The image above is a particularly cool section of the Transfăgărășan, a frequently nasty mountain road that crosses Romania. The dot on the road in the far distance on the right, just past the bend, is my pal on his motorbike.
I’d been going to Kensington Market since I was a teenager, like everyone else, picking up cheap clothes and having terrible fashion sense, but it was a fun place to wander around with your mates on a Saturday. As I got older and picked up a camera when I was eighteen, my bubble extended another metre and I started to notice the world.
Rummaging through my negatives, I found this picture, one of two, taken in approximately 1994 of a stall-holder with his fascinating stall who was just inside the market, very close to one of the entrances. I have no idea of his name or stall’s name, and of course, the market closed exactly twenty-three years ago today on 29 January 2000. Stupid owners. There was no reprieve and the place was demolished a year later. A PC World opened up instead. Honestly, the worst kind of know-nothing overpriced box-pushers, a war crime. Some stalls apparently moved to a new location on Queensway, but that place was filled with junk and tat and I remain heartbroken for the Kensington Market workers, shoppers and future kids that would never be able to go there. Markets are so fundamental to a society that they should have special protection.
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#FUTUREPRESENTS: thanks for the stacks of birthday messages a few days ago, still working my way through the replies, but I will reply to everyone! Merry Christmas to everyone from me and #Bowie, if anyone isn’t aware, new site is up and super-fast at https://vishvish.com with archives appearing, new reviews and some new projects soon. #photojournalist #photographer #knitwrth
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This bag is a real gem, I can’t believe I’m still using it after decades. It’s very functional, with four pockets/spaces for pens, cameras, paper and I can actually fit a 13-inch Macbook Pro in too, as well as the Contax G and three lenses. Or a Leica M, or Q2, etc. Beautifully made, lovely soft leather. Sadly, Goldpfeil bit the dust some years ago and is now just a name brand stuck onto some leather goods not made in Germany and not related to the original. I loved my bag so much that I actually bought a second bag and it’s sat here all this time, I’ve never even taken the padding material out.
I suppose that someone else should own it. If you’re an actual Contax lover and bag lover and want to buy it, get in touch.
I wanted to remember some of the camera shops that have gone that I used, mostly good and great, but for one…
Fieldgrass and Gale, Wandsworth
I bought a beautiful Nikon 180mm from them years ago and possibly an 85mm too, but they were run by a man who repeatedly fails at this, Peter Walnes, who is well-known in the industry for not paying his bills.
Fieldgrass and Gale went under years and years ago but Mr Walnes was still advertising in the Amateur Photographer until they suspended his advertising after further issues with not paying clients after selling their equipment, etc.
Tim Patrick’s letter, published in AP, issue dated 22 May 2021, notes how his court judgements against him have been ignored, AP intervened on the basis that he agreed to pay his debts by Easter 2021, which he failed to do.