Larger-than-life photographer ROB LOCK has left The Gazette after 23 action-packed years. But before he went (in one of his trademark Hawaiian shirts) we asked him to take a trip down Memory Lane to look back on his favourite moments.
Almost a quarter of a century- how on earth do I sum up my time at The Gazette?
There have been so many memorable moments – mostly pleasurable, with one or two seared into my mind through sheer terror – that an article like this can only form the briefest of summaries, but here goes...
Blackpool. What a strange, resilient, occasionally beautiful place it is!
I’ve loved photographing every aspect of this town, from climbing to the top of the newly-built Big One rollercoaster (without the benefit of a safety-line!), covering innumerable Switch-On ceremonies (though my memory of several is slightly hazy due to the press facility being located in the Pump and Truncheon...happy days), and capturing the great British public at play, as well as reporting on Blackpool’s darker side, which sometimes involved leaping out of a riot van with several armour-plated police officers, I can safely say that it has never been boring.
I’ve always enjoyed shooting sport, and again my Gazette press pass has taken me on some fantastic trips, including three to the Millennium Stadium, two to Wembley, two Open Championships at Royal Lytham and St Annes, hundreds of games at
Bloomfield Road, cricket, athletics, rugby, beach volleyball, and my personal favourite, the ladies’ hockey.
Back in the good old days, when travel companies had budgets and newspapers had bigger resources, photographers were often sent on trips to far-off lands (and I don’t mean Over Wyre).
Over the years I’ve been to New York (twice), delighted in a spot of dune-busting and seven-star luxury in Abu Dhabi, crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, and spent a riotous week on the Greek island of Rhodes.
And the terror?
Well, how about being inside a rattlesnake’s cage, walking along two planks fastened to the side of the Tower with a 400ft drop underneath them, a night landing where the plane hit the runway so hard all the lockers burst open, hunting for a puma in woods near Inskip...
I’ve hardly started, but I’ve already overrun my word count. You see what I mean?
What a ride Blackpool has given me. What an unforgettable ride.
To get in touch with Rob, contact him via email@example.com and www.roblockphotography.co.uk