As my cold recedes and my health improves I’m feeling that I am beginning to get back to normal. As is usual on Fridays I visit my parents for lunch. I’m lucky as they are both alive at 86 and have lived in the same house since 1963. Accordingly much of my early life was experienced around that area and this photo reflects as aspect of that.
The photo is of Church field’s Park in Church field’s Road Beckenham. I don’t really know what made me stop the car here, but looking at this photo I see the railing make a strong feature. When I was a boy the play area with swings and similar was closer to the railings and just beyond that was a dirt cycle track where teams of boys used to race each other on fixed wheel bikes. The park also used to run an any comers boxing match once a year where people like me would make sure we were far away! I only saw one mum and child in the place today. To the right of the frame is a service road to the local dump and further down used to be a CEGB offices where mum worked.
Nowadays I only every drive down the road when visiting my parents and haven’t stopped here for many many years. I’d like to think the photo captures something of the essence of the park: local, a little shabby but loved. The photo put me in mind of Martin Parr. This is probably because of the colours and the shabbiness of the vista but I am surprised by the thought as many of his images are fully about people where this is more about place.
I shot the image at f/7.1 to get is sharp and have kept the treatment pretty straight. This is more a photo of my past than present though.