__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

BRISTOL AND ME

1982 to 2002 CARRIE HITCHCOCK


Self-published 2019 by Carrie Hitchcock St Werburghs Bristol carriehitch@gmail.com

ISBN 978-1-913319-01-4 Copyright Š Carrie Hitchcock 2019. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or in any means without the prior written consent of the author except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written in a newspaper or magazine or broadcast on television, radio or on the internet. Carrie Hitchcock has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library Printed by Seacourt Ltd. Naturally Responsible Print, using 100 per cent recycled paper Proud to be counted amongst the top environmental printers in the world

Thanks to: Everyone who was and is part of this map, John Wilson-Williams for photographs on page 12 and hitchhiking pic on front cover, Mark Elvin for the Doodle Dog, and Martin Edwards for his mentoring, advice and encouragement

2


To John

There are places, I’ll remember all my life, though some have changed, some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain. All these places had their moments, With lovers and friends I still can recall, Some are dead and some are living, In my life I’ve loved them all. Lennon/McCartney

3


John

4


Introduction

“The best maps are not published, but are the maps we make ourselves, about our cities, towns, villages and landscapes. We all make these maps: here I was happy, there I lost my bike, over there I had to sit down and cry.” Alys Fowler, A Voyage of Discovery This book is one of these maps. A map of my first years in Bristol, a city that has become my home. An itinerant for many years, I am adept at making a home where I am. I burrow into houses and quickly assimilate the psychogeography of my surroundings. These things comfort me. It’s why I started taking pictures, to record and locate this particular home, place, part of me. To make a physical representation of my mental and emotional map before moving on. Here was my home, this was my space, these were my friends, this is who I was. Except this time I didn’t move on. Well, I moved on, but I didn’t leave Bristol. I moved from South to North of the river. I moved from party girl to parent. I moved from being a casual photographer to a professional. When people ask me how I came to be living in Bristol I tell them that it was because of a man. I had met John at Hull University, at a party. I smiled at him over the baked potatoes as we took them out of the oven, and captured his heart. In the early hours of the morning, the dregs of the party drove to Spurn Point, the bleak spit of land east of Hull that keeps eroding and remaking itself in quarter century cycles. We walked around the peninsula, kissed in the well of a dune, before joining the others for breakfast at an early morning café. I was on the rebound from my first love, he also was recovering. Three months later John moved to Bristol while I stayed in Hull working in Community Arts. For a year we kept a long-distance relationship going – phone calls from the white payphone on the corner, hitching from Hull to Bristol, Bristol to Hull, holidays on narrowboats, walking, drinking, getting high. A year later, after a brief sojourn in the US, I came to Bristol, moved in with John in Southville, and got a job in Barton Hill. That’s where this book begins, and documents my journey for the next twenty years; the first five years in a shared house in Lime Rd, walks along the Avon, getting a job at The Barton Hill Settlement, starting the Barton Hill Photography Project, starting my own community photography business, and John, always John, my rock, my passion and my best friend. In 1998 we moved to Easton and had our first child a year later. I couldn’t have found a better co-parent. Unambitious for himself, he shared childcare and housework so that I was able to continue and develop my work. I started using photography, both personally and professionally to move beyond the pretty picture to express ideas, concerns and to document my surroundings. The book takes a journey through my personal and professional life before ending with motherhood. Although intoxicated with love for my children, I struggled with the monotony and anonymity of the role. I became a satellite around other lives instead the centre of my own. I felt invisible, and I tried to express these feeling through photography.

5


Contents

Introduction

5

Along the Avon

BS3

8-21

42-49

50-53

Postcards

Easton Roots 80-93

76-79

6

Lime RD.


22-25

At Work 26-35

36-41

64-71

72-75

Carers 104-109

Motherhood 110-117

ty

i Commun 54-63

st Prote

94-103

7


Lime RD.

BS3

John moved to Bristol shortly after we left University in 1981. He figured his prospects for employment would be better in Bristol that Hull. Sadly, in Thatcher’s Britain, this was not to prove so. His school friend, Tim, had got a job in the Post Office and was looking for a place to buy. They lived in a series of low-rent, oneroom dives, sharing the bed in shifts as Tim worked nights. By the time I moved to Bristol, in 1982, Tim had bought 73 Lime Rd and filled it with tenants to help pay the mortgage. He and John were still sleeping shifts in the same bed as John remained one of the three million unemployed. I rented a room and John upgraded from Tim’s bed to mine.

9


10


11


photo: John Wilson-Williams

Adam playing bridge

12

Tim and I in the kitchen at Lime Road


13

Tim and Molly


Helen ‘Ba-La’ Bailey

David, Alan and Basil, camping at Yestrafelta falls

14


15

John on holiday in Devon


16


The Earring Empire; for a couple of years housemate Sue and I made earrings and sold them on market stalls, this one at St Paul’s Carnival 1983

17


Ed, John and Tim watching cricket at the Oval

18


John and Thurstan

19


Celia, Molly and David by the Avon at Saltford

20


We played football and cricket in the Greville Smythe Memorial Park every Sunday morning. Local children would join in. This continued for years after we left Southville, and had children, and it evolved into ‘Family Football.’


The Ant Hill Mob had several gigs at The Western Star Domino Club, which got knocked down for the Cabot Circus car park I believe. It was a great place, elderly West Indian gentlemen would be playing dominoes at the back, and they didn’t seem to mind the noise, or all these punky white kids jumping around. At the centre of the Ant Hill Mob were the Larcombe brothers; Johnny on lead guitar and vocals and David on manic drums. John played base, and Sean rhythm guitar. The music is rooted in politics, Bristol, and normal experiences like failing your driving test, or trying to give up smoking. I remember that everyone thought that ‘Devil Came to Bristol’ was about Billy Graham’s visit to Ashton Gate in 1984, but it was about when Millwall FC came to Ashton Gate. We all lived in Southville at the time and there were regular clashes between football fans and mounted police in the park. I was singing in a band called ‘Low Profile’, but we mainly did covers, and weren’t very exciting. I do remember playing at the Granary though, when it was still a rock venue.


23


Ant Hill Mob play Ashton Court c1984

24


25


People at Work

26


27

Chris Fisher, Illustrator


Dave Higgitt, Editor Venue Magazine

28


29


30


31

Thurstan Rimmer, Spoon Bender


Philippa Ponting, Market trader

32


33


34

Wack and Zane, comedy duo, playing at The Old Profanity Showboat, MV Thekla


35


Graham Caine Graham Caine (1945-2018) established the Bristol Gnomes when he moved to Bristol in the 1980s. Inspired by the famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi and wielding a chainsaw, he set about creating charming and quirky gnomework structures and interiors in Bristol and in several other locations in the West Country. The St Werburghs City Farm Café was constructed in 1985 and opened with a launch party featuring Wild Willy Barrett and other musicians playing on a variety of ‘gnomemade’ wooden instruments. Graham was one of the great representatives of the 1968 generation and spoke passionately of how the events in Paris 1968 inspired him in England. He was a member of Street Farm, a London-based collective of anarchist architects and designers working in the early 1970s for the radical transformation of urban living. Graham contributed to many happenings to promote what the anarchist collective termed ‘revolutionary urbanism’. Graham’s design of an ‘ecological house’ was central to this and about forty years before its time. As far as I have been able to tell, it was the first intentionally constructed ecological house, made from recycled and ‘salvaged materials’ and exploiting renewable energy. Obituary by Peter Crump, Bristol Radical History Group Graham was also one of the motivators behind The Yard community-led, eco development in St Werburghs in 2000, of which I was a self-builder. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.


37


38 Martin Muller


39

Danny O’Donoghue


40


41

Graham Caine


Guerilla art: this sculpture was placed unofficially on the banks of the Avon, sadly it lasted only a few days

42


43


44

The Avon at low tide from above


48

Gas works, Bristol docks, c1981


50


Mainmast arriving, 1987 I was commissioned to document the rennovation of the Pascual Flores, an historic 3-masted schooner, onetime star of the TV series ‘The Onedin Line’

51


52


Pascual Flores, interior works


54

Carla, from a project about Children in the Flats


Bristol Women’s Workshop; practical shills for women, 1991

55


56


Kingsood Friends of the Earth, photographed for the Co-operative Development Agency 1990

57


Taken at a photography workshop at The Bristol, 1989


Bingo, “We really enjoy coming to the club. We come here every morning for the friendly faces and the company.�

Lockleaze Advebture Playground

59


St Werburghs Community Centre 1996


61


62


Music and Drama workshops from A.C.T.A (Avon Community Theatre Agency) at Bristol Cyrenians 1994

63


In 1983 I got a job at Barton Hill Settlement teaching YOP trainees ‘topical studies’, drama and photography. In 1984 I set up the Barton Hill Photography Project. I have always been driven by a vision of art as an accessible and integral part of community life, which can be used not only for individual creative expression, but also collectively to promote cultural identity, air current issues, improve local communication, and to empower people with the means to reflect, celebrate and inform their own lives. I ran the project for thirteen years.

BARTON HILL PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

64

Alongside this I ran my freelance practice, Access Photography, teaching, inspiring and documenting communities.


65

A photography workshop with Barton Hill Asian Women’s Group 1995


Junior Youth Club c 1991


67

Day Centre for the over 6o’s 1987


The Settlement Neighbourhood Project, c 1986

68


The Settlement Day Centre for the over 60’s, c 1986

69


The Settlement official opening of its new community building, 1987

70


The Settlement Children’s Play Centre, c1990

71


1982


Barton Hill Yob Centre, the sign said as I first entered Barton Hill Youth Centre in 1982, and I believed it. All male, all white, with NF scrawled on the walls, it was calculated to upset my middle class, Anti-Nazi League sensibilities. The place had a reputation; gangs, fighting - they would eat me alive! As it turned out, the young people who came to do my photography workshop were friendly. John, Hutch, Neil and Lee photographed themselves and talked about their lives on tape. We then used this material to make an exhibition and a tape/slide show. In 1982 the Youth Centre was their place.


1990 I stayed working in the area, and eight years later chose to use the club as a subject for a personal photo documentary project. I was impressed by how much it had changed. It still had a ‘reputation’, and it was in constant conflict with the police and local authority, but it did not have the same kind of problems with racism and violence. It was a much more integrated and open place, and a much more beautiful place. Local people, ex-club users, were now working at the club in one capacity or another. John Nation, who started going to the club when he was eleven, had qualified as a youth worker. He encouraged painters to use the youth club walls so that they would have a legal space to work. The Aerosol Art Project was born. (Not graffiti, “We are artists and should be respected.”) He believed that it helped stop illegal painting in Bristol at the time.

74


“You don’t see that quality of work on the street- you’ve only got a couple of hours before you get arrested.” “Aerosol Art is becoming more of an accepted art form today as authorities gradually realise that there are worse things that young people could be doing, and people realise that it can brighten up ugly spots.” John Nation 1990

75


76

Postcards


77


78


79


Goodhind St. The Woodie

80

BS5


Easton Roots 2001 I lived in Goodhind Street, in this particular corner of Easton, from 1987 to 2002. My children were born here, and they went to school here. Easton was the inspiration for my personal photographic work, as well as the subject of commissioned work. I knew most of my neighbours; shopkeepers, policemen, pastors, villains, druggies, children, parents and pensioners. I got to know people, people whom I never would have met in the normal course of my life. I had some of the best neighbours you could have, and some of the worst. I felt at home in the area, a great place to live. How did all of us come to be in this place at this time? Where did my neighbours come from? What brought them to this neighbourhood? What were their stories? These questions led me to create this project, inspired and commissioned by a location brief from Bristol City Museums and Art Gallery to accompany their Braikenridge exhibition. I interviewed six of my neighbours to find out where they had come from, why they had come here, and asked them which Bristol places were important to them, or significant in their history. I feel privileged to have been able to share their lives and listen to their stories, and I only hope that I have been able to do them justice.

82


Karan Jit Babbar’s Story

I’m from India, near Delhi. When I came to this country my in-laws were already in Bristol, and that’s the reason why we came here, to join them. We came here in 1977, to the same street where we live now. I’m from a Hindu family. I’m not a fundamentalist person. I respect every religion: Muslim, Sikh, Christian. I respect every religion, but obey always my Hindu religion. Hindus are very rare in Bristol, so we have got only one temple, in Redfield. (b,r) Because I live in this area in Easton for last twenty two years, I should say I love it. I have met so many different cultures, different communities, it’s nice. Everybody treat me, and I treat them like my family. I love it. People understand each other.

83


Mrs Brown’s Story

My name is Mrs. Hermione Brown and I was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. I came over here in 1959 when I was nearly 28. Mr. Brown was over here and he sent for me. I always pass by his parents’ house to go to my uncle. He was chatting to my mother, and he said when he came over he would send for me. I didn’t believe he would. I thought, maybe when they go abroad they don’t bother with you again. Many did that back home, but he didn’t. Mr. Brown came over because work wasn’t so wonderful. He was here about two years before I came. When I came here first it was different because everything was so nice. You could leave your door open. I used to go out the back weeding, and Mr. Brown would come home from work and say, “Woo ooh, the front door was wide open!” Things change a lot. When I came first we live at 58 City Road. It was lovely and nice at that time. When I come first I come in the night, and in the morning when I wake up and look out I see a lot of smoke, and I said to the lady downstairs, “What a lot of factories!” and she started laughing, “It’s not a factory, it’s a house.” Then after a while the landlord sell the house, and some people what he bring in wasn’t very nice, so Mr. Brown says we don’t want to stay here. So we came and get a house by Thristle Street before they knock it down. We were there ‘till we got married, we were married at Trinity Road Church. Then we moved to a little street up the top called Park Street, Easton Road School was over the other side. It was lovely. It’s gone now, all turned into motorway. When they did knock down Park Street we came here. At first I didn’t like it. We loved it at Park Street, and when we came here we didn’t see much people, and they weren’t friendly, so we worried about that. But it was alright, there was a lady lived next door was very nice and I get used to everybody on the street. I worked at Grosvenor Hotel by Temple Meads, Cilla Black and Tom Jones stayed there. I worked there for a long time, about seventeen years. Afterwards the owner, he didn’t keep so well, so he sell it. He didn’t want to sack us. Then the last owner, when he bought the hotel promised he would keep us on, and he get the whole thing cheaper because of that. Then he just give everybody their notice so we have to leave. Mr. Brown was working on the buildings because he was a carpenter.

84


I worked at Grosvenor Hotel by Temple Meads, Cilla Black and Tom Jones stayed there. (t,r) We loved it at Park Street, but they did knock it down. It’s all motorway now. (b,r)

I love my church, Trinity Pentacostal Church. I’ve been to the same church all the time I’ve been here. We went to Trinity Church for a bit when we were married. (b,l)

85


Lyn Barratt’s Story My name is Lyn Barratt and I was born in Southmead Hospital in Bristol. My family was living in Freezewood Rd in Ashton at the time. My Dad was in the Army and my Mum was just a housewife. I remember my childhood in Eldon Close in Bedminster, just off Parson Street. That was like family, my gran lived next door. From there we went to St. Philips, Chapel Street. That’s all been pulled down now, it’s all scrapyards where the houses used to be. From there to Shirehampton where I spent up to my teens, and from there to Hartcliffe Estate. I didn’t like Hartcliffe Estate. I got married and I lived in Whitchurch then. Then from there to Easton, and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve moved about a lot because of divorces. Out of all the places I’ve lived in Bristol, I feel most attached to this one. What I like about here is that everybody knows me, black, white, Asian, I don’t feel threatened in any way cause they know me. If they don’t know me, they know my kids. Even people I don’t know say, “All right, Lyn? How’s Tommy?” so I feel safe. I like the house, I like this street, and I like the district. I’m not against this district. People are, but I’m not. I’ve been here for so long. I’ve done a lot to the house, so it’s nice. I shall prob-ably stay here ‘till I die, more than likely.

86


Shirehampton was special to me. I used to go up to the woods and Lawrence Weston fishing out of the ponds. It’s all built up now, but in them days it were country. I used to climb the rocks, I loved that. (t,l) I used to have a canteen while they were building Maytrees Home for the Blind (t,r). That was good memories there because I was earning some bucks. I lived in Robertson Road. That was the first house I ever owned with my husband, and it was a nice house. I used to live in Walton Street. I loved it there. Music going and drinking out on the wall in the summer. (b, l)

87


Mrs Reenie’s Story My name is Mrs. Irene Hawthorne and I was born in Jamaica, in the country, in a small place called Mount Peace. I came here in 1954 when I was 21. They started inviting us here in the 1950’s and we came over one after the other. The invitation was to work, we wouldn’t leave our country just to come here to walk about. I was a nurse, so I came straight to Dudley Road Hospital in Birmingham. I wish I had stayed now. It was really eye opening for us. We didn’t know anything like what we see here. People in my country is very, very loving. It was living like pigs here, they treat you like pigs. At the hospital it was really horrible treatment, I was the only black face. The nurses was ok, but the patients, the old people, you couldn’t think that old people could be so horrible. I went to give one her tablet, and she said, “I don’t want your black hands touching me”, and just push it out of my hands! I just walked out. They had the police out all over the place to search for me but I wouldn’t go back. I walked the streets looking for work, and I find it. Then jobs was quite easy to find. You could just walk into one in the morning, and if you didn’t like it you could find another. When I got married, my husband had family in Bristol so we came here in 1960. We were living in Kingsdown up on that hill (t,l). There was a lot of black people living up there. That hill! That was fun. If you’re coming down when it’s snowing and you fall at the top, you find yourself at the bottom. I liked Bristol better. There wasn’t so much smoke. After a couple of months we moved onto City Road (t,r). Of course then it was lovely and clean and pretty. We heard it was a very rich place, it was all rich people, very posh. You had to walk to find some black people, but we had a room in a black person’s house.It was harder to find jobs down here, but I was offered two jobs in one week. Will’s and Fry’s. Tobacco and cocoa from the West Indies, both connected with my country. I heard it wasn’t very good to work in Wills, you had to inhale the smoke, so I went off to Fry’s and stayed there for five years. Then I went to Mardons making boxes (b,l). I get on lovely with everyone at Mardons. I worked there for twenty years ‘till it closed in the recession in about 1984. Then I went to Carsons, I think it was called Famous Names then. My church is very important to me, it’s a place where I can find peace. I love the pastor at Kensington Baptist Church (b,r). I’ve been to different churches. In those days some of the vicars was quite horrible as well. My husband and I went to one church and we were the only black faces, and the vicar said in his sermon, “We’ve got the heathen coming to church.” My husband got up and walked out. I waited to shake his hand because I wanted to look him in the eye.

88


89


Sue and Joe Little Sue’s Story

My name is Sue Little and I was born on Ashley Hill at the Mount Hope Maternity Hospital, run by nuns. My grandfather lived on Ashley Road and was one of the founders of Muller’s orphanage. He married a Miss King of Kings Square. We lived in Chew Valley at the time. I came to Bristol at 16 when my father bought an antique shop on the Wells Road. I went a bit wild really, running away from home, rebelling, just the same way children get into trouble these days. I did hairdressing, I worked in a shop, I worked in a kennels. I was quite mixed up and never really knew what I wanted. It wasn’t till I got married and started a family that I thought, ‘this is what life is all about.’ At first we lived in a caravan in Patchway, and then we came here just after it was first built. Things started to go wrong, so we separated. A year after, I met Joe, and we’ve been here ever since. Lots and lots of children we’ve had because we do fostering. I worked for eight years at Stoke Park Hospital. I did love that. This is my home and I love it here because I’m facing where my grandmother lived. Her family had the Coach and Horses in Braggs Lane. It is so strange that I live on the same road as she was born. When we came here 30 years ago the flats were just going up. I love my home. It was my first real home. It’s lovely here for the children, they can go and play and you don’t have to worry about them too much. People talk about Easton, it’s got such a bad name, but everybody speaks to you. My neighbour next door, we’ve never had a cross word in 27 years. When the children were small we were all into each other’s houses for cups of tea.

90


The house on Ashley Road where my grandfather lived, with a photograph of my grandfather’s family. (t,l)

Our family now on the same steps as my grandfathers picture. (t,r)

The old Mount Hope Maternity Hospital where I was born. (b,r)

91


Joe Little’s Story My name is Joe Little and I was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica in the West Indies. I was there until 19 years of age. I came to this country in 1962. I was an apprentice electrician and wanted to take the exams, but my dad was strapped for cash. So I asked my brother who had been here some years before me, ‘Can I come to England and go to college?’ He had a grocery business on the Grosvenor Rd. I came over and helped him during the day and went to college at night. I would help him make syrup, bottle syrup, and take it to Birmingham and Peterborough. I was studying at St. George Central Institute and living with my brother above the shop at 78 Grosvenor Rd. I passed my exams, but my brother’s business folded. I went to the Government training centre in Fishponds for six months, and then got a job with Drakes and Skull in Bedminster. I wired those flats over there (Rawnsley House). We had a recession and I was made redundant. I went to work for a scaffolding company, and I was there for about two years, then that firm shut. Then I moved to another engineering firm in Bedminster, then that shut and I was out of a job again. Finally I got a job as an electrician based in Yate, and worked there for eighteen years. I had to travel a lot to Scotland and Wales, sometimes for months at a time. I always came home at the weekends. Then the man who owned the business died, and my world fell apart. I thought, ‘What do I do now?’ I saw this ad in the paper, Brunel Care, at the time, so I applied. My mother died at the same time. As soon as I came back from her funeral in Jamaica they rang and said, ‘You’d better come in for an interview.’ There were a lot of people going for the job, so it must have been a blessing from God. They said, ‘You was the last application and you was the best.’ I’ve been there eleven years now working for them, I do all the electrical for their care homes.

92


Grosvenor Road was the first place I came. It was different then. I had friends I could go and talk to, friends I could relate to. I can’t talk to younger people now. All they want to do is get drugs up them and drunk and I’m not into that, never was into that. (t,l) When the council did compulsorily purchase Grosvenor Road I was re-housed in Gloucester House. I was lucky to get it because you could not get a council house for love nor money if you was a single man. There was a woman who lived above, and it ended up that she is the grandmother of the children we are fostering now. People say your life is like a circle. (b,l) Snuff Mills is a special place for me. I take the kids there on a Sunday. You can walk right through, we’ve done it over and over again. (b,r)

93


t s e t Pro

94


95


This and previous page: St Werburghs’ Make a Noise for Narroways protest in 1997 saved a disused railway junction, a much valued green space, from being sold and privatised. The protesters and local community chipped in to buy the land which is managed by the Narroways Trust. It became a Millennium Green in 2000, with a 999-year lease to keep it free and open to local people and allow wildlife to thrive.

97


98


99


In December 1982 I was one of 30,000 women who answered the call to Embrace the Base at Greenham Common to protest the siting of US cruise missiles there. The missiles were removed in 1991, and the peace camp protesting nuclear weapons remained until 2000.

100


Tree houses taken at the ‘Third Battle of Newbury’ to protest the Newbury Bypass in February 1996. Five thousand people came to walk the proposed route making it the largest demonstration against road building in Britain. After protracted protests, heavy security and evictions the road was finally built in 1988, felling nearly 10,000 mature trees and destroying 120 acres of ancient woodland.* * en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbury_bypass

101


Ask the powerful five questions: What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interest do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? How can we get rid of you? Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no-one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it; including you and me, here and now. Tony Benn 2005

102


An anti nuclear ‘Die-in’ in front of army recruiting office, Whiteladies Rd., c 1982. I was one of those bodies.

103


104


UNPAID CARERS A Hidden Workforce

Unpaid Carers look after relatives or friends who, through disability, illness or frailty cannot manage at home without help.

Lynn Parfitt and her father, a wheelchair user, were students of mine on one of the Community Access courses I ran. We became dear friends. She went on to take David Herne’s prestigious Documentary Photography Course in Newport. Having grown up in a family with two members with disabilities and been a Young Carer herself, she wanted to use photography to raise the awareness of the general public and to communicate Carers’ needs to policy makers, service providers, and educators. She recruited a group of Carers to act a committee to steer the project. A month-long project in 1991 involved four photographers working with Carers to make visible this hidden workforce, and raise awareness of their problems amongst health professionals. The photographers immersed themselves in the lives of the Carers as a form of Action Research. The project produced a touring exhibition, Unpaid Carers A Hidden Workforce, and a training pack, Taking the Pressure off the Carers, aimed at healthcare professionals and students. I was privileged to share peoples’ lives as I become one of the project photographers and collaborated with Carers to represent their lives.

105


Nasreen and Asma I have got two children, my son is doing ‘A’ levels, and my daughter is deaf and attends a special school. My husband works nights, and I have no relatives in this country who can offer me support, so I look after her on my own.


I have to be with my daughter all the time. When she is at school I have to do all the housework, shopping and cooking so that I can be with her all the time when she is home. I can’t do anything else. I used to feel that I needed time to myself, but now I don’t even think about it, I only think about my daughter and how we can get by day to day. I can’t let her out to play or take her out on my own because she will run out into the road. When I get upset I cry by myself and then pray to God, that is how I get my strength. I worry about the future. In our religion girls must marry. Unless she is rich or has status it will be difficult for her to find a husband. There is so much prejudice. My happiest and most joyful time is when she is in a good mood and tries to communicate with me. When my daughter is happy, I am happy. It’s like Christmas for me when she is happy.

107


108


Before I came here to look after mother I travelled a good deal. Inside I am an explorer. I love books, information and learning. I had plans for a new career in alternative medicine.

Gillian and Dessima In 1985 I left home in Hertfordshire, and my job as a lecturer to come and look after my mother. If I had known what I know now I don’t think I could have taken it on. The lack of statutory provision, the isolation, the humiliating procedures involved in claiming benefit are demoralising. I have sacrificed everything and saved the state thousands of pounds, and I feel I’m being penalised for it. How slow it is to do anything! Even putting on a pair of gloves is a lengthy operation. It takes ages to get ready to go anywhere, and no matter how much time I allow, it never seems to be enough. We are often late for our appointments, and that makes me feel incompetent. Guilt, always guilt about the things you are bad at, in my case, housekeeping, and sadness at the fact that things are slowly and relentlessly getting worse. Anger and sadness at the cruelty of it all. I dislike domestic work, and I’m bad at it, but it is a necessary part of the job. The hardest thing to take is the monotony; toileting, dressing, undressing, meals, washing, cleaning, shopping...never ending. Most carers realise that only one thing can set them free - and how can you wish for that?

109


110 Self-portraits

Anticipating Motherhood


111


A Day in the Life: before children

112


113


A Life in the Day: after children

114


115


116


117


118


119


Carrie Hitchcock captured these images, a visual journey through her personal and professional life, while living in Bristol between 1982 and 2002. By 1983 her hobby had become a career. Her passion for photographing people, and inspiring others who may not have access to photographic equipment and skills, informed her practice as a freelance photographer and teacher. In 1984, she set up the Barton Hill Photography Project, which she ran for eleven years. Part memoir, part nostalgia, part social history, Bristol and Me consists of personal pictures and projects, commissions, and images from Carrie’s freelance practice documenting community groups throughout the city. “This book is a map of my first twenty years in Bristol, a city that has become my home. I began taking pictures to record and locate this particular home, place, part of me, to make a physical representation of my mental and emotional map; here was my home, this was my space, these were my friends, this is who I was. Later I used photography, both personally and professionally, in an attempt to move beyond the pretty picture to express ideas.�

120

Profile for Carrie Hitchcock

Bristol and Me, 1982 - 2002  

Carrie Hitchcock captured these images, a visual journey through her personal and professional life, while living in Bristol between 19...

Bristol and Me, 1982 - 2002  

Carrie Hitchcock captured these images, a visual journey through her personal and professional life, while living in Bristol between 19...

Advertisement