Author Archives: David Gordon

Back on Deck 6

On board the MV Loch Seaforth as the ferry makes its way from Ullapool to Stornoway

I have no idea if the Loch Seaforth had a Deck 6 – I’m either too young or too old to remember – but the Loch Seaforth does. See, that’s what happens when you allow the general public to name your shiney new ship. They get all nostalgic and try to travel back in time: back to the days when you had to have your car hoisted onto the top deck for that midnight sailing to Kyle of Lochalsh and beyond.

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View from the top

Stornoway from Gallows Hill at dusk, 2014.

I may have bored you in the past about my somewhat obsessive personal project photographing Stornoway from the top of Gallows Hill. I don’t really know how it started but every time I return to Lewis I humph a big tripod up the hill and shoot another set. Dates for visits to Stornoway have become dependant on the tide times table cross referenced with that for the ferry and the moon. A nice afternoon with a spring tide and the ferry at the pier is what I want. Then when it finally all comes together, so does the rain or some other reason making me want/need to do it all over again.

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Bing Bike

A child’s tricycle lies abandoned among the fly-tipped rubbish at a former coal mine in South Lanarkshire.

Lunchtime. Between assignments I find myself in a familiar town. I’d been here before photographing what at one time was one of the largest opencast coal mines in Europe. By then it was one of the largest scars in the landscape, unfortunately a not uncommon sight in south west Scotland. The opencast mine closed only recently and there were plans to redevelop site but nothing much had changed on my return.

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Guns of Arnish Point

“They are part of our past, and should be preserved for our future.”

[The final sentence in architect Ruairidh Campbell Moir’s article for the Twentieth Century Society in which he worried for the future of the Arnish Point Gun Emplacements]

You’ll have seen them if you’ve come into Stornoway on the ferry: you’ll know every inch of them if you were ever a small boy growing up there. I wonder if ever again Primary 7 walked down town, through the Castle and across the moor to the lighthouse at Arnish Point. And then would the teachers allow half their charge to run off along the cliffs to climb the rusty ladder or wade about in the stagnant water around the Second World War defences? Its sad to see, a few years later, the look-out tower has started to crumble, it’s no longer possible to watch for enemy raiders coming over over the Minch, the concrete canopy has collapsed, eyes have been closed.

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It Was Only Ten Years Ago

Fireworks display over the River Thames to celebrate the ‘new millennium’, new year 2000. The display dubbed the ‘River of Fire’ was watched by hundreds of thousands of people who came to central London for the free show. Many thousands gathered on Waterloo bridge to obtain the best view of the spectacle.

Ten years ago and the New Year 2000 celebrations in London were being billed as the biggest ever fireworks display. Thousands of people were expected along the embankments of the River Thames from where the display would take place. Having already scouted along the Thames looking for a vantage point to photograph the “River of Fire”, I was offered an assignment from Time magazine. Now I could forget about standing around in the cold for hours as Time had had a room with a view!

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It was twelve years ago today

Tony Blair waits to speak to Labour Party members in his local constituency of Sedgefield on the eve of the General Election.


Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself. Or not, if your New Labour D:Ream didn’t work out exactly the way you had hoped.

The night before the 1997 General Election I photographed Tony Blair at his local Labour Party club in Sedgefield in the north of England. The slogan, “Britain Deserves Better” may have changed in its meaning by the time his premiership came to an end.

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