Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Lives & Times Meets Shaun Keaveny From BBC Radio 6 Music


After 18 months of travelling here, there and everywhere to meet and photograph people for the Lives & Times fundraising book supporting the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, one of the final photos I took for the book back in October 2015 was when I met Shaun Keaveny, who has presented the breakfast show on BBC 6 Music for the last decade. As Shaun will testify the photography would have been completed a week earlier, had it not been for a bit of a mix up at his end with me coming off second best to Bloc Party! The full story features in the book.

We met at the 6 Music headquarters in Great Portland Street, and Shaun was very generous with his time for me, especially having been up since some god unearthly hour to do his early morning show. Following on from our meeting, Shaun was happy to send me a photo of himself with the recently published book, and he also kindly did me a video snippet to help promote the book. He took a great interest in the book, bowel cancer and my mother who, at the time, was still battling with secondary cancer from the primary bowel cancer. Sadly, in August 2016, she passed away after a 4 year brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer.


Lives & Times was published in November 2015, and has so far raised over £3250. All proceeds I receive are donated to the charity, so please support the book if you can. As well as raising funds for the charity, the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Tuesday, 4 July 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 the band a few weeks earlier, they invited me to go and photograph them at their sound-check before the gig. This particular photo shows Jake sporting the bowel cancer tie, which I try and get everyone on 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 new 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 was still fighting the bowel cancer. 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 £3000 to date.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives each year. If detected early it is one of the most treatable in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done to raise awareness about this awful illness, to help reduce the number of deaths.

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

Monday, 3 July 2017

Bowel Cancer Website Continuing for Another 12 Months


I have decided to continue hosting my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website for another 12 months. Whilst the Lives & Times book is now almost two years old, and the follow book is a year or so away, I think it makes sense to continue with the website and selling products, even if sales are pretty quiet at the moment. I think the cost of hosting the site is worthwhile, and I continue to pay that myself, so that all proceeds donated continue to go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

We lost another brave cancer warrior, Ben Ashworth, this week. I never got to meet Ben, but I followed his amazing fundraising efforts, and his brave and courageous battle with this awful illness. He inspired so many people, and my thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.

So far just over £3250 has been raised for the charity by Lives & Times, and the other items on the website. I'd love to push the figure as high as possible, so please take a look at the website, and I'd be grateful for any support.

It is now just over 10 months since my Mum lost her battle with bowel cancer. She was diagnosed in 2012, and fought it for over four years before passing away in August, 2016. Bowel cancer takes 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness about bowel cancer is key to helping to reducing this figure, and the heartache endured by so many families.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Carrie Grant Supporting Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Carrie doing voice-over work for The One Show

Back in November 2014, I went to Soho to meet Carrie Grant when she was doing some voice-over work for BBC's The One Show. This was another first for me, and it was a fascinating experience watching how this work was done. Carrie was keen to support the book as she suffers from Crohn's disease, which is a potentially life-threatening bowel condition. People with Crohn's disease are a higher risk of getting bowel cancer, and the two conditions share many symptoms. Carrie has lived with Crohn's disease for more than 20 years and still suffers from excruciating stomach pains that can stop her eating for weeks. Read more about Carrie's life with Crohn's disease here

Carrie was very interested in the book, and my mother's battle with bowel cancer. Once we had finished the photography we went outside and were able to have a quick chat. Carrie gave me some useful tips in my quest for meeting celebrities for which I was grateful. This was especially helpful in me finally getting to meet Gabby Logan for the book.


Thanks to the amazing support of everyone so far, the Lives & Times book has raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother passed away in August 2016 after a four and a half year battle with bowel cancer. The initial operation to remove the tumour from her bowel was successful,but the cancer spread to her left lung, and then to her brain. She fought the cancer with great dignity and courage, and was able to continue doing the things she loved, including riding her beloved horse right until the last couple of months. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness about this awful disease is key to helping to bring down the figure of 16,000 deaths each year in the UK. All proceeds are donated to the charity and the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. 

Thanks again to Carrie for her support, and she also sent me this lovely photo of her with the book after it was published in 2015.

Carrie with her copy of the book

  

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Mike & Jules Peters Support Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Mike & Jules Peters at Abbey Road
Mike Peters, from The Alarm, and his wife Jules featured in the very moving documentary, Mike & Jules: While We Still Have Time about their cancer battles this week on BBC1. Mike has been fighting leukemia for 20 years and it was while the documentary, originally about a year in his life, was being filmed that Jules was diagnosed with breast cancer. The documentary follows Jules' journey through diagnosis to treatment. 

Back in 2014, I went to Abbey Road Recording Studios in London to be part of The Scriptures charity record, put together by Mike, for the Love Hope Strength Foundation. I got to play a bit of guitar and wrote a verse for the world's longest song. I'd contacted Jules about them taking part in the book, so during the day Jules sorted out a photo opportunity for me. Looking back on this photo today, it is so much more than a rock 'n roll couple. The happiness in their faces shines through, and for anyone who has seen the documentary, for all the horrible cancer stuff, their love for each other is plain to see. Inspiration can be an overused word, but in this instance it is very true indeed as they are a real inspiration to so many people.

Me and Mike with his copy of Live & Times
The Lives & Times book was published in November 2015, and it has raised over £3250 to date. I'd love to push that figure as high as possible before the follow up book comes out in 2018/2019. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. The operation to remove the tumour from her bowel was a success, but unfortunately the cancer spread to her left lung. She underwent 4 operations on her lungs over the next few years, and was doing really well. Sadly at the end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain, and although she had CyberKnife treatment her condition deteriorated, and she passed away on August 29th 2016, a week after her 80th birthday. All funds raised are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and the book is also helping to raise awareness about this awful disease.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book 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 2015 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 lived. 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 he is still on my radar for the new book.

The book has sofar raised £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book click here. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a 4 year battle with bowel cancer.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Lives & Times Meets Matthew Wright From Channel 5



Back in the summer of 2014, unbelievably almost 3 years ago now, I met and photographed Matthew Wright for the Lives & Times book in London. Matthew is very passionate about bowel cancer having lost his own father to this awful disease, and he has been incredibly supportive of this project including writing a lovely foreword for the book. I got to see his vintage motorbikes, which are his pride and joy. We talked about his daytime show, The Wright Stuff, on Channel 5 and about his experience appearing on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. He was great fun to spend time with, and is just a really nice man!


My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. Back then her bowel was successfully operated on, and the section containing the cancer was removed, but in the fours that followed she suffered from cancerous nodules on her lungs, which is a secondary cancer from the bowel and underwent four further operations to have nodules removed. Latterly the cancer spread to her brain and she experienced a number of seizures as a result. The last one put her in hospital for almost six weeks leaving her virtually paralysed down her right side and badly affecting her speech. It was while she was there that we got the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. She moved to a nursing home under a NHS continuation of care package where she received wonderful care in her final weeks. Sadly she passed away on August 29th, 2016.

Since losing Mum I have continued with the fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer. Lives & Times was published in November 2015. Absolutely every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book and the limited edition Lives & Times silk screen prints have so far raised over £3250 for the charity. I am now putting together a new charity book which will be called The Record. I also do my best to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It remains the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if caught early it is one of the most treatable with 5 year survival rates at over 90%.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Horace Panter Supporting Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book


Horace Panter is well known for being the bass player in The Specials and as a respected artist. His wife Clare sent me this photo of Horace with his copy of the Lives & Times charity book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. This is a brilliant photo, as more than just showing off my book, the picture in the background is especially interesting. It is a mash-up done by Horace of an original photo of The Specials taken by world renowned rock photographer Janette Beckman. There is a great before and after shot on Horace's website.


Horace was one of the first photos I did for the book back in 2014, and he has been supportive of the fundraising project ever since. In the book I got a unique insight into Horace's work as both a musician and artist. I got to see his collection of bass guitars and many of his pieces of art. In fact I was so inspired by our meeting that I treated myself to one of his pieces of work. Horace also very kindly donated on of his stunning silk screen prints of The Kiss, which raised £200 for Beating Bowel Cancer.

The book, plus the recent screen print inspired by the book, has now raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer, which is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet one of the most treatable if caught early. To see all the ways you can buy the book and support the charity click here.


My Mum, the inspiration behind the book, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She bravely fought it with courage and dignity for over 4 years with the cancer spreading to her lungs and finally her brain. Sadly she passed away on August 29th, 2016. The fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer continues on my own website www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk and I am doing a new fundraising book in Mum's memory.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Mike Peters of The Alarm Part of The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Mike Peters hiding behind Lives & Times

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. 

The legendary Abbey Road Studios

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. Towards the end of 2016 news also broke of Jules' own fight she is having with breast cancer, so the family has had more than its fair share of cancer 😔 Their positive attitude to fighting cancer is quite special.

My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and underwent five major operations. Although the first operation to remove a section of her bowel was successful she had secondary cancer where the bowel cancer has spread to other parts of her body. Her left lung bore 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 2015 when she had a seizure, and it was discovered the cancer has spread to her brain. She underwent treatment for that in January which successfully dealt with one of the two lesions. Unfortunately the other grew in size and caused Mum to have further seizures. The final seizure in May put her in hospital, pretty much paralysing her right side and severely affecting her speech. She remained positive and determined to go through whatever she had to beat the disease. However in July we found out that the cancer was terminal. Mum moved to a nursing home for palliative end of life care. She celebrated her 80th birthday on August 22nd, 2016, but by this time her health was failing and she peacefully passed away a week later on August 29th.

From my own point of view, apart from supporting Mum through all her treatment, everything she went through 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. When Mum got her copy of the book it reduced her to tears... To date the book and the screen prints have raised just over £3250, and I am eternally grateful to everyone who has supported my fundraising efforts.

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 passed away last year having lost his own long battle with bowel cancer. It really is such a horrible disease...

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

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Live & Times Bowel Cancer Book With Melinda Farrell In The Press Box


A massive thanks to sports journalist and broadcaster Melinda Farrell for sending me the above photo of the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book taken in the press box on the day 4 of the 3rd Test between England and Pakistan last August. It has to be one of the most impressive locations that the book has been photographed at so far. Melinda appears in the book as I met and photographed her in London during the 2015 cricket season. Melinda has been a great supporter of the book and we have remained in contact on social media. She had said that she would like to buy a copy of the book so the cricket in Birmingham was the perfect opportunity for me to get a copy of the book to her.


We met up outside the press centre during the lunch break. I also reunited Melinda with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie from the charity that the book supports, and she is one of the those who not only posed with the tie, but was able to tie it properly which she put down to a catholic school education! I can't thank Melinda enough for her continued support, and you can follow her work on ESPNCRICINFO. I think the reason for her huge smile was being photographed with Ian Bell in the background!

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Sadly she lost her long battle with this terrible illness on August 29th last year. Lives & Times has now raised over £3000 for Beating Bowel Cancer. All proceeds are donated to the charity so please support the book and the recent stunning screen print both of which are available to purchase from my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website.


Roll forward to April 2017, and Melinda was back in the press box when I met George Dobell for the new fundraising book I am currently doing..

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls with the Lives & Times Book


I have just received this brilliant photo from Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls from The Wonder Stuff with their copy of the Lives & Times fundraising book. I'd met and photographed them for the book a couple of years ago 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. I got some terrific photos, a couple of which I have used in the book. Miles thanked me for the kind words about them in the chapter on them, but you will have to buy the book and see exactly what I wrote for yourself 😊 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. Like so many people who so very kindly gave up their time to be photographed for the book, 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.


Sadly my mother, the inspiration for doing the book, passed away last August following her long and courageous four and a half year battle with bowel cancer. She made her 80th birthday on August 22nd and peacefully passed away a week later. Bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives a year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of such cases. Please support this fundraising book as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer.

To see how you can purchase the Lives & Times charity book, which includes the chapter on Miles & Erica click here. All the proceeds I raise are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with over £3250 raised so far.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Lives & Times Fundraising Book Video

Lives & Times promotional video

In the last 18 months since its publication, the Lives & Times fundraising book has raised over £3000 for the Beating Bowel Charity. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and fought with great courage and dignity for over four years before passing away in August 2016. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, with 16,000 lives lost each year. If detected early it is one of the most treatable in over 90% of such cases. Raising awareness about bowel cancer is so important, and hopefully the book is playing a part in helping to do this.

The book contains photographs and recollections of my meetings with people from all walks of life. Everyone gave up their own time to support the project. Among those included are Katherine Grainger, Steve Redgrave, Gabby Logan, Lorraine Kelly, Gail Porter, Alan Davies, Matthew Wright, Christopher Biggins, Jonathan Agnew, Status Quo and The Stranglers. The latest promotional video shows some of the people I photographed.

The book is available as a hardback, paperback and ebook. My own www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website is selling the book along with other items, including a very limited edition silk screen print created by artist Adam Green, with all proceeds raised donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Christopher Biggins in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I was delighted to meet with, the legend of stage and television, Christopher Biggins outside The Delaunay restaurant next to The Aldwych Theatre in London. Christopher lost his father to bowel cancer, which I was hadn't realised when I first approached him to be part of the book.

Biggins was a great sport having an extra photo taken with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie, and although time was short he couldn't have been more helpful. He was every bit as nice as you would have hoped from seeing him on the TV.

The Lives & Times charity book was published in November 2015, and it has so far raised just over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She fought this awful illness for over four years with great courage and dignity. The cancer finally spread to her brain and she passed away on August 29th, 2016. All proceeds raised from sales of the book, available on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website, are donated to the charity.

Bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK with 16,000 lives lost to it each year. If detected early it is very treatable in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness and improving early detection statistics is key to reducing the numbers of deaths.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sir Steve Redgrave Supporting Beating Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Sir Steve Redgrave for the Lives & Times charity book in the summer of 2014 on the banks of the River Thames in his home town of Marlow. This was a big moment in the book's development as sporting celebrities don't come any bigger than the man who won rowing gold at 5 consecutive Olympics.

In the chapter in the book I spoke to Steve about the local rowing clubs and the names we shared, as my father was a life long rowing man. We ended up talking for about half an hour and it was a brilliant experience for me, which hopefully comes across in the book. I got a great photo of him standing next to his own statue in Higginson Park.

Steve sent me this photo with his copy of the book. To see how you can buy a copy of the book click here. The book and the recent silk screen print have so far raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer.

My mother passed away in August 2016 after a 4 year battle with bowel cancer. Throughout she fought bravely and with great dignity. Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it is very treatable in over 90% of cases. Raising bowel cancer awareness is key, and hopefully the book is helping to do this, as well as raising funds for the charity.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Lives & Times Book Bundle Offer


Here is another great bundle offer that I have introduced on the bowelcancerfundraising website. I am now offering the paperback and hardback editions of Lives & Times books bundled together for £29.99. This is a saving of £5 on when purchased separately. 

The deluxe hardback edition would grace any coffee table and makes an ideal gift. The paperback copy is the perfect book for every day reading and for being able to dip in and out of it on your daily commute.  

I have been fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity since my Mum's first bowel operation 2012 and the website offers a range of items. All proceeds raised are donated to the charity. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a brave and dignified battle with bowel cancer.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Meeting Tim Wheeler from Ash at Rough Trade East Record Store

Tim Wheeler from Ash wearing the bowel cancer tie at Rough Trade East

I met Tim Wheeler, lead singer of the band Ash, at the Rough Trade East Record Store on November 11th 2014. I was on a mission that day, with Tim being the 4th photo I did for the Lives & Times fundraising book. I walked to the shop from The Tower of London, where I'd been to see the poppy display which was pretty amazing. 

Tim was in the UK promoting his solo album, Lost Domain, a wonderful collection of songs he'd written in memory of his Dad who had sadly passed away from Dementia in 2011. He was really warm and interesting to talk and we sat down and chatted in the shop for half an hour or so. 

This was an interesting period in the writing of the book. When I met Tim my Mum had been in remission for 18 months and everything was so so positive. The following week we found out that the cancer had returned in the form of secondary cancer on her left lung. From then on the cancer never really let go, and Mum battled bravely on for the next two and a half years before passing away in August 2016. 

Since Lives & Times was published in November 2015, it has raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. I would highly recommend Tim's Lost Domain album, which is one of the most inspirational pieces of work I have heard in recent years.. It is my ambition to get my guitar out at some point and write some new songs, 

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. If detected early it can be treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful illness and start bringing those numbers down.

Steve 'Smiley' Barnard Features in Two Chapters of Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I am pretty sure that Steve 'Smiley' Barnard is the only person to feature in two chapters of Lives & Times, and he achieves this without actually having a chapter dedicated to himself. This has been been rectified for the next book due out in 2018, as I went to meet him recently at his Sunshine Recording Studios in Fleet. We chatted for over an hour and he couldn't have been nicer, so I have plenty of good stuff to write about.


Smiley plays drums for The Alarm, and back in 2014 I went to Abbey Road to take part in The Scriptures project, which was the recording of the world's longest song. The full band took part in this session and apart from getting my photo of Mike Peters for the book I was able to get a few great photos including the above shot of the band doing a publicity shot with Andy Labrow. It was a fantastic day and made for a fascinating chapter in the book.


I also got to take some photos of Smiley in action when he was drumming for From The Jam, when I was given a photo pass to photograph them at their gig at SUB89 in Reading in November 2014. I was able to spend the whole set in the pit, so I got the best seat in the house as well as blowing my ear drums!

The Lives & Times fundraising book along with the screen prints and mugs has now raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book can be bought from my own www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a four year brave and dignified battle fought with bowel cancer. As well as raising funds for the charity the book is helping to raise awareness about this awful disease. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it is one of the most treatable ones in over 90% of cases.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Mike Read Features in The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


To see how you can purchase the Lives & Times book, which features a chapter on Mike Read click here. All proceeds I receive are being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with over £3000 raised since the book was published.

I met up with Mike at BBC Radio Berkshire back in 2015 after he kindly agreed to be in the Lives & Times book. He will always be the great nighttime Radio 1 DJ of the late 1970s who championed the new wave guitar music that I still love to this day. But Mike is also a writer, journalist and television presenter.

For the book we talked mainly about his time at Radio 1 and about a certain song by The Vapors, which I managed to get him to send to me under slightly false pretenses. In fact, as a result of our conversation I went on to meet Dave Fenton from The Vapors for the book a few days later. 

Mike has continued to be a great support for the book since our meeting. This particular photo was not one used in the book, but for the group on Facebook I am part of, Follow the bowel cancer tie..... help with its journey, which helps raise awareness about bowel cancer.

My Mum was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2012. She had a successful operation to remove the tumour from her bowel, but the cancer had also spread to her lungs. She had four further operations on her lungs over the next four years, but towards the end of 2015 the cancer also spread to her brain. In spite of having CyberKnife treatment her condition deteriorated, and her final brain seizure paralysed her down one side putting her in hospital. Sadly her condition became terminal and she peacefully ;passed away on August 29th, 2016, one week after her 80th birthday.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Bowel Cancer Fundraising Books Bundle Offer


Here is the first book bundle offer that I am selling on my website. If you purchase the paperback editions of Beating Bowel Cancer and Lives & Times together as a bundle package you pay £14.99 instead of £16.99 when bought separately, which is a saving of over 10%. This offer is exclusive to my website and you can see it here.

The fundraising total now stands at over £3100 through sales of the books and the wonderful screen print by Adam Green. All proceeds raised from sales are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My Mum passed away last August following a 4 year battle with bowel cancer.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Beating Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book

The Beating Bowel Cancer book published in November 2012
All efforts over the last 18 months have been on promoting the Lives & Times fundraising book. I had to get out a copy of my first fundraising book, Beating Bowel Cancer, ready to post out to a friend. It was fascinating having a flick through, and look back on some of the photography in it. I am actually very proud of it. On a poignant note at the end of the book there is a epilogue, which was written just after Mum's bowel operation in September 2012. It's a happy and positive piece with Mum having beaten the cancer. There was, of course, no way of knowing how things would pan out over the following four years.

In April 2012 the dreaded cancer word came into our family. One minute I was sitting with my mother expecting a normal discharge from hospital, and then in the blink of an eye our world was turned upside down when we were told that mum had bowel cancer. She had been having trouble going to the toilet and was sent to Wexham Park Hospital for an endoscopy, and it was at that point we learned she had bowel cancer. Her treatment involved radiotherapy and chemotherapy to shrink the tumour, before a successful operation to remove it was performed in the September. Over the following 4 years Mum had a number of operations to remove nodules from her left lung, which was a secondary cancer from the bowel. Towards the end of 2015 the cancer also spread to her brain. In spite of undergoing Cyber Knife treatment and having half her left lung removed Mum's condition deteriorated, and she ended up in hospital last summer following a brain seizure. Sadly she could not win thjis battle and she passed away in the St. Marks Nursing Home on August 29th, 2016

The care and attention mum received from the NHS primarily at Wexham Park and Harefield Hospitals was first class. In fact it was while mum was undergoing treatment that I decided I wanted to do something to raise funds for a cancer charity and give something back. After the book came out it became obvious just how important it is to raise awareness about bowel cancer as well as funds. Unfortunately running a business on my own imposes restrictions as to what I could do, but the idea of writing a book seemed the perfect solution. I have been a keen amateur photographer for a few years and the idea I had was to write a book featuring photos on various subjects, ideas and technical approaches. Beating Bowel Cancer therefore is a charity book featuring a collection of photographs and the stories behind them to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. All proceeds are donated to the charity with this book raising over £500 to date.

The ebook version on Amazon costs £1.99 of which the £1.01 I earn will be donated to the charity. It is for the Kindle, but there are freely available Kindle reader apps for Ipads, Iphones and computers. From outside the UK please use Amazon.com to buy the book.

The physical book version is available on my own fundraising website for £7.00 with about £2.50 going to the charity. It is also available for £7.21 on Amazon with just over £1 going to the charity.

For anyone who has kindly bought the follow up book, Lives & Times, this first book gives a great insight into how that subsequent book came together.

There is also a bundle offer on my Bowel Cancer fundraising website to buy both books together saving over 10%  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lives & Times Screen Print by Adam Green


Artist Adam Green has created the Lives & Times screen print to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. The print sized 39cm x 49cm on 300gsm Somerset paper is limited to just 25 copies. This wonderful piece of art was done at Ochre Print Studio, who have very kindly donated all the materials Adam used ensuring that the whole of the purchase price is donated to the charity.

The print is on sale in the web store on my bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website or you can email me directly. Get your own piece of art for just £125 and raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. 

Adam's description, "The print I have produced has been inspired by Tim's book, Lives & Times. A book created to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer after Tim's Mum was diagnosed in 2012. I was really taken with the concept of what Tim was doing with his book, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to meet and photograph famous sportspeople, musicians, actors, DJs etc. The front cover of the book shows two silhouettes facing each other. I took this idea and developed my print with this in mind, thinking about the one to one interaction Tim had with many people in order to create his book. The print is made up of many different layers, each one possibly signifying the different stages in the journey that people follow once being diagnosed with cancer. I am very pleased to have produced this print for Tim and his charity. I really hope it brings joy and positive thoughts to all those who purchase one."

I was so glad to show Mum the finished print when she was Wexham Park Hospital shortly before she was transferred to the St. Marks Nursing Home in Maidenhead, where she passed away in August 2016. Bowel cancer takes 16,000 lives in the UK each year. It is the second highest cancer killer, but if detected early it is one of the most treatable in 90% of cases.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Jonathan Agnew In The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


At the start of the English 2015 cricket season I travelled up to Lords to meet Jonathan Agnew from BBC Test Match Special. This was an absolute highlight for me being a big cricket fan. I wasn't able to go to see the day's play due to work, so I managed to get into the ground after play had finished to meet Aggers under the media centre, although if you buy the book that wasn't as simple as it might sound. 

In just the few minutes we had together I managed to get the photo for the book, and a photo with the Beating Bowel Cancer charity tie for the Facebook group that raises awareness about bowel cancer. Aggers also very kindly did a short video message for the Knowl Hill Cricket Club side I play for following our disastrous 48 all out the previous week. It's worth a watch and the following week we scored a much more respectable 159 in a drawn match :)


The Lives & Times book was published in November 2015, and along with the limited edition screen prints it has raised over £3100 so far for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and battled bravely for over 4 years. Although she had successful surgery to remove the tumour from her bowel the cancer spread to her left lung and she had four operations to remove cancerous nodules. Unfortunately her health deteriorated with the cancer spreading to her brain, and this proved to be one battle too many for her, and she sadly passed away last August. I am carrying on my fundraising efforts in her memory. Please support the book and all the proceeds from sales are donated to the charity.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness to help reduce the 16,000 lives lost each year. A reduction in the screening age to 50 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland matching that in Scotland could make a significant difference too. Read more about how you can contact your MP about this here.

Gail Porter Features in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Gail Porter at Winter Wonderland 2014
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is like a home from home for Gail Porter. I think back to when Gail agreed to be photographed in December 2014 for the book it was the obvious choice of location to meet up. However it didn't turn out quite so simple as, unbelievably, we somehow missed each other. Thankfully we were able to try again the following week, and we eventually managed to meet up on what was a very cold and festive evening. I can't believe that this was over two years ago now.

Gail was really lovely and very enthusiastic in getting involved in the book. This photo also shows her wearing the Beating Bowel Cancer tie to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. The chapter makes reference to our ride on the "Ski Slope" where stupidly I hadn't realised what I was letting myself in for! Lets just say 360 degrees! 😱Of course meeting Gail was a brilliant photo opportunity, and how many people can count themselves lucky enough to have photographed the beautiful Gail Porter? In terms of the fun factor during the creation of the book this experience takes some beating. The good news is that Gail has also agreed to be in the next book, which will also be raising funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. For four and a half years she fought many battles with the cancer spreading to her left lung and finally the brain. Sadly Mum passed away at the end of August after her brave and courageous fight. The book is now raising funds in her memory. If anything the whole point of doing the book has been even more reinforced by this devastating loss. Please support this fundraising book as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer.

To see how you can purchase the Lives & Times book, which features a chapter on Gail Porter click here. All proceeds I receive are being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with over £3100 already raised. Also just added to my online fundraising store is a fantastic limited edition Lives & Times screen print created by artist Adam Green  inspired by the book.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

World Book Day 2017 - Lives & Times Charity Book Has Raised Over £3000


Today is World Book Day 2017, 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. Since publication the book, along with a limited edition screen print by artist Adam Green, has raised over £3000.

I began the book in 2014 two years after my mother had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. She was in fact in remission as I began the book. However the cancer came back as I was doing the book, which was published in November 2015. Sadly my Mum lost her battle with cancer on August 29th, 2016 after a four year battle with this awful disease.

Mum

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.


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 £24.99 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 £9.99 which the £5 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Only available to UK customers.
  • Amazon. The book costs £9.99 of which the approx £2.00 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 £2.99 of which the approx £1.30 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 to arrange it.

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, and information about the charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.


Wednesday, 1 March 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 £3000 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. All proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to the charity. The book was completed over the course of 18 months, and I met and photographed many famous, and some not so famous, people for the book. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here.

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 her October CT scan later that year revealed that the cancer had come back on her left lung and more bad news followed in November following a seizure she found out that the cancer had spread to her brain. Mum had "CyberKnife" treatment in January 2016 for the brain cancer. Two months later she had more lung surgery, this time to remove the lower lob of her left lung where the cancer kept returning to. Last May the cancer once again returned to her brain virtually paralysing her right side and severely affecting her speech. She spent a couple of months in hospital and she received great treatment, but her condition became terminal and she was moved to a nursing home for end of life care. Sadly on August 29th she passed away after a four and half year battle with this awful illness. 

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, 14 February 2017

Alison Franks Daughter of The Late & Great Billy Franks With The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I have received this lovely photo from Billy Frank's daughter, Alison Franks, holding her copy of the Lives & Times charity book that I have published to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Billy sadly passed away last September, and I heard the tragic news the week that we had my Mum's funeral after she'd lost her 4 year battle with bowel cancer. Billy had recently completed the Camino Frances 780km from France across the Pyrenees into Spain. When I donated to his crowdfunding appeal for the walk he returned my donation. Knowing at that time how poorly my Mum was he said that there were more important things in life. It was a measure of the man and something now that I will never forget. 

On the numerous occasions that I saw Billy play live, Alison, her sister Billi and their friends were always at the gigs. They all knew how to enjoy themselves, or even more than that, they knew how to enjoy Billy's music. They danced, they smiled and were quite infectious on the rest of us there. I can only imagine how happy and proud that must have made Billy feel...


Billy was a lovely man, a hugely underestimated songwriter and musician. I saw Billy's band The Faith Brothers support The Alarm back in the 1980s and they were without doubt the best support band I ever saw. Much more than that they became one of my favourite bands and it was always a mystery how commercial chart success just eluded them. I was reacquainted with Billy's music through the joys of social media and the internet. It was over the last 15 years or so that I got to know him through his wonderful live gigs and solo albums. He always had time for his small, but loyal band of fans and would always have a hug for you and he knew everyone at his gigs by their first names. 

For some chapters in the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book I was able to combine business (not that I considered the book as work) with pleasure. One such chapter was photographing Billy at The Union Chapel in London. He was a keen a supporter of my fundraising efforts and more than happy to meet up to be photographed for the book. The original idea we came up with for the book photo was to photograph Billy in Fulham, doing a now and then type idea with present day Billy versus Billy from the 1980s. However when the concert at The Union Chapel was announced it was too good an opportunity to miss. For the first time in his career Billy played an acoustic show back by a gospel choir. To see his songs performed in such a way was truly magical and The Gospel Touch Choir were magnificent. Sadly for me this was the last time I saw Billy...

I can barely begin to imagine how painful it must be for Alison and Billi at the moment. Billy was lost to them far too young. Grief and the pain that comes with it is something that is different for all of us, and we all deal and cope with it in our way.

Love and best wishes to Alison and Billi x