FaithSpear

Faith Spear: The Prison Monitor Who Spoke Out

I recently wrote a piece about a former prison monitor who had raised concerns about the state of prison monitoring. As a result of her concerns – voiced anonymously – she was urged to step down as a chairman of the monitoring board she chaired. And when she then spoke to a newspaper about this, […]

Child drawing a policeman

Returning to Crays Hill Primary, the School Few People Want to Talk About

This week saw the publication of an extended project on a primary school in Essex. With its austere 1920s red brick design, outdoor playgrounds and dark wooden floor hall, It looks pretty much like any other school. What makes Crays Hill different is that nearly all of its pupils are from the travelling community. As […]

Morris group

What does the future hold for Morris dancing?

On Wednesday night I had the great honour of joining Chelmsford Morris (the men’s group) to find out what off-season folk dancing looked like. The blinding white suits and buckled waistcoats were nowhere to be seen. Instead, a friendly gaggle of men in jeans and polo shirts were there to greet me. My reason for […]

Bird control

Working out the public costs of bird control

A few months back I was leaving an inquest and noticed some guys putting up netting around a council building. They told me it was to stop pigeons roosting on the top and defecating downwards onto people like me. “But once you’ve done this job,” I asked, “won’t the pigeons just move over there?” “Yes,” […]

trees in Milton Keynes

Shooting Milton Keynes at 50 with a Linhhof 2×3

A few weeks back I was sent on assignment to Milton Keynes to record the town on its 50th birthday. The idea was to take a 50-year-old camera and use it to chart the changes in the town’s 50 years. Turned out there was one problem. Fifty years ago, Milton Keynes agreed in principle. It […]