Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year - Let's Beat Bowel Cancer in 2016


A very Happy New Year, I hope your 2016 be full of happiness, laughter, fun, love, peace and the very best of times.

On New Years Day, 2016, the Lives & Times book had raised £707.38 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, which is totally due to the fantastic and generous support of everyone who has bought the book so far. My heart felt thanks to everyone...

2015 was certainly a roller-coaster of a year. In February Mum had another procedure on her left lung to remove a secondary cancerous tumour related from the bowel cancer of 2012. She made a great recovery and was soon back to riding her horse (not bad for a 79 year old) and sunning herself on the Greek Islands. Unfortunately as the year drew to a close the cancer returned on her left lung, and then the news got worse when the cancer spread. On Jan 4th Mum begins three consecutive days of "cyber knife" treatment to zap the tumours and then all being well she will face another operation to remove a tumour from her lung. Mum typifies so many of the people with cancer. She has the most amazing positive attitude and is absolutely determined to beat it. I have nothing but admiration for Mum and those like her. At the same time I don't lose sight of the fact it has been another year when many people have lost their courageous battles with cancer. The bowel cancer community is the most warm spirited compassionate bunch of people I have ever known, and their support for each other, the book and Mum is wonderful.

Going back a couple of years I had thought the book would be published by the end of 2014. However as 2015 began I was still chasing Gabby Logan and Jonathan Agnew, and more and more people were agreeing to be part of it, including Lorraine Kelly, so this success in attracting new people meant publication didn't happen until November 27th. The Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer is one of the proudest achievements of my entire life. So many fascinating experiences all put together in one book. Available in paperback, hardback and digital eBook. The Lives & Times can be bought in three different formats. Here is the breakdown on how you can order your copy. Please support this book and ALL the proceeds I receive are donated to the charity.

Hardback Edition
  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. This is the website I have set up. The book costs £25 + P&P of which the £8-£10 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £32.50 of which the approx £4.80 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Paperback Edition
  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. My website. The book costs £10 + P&P of which the £5 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £10 of which the approx £2.50 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
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 iPads and laptops. The book costs £5 of which the approx £3.00 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
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 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's taken over 18 months to put this book together and it's fantastic to finally see it come to fruition.

So who are the people featured in the book...
  • Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
  • Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Phil Parkes
  • Jonathan Agnew
  • Lorraine Kelly
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Matthew Wright
  • Freya North
  • Ben Richards
  • Carrie Grant
  • Gail Porter
  • Alan Davies
  • Shaun Keaveny
  • Mike Read
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Tom Rosenathal
  • Antonia Maariconda
  • Status Quo
  • The Stranglers
  • The Alarm
  • Clare Grogan
  • Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
  • Horace Panter
  • My Mum!
And so very much more.... Over 100 photos and about 45,000 words.

Please help me in doing my small bit in helping to beat bowel cancer and raising bowel cancer awareness.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

STOMP Supporting The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Alua Nascimento, pictured above with his copy of Lives & Times, is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist who is appearing in the hit London stage show STOMP. It's the most experience that combines dance, comedy and music. Dustbins, brooms, kitchen sinks are all used to create a unique rhythmic experience. I contacted the show after I had been to see the production, and I was delighted when some of the cast agreed to meet me. I met Alua along with Paul Bend and Hugo Cortes one afternoon to photograph them for the book. The guys couldn't have been more helpful, and were happy to do some shots on stage with me before we had a long chat about their careers and the production. It was absolutely fascinating and made for quite a unique chapter in the book. I am not going to reveal too much here, but the chapter and photos are well worth a read...

The book fundraising tally for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity is now heading towards £700. The dream is to hit the £1000 mark, and with the kindness and generosity shown by everyone so far I believe that it is achievable. To see all the ways you can order the book click here. ALL proceeds are dobated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book Featured in Maidenhead United Match Day Programme


In the Lives & Times book I did a kind of then and now chapter on Maidenhead United, which is my home town club. My grandfather, Jack Darvell, was associated with the club during the 1930/40s and so I combined that era with meeting up with last season's manager Drax Hippolyte to create one of the more personal chapters in the book.



The club, or more specifically Steve Jinman, put together this great article on the book which was included in the match day programme for the game against Hemel Hempstead on December 28th, on page 18 to be exact. I went along to the game with my brother and met up with Steve. The game ended up in a 3-2 home defeat for Maidenhead. They looked down and out being 3-0 down at half time, but pulled the score back to 3-2 and then missed a last minute penalty! It was certainly entertaining.

The support for the book since publication has been terrific with over £650 raised so far and articles like this are a great way of spreading the message about the book. I should add that, apart from Steve's help, the chapter in the book would not have been possible to write without the invaluable help of the club's historian Mark Smith, who I also met up with during half time.

To see how you can buy a copy of the book click here.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Can A Book About Bowel Cancer Be Heartwarming & Uplifting?



Can A Book About Bowel Cancer Be Heartwarming & Uplifting? In a nutshell yes! The idea behind writing Lives & Times was not to produce a book that dwelled too much on what is a horrible illness that is taking far too many lives each year. Yet at the same time I very much wanted bowel cancer to be a constant theme in the book. For anyone who has come into contact with bowel cancer and think that this book is not for them, I totally respect that, but it might pleasantly surprise you... 

What I have learned over the last three years since Mum began her battle with bowel cancer is that the bowel cancer community is a wonderfully warm and giving community who are always there to support people in their hour of need. Many friendships have been made and news ones are being made all the time. This certainly gave me the confidence to approach people for the book where bowel cancer had been a part of their lives.

If you look at the photo you will see smiles in pretty much every photo. This uplifting and heartwarming reaction I got when meeting people certainly carried through to the writing. I have met people who have beaten bowel cancer, and I have met people who have sadly lost loved ones. It has been the most incredible and inspirational journey I have ever been on. 

I have been truly touched by the reaction of everyone who has bought the book so far. The messages of support have been amazing and the complimentary comments have made me feel quite emotional at times.

To see how you can buy a copy of the book click here. I have already donated £500 to Beating Bowel Cancer and there is another £100 raised this week. ALL proceeds are donated to the charity.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Status Quo -The Frantic Four - On Board The Lives & Times Fundraising Book


To see how you can buy the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

In March 2014 I emailed a request to Status Quo's manager Simon Porter requesting to meet and photograph the band. To my astonishment the response was a "yes". This had been the very first request I had sent to anyone famous to be in the book, and how easy was that! Of course the reality was somewhat different with many rejections along the way to completing the book. However every time someone agreed to be in it, the feeling of elation that I got was always the same.

The classic Frantic Four Status Quo line-up of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan was touring for the second year running, and billed as the final tour they would do. In spite of a huge demand from fans that still remains the case 18 months on. The management offered me the experience of photographing the band from the press pit at the Hammersmith Apollo on this tour. It really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had such a great time. I managed to take about 200 photos during the first three songs that you are allowed in the pit for. I was then ejected from the venue! The full story along with some of the very best photos appears in the charity book I have produced to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and I am really happy with the results. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and as Christmas 2015 approaches she is still battling secondary cancer from the bowel cancer. The book is full of my experiences photographing famous people and all the proceeds raised from sales are donated to the charity. The photo below gives shows just how close to stage I was... 


John Coghlan very kindly sent me a video message of support for the book. Thanks Quo! :)




Saturday, 12 December 2015

Lives & Times Book Helping to Beat Bowel Cancer


To see where and how to order the book click here.

The first two weeks of the book's life since publication have been an outstanding success. This is entirely down to the support of the many family, friends and complete strangers who have bought it so far. Today I have been able to make the first donation to Beating Bowel Cancer from the royalties I have received so far. Thanks to everyone I have been able to donate £500 on Justgiving, which is far beyond my expectations.

I am trying very hard not to set myself too many targets. The book itself being out there in the public domain is helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is massively important. These proceeds are based on sales through my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website and for purchases made directly through me. There have also been quite a few sales through Amazon and other online stores, and I have to wait three months for these payments to come through to me, so there will be more to come from there as well as from the ongoing sales I achieve. The marketing of the book is a massive challenge as it's pretty much me on my own. I am using social media to the max, contacted media organisations (not so successful to date), and I have also had some marvellous support from people featured in the book. The biggest challenge that remains is to try and get the book past friends and family and generate some more sales out in the big wide world. It just needs one lucky break.

The feedback for the book so far has been terrific, which has certainly made the 18 month journey of putting it together very worthwhile. Mum's health has not been brilliant, and she is currently under treatment again for secondary cancer from the bowel cancer. She remains very upbeat and positive, and is still able to ride her horse Shimara, which is her lovely escape route from everything.

To see just some of the people featured in the book click here

Monday, 7 December 2015

Who The Beating Bowel Cancer Charity Is?



Many people will know that I have been fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity since 2012. So who are Beating Bowel Cancer? On the charity's website you can find the following information on the Who We Are section. ALL proceeds raised from sales of the Lives & Times fundraising book will be donated to the charity. To see how you can order the book click here.


Beating Bowel Cancer is the support and campaigning charity for everyone affected by bowel cancer.
We provide vital practical and emotional help - on the phone, digitally and face to face. We're proud to run the UK's only nurse-led specialist helpline for bowel cancer which patients call a 'lifeline'.

We bring patients with bowel cancer together to share invaluable experience and support, through our website, social media and major events.

Our high impact campaigns have led to the introduction of the bowel cancer screening programme, which is helping save lives, as well as new funding and greater patient access to life-changing cancer treatments.

What we do
·         We provide practical and emotional support for the growing number of people affected by bowel cancer

·         We bring people with bowel cancer together to share experiences and create a powerful voice for change

·         We promote early diagnosis of bowel cancer

·         We campaign for the highest quality treatment and care for bowel cancer patients

·         We raise money to fund our vital work

Our vision is:
A world where bowel cancer is beaten

Our mission is:
Beating Bowel Cancer Together

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

In The Press


After 18 months of meeting and photographing people, the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity was published on November 27th. It's got off to a decent start, and I should be able to make a pretty decent donation to the charity during December. The book was featured in the Maidenhead Advertiser last week who ran a great piece. I have been trying to get interest from other media outlets, but nothing has happened yet.

The book features a collection of photographs of various people, and anecdotal stories about the photos. The process of putting the book together started back in March 2014 when I photographed Status Quo from the photo pit at the Hammersmith Apollo, and since then I have met up with and snapped many famous people who have all very kindly given up their time to support the book. Among those featured in the book are Steve Redgrave, Katherine Grainger, Lorraine Kelly, Freya North, Ben Richards, Mick Channon, Gabby Logan, Matthew Wright, Christopher Biggins, Carrie Grant, Johnathan Agnew, Gail Porter, Alan Davies, Mike Read, Shaun Keaveny, Horace Panter, The Stranglers, The Alarm, Dodgy, Antonia Mariconda, Nadine Dorries and Clare Grogan. The book also features many everyday people photos including a chapter on my Mum. The book is available on my own website, www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk, and on Amazon. To find out how you can order the book click here. Absolutely every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. In September 2012 she had a section of her bowel removed and then at the start of 2013 she underwent two further operations on her lungs where she had a cancerous nodule ,which was a secondary bowel cancer. She remained in remission for about 18 months, but unfortunately in November 2014 another cancerous nodule appeared on one of her lungs. She underwent surgery in February which was successful, and made a fantastic recovery. Unfortunately her recent CT scan revealed that the cancer has come back and she is undergoing more treatment. The treatment and care she has received throughout has been wonderful. Information about the charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.

Following mum's first operation I decided to try and give something back, so at the end of 2012 I published a book of various photos, and the stories behind them called "Beating Bowel Cancer". It is still available to buy on Amazon and my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk site, and all proceeds raised are donated to the charity. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Matthew Wright from The Wright Stuff Supports Bowel Cancer Charity Book



I met and photographed Matthew Wright for the Lives & Times book in London, and I got to see his vintage motorbikes which are his pride and joy. Matthew has been incredibly supportive of this project and he wrote a lovely foreword for the book. The is out now...



To find out how you can order the book click here. Absolutely every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

My Mum has been fighting bowel cancer since 2012. Back then her bowel was successfully operated on and the section containing the cancer was removed, but she has suffered from cancerous nodules on her lungs which is a secondary cancer from the bowel. She faces another operation on December 10th to remove the most recent cancer lesion, and this will be the 4th time she has had her lungs operated on, making it 5 operations in total. She is now 79 so I have nothing but admiration for courage and determination to get through this...

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lives & Times Book Pre-orders Going Well - Having To Restock!


Well with 3 days to go until the book is published I am close to running out of copies of the hardback edition. So this morning I have ordered a new print run which will arrive next week. I never thought that the hardback would sell in such large quantities. I am pretty overwhelmed by the support for Lives & Times and a massive thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far.

I have started to contact people in my address books to ask them to support the book and buy a copy, so apologies to anyone who feels pestered. It's short term I promise, and the quicker everyone buys a copy, the sooner I can leave you all in peace :-)

One thing I would like is for anyone who does buy the book to send me a photo of themselves holding the book so I can build up a gallery. This is an idea I am copying from best selling author Freya North who does it with her books.

Mum has a follow up appointment to her recent PET scan today, so we are hoping for good news and a treatment plan to be put together. She has been quite low recently, which is very unlike her, so it would be good if things can start to move forwards for her.

To find out how you can order the book click here. Every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Katherine Grainger in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Katherine Grainger, one of our gold medal winners at London 2012, sent a video message of support for the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 


I met and photographed Katherine at Henley Royal Regatta in the summer, and the book will tell the story of how the photo almost didn't happen. Katherine was really lovely and has always asked about Mum's health in our communications. She is training hard for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, and let's hope she brings home gold! 

To find out how you can order the book click here. Every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Celebrities Supporting The Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer




Here is a video trailer for the Lives & Times fundraising book in support of the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The aim of the video is to give you a taster of what is inside the book, as well as to hopefully help the book reach a wider audience. Please share this video with as many people as you can. 

So what can you expect in the book...

  • Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
  • Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Phil Parkes
  • Jonathan Agnew
  • Lorraine Kelly
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Matthew Wright
  • Freya North
  • Ben Richards
  • Carrie Grant
  • Gail Porter
  • Alan Davies
  • Shaun Keaveny
  • Mike Read
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Tom Rosenathal
  • Status Quo
  • The Stranglers
  • The Alarm
  • Clare Grogan
  • Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
  • Horace Panter
  • My Mum!
And so very much more.... Over 100 photos and about 45,000 words.

So many fascinating experiences all put together in one book. Available in paperback, hardback and digital eBook. To see all the ways to order the book click here. Please support this book and every penny I receive is donated to the charity.




Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer 8 Days To Go


With eight days to go until publication things are beginning to get quite exciting. Yesterday I had my delivery of both the hardback and paperback editions of Lives & Times book, so I have begun to send out the orders that I have already received. This means that anyone who places an order now will get their copy ahead of the official launch on the 27th.

Another exciting development yesterday was some contact from Status Quo's management. They were the first to come on board this project 18 months ago, and yesterday they told me that they will publicize the book on the band's Facebook and Twitter pages next month. This is the kind of wonderful help with the marketing that I am hoping for.

Tonight for the first time in Maidenhead United's 145 year history a game will televised live from York Road, with the FA Cup 1st round replay against Port Vale being shown on BT Sport. I am going with my brother, and it will be the first time we have been to see a game there together in about 40 years! I mention this here, because the book features a chapter on the club in its present form and the connection my late grandfather had with it back in the 1930/40s. It was a fascinating chapter to put together, and I am indebted to the club historian, Mark Smith, for all his help. Let's hope for a famous cup upset.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Video Trailer - 10 Days Until Publication


With just 10 days to go now until the Lives & Times book is published, I have put together a sporting themed video trailer featuring some of the personalities featured in the book including Steve Redgrave, Mick Channon, Katherine Grainger, Maidenhead Utd and Michael Holding. 

The pre-orders are coming in and the build up to publication on November 27th continues. I am expecting my first batch of paperback and hardback copies to arrive any day now, so the first lot of orders will be sent out very soon.Grab your copy and help support my fundraising effort.

My Mum had her PET scan this week, so when she sees the consultant in the next week or two a treatment plan should be put together for her.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Lives & Times Book Helping to Beat Bowel Cancer


There are now 11 days to go until the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer is published on November 27th. The main purpose of the book is to help beat bowel cancer. You can see all the ways to pre-order it by clicking here.

The basic facts are that bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, and 41,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, and it claims 16,000 lives. If diagnosed early 90% of cases can be treated successfully. Whilst it is more common to affect people over 50, it is increasingly affecting younger people.

The symptoms can include a persistent change in bowel habit, bleeding from the bottom, abdominal pain, a lump in your tummy and unexplained weight loss.

Risk factors include a high intake of saturated fats, processed or red meat. Drinking more than 4 units of alcohol per day, being overweight, and having an immediate relative with bowel cancer all could increase the chances of being affected by it.

To reduce the risk eat or healthy diet with plenty of fruit, regular exercise to reduce weight, cut down on alcohol, and be aware of any change in bowel habits. My Mum recognized a change in her bowel habit and when she was sent to have an endoscopy the bowel cancer was discovered.

It was only when the first book, Beating Bowel Cancer, was published back in 2012 did I begin to realize how important raising awareness is, and it wasn't just purely about selling copies to raise money for the charity. It was pointed out to me that the articles about the book that appeared in the local papers would be good for raising awareness regardless of how many book sales they generated. Since then my aim now has been to sell as many books as possible raising funds for the charity, but each time either book gets bowel cancer mentioned in the media, on social networks or even in normal conversations then hopefully it is playing its part in raising awareness.

Sadly too many people are lost to this illness, and if Lives & Times can play any part in raising awareness about bowel cancer, saving just one life, then all the efforts in putting it together over the last 18 months will have been worthwhile.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Lives & Times Book For Beating Bowel Cancer Release Date 27/11/2015


The countdown begins today. I can confirm that the Lives & Times book will be published on Friday November 27th. It will be available in ebook, paperback and hardback. I have uploaded the final manuscript proofs to go live and once I have the links through I will provide information on how you can buy the book.

I can reveal straightaway that I am happy for anyone to buy the paperback and hardback editions directly from. Please contact if you want to buy direct by clicking on email.

Today the hardback proof arrived and, although I am totally biased, it is absolutely stunning in appearance. The photo of the hardback and paperback copies together on top of my order book at work doesn't really do it justice, but I wanted to share an image straight away.

So with just 14 days to go the marketing of the book starts here. I am very happy for anyone who can spare a little bit of time to help me with this. I will of course appreciate shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter, but if anyone can also do some proactive marketing I would be very grateful.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls From The Wonder Stuff On Board The Bowel Cancer Charity Book


To read the introduction about the forthcoming Lives & Times book, which will feature a chapter on Miles & Erica click here. All proceeds I raise will go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity .

Back in March I went to meet and photograph Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls from The Wonder Stuff at their acoustic gig at The Railway Inn in Winchester. They were really lovely, and I got to spend a few minutes with them shortly before they went on stage. Through the wonders of Twitter, Miles had quickly responded to my book request with an enthusiastic yes, and with the help of their manager Tom it was arranged for me to go to the Winchester gig to do the photo. I am pretty excited about the terrific photos I have chosen to use in the book. These will not be revealed here, so all I can show you here is one of the other photos I took from the gig, which is not going to make the book. You will have to buy the book and see for yourself of course :) I am now the proud owner of one of Erica's prints from her other job as an artist, and of Miles' book The Wonder Stuff Diaries '86-'89.

I had thought that when the time came to meet Miles & Erica, that it was going be the last photo I would be taking for the book, and that its publication would shortly follow. How wrong could I be? The photography continued all the way into October before I could finally draw a line under it all, and I am chomping at the bit to get the book out there. It's looking like a November 27th publication date. I think that it is now as good as I can make it...

Like so many people who have so very kindly given up their time to be photographed, Miles & Erica were great sports and posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie for the Facebook group that I am part of which is helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. Have a look at the page here.





Photographing Lorraine Kelly For The Lives & Times Book For Beating Bowel Cancer


To read how you can order the Lives & Times fundraising book being published on November 27th for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

One of the most recent experiences I had for the book was meeting and photographing ITV daytime TV presenter Lorraine Kelly for the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer. It was a glorious crisp and sunny September morning and I got the opportunity to meet Lorraine in the studio right after her daily morning show had finished.

The chapter in the forthcoming book will describe the experience in full, and it was fascinating spending time watching a live show from the back of the studio behind the cameras. I wasn't expecting to be able to take Loraine's photo in the studio, so that was a real bonus. She was lovely and couldn't have been more helpful and accommodating, and she was happy to do some photographs with and without the bowel cancer tie. She also very kindly did me a short video message to help with the book's promotion which you can view here.

An early morning photo meant that I was actually back at work before midday. Lorraine is a fantastic addition to the book and a massive thanks to her.

Radio DJ Mike Read & Dave Fenton From The Vapors Photographed For The Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I spent a highly entertaining and fascinating half an hour photographing and chatting to ex Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, of course not forgetting his Saturday Superstore show too :) We met up at BBC Radio Berkshire earlier in the year where he was presenting the afternoon show, and he was a great sport putting on the bowel cancer tie.

This was a great chapter for me to write as his nighttime show on Radio 1 all those years ago was something I always listened to while doing my homework. The chapter will also feature the little confession I made to him about an incident over 30 years ago when I told a little white lie that revolved around Mike and Dave Fenton, who was the lead singer in The Vapors back in 1980s. I went on to meet and photograph Dave in London a few days after meeting Mike, and that was another fascinating experience.





Monday, 9 November 2015

Maidenhead United Football Club On Board The Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

I thought that the chapter on Maidenhead United and my family's association with the club might be quite newsworthy certainly on the local news front once the book is published. This will still hopefully be the case, but like many Maidenhead United fans I was delighted with their dramatic 1-1 draw at Port Vale in the first round of the FA Cup, which sets up a replay at York Road. Take a look at the Magpies injury time equalizer here.

I saw my first Maidenhead game in 8 years last season, and met up with their then manager Drax Hippolyte, who very kindly agreed to appear in the book. This is my hometown club, and where I would have seen my first game of football in the 1970s with my dad and brother. It was quite an entertaining game against Farnborough in the FA Trophy 2 round ending in a 2-2 draw. It was quite nostalgic for me going back the ground where really everything football all began for me.

It was quite nostalgic seeing the ground, which although has undergone some changes over the years still maintains many of the features that were there when I first went over 40 years ago. One thing I won't be putting in the book is the same outside male toilet in one corner of the ground is still there. It seems to have undergone a minor face-lift, and these does does have a roof, but it's essentially still the same "smelly" WC it was back then.

This chapter will be one of the more fascinating chapters for me to write, as alongside the the photo from the present day there is a strong family connection with the club as my granddad was on the club's committee during the 2nd World War.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bruce Foxton & From The Jam Support the Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book



To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.


Towards the end of 2014 I photographed Bruce Foxton & From The Jam at SUB 89 in Reading. This was not a normal concert photo as the band very kindly allowed me into the press pit. Normally there is a 3 song rule, where you spend the first 3 songs of the set photographing the band before being kicked out. However on this occasion I was allowed to stay there for the whole gig allowing me to photograph away to my heart's content. It also meant I was able to watch the concert from in front of the front row and for a fan of the music of The Jam this was a real treat.

The Jam played a massive part in shaping my musical tastes as I was growing up. I saw them on their farewell tour at Wembley in 1982, which is now scarily 33 years ago. My one regret with The Jam was not being allowed to go and see them play at the Bracknell Leisure Centre in 1980. I was deemed too young by the folks. Can you believe tickets were selling at £2.50 at, Opus One, the local record shop.

During the course of this book I have repeatedly tried to get Paul Weller to come on board, but all my attempts to contact him ended in failure. So if do another book I shall keep trying... I did manage to make contact with the Facebook page of Rick Buckler, the drummer in The Jam, but I didn't get an answer either way from Rick. Unfortunately this happened quite recently and I finally had to draw a line under everything. Once again another possible target if I do another book. However one out of three wasn't a bad return.

I am going to see From The Jam play the Sound Effects album in Reading next weekend, this time minus my camera and as part of the audience proper. I am looking forward to it very much.

The current plan is for the Lives & Times book to be published on November 27th.

Lives & Times Book Justgiving Page For Beating Bowel Cancer



To go alongside the Lives & Times book I have created a fundraising page on Justgiving. This means that when I donate royalties from book sales I will be able to keep an exact tally of just how much has been raised. Also I got one or two very generous extra bonus donations with the first book from people so it's worth putting a page up. I am not expecting many donations this time around as anyone who buys the book, be it the Ebook, paperback or hardback edition, is being more than generous enough.

The address of the justgiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/livesandtimesbook

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Lives & Times Fundraising Book Press Release



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact Tim Darvell

Phone:07545335480

Email:tjdarvell@btinternet.com

Website:www.livesandtimesbook.blogspot.co.uk




FUNDRAISING BOOK TO HELP BEAT BOWEL CANCER

Lives & Times Portrait Photography Book



Reading, November 7, 2015– Tim Darvell from Reading has written a book to help raise money for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer after his mother was diagnosed with the disease.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early over 90% of cases can be successfully treated. Tim’s mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and had her fourth operation at the beginning of 2015, and made a complete recovery. However as the book neared its completion in October 2015 the cancer has come back once again, and his mother has to face another course of treatment.

Over the course of 18 months he met and photographed people from all walks of life to form the chapters of Lives & Times. Every single person taking part in this book has given up their own time to do it and all funds raised from the sales of the book are being donated to the charity. The stunning photography takes a closer look at the energy and dynamism of human beings and the joy in life when energy and health are as one.

Some of the celebrities taking part include, Sir Steve Redgrave, Katherine Grainger, Lorraine Kelly, Gabby Logan, Christopher Biggins, and Matthew Wright.

Tim said, “Every chapter tells a different story, and it was fascinating to see how they unfolded. Whether I was meeting a celebrity or an ordinary person, I found that everyone has a tale to tell and all are stars of the book.”

Tim is available for media interviews and can be reached via email at tjdarvell@btinternet.com

More information can be found at his author website: www.livesandtimesbook.blogspot.co.uk

To request a copy of the book please contact Tim Darvell on 07545335480 or by email at tjdarvell@btinternet.com


Thursday, 5 November 2015

First View Of The Lives & Times Fundraising Book For Beating Bowel Cancer


I could almost explode with excitement as this morning I got my hands on the first test copies of the Lives & Times fundraising book of which all the proceeds raised will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Having spent 18 months taking photographs and working away in Microsoft Word it's a wonderful feeling to have the finished product in my hands! I know I am biased but I couldn't be happier with it.

After one more proof read the ordering links will be put up for pre-ordering. There will be paperback version as shown in the photo, a super duper large high quality premium hardback edition, and the good old Ebook too.So hopefully there will be something there for everyone's budget.

The other development on the marketing front is with the help of Antonia Mariconda, who features in the book, I have put together a press release for the book which I will be unveiling soon. 





Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Ben Richards Part of the Lives & Times Book for Beating Bowel Cancer


One of the first people I approached and photographed for the Lives & Times book 18 months ago was the actor Ben Richards. Ben is now over 2 years in remission from bowel cancer and was very enthusiastic to get involved.

In this particular photo he posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie supporting the Follow The Bowel Cancer Tie group on Facebook. You can take a look of what that is about here. I won't reveal too much of what happened when I met Ben here and instead save it for the book, because the afternoon turned into a great story in itself with me getting unique access to rehearsals for the Rock of Ages musical that Ben was about to go on tour with. Once again the support for this project never fails to surprise me and every time that I think things couldn't get any better they did!

Thanks so much to Ben for his help and support and I followed up our meeting by going to see Rock of Ages in Oxford on the tour a few months later which was fantastic. Ben is currently playing Sergeant Ben Bradley in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks. Finally congratulations to Ben and Kirsty on the recent addition earlier this year to their family with the arrival of little Freja-Amelie.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Writing a Press Release


To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

With the book in the proofing stage, I have turned my attention to marketing matters. One of the biggest challenges I face is getting the book out there into the public domain, and reaching out to as many people as possible. My own efforts on social media will hopefully provide a solid platform. The support of the many people featured in the book will also be key, because if I can tap into their followers and fans, it might prove quite fruitful. The other thing is to try and get as much coverage in the media as possible. Local newspapers will hopefully support me in the same way they did with the first book in 2012, and if I could get some coverage in the national press or weekend supplements that would be seriously good. Coverage on radio and television would be fantastic, and how amazing would it be to get on the BBC or ITV? I will give it my best shot and keep knocking on doors.

To do this I need to construct a decent press release. This is not as easy as it sounds as it needs to be concise and to the point, yet have a big enough wow factor to get people to read it and want to find out more about the book. I am hoping one or two people featured in the book may be able to help me with this, and also there might be people in the book with connections to the right people in the media. Once again I can but ask and see what happens.

As things stand I am still aiming on a November 27th publication date.

I am always happy to listen to any fresh ideas so please contact me if you have any thoughts of any of the above or the book marketing in general.

Friday, 30 October 2015

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


I met up with the lovely Clare Grogan last year after she agreed to be in the book. She was performing an Altered Images set at Let's Rock in Southampton. The day turned out to be quite eventful including how I managed to get myself thrown out of the press pit whilst photographing her as the chapter in the book will describe. I took photos of the performance and then a 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 won't be in the book.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book Manuscript


So here is the printed out hard copy of the new book. Whilst I have continued to upload copies for digital proofing and formatting, this manuscript will be sent up to a great friend of mum's who is going to proof read it for me. Anne Manson has a background in journalism including working for The Times. She will be able to cast her expert eye over the text and pick up any errors / typos there might be that my untrained eye has missed. 

Once this has been done, I will be able to upload the final copies and order a physical proof. So hopefully if that comes back and is OK I will be able to press the green light and put the book up live with all the links for people to buy a copy. The book will be coming out in 6"x9" paperback,  8.5"x11" hardback, and as an ebook. I think that by going with a November 27th publication date, I will not be rushing it out, ensuring everything is right. I will be able to have a build up to its release and see if I can attract some publicity. There is a good possibility that anyone who pre-orders the physical book on my own website or through me directly will get it before that date.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Lives & Times Book Front Cover Unveiled


Here is the front cover design for the book! :-) I have been working on this for some months in between photographing people. I came up with the idea for the human head filled with images of some of the people participating quite some time ago. The biggest decision was whether to use one bigger head or two smaller heads. It was only when the fundraising mugs were printed with the two heads did I finally decide to go with two heads.

I appreciate I am never going to win any design contests :-) However I am very pleased with this design and hopefully it will look great on the physical books. Most importantly I did it all myself, because there was a point when I was thinking about having to get it done for me by one of these services you can easily source on the internet. I enjoy playing with photo editing software and I made the layout using Corel PaintShop Pro. I now have a much greater understanding of the use of layers!

I would wager that there isn't one person out there who could name all the faces :-)

Depending on the proofs being OK the book will hopefully be published as a paperback, hardback and ebook between November 16th and November 30th. Once I am happy with the physical proofs I will be able to upload the pre-order links and confirm the release date.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Horace Panter of The Specials Supporting Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


Right back at the start of the Lives & Times book I spent some time in the company of Horace Panter at his house in Coventry. He is the bass player in The Specials and also a respected artist, and I got to see him at work in his studio. He was a real gentleman being ever so helpful and a really interesting man to talk to. I got some great photos for the book and lots of anecdotes from him. He also makes a mean cup of tea! Having met him I read his biography on the band Ska'd For Life which is absolutely fascinating. I also purchased one of Horace's cassette prints which is now adorning one of the walls in my living room. Another great chapter in the making for the book.

He has sent this video message of support... well he sent 3 video clips but only 1 is broadcastable :)


Check out Horace's website http://www.horacepanterart.com/ where you can see his fascinating art.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dave Sharp from The Alarm Supports Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I met and photographed Dave Sharp, the original guitarist with The Alarm, at his recent acoustic gig at The Railway Inn, Winchester. I had been on Dave's trail for the book ever since I had photographed Twist & Eddie from the band a year or so ago, but he had proved to be somewhat elusive. In fact having pretty much given up hope of hearing anything I was delighted when Dave emailed just a couple of days before the gig and he was very happy to be part of it.

Dave was very enthusiastic and was keen that the photos were as good as we could make them. He certainly has a creative eye. 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.

So I have managed to meet and photograph all four original members of The Alarm for the book. Short of getting them together in the same room this is quite an achievement and one I am really pleased about.






Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Mum's Cancer Returns


Last Friday we got the bad news that mum's cancer has returned. Once again she has a cancerous nodule on her left lung which is a secondary cancer from her bowel. It's early days as far as a treatment path goes, but the hope is that they will be able to operate to remove it. This will be the 4th time she has had to endure this procedure. She will have a PET scan in the next couple of weeks and then an appointment with the lung consultant who has operated on her three times previously. 

When I started the new book at the beginning of 2014 mum was in remission from bowel cancer, and we had all kind of put it in the past. Unfortunately this is now the second time that the cancer has come back in the last year, and it means mum now faces her 5th major operation in the last three and a half years. On each previous occasion the speed of her recovery has been quite remarkable, and as devastating as the news is she is already steeling herself for what lies ahead. I don't know where she gets this strength from.. She has just turned 79 so it wasn't the kind of news she wanted going into a year which will see her celebrate her 80th birthday next August. At least by then we shall be raising a glass to celebrate that with all this behind us.

I took the photo a few weeks ago when we went to see mum's granddaughter Anna on her 9th birthday.

The fundraising continues and I shall hopefully have book publication details very soon. In the meantime check out my fundraising website here.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Henry Blofeld Joins The Lives & Times Book For Beating Bowel Cancer at Norden Farm


To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

Henry Blowers Blofeld is the latest person to be photographed for the book. This was particularly interesting as I met him down my mum's road! Blowers has been one of the main stays on BBC Test Match Special commentating on cricket for over 40 years. Henry was appearing with the former TMS producer Peter Baxter at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, and was very happy to meet with me before the performance to be photographed for the book. It was another wonderful experience and a great addition to the book.

This leaves one final photograph to do, and then the countdown to a November publication (hopefully) can begin.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beating Bowel Cancer Fundraising Mugs Update


To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

I have just made a donation of £53.11 to Beating Bowel Cancer from the September sales of the Lives & Times mugs. I would like to thank everyone who has bought a mug so far, the support has been great. The purpose of the mugs is to help publicise the forthcoming book, raise awareness about bowel cancer and to raise some more funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Every penny I make will be donated to the charity. The cost of the mug is £8 including postage and packaging. The mug is now available on my recently launched fundraising site www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk.

If you need any more persuasion to buy one then I employed the services of my lovely niece Anna to model the mugs and the bowel cancer tie :) What better way could there be to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea than in one of these marvellous mugs!




Meeting Eddie MacDonald & Nigel Twist from The Alarm in London Town


To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

Last October I met up with, Nigel Twist and Eddie Macdonald, two members of my favourite band The Alarm in Soho, and took their photo for the forthcoming Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Here's one photo of them posing with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie. Nigel and Eddie were out for a meal in London before Nigel headed back to the US, and they kindly agreed to meet me and have their photo taken. Since the band split in 1991 Eddie has established himself as a highly respected professional photographer, and Nigel is a Senior Investigator at the San Francisco Public Defenders Office. They were really friendly, interesting and great fun ensuring that I have another cracking chapter to add to the book.

As things stand I now have 3 out of the 4 original band members photographed for the book, leaving just Dave Sharp to come on board, can it be done? Time is running as the book is almost finished...

By the way watch out for Eddie's new musical project Smalltown Glory with a new EP coming soon. Follow them on Twitter @Smalltown_Glory


Monday, 21 September 2015

A Holiday For Mum


My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and to read about this fundraising project click here.

Mum is currently enjoying a two week holiday on the Greek Islands with her great friend Anne. This is mum's first trip away since she her operation at the beginning of the year to remove a secondary bowel cancer nodule from her lung. The cancer coming back after mum being 18 months in remission was a big shock, but as ever she took it on board and faced up to her 4th major cancer operation with steely determination. She has once again bounced back amazingly well, and is back to full fitness and as bonkers as ever :)

The forthcoming Lives & Times book has taken me on a remarkable journey, but I never lose sight of the reason why I am doing this. Mum has been very fortunate in that the cancer was diagnosed early, and she has received fantastic treatment from the NHS. There are many others less fortunate who tragically haven't been able to beat this awful illness. For those people out there still literally fighting for their lives, please don't give up. You have family and friends supporting you all the way as well as the bowel cancer community out there at large, of which I am one tiny part. There is much still to do to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which if caught in the early stages can be treated successfully in many cases. I hope that the book will raise some funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, but I also hope that in its own way it can help publicise and raise awareness about bowel cancer.

It's an exciting week as on Wednesday I am travelling up to the ITV Studios to meet and photograph Lorraine Kelly.