Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Lives & Times December Book Royalties


I got a very pleasant surprise today with the arrival of £78 in royalties from my printing company Lightning Source. This payment represents the worldwide December royalties from sales of the physical book on Amazon and other online retailers. So for anyone who bought the book that way in December your valuable contributions are now added to the money raised. So having passed the magic £1000 the fundraising total has now reached £1100! I am so grateful to everyone who has kindly supported the book.

The fundraising effort continues, and every penny I receive from the proceeds of sales of Lives & Times is donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Lives & Times Meets Mike Peters From The Alarm


In 1983 I had a little transistor radio in my bedroom and I would listen to the John Peel show on Radio One. It was on his show that I first heard The Stand by The Alarm, which was the song that has had the single most influence on my musical life. I went to my local record shop and ordered the 7" and 12" versions straightaway, and a few weeks later myself and three friends travelled up to the old Marquee Club in London to see what remains for me the best gig I have ever been to. These four men with their wild hair and acoustic guitars making a sound that you would have thought impossible. And so began a lifelong love of the music by The Alarm and all who sail in her. Thirty-three years later it is a strong as ever. Mike is pictured above with his copy of the book on The Stranglers Black & White tour where The Alarm are supporting.

I was delighted to meet and photograph all four original members of the band for the Lives & Times book. I was very grateful for the help that Mike's wife Jules gave me in setting up the photo. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the picture at the world famous Abbey Road recording studio. I was there to take part in the recording sessions of The Scriptures, a fundraising project to record the world's longest song. Not only did I pledge to write a verse for the song, but I also got to play guitar. To see how that went you will have to buy a copy of the book. 


Mike is currently in his own battle, fighting cancer for a third time. He is the co founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, which is the world's leading rock and roll cancer foundation. Over 125,000 people have signed up to the international bone marrow registry, which over 2,000 potentially life saving matches found. To find out more about the charity click here.

My mother has been fighting bowel cancer since 2012, and has had five major operations. Although the first operation to remove a section of her bowel was successful she has since had secondary cancer where the bowel cancer has spread to other parts of her body. Her left lung has born the brunt of this with four operations, the most recent one being in March when they took out the lower lob of her left lung. More bad news came just before Christmas when she had a seizure, and it was discovered the cancer has spread to her brain. She underwent treatment for that in January which appears to have dealt with one of the two lesions. Unfortunately the other has grown in size and will require more treatment. In fact, when I took the photographs of Mike at Abbey Road, Mum was in remission and it was only a few weeks later at her six monthly check up did we find out that the cancer had returned. 

From my own point of view, apart from supporting Mum through all her treatment, it made me all the more determined to complete the book, and also to make it into something special, and that was as good as it could be, and that could raise as much money as possible for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To date the book has raised just over £1300, and I am eternally grateful to everyone who has supported the book. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here

It was at Abbey Road where I got to meet and chat with Dave Spragg, a Love Hope Strength volunteer, and great friend of Mike and the rest of the current Alarm line-up. Sadly Dave recently passed away having lost his own long battle with bowel cancer. It really is such a horrible disease...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Lives & Times Raises £1000 For Beating Bowel Cancer


The Lives & Times fundraising book recently reached the the magical figure of  raising £1000 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book was published last year on November 27th, and I had £1000 in mind as a target figure. Self publishing and self promoting a book is hard work, but also enjoyable and hugely rewarding each and every time you sell a book. Of course without the fantastic support of everyone who has kindly supported me and bought a copy of the book, this would not have been possible. I must also once again thank everyone who everyone who appears in the book, as everyone gave up their free time to take part.

As things move forward there are a couple of exciting events coming up. In April I shall be taking the book to the annual Beating Bowel Cancer Patient Day in London, and there also plans for a quiz fundraising event up north, where I will also be hoping to sell copies of the book at as well.

Mum continues her battle with bowel cancer. Fate would have it that on November 27th last year, the same day the book was published, mum had a seizure which led to the discovery of the cancer spreading to her brain. She underwent Cyberknife treatment for that in January. Just a couple of weeks ago she the had the lower lob removed from her left lung in an attempt to stop the recurring problem of cancerous nodules forming there. It's been a tough few months for her, but as ever she has remained positive and determined to face head on anything that is thrown at her. We are just hoping that her next scans will confirm that she is cancer free...

To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Lives & Times Book Raising Funds For Beating Bowel Cancer


As we head into Spring the Lives & Times book has raised over £1000.00 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. What would be absolutely fantastic is for the book to raise as much as possible, and after the start it has had I am sure there is much more to come. However I still really need everyone's help. Marketing is a massive challenge when you are self publishing and every bit of extra help makes a big difference.

There are a number of ways people can help. I am asking everyone who buys the book the to send me a photo of themselves with the book for the gallery I have created. This also includes some of the people who are featured in the book. In the photo above there is Lorraine Kelly from ITV, Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave, author Freya North and Eddie Macdonald, a musician and photographer.

Sharing posts on Facebook generates interest or better still writing something original about the book and posting on Facebook which adds that extra personal touch that just might resonate with someone. The same goes for Twitter, and the potential to reach a much bigger audience on Twitter is massive, but to do this I need the help of my fellow Tweeters! :)

Publicity which is kind of like the Holy Grail... I have worked very hard and trying to get the book publicity. I have some success so far. It was featured in the Maidenhead Advertiser a few weeks ago, and also in the Henley Herald which is an online paper. There was also a brilliant feature in the Maidenhead United football programme on December 28th for the home match against Hemel Hempstead, which sadly ended in a 3-2 home defeat. All these are local to Mum, who lives in Maidenhead and was born in Henley. To date coverage on local radio and TV has eluded me. As far as national media goes I have tried contacting Sunday supplements, book magazines, health magazines for some coverage. I did send a copy of the book off last month to a health magazine for reviewing so it will be interesting to see what happens there. I am sure that the more people who come on board and talk about the book the better my chances are of getting some coverage.

I have used videos to promote the book. Some of the people featured in the book have sent me videos to help with this process, and I have been busy creating my own videos which I post on YouTube. It would be fantastic to have a professional video trailer made, but I recently was quoted £500-£1000 for the most basic option which is sadly way out of reach for me. If there is anyone out there who can help with this I would naturally be very grateful.


So I am trying to cover all the bases, but I am sure there will be people who read this who might have some new thoughts and suggestions on what I could try? Please drop me a line timdarv@googlemail.com

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 Mariconda
  • 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. 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 every penny I receive is donated to the charity.

Hardback Edition

  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. This is the website I have set up. The book costs £26.50 + P&P of which the £8-£10 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £35.00 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 £10.25 + P&P of which the £5 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £10.25 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 £2.50 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. 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. Mum 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 2015 which was successful, and made a fantastic recovery. Unfortunately last October her CT scan revealed that the cancer had come back on her left lung and more bad news followed a few weeks later when she found out that the cancer had spread to her brain. Mum underwent "CyberKnife" treatment in January for what is probably her biggest battle yet, and she will be having a scan soon to see how that has gone. In March she had the lung surgery to remove the lower lob of her left lung where the cancer keeps returning. The treatment and care she has received throughout has been wonderful. Information about the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.

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.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Stranglers at Reading Hexagon


The Stranglers Black & White tour came to the Reading Hexagon last night, and it was a fantastic evening. Following the pattern of previous dates on the tour the band go straight in to Black & White and play the album right through without stopping. Highlights for me were Nice 'N Sleazy and Toiler On The Sea. The band were really tight and on top form with plenty of fooling around on stage. It was probably only to be expected that the gig really came to life with the more familiar "greatest hits" for a lot of the audience during the second half of the evening. Baz provided a great moment when he played the BBC Snooker theme. As he said the venue is still best remembered for hosting the World Grand Prix 20 years or so ago. 

My own highlight of the evening was the fantastic version of Walk On By. Dave's keyboards and Baz's guitar were simply stunning. In my humble opinion this cover version is the best cover version ever done in music! Throughout the evening Jean-Jaqcues' bass and Jim's drums were continuously belting marvellous, unrelenting rhythms underpinning the songs. 

I have a lot of time for The Stranglers. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and four years is stilling the disease. Two weeks ago she had surgery to remover the lower lob of her left lung which had secondary cancerous nodules from the bowel cancer. In 2014 I approached the band to meet and photograph them for a fundraising book I was doing to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The band kindly invited me to their sound-check before the packed and rather intimate gig at SUB89 in Reading. It was absolutely amazing giving me unprecedented access to the band, and the whole experience is documented in a chapter in the book. I am very grateful to the band for their support and since its publication a few months ago the Lives & Times book has raised almost £1000 for the charity. To see all the ways to order the book click here

It was nice returning to the fold as a fan last night, and just taking a couple of photos from the crowd. I am already looking forward to what's next from the band.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Lives & Times Photo Gallery - I Want Your Photos With The Book


I have tried to get as many people as possible, who have bought Lives & Times, to send me a photo of themselves with the book. I have created a photo gallery, which in years to come will give me a fantastic reminder of many of those people kind enough to buy the book.

There is also an important marketing side to this as well. Each time someone buys the book it potentially opens up a whole new audience to me. If someone sees a friend holding the book there is always the possibility they will want to know what it is about. If they were then to buy the book, another new potential audience is opened up and so on. For me, who is self publishing, this is a great way to build momentum for the book. And social media sites, especially Facebook, is where this kind of marketing can be very successful. 

The use of tagging in photos is key. For instance in the above photo you will see Pauline Redman. Pauline was a great sport recreating a scene from 25 years ago which gets mentioned in the book. She tagged herself, which undoubtedly led to a few sales and interest from people who know her, and she didn't even have to show her face in the photo. Like wise Eddie Macdonald, the former bass player in The Alarm and now part of Smalltown Glory, by being tagged and with a large Alarm following helped generate sales. 

Getting famous faces such as Sir Steve Redgrave, Freya North, Carrie Grant, Shaun Keaveny and Lorraine Kelly, who all feature in the book,to pose with their copies of the book can only help the profile of the book. As well as being a famous author, Freya is also an ambassador for Beating Bowel Cancer. Then you also get photos from bowel cancer survivors like Deb James, who I have only recently come in to contact with. She very kindly supported the book even when she was going through the final stages of her chemotherapy. Having my young niece, Anna, on hand also helps with the cute factor. There is always some kind of positive to doing a photo.

So the potential benefits are huge. If you bought the book and not yet done a photo for me, please take a few minutes to take a picture for me. If you are camera shy be as creative as you like. It all really does make a huge difference. I reckon that the posts with people and the book attract up to ten times more views.

The book has now raised over £1350 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and to see all the ways to order the book click here

My Mum, the inspiration behind the charity book, had the lower lob of left lung removed at the beginning of March to remove the cancerous nodules and hopefully prevent the secondary cancer from the bowel from keeping returning to the lung. Attention is now back on the brain cancer as one of the tumours has increased in size so it will need more treatment.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Getting Ready For Beating Bowel Cancer Patient Day 2016


Next month I am going to be selling copies of the Lives & Times book at Beating Bowel Cancer's Patient Day 2016. The charity has very kindly granted a spot at the event at The Royal College Of Surgeons on April 16th. 

This will be the first time I will have done anything like this, taking the book out the internet sales platform into the real world, so it's going to be a very exciting day I imagine. In making my preparations for the event I have made sure I have stocked up on both the paperback and hardback editions of the book. This is of course a bit of a gamble as if I don't sell many I will be left with quite a few books to shift... I am also in the process of creating a pop-up banner, and the first prototype design, which you can see above, has been created by my work neighbours. If the event goes well it could be something I look to do again at other events.

My mother got home from hospital last Friday and is recuperating well. The challenge now is to try and stop her doing too much and pace herself. She has bounced back from major surgery so well once again, but is doing way too much too soon. Very difficult to tell her to slow down with her selective hearing /stubborn streak! :)

The book fundraising total went past £950 over the weekend and is moving ever closer towards £1000. To get to this figure would be a fantastic achievement and testament to the wonderful support of everyone who has kindly bought the book so far. To see how you can order the book click here. Please support this book and help me raise as much money as possible for the charity. Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early has a survival rate of over 90%.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Thanking Harefield Hospital


Last week for the 4th time in four years Mum had major lung surgery at Harefield Hospital. In her battle with bowel cancer, although her original bowel cancer surgery was successful, she has since had secondary cancerous nodules on her left lung. The successful operation last week was to remove the lower lob from her left lung where the nodules have kept reappearing. She came home last Friday and is now convalescing before no doubt more scans and follow up appointments. With the cancer also having spread to her brain at the end of last year, she has had a pretty rough few months. Her courage and determination to get through remains as strong as ever thankfully.

The NHS is much maligned at times, and of course it is not perfect. However the treatment and care Mum received at Harefield was absolutely wonderful. Once again she was operated upon by Emma Beddow, who as ever was wonderfully reassuring, and has become someone who Mum has complete faith in. A special mention for the nurses, who were first class and took wonderful care of Mum. So there is not much else to say apart from a very big and heart felt thank you to everyone associated with Harefield Hospital. 

My own fundraising goes on for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. After some more fantastic support the Lives & Times book fundraising total has gone past £950 and is moving ever closer towards the magic £1000. To see how you can order the book click here. Please support this book and help me raise as much money as possible for the charity. Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early has a survival rate of over 90%.


I took this photo this afternoon of Mum very happy to be home...

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Lorraine Kelly Features In The Lives & Times Beating Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


One of the last chapters I completed for the Lives & Times charity book was meeting and photographing, star of daytime ITV, Lorraine Kelly. It was an amazing day as I got to go on the set to meet her and do the photograph. I thought it would be a photo outside the studio after the show, but she was wonderful, and the crew even delayed taking down the set to allow me to take the photos. I had the added bonus of Lorraine very kindly recording a video message for me.


To further help publicise the book, Lorraine very kindly sent a recent photo of herself with the book.


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. So far the book raised over £900 for Beating Bowel Cancer.

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. The cancer has recently come back to the lung and also spread to her brain. To treat the brain cancer she had "CyberKnife" treatment at the beginning of January over three consecutive days.  Last week she had major surgery to remove the lower lob of her left lung where more nodules had formed. This was 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...

Once again a massive thank you to Lorraine for her wonderful support.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Get A Friend To Buy The Lives & Times Book


It is incredibly hard marketing a book on your own when you have self-published. Lives & Times is my second fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity following on from the Beating Bowel Cancer book in 2012. The support for the book so far has been fantastic with almost £950 raised for the charity. One idea I had with the previous book was asking people who had brought the book for a little extra help in an attempt to boost sales, raising funds and awareness for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, by trying to get a friend to buy the book. It worked quite well, especially with people who had a bowel cancer connection. So I thought I would try this again and ask people to try and get just one person you know a friend or family member to buy the book (more if you can). Apart from the obvious sales / fundraising benefits this could help with breaking into a new layer of people and potential new sales leads. So please do your best and let me know how you get on.

The latest news on Mum's health is that, having had major surgery two weeks to remove the lower lob of her left lung at Harefield Hospital, she is making good progress convalescing at home. She does tire very quickly and is not used to having to take things easy which she finds very frustrating. She is looking amazingly well, and is once again bouncing back from a major operation quite magnificently! Fighting bowel cancer since 2012...

To see all the ways you can buy the book click here. This weekend thanks to everyone's amazing support the fundraising total went past £1000.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Lives & Times Book Kindle Edition


The kindle edition of the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer is available to buy and download from Amazon. It costs £5 and all of the £2.50 I receive is donated to the charity. 

I have been heavily promoting the physical versions of the book. The hardback and paperback version are available on my own website www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk and so far they account for over 95% of the sales. I must admit I am a fan of reading both physical books and eBooks. However I have to be honest that with Lives & Times I love the physical editions. That being said I have the eBook and am constantly referring to it, and love having it on my phone at the touch of a button. Many people now only read books on their devices, and that is something that I am happy to embrace.

The idea of Lives & Times is to raise as much money as possible for Beating Bowel Cancer. My original target was £1000, and the total is currently standing at almost £950 so it is ever so close now. The book also aims to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but in over 90% of cases patients can live for five years or longer if it is detected early. We need to get past this taboo about talking about an area of our body we would prefer not to, and something that involves using the words "bum" and "poo". 

Please support Lives & Times in any way you can and do our bit to help beat bowel cancer.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Lives & Times Facebook Page


I have to admit that since the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book was published last November, my Facebook page has been dominated by posts about the book. I have been continuously been looking to plug the book and get my contacts to buy it. I think three months on pretty much everyone who knows me on Facebook will have bought their copy by now. If they haven't the chances are slim that they are going to buy it now. 

I have therefore decided to create a Facebook page for Lives & Times. In this way I can calm down the promoting of the book on my main profile, but still be able to post all the latest book developments on the new page I have put up. So please check out the page here and like it if you can...

Last week was quite an eventful week after a relatively quiet period. My Mum had major lung surgery to remove the lower lob of her left lung where the secondary cancer from the bowel has continuously been forming. She is currently making a good recovery at Harefield Hospital from what is her 5th major operation in four years. The book also had a surge in sales. This for the most part has been from fellow fans of my favourite band The Alarm. I have made some great new connections on Facebook and the support has been amazing. To any of those guys reading this, I am more grateful to you all that I can express here in a few words. I know, how in  many case, bowel cancer has touched your lives too. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in person... The book has raised almost £950, and you can see how you can buy and support the book here. Every single sale makes a massive difference both is raising money for Beating Bowel Cancer, and raising awareness about this awful disease.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book : World Book Day

Today is World Book Day 2016, and if there is one book you might consider buying then please take a look at the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Over the course of 18 months I met and photographed people from all walks of life to form the chapters of Lives & Times. Every single person taking part has given up their own time to do it and all funds raised go to Beating Bowel Cancer. Inside the book there are over 100 photographs and over 40,000 words.

The book features chapters on Katherine Grainger, Sir Steve Redgrave, Gabby Logan, Jonathan Agnew, Nadine Dorries, Lorraine Kelly, Christopher Biggins, Ben Richards, Matthew Wright, Freya North, Gail Porter, Alan Davies, Shaun Keaveny, Mike Read, Status Quo, The Alarm, The Stranglers, Horace Panter, Clare Grogan and many others.

My mother has been fighting bowel cancer since 2012, and today she is undergoing her 5th major operation. She had successful surgery to remove part of her bowel in 2012, but the cancer has since spread to her lungs and brain. She is remarkably brave taking everything that is thrown at her and is my inspiration for writing the book.

The Lives & Times 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 £25 + P&P of which the £8-£9 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Only available to UK customers.
  • Amazon. The book costs £35.00 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 £10.25 + P&P of which the £5 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Only available to UK customers.
  • Amazon. The book costs £10.75 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 iPad and laptop. The book costs £5 of which the approx £2.50 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. 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.



Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A Personal Treat After Meeting Horace Panter


I had a fascinating experience meeting and photographing Horace Panter for the book. Not only is he the bass player in The Specials, but he is also a respected artist. I had seen him watching Dave Wakeling's English Beat at Oxford, which gave me the idea to contact him about being part of the book. I met him at his house and you can read all about the experience in the book, including seeing his collection of bass guitars and his original works of art. To see how you can order the book click here.

One of my favourite collections of his work are the cassette editions. Bands like The Jam, The Clash, Madness, Blur and of course The Specials feature. The cassettes feature details of the original recording sessions, the one below is Blur's She's So High. You can visit Horace's website by clicking here.


During the course of putting the book together, I tried to support the people who were so generously supporting me, and so I decided to treat myself to one of Horace's prints. He did a limit edition print of a blank TDK tape, which you could personlise with your own design. I chose to have mine personalised with a recreation of an old Radio 1 In Concert by The Alarm I had recorded back in 1984. I still have the original tape so I was able to send Horace the details with my own handwriting and he came up with the design you can see at the top of this page.

It's a lovely piece of work, and will always remind me of my love of not just The Alarm, but of my meeting and the time spent with Horace. The book has now raised over £900 for Beating Bowel Cancer. I'd love it to raise £1000, so it's edging closer towards the magic figure. My mother has major surgery this week in her continuing battle with bowel cancer.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Lives & Times Cricket Fest


When I started putting together the Lives & Times book I set my sights on trying get Jonathan Agnew on board. If you get the book you will see that this turned into quite a mission, but in the end I managed to photographic him at Lord's which was fantastic. Considering we only had a few minutes together we managed to cram loads in, and that included a video message he kindly did for my cricket club, Knowl Hill, who had been bowled out for just 48 the previous week.


After that the cricket theme in the book went into overdrive. I was fortunate enough to be going to the first day of The Ashes series in Cardiff, so the night before I sent a message to David "Bumble" Lloyd on the off chance he might meet me, and to my surprise and delight he came through. I met him for a quick chat and photo during the morning session. Earlier I had been interviewed before the day's play started by Steve Harmison. I said to him that I would do the interview if I could photograph him for the book! Then finally to complete the hatrick that day I managed to get legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding as he was leaving the ground at the end of the day. That could have gone badly wrong as you can read, but he was lovely.

At the end of the summer I tracked down Australian sports journalist and broadcaster Melinda Farrell, who was covering the cricket for ESPN Cricinfo. The original plan was to meet up at the Edgebaston test, but with the game being over early that fell through. We ending up meeting outside Bank tube station a month or so later in London. She was great fun and was the first person to record a video message for the book.


Last but not least I captured the broadcasting legend Henry Blofeld on his autumn tour with Peter Baxter. This was fascinating as they were performing at the Norden Arts Centre in Maidenhead, which is in the same road where my Mum lives. In spite of having made a gruelling journey from the north that day he was a great sport and we got a photo and video done before his performance.


So all in all it became a bit of a cricket fest for me, and it was brilliant fun meeting them all. The one person who eluded me was former England captain Michael Vaughan, but who knows if I do a follow up book he could be back on my radar. 

The book has just passed the £1150 mark in terms of fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book click here. In March my mother had the lower lob of her left lung removed at Harefield Hospital in her continuing battle with bowel cancer. This was her fifth major operation in the last three and half years.