My Project 28 Experiences. Number One - Boston

29 August 18

Posted at 8:49

My Project 28 Experiences is a series of blog posts recounting my impressions of the towns I visited for the project. Anecdote, opinion and comment, sharing my personal journeys. I hope you find them of interest.

On 10th August 2016 I made the first of the eleven journeys that would be required to travel to all twenty-eight states

Boston 116 miles north of London and just 80 miles north of my home but this would be my first visit. I travelled by car. On route it was clear that local industries are food production, both agriculture and food processing factories. Arriving in the market square, dominated by St Botolph’s Church known as the Stump, the town appeared to be a typical English market town. Soon after arriving I climbed the 209 steps of the Stump’s tower and set a precedent repeated in many towns throughout my journeys of climbing towers to capture aerial images and to familiarise myself with the town layout.

Boston Market Square and the StumpSt Botolphs and the Market Square


Another precedent was for me to stay in an AirBnB room. Boston was my first experience of using AirBnB. Having now stayed on numerous occasions something that is common across Europe is the wonderful AirBnB hosts. Without exception I have found them kind, helpful and genuinely interested in their guests. James, my host in Boston was no exception. When he heard about my EU project he offered his opinion of Boston, the referendum result and plenty more.

James, himself is an immigrant, not from the EU but from the USA. James has lived in Boston for 25 years, he owns numerous properties that he lets as bedsits, flats etc. After I shared my project with James he took some joy in telling me that the vast majority of his tenants are from the EU, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese. None are ‘on benefits’ His only tenants on benefits are an English family. Also he has never had any trouble from an immigrant tenant. The only real trouble James has experienced was a local guy who rented a room, most likely for an extra-marital liaison, who ended up stabbing one of the fellow tenants. James added that was actually in the room I was renting – thanks for that James! He went on to share his view of the indigenous population, “They are mostly Boguns,” he volunteered.

I was determined to get the locals view so I spent an evening in a pub on the edge of an estate a short walk from the town centre. It was poker in the pub evening, a pastime I am quite partial to. As a stranger I was welcomed and I was pleased to see that the ‘school’ was made up of a disparate group in terms of age, gender etc. They appeared a fair cross section of the community. During my time in Boston I was struck by the totally different economic situation just 80 miles from where I live. I had witnessed the economic at the market held at Bargate Green on Wednesdays where an outdoor auction takes place between 09:00 and 13:00. The ‘goods’ to be auctioned set up in endless lines across the car park for inspection. The auctioneer and his assistant, both images of what comes to my mind when I hear the term ‘Bogun’ enthusiastically take bids on an eclectic and eccentric array of what can only be described as junk. Lots such as ‘three garden canes and a golf putter’, a ‘well worn Eddie Stobart jacket’, a ‘Sgt. Peppers album in a sleeve but minus the cover’. It reminded me of the street off of Brick Lane in the sixties.

UntitledAutioneers at Bargate Green with a nice glass table on offer


Back to the poker it was just £2 to play which included a sandwich at the break (where I live it would be £15 at least) prizes were simply points in the national league and pride. I told those assembled about my project and why I had chosen Boston. There was a consensus that had David Cameron arrived back from Brussels with an agreement to reduce, to stem the flow, of EU immigrants then the vote would have been to remain. Not to stop immigration, the Poles and Romanians contributed to the local economy, they did the jobs the locals don’t want to do. They were accepted and welcomed. There were simply a disproportionate number that meant they now were impacting local business and traders, and also changing the character of Boston too far too quickly. Only one amongst them, an out and out racist, did not subscribe to this theory. His peers even chastised him for his racist opinions. So the decision to leave the EU was down to David Cameron’s failings not the voters of Boston being anti immigration, they said.

During the evening a couple of young men, quite clearly Eastern European, enquired about the poker in the pub. I noted they did not receive the warm welcome I had experienced. The most moderate of the group, the one who had led the David Cameron debate, told them the rules and the process but did so with an air of negativity. He closed with “come along any Wednesday at 8pm, we’ll look forward to seeing you. The more the merrier." The manner in which he delivered those words clearly implied that he meant “you are not wanted round here, don’t come back”. Thank goodness the racist didn’t deal with them!

David Cameron indeed!! A few hours and a couple of beers here said to me James’s assessment was pretty much on the money. Of course I will still be free to travel to Boston once we leave the EU. Somehow I doubt I will.

Boston From St Botolph



July 20th

15 July 18

Posted at 12:10

Sosnowiec, PolandSosnowiec

An as yet unpublished image from Sosnowiec, Poland.

The book, 28, will be released this coming Friday 20th July. The pre-orders will be despatched soon after. I am overwhelmed by the interest and support there has been even prior to publication. It is looking as though the first edition will be a complete sell out. There are of course copies still available  here  or via the contact page.

The website gallery is slowly being populated with images from Project 28 along with anecdotes and information. 

The project has received more positive exposure recently from Shutter Hub in their 2018 Summer Good News blog, scroll down on the link to take a look and while you are there checkout the site there is some amazing photographers work there.


28 The Book is now available to order

27 June 18

Posted at 9:32

A hand made, self-published, first edition of thirty-five photo books. Fifty-two A5 pages containing twenty-eight images, one from each country of the EU, with nine two page spreads.
Indigo printing on Popset Brilliant White 170gsm paper creating the highest quality images coupled with lovingly crafted hand binding with exposed stitching and tails (in the colours of the EU) results in a most unique and rare book. Every copy will be numbered and signed by the author. The book is now available for purchase from the project website here or contact me direct
As there are only thirty-five available in this edition if you wish to avoid disappointment and reserve a copy now. The price is £55.
The book is the first output of my project. There will be an exhibition in March 2019 to coincide with the UK's exit (or not!!!) from the EU  - either way Project 28's reflection on the rich tapestry of the twenty eight countries of the EU in 2016/7 will still be relevant.


Book News

17 June 18

Posted at 3:50

Boston Market Square and the Stump

Boston Market Square and the Stump

On 11th August 2016 I took the first photograph of Project 28. Now in June 2018 nearly two years later I have reached a significant milestone as the book '28'  is about to be published. that is 'self published'. So long as I approve colour proofing next week the book will be available to purchase three weeks later. The travelling, shooting, processing, editing, stressing, negotiating, fretting, threatening to give up, designing, reviewing is now complete. Relief! My mind has now turned to an exhibition in March 2019 to coincide with the UK's exit (or not) from the EU. Well in actual fact my mind is currently focussed on creating a sales page on this website so folk may purchase the book but that will be sorted this week I'm sure.

It has been some journey and over the last few months it seemed I would never reach this point but here we are!


Liege and Book Progress

29 May 18

Posted at 7:52

Statue Le PlongeurStatue Le Plongeur

Liege is the project28 town for Belgium. With today's news of terrorist killings in Liege my mind goes back to November 2016 when I visited and documented the town. I enjoyed my stay in Liege. This image captures at least some of the diverse architecture in this most diverse of towns. I have for some reason an emotional attachment to this image so it proved tough for me when it did not make the final edit for the book.

Gare des Guillemins 1Gare de Guilliems

I arrived in Liege by train so like many visitors I was amazed whan I arrived at the futuristic Gare de Guillimens. The steel and glass structure is somewhat out of place. It looks as though an alien spacecraft has landed in Liege. This is another image that brings back happy memories and another that did not survive the edit. Liege will though be represented by an image of the Guillimemns architecture.

I've mentioned the book edit a couple of times. I'm pleased to report the edit and proofing are complete, a torturous execise. Torturous but a necessity! There have been many changes and rethinks along the way but now I am ready for the printer. I have decided that printing and binding will be undertaken by professionals as opposed to my fanciful ideas of late that I might make the books by hand. I am talking with two potential suppliers. A company in London with whom I have worked before and in whom I have a lot of confidence. Printing and bookbinding in the UK is notoriously expensive so I am also talking with a specialist company in Lithuania. I am about to take a short break. I hope by the time I return I will have chosen my preferred supplier and have an idea of when I will take receipt of the finished books.

As of today, other than choosing the supplier, the only outstanding piece of work was the cover design. I have been playing with an idea to have a washed out version of the now 'iconic' Project 28 EU Montage with 28 written over it. The 28 slipping off the cover on both front and back. This signifies the fact that 28 will by March next year have slipped down to 27.

What do you think?

UntitledFront Cover




17 May 18

Posted at 9:23

Welcome to my new Project 28 website and blog.

Project 28 has occupied me for the best part of the last two years. Soon after the UK's EU referendum my thoughts turned to the loss of freedom of movement and the gloomy predictions about unprecedented difficulties for UK citizens to even travel throughout the EU. No doubt wild predictions but never the less it got me thinking about travelling to and documenting a town in each of the then 28 EU member states. By August 2016 I was embarking on the first of eleven journeys required to visit my allocated town in each country. A year later I had completed the journeys and ready to progress to creating some output. I planned a photobook, something that has proved more difficult than I envisaged.

In November 2017 I created the montage below, made up of a single image from each of the 28 states. My friends at Bayeux Ltd printed and mounted a 60cm by 70cm version. I entered it for the Shutterhub Borders exhibition. After being selected for the online exhibition Shutterhub approached me with a view to doing a 'Close Up' on my project. It has been live for over three months now and has generated a lot of interest.

Project28 MontageProject 28 EU Montage


In early May this year the print was auctioned at a charity ball and raised £700 for GRITcharity

Having stalled for a few months struggling to settle on a book design, also struggling to arouse much interest from either publishers or investment in the project (so far I have self funded) I have now decided to initially produce an edition of handmade books. That will be a new experience for me that I am finding both exciting and motivating. The book will be a simple affair with just a single image from each town. Contrary to my initial intention I will not be documenting in the book details of my experiences and perceptions when travelling to the 28 towns. Instead once the book is published, well I should say self published, I will create a series of zines, either one for each town or journey. The zines will contain multiple images and recount my experiences along the way. Each will also be the subject of a blog post here