trail for the book ever since I had photographed Nigel Twist & Eddie Macdonald from the band a year or so before. In fact Eddie had hoped to try and get Dave to be at the meeting with Nigel, which alas didn't happen. Dave proved to be somewhat elusive, and as the publication date drew close I had pretty much given up hope of hearing anything. I was going to his gig in Winchester so I thought it was worth emailing him one final time, and I was delighted when Dave emailed back just a couple of days before the gig and he was very happy to be part of it.

I hadn't seen Dave play live for a few years, and the gig was absolutely brilliant. He is a real master craftsman... It's a great venue and I was lucky enough to see a bit of the soundcheck where Dave went to great lengths to ensure he got the sound absolutely right. This paid dividends for his set as the sound quality was superb. Dave was very enthusiastic about what I was doing and we were able to have a chat in the bar before doing the photo. He was also keen that the photos were as good as we could make them. He certainly has a creative eye and it made my job really easy. The photo I use in the book is a great black and white photo of the man.

So I managed to meet and photograph all four original members of The Alarm for the Lives & Times book. Short of getting them together in the same room this was quite an achievement and one I am really pleased about. Bowel cancer remains the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if caught early it is one of the most treatable cancers. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and over the course of 4 years following her successful bowel operation, also received treatment for cancer on her left lung and cancer on the brain. Both cancers are secondaries from the original bowel cancer. Sadly Mum passed away in August 2016, but the fundraising continues now in her memory with a new book in the pipeline.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

That Feeling You Get When You Publish A Book..


Victoria Derbyshire's book, Dear Cancer, Love Victoria, detailing her account of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is published later this month. It's a book I am looking forward to reading, and the above screenshot is taken from a lovely video Victoria posted on her Twitter feed this week when she received the first copy of her book.


It got me thinking back to when Lives & Times was published on November 27th 2015. It was a day that I was naturally looking forward to with much excitement, as its not every day that you have a book come out. A few people had received their copies in advance including Mum, who was reduced to tears (good ones) by it, which took me by surprise and was very moving. It still makes me feel emotional now when I think back. The day of publication itself is one that I will never forget. What should have been one of the happiest and exciting days of my live ended up quite different. I got a phone call in the early hours from my brother, as Mum had been taken into hospital with what turned out to be her first brain seizure. Of course all thoughts about the book and how many copies it might sell on the first day went completely out of the window. Mum was in hospital for a week or so, and came home knowing that she would have to undergo CyberKnife treatment after Christmas. Looking back now this was really when the pendulum began to swing the other way, and Mum's health began to decline. The secondary bowel cancer cancer on the lung had been treated successfully each time it had occurred, but once the cancer went to the brain, and didn't successfully respond to the treatment, options became limited. Mum passed away on August 29th 2016 four and half years after her original  bowel cancer diagnosis.

The Lives & Times book is without doubt one of the finest achievements of my life. It's something I am immensely proud of, and it has successfully raised a significant amount of funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and hopefully played its part in helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. This awful disease claims 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.


Victoria kindly agreed to be in the new fundraising book I am doing. The Record still has a long way to go before before being published, but it is hopefully shaping up to be every bit as good as Lives & Times.

Friday, 25 August 2017

How To Buy The Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer


The Lives & Times book can be bought in three different formats. Here is the breakdown on how you can order your copy. 

Hardback Edition
  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. This is the website I have set up. The book costs £23.99 of which the £5.00 approx that I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Only available to UK customers.
  • Amazon. The book costs £29.99 of which the approx £3.00 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Paperback Edition
  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. My website. The book costs £7.99 of which the £2.50 approx I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Only available to UK customers.
  • Amazon. The book costs £8.99 of which the approx £1.34 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Big Green Bookshop. The book can be bought from this independent bookstore in North London for £10 with £5.62 going to the charity. Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG
  • Book Bean & Ice Cream. The book is on sale from this independent bookstore in Kirkham near Preston for £10 with £5.62 going to the charity. Book Bean & Ice Cream, 61 Poulton Street, Kirkham, Preston PR4 2AJ
  • Grove Bookshop. The book is on sale from Grove Bookshop, one of the North of England's best known independent bookstores in Ilkley for £10. Grove Bookshop, 10 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EG
Ebook Edition
  • Amazon. The digital edition for the kindle is only available on Amazon at the moment. There are free kindle apps that can run on your iPad and laptop. The book costs £2.49 of which the approx £1.00 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Worldwide (outside the UK)
  • Amazon. Search "Lives & Times Tim Darvell" and you won't go too far wrong. 
  • Book Depository. Offers free shipping to anywhere in the world so is a brilliant way for buyers living outside the UK to buy the book.
Finally I am quite happy to sell physical copies of the hardback and paperback editions directly bypassing the websites. Please contact me on email me at timdarv@googlemail.com and we can arrange it on there.

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Information about the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here. My Mum fought a long, brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer. She passed peacefully away on August 29th, 2016.

I would like to thank everyone for the encouragement and support given so far. I am hoping people will decide to buy the hardback and paperback editions through me or my website to maximize the profits, but every purchase makes a difference. Please support me on this venture. It took over 18 months to put this book together and it's raised over £3250 for the charity so far.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Clare Grogan From Altered Images Supporting The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


I met up with the lovely Clare Grogan back in 2014 after she agreed to be in my bowel cancer fundraising book. She was performing an Altered Images set at Let's Rock on very hot summer's day in Southampton. The day turned out to be quite eventful, as for starters the chapter in the book describes how I managed to get myself thrown out of the press pit whilst photographing Clare and the band. After Clare came off stage I took a very special shot back stage after having had a chat with her. Clare's husband Stephen has had bowel cancer, and it was fascinating talking to her about our own experiences of having a family member with bowel cancer. Here's a photo I took during her performance that's not in the book.

Sadly since Lives & Times was published in November 2015, my Mum lost her battle with bowel cancer. She fought this awful disease with immense courage and great dignity, but she passed peacefully away in August 2016. The book has raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity to date.