When I was born in 1965, my family moved into a Victorian terrace house in Hereford Road, Bayswater.I grew up there with my brothers and sister and although I now live in Holloway, North London.I still feel a special connection with Bayswater.
I am a portrait photographer for magazines and the entertainment industry.I started my photographic career from my bedroom / darkroom in Bayswater, selling pictures of news events to the local newspaper the Paddington Mercury and sometimes the national papers in Fleet Street.There was always something going on in the neighbourhood, I photographed fires, royal visits, armed sieges, community campaigns, nightclub raids and bomb scares.
Bayswater, on the eastern edge of Notting Hill the area became fashionable in Edwardian times with large stucco houses built around garden squares.By end of the Second World War the area was run down.The large houses had been split-up, bombed and neglected.The garden squares were dilapidated.
I remember Bayswater in the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties when many of the large houses were bed-sit hotels and student hostels.The buildings were falling to pieces due to lack of repair and several were squatted, however the atmosphere was dynamic, creative and vibrant.
Last year I was helping my parents downsize from their house to an apartment.On my regular visits I particularly noticed the qualities that make Bayswater special and the reasons they were so keen to stay in the area.I decided to photograph some of the local people who live and work in the area, initially in the yard of the old house and when that was no longer available I found niches, corners and special places around Bayswater.
Bayswater now looks great and is an extremely desirable place to live, with a lively mix of cultures and characters. The neighbourhood has many long-term residents and has been improved with the efforts of local volunteers and the people who work there.There remains a strong sense of community