Thought I’d reached the end of this Rushden stuff then? Wrong!
The day’s getting on a bit and slowly, creepingly, other commitments begin to pop up on the mid-distant horizon.
Prob’ly about time therefore that we begin to consider the possibility of maybe thinking about the return journey homeward.
Not too quickly you understand. We don’t do quickly. Hardly ever.
And of course there’s the slight matter of not having had any coffee for absolutely ages. Now that’s something that does need to be remedied.
Not too quickly you understand, cos we don’t do quickly. But sometime in the reasonably forseeable future sort of thing.
So, vacate the Park and wander aimlessly about for a bit then, after some detours, head in a general direction of somewhere that we may possibly stumble across a coffee-serving type place.
Which takes us along the town’s High Street… um… I think. Never was much good at knowing precisely where I am at any given moment.
Snapping pics along the way obviously… as though it needed saying.
Now, a curious little thing to do with nothing much at all really. Certainly nowt to do with what the principal topic of this post is supposed to be about… or will be when I eventually get around to it. At some stage. Hopefully. Ho hum.
However, this curious little thing…
There we were, strolling along the road (that I’m thinking was the High Street but could have been somewhere else entirely) snapping the occasional pic of this and that and other odds and ends when we spy this cop come walking along behind us. In a purposeful sort of fashion.
Now cops and me, we have this sort of mutual understanding. Or maybe loathing’s a more appropriate word. They snap pics of me. And I snap pics of them. They snap pics of me snapping them. And I snap pics of them snapping me. And so it goes.
Don’t think they like me very much. And I don’t like them. So there!
Oh, I forgot to mention… that’s when I’m doing my photojourno type bit, mainly at protests and stuff.
Rest of the time, well, generally I tend not to take too much notice of them. Or try not to. And it can prob’ly be appreciated that, given the background I’ve described, I’m not really one of those sorts of people who feels nervous or threatened or intimidated or even worried by cops. Not in the slightest. No matter how arsey they can sometimes be. And sometimes they can be really arsey.
I guess I’m not… um… “overly respectful” toward ’em either, but that’s another matter.
So, this cop comes walking along behind us.
Now, given that I’m not totally oblivious of all the crap that’s been going on in this country for the past coupla years or so re taking photographs in public places and so on, and how lots of apparently perfectly innocent photographers are seeming to be excessively harassed by private security types, CPSOs (or is it PCSOs?… never can remember which), cops, and even paranoid members of the public, I was half anticipating a bit of a quizzing from this guy.
After all, two dodgy-looking blokes taking pics of buildings and stuff along one of the town’s main thoroughfares? Hell, we could be arch terrorists or summat. Plotting to blow the entire place to smithereens and taking a few discreet snapshots beforehand.
With perfectly visible cameras and mate with his bright red fleece that sticks out like a sore thumb. Um. Yeah. That sounds about right for copthink.
So I sort of make brief eye contact, vaguely throw a nearly-nod in his general direction, and… he smiles at us, nods his head, and walks on by apparently without a care in the world. Well bugger me!
I almost feel sort of deprived. Discriminated against kinda thing. What can I be doing wrong that I don’t deserve being stopped and harassed then? Its just not bloody fair! I’m almost tempted to complain about it. Hell, if it carries on like this I’m not gonna have anything to write about before too long. (Was that a sigh of relief I heard?)
All of which is a nice little intro to a sort of half-baked almost theory that I’ve been mulling the past few months.
That a lot of the grief to which photographers of various persuasions seem to be subjected may be much more to do with their own attitude to a situation rather than some escalation in the curtailment of photographers’ freedoms.
Do they go out looking for confrontation? Do they act a bit stroppy? Do they allow insistence on their “rights” to override common sense and basic courtesy? Dunno.
But I have to say, during the four years or so that I’ve been out and about taking pics all over the place and in a whole variety of different circumstances (some of which have been quite dodgy), I have very rarely been challenged. And on those few occasions when the “usual suspects” (i.e., private security types and paranoid public mainly) have expressed an interest in what I’m up to its never been in a particularly aggressive or intimidatory manner. Nor has it ever concluded in an unpleasant fashion.
Neither have I felt that my so-called “rights” have been infringed in the slightest.
Or perhaps I’ve just been lucky. Ot maybe folk just don’t like talking to me. Heh heh. Result!
Right. Having got that off me chest, let’s press on.
So there we were, wandering along this ‘ere road that could have been the High Street heading (in a very loose sense) toward some sort of supermarket where we had hopes of a cafeteria and the long awaited coffee when I spot a really bizarre sight… over there on my right.
An old and rusty railway signal rising into the sky seemingly out of nowhere! Up a bit of a bank and behind some bushes and a fence. Wow! That has to be worth investigating!
But coffee first of course. Everything has to wait whilst the needs of the inner man are attended. Yep. Even pic-taking.
Fast forward a bit then to the post-coffee time and a return to the scene of the signal. Can’t get a decent shot of it though. Nowhere near a clear field of view. Oh pooh!
So round the corner and amble up the road alongside it. And what have we here?
But not any old railway station. Oh no. Though old certainly. A relic from the past in fact (bit like me I s’pose). Either a lovingly created replica or a carefully restored and preserved original (unlike me). And I suspect the latter.
An evocative station building (how can one ever mistake that classic railway architecture) adorned with advertisments from an age long gone, hand-trolleys and stuff on the platform, rolling stock… ooh, loadsa stuff.
Seems its home to some sort of private members’ club… presumably fans of the station. And I think there’s a railway museum there as well, though pretty much eveything including the station was locked up. Apart from a door through which some kegs of beer were being delivered… I’m guessing for the club.
Nevertheless, a feast of pics. Even though we couldn’t actually get on to the platform and had to shove our lenses through gaps in the surrounding fences.
And d’you know what I was thinking throughout the entire session? Well, not so much what I was thinking, but who I was thinking of.
Yet another photochum of mine whom I suspect would absolutely love the place. So this little batch of pics were all taken not just for my own enjoyment but equally as much for his.
The Rushden Station set of pics are here on Flickr.