I have been extremely lucky with my career, it has taken me all over the world. But every now and again I get to experience one of those days that are just a little bit special. Last week I travelled over to Liverpool to join Cavern City Tours on their Magical Mystery Tour around the city.
As a Beatles fan this was always going to be labour of love. We toured the famous haunts of the fab four visiting their birth places, old homes, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and several concert venues before the highlight of my day – a trip to The Cavern Club.
I have been into the club several times and it always has a fantastic atmosphere. Beatles tunes fill the air and fans flock from all over the world. Even on a wet autumn monday afternoon there was a decent crowd in the club.
Following a session by solo acoustic artist Jon Keats I was allowed onto the stage to shoot a few images from the bands viewpoint. As I was pottering away doing my work ‘I saw her standing there’ started playing in the background. Just for a few moments I had to join in, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing before spotting one of the crowd laughing at me. I just had to do it, how many times do you get to stand on the stage at The Cavern.
Luckily for the audience the mic was turned off. With a silly grin on my face I moved over to make way for John Lennon, otherwise known as tribute act Jimmy Coburn.
The 360 panoramic images from the shoot were featured in the Mail Plus for iPad app on Saturday 9th November – 52 years to the day since a music shop owner called into The Cavern Club to check out a group because he was getting a lot of requests for a German recording of ‘My Bonnie’. The shop owner was Brian Epstein who became the manager of that group, The Beatles, and the rest is history…..
Nottinghamshire gardener Peter Glazebrook is the daddy of giant vegetable growers. He has a long standing reputation for producing award winners and record holding monsters.
As you wander through the polytunnels in his garden you see onions growing on pedestals, surrounded by artificial lighting and cooled by fans. Leeks look like small trees and the cabbages will only just fit into his wheel barrow. The vegetables may look like mutants from a science lab but they come from simple cross-pollination. Peter explains it as essentially the lesson of the birds and the bees, only with giant onions as the outcome. The frustrating part for the grower is that they have no way of knowing how they have done until they uproot their vegetables and clean off the dirt.
Peter, 69, devotes his life to his garden. He says he is ‘full-time’ at it and his wife, Mary, helps with a lot of work as well. They don’t have a holiday, and just go away when visiting the shows. Peter is up at six and usually working until it’s dark. The hours are long, the costs of heating and cooling their greenhouses are expensive and the financial rewards are minimal. The retired building surveyor proudly showed me around his garden and I shot some interactive 360 degree panoramas for the Mail Plus for iPad app.
Peter claims giant vegetable growing is a gentle pastime for gentlemen. It may largely be about sheer weight, but a tender touch is needed to get to the scales. Too much sun or some heavy rain and months of hard work can be ruined in an instant. Peter has held eight world records, including one for the biggest onion weighing 8.16 kg. This years attempt came up just short as his onion only weighed 6.84 kg !
Click on the images below to join me in Peter’s garden.