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Photographer Jack Lowe visits Aberystwyth to continue RNLI project

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Jack Lowe: With his vintage camera

A PHOTOGRAPHER and lifelong RNLI enthusiast capturing stunning shots of lifeboat crew with a photographic technique from the 19th century will be focusing his lens on Aberystwyth RNLI.

On September 24, Jack Lowe will be welcomed with open arms at the lifeboat station and the public are welcome to visit and to see Jack in action.

He is undertaking an ambitious project to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, capturing stunning glass images along the way. Earlier this year he photographed crew members at seven lifeboat stations in south and west Wales and now he is bringing his Victorian camera and developing equipment back to another seven Welsh stations from Penarth to Aberystwyth.

Grandson of Dad’s Army actor, Arthur Lowe, Jack has admired the RNLI since he was a little boy. He says the project allows him to ‘follow his heart’.

The talented photographer has been a lifelong supporter of the charity, joining Storm Force (the RNLI’s club for children) at the age of eight and raising over £6,000 for charity by completing the Great North Run three years in a row. Photography has also been a strong passion of his, ever since he received a Kodak camera from his Grandma when he was nine.

As part of the RNLI Lifeboat Station Project, Jack plans to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations, photographing the breath-taking views from each station along with the crew members. He will be using a Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that allows him to record stunning images on glass. The project is predicted to take approximately five years to complete.

Crew Member Paul McCann said: “The crew are really looking forward to having Jack visit the station. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something like this, some crew are cutting their holidays short to ensure they are here. We are also excited about the talk the night before at the National Library which will kick off the weekend.”

Jack says: “I’ve been looking forward to bringing The Lifeboat Station Project back to Wales ever since my first visit in March. It’ll be great to experience the warm Welsh welcome once again and to add to the growing collection of photographs documenting the RNLI volunteers in this stunning part of the world.”

His unique glass photographs are to be developed in a decommissioned NHS ambulance, which he purchased on eBay and transformed into a mobile darkroom. On this leg of his trip he will be visiting Penarth, Horton and Port Eynon, Little and Broad Haven, Fishguard, Cardigan, New Quay and Aberystwyth RNLI lifeboat stations. On Friday 23 September, Jack will give a talk about the Lifeboat Project at the National Library in Aberystwyth.

Jack added: “From an early age I knew I wanted to either be a photographer or a lifeboat crew member. This trip has given me the opportunity to fulfil both my dreams. It’s fantastic to see how many people have been so interested and engaged with the project.

“Some of the images I have captured so far have been regarded as mesmerising and have even rendered some crew members to tears!”

He will return to visit the remainder of the Welsh lifeboat stations in the future.

You will be able to check the confirmed times of the itinerary by following the link to the Project’s interactive Mission Map: http://lifeboatstationproject.com/stations/

You can also follow Jack’s RNLI photographic mission on Facebook (fb.com/LifeboatStationProject), on Twitter (@ProjectLifeboat) or on the Project’s dedicated site (lifeboatstationproject.com).

Anyone interested in attending Jack’s talk in Aberystwyth on September 23 can book now to reserve a seat at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EGMIHK. Admission costs £6 with a percentage of proceeds donated to the RNLI charity.

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Jon Coles

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