To mark its 800th anniversary, the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta were displayed in the Houses of Parliament on Friday. On loan for one day only, they were delivered under tight security (ridiculously early in the morning!), with last week being the only time they’ve ever been assembled together. I was lucky to be asked to record the event for Parliament, enabling me to get up close as they arrived and were condition checked. Seen by many as a global symbol for the rule of law, they definitely seemed to produce a universal feeling of almost holy reverence from the lucky few who got to see them – from school children and ticket ballot winners, to Lords and the endearingly mad professor-like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, who spoke passionately about their relevance in the modern world and the need for a new Magna Carta for the internet.
Some more shots from yesterday with the 40mm fixed lens, and the amazing installation at the Tower of London of 888,246 hand made ceramic poppies, to commemorate the 888,246 British military deaths in the first world war 100yrs ago, amazingly simple idea, incredibly effective and memorable.
Spent yesterday afternoon keeping it ‘old skool’ with just a 40mm fixed lens – forces you to get closer to the action/talk to people – like these ‘Mudlarkers’ beach-combing on the Thames. The first guy Alex had arranged a holiday from Australia and had his official permit from the Port of London Authorty to do just that. He assured me that the pins in his hand were from gentleman’s Elizabethan dress and that the bits of smoker’s clay pipes that I found for the last photo date back to the 16th Century – there were lots of them in the mud, apparently they were sold pre-filled with tobacco and were thrown away once used by the dock workers.
Stunning art installation by Ryoji Ikeda that was next to the Parliament building last week as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The 15km high monumental beams of light were accompanied by an ambient soundtrack giving a very calming feeling to the whole experience, the last shot is the view from my back garden 6 miles or so away!
Some lucky guys getting a chance to try out another cool London venue, the Olympic Velodrome. Fixed wheel, with no brakes, it took a while to get confident, and then for some, perhaps slightly over confident!
Some stunning views from an Alzheimer’s Research reception at the top of the amazing ‘Gherkin’ building in the City of London – the Shard and the BT tower look positively tiny, and window cleaning suddenly looks like one of the best jobs in the world..
After the rehearsal the real thing. The challenge every year is to get new shots as I’m standing in the same places, watching a meticulously planned ceremony that hasn’t changed for many a year. Usually it’s the people around the edges that make for interesting pictures.
Trying to catch up here with a few of the more interesting jobs of late..
A morning with London’s ever entertaining Mayor, Boris Johnson, for Square Mile Magazine on a visit to Smithfield’s meat market in East London. He initially received quite a mixed reaction from the workers there, most unhappy at having to pay Congestion Charge to get home in the mornings after working all night, but his slightly ‘bumbling’ style won most over – and you have to hand it to him, he does cycle everywhere, complete with Sellotaped helmet, something I can’t imagine his New York equivalent doing. Positioning of B.J. Meats sign a bit of a godsend, and did his arch-nemesis Ken Livingstone leave something behind?