UNIQUE photographs of RNLI crew and lifeboat stations in Ceredigion have been acquired by the National Library of Wales.
The images made at Aberystwyth and New Quay RNLI stations were created by photographer Jack Lowe using Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that captures stunning images on glass.
They form part of The Lifeboat Station Project, Jack’s epic mission to photograph all 237 stations in the UK and the Republic of Ireland — one of the largest photographic projects ever undertaken and currently scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The 20 limited edition prints will now be housed within the National Collection of Welsh Photographs, which comprises over a million photographs connected to Wales. These range from works by pioneering photographers from the earliest days of photography to portfolios by contemporary practitioners of the art.
Will Troughton, Curator of Photography at the National Library of Wales, says of the acquisition: ‘Jack’s photographs are important to the National Library in many ways. They are part of a systematic documentary record of Welsh RNLI stations, the first to be offered to the Library.
‘His use of a Victorian camera and glass plates produces atmospheric, mesmerising and aesthetically pleasing photographs. The use of black and white produces a timeless quality and emphasises the crew members rather than their brightly coloured equipment as well as creating a link to our historical photographs of lifeboat crews.’
Will added: ‘Having seen Jack at work here in Aberystwyth I’m delighted to add some stunning photos of Welsh RNLI crews to the National Library of Wales where they will sit alongside works by some of the greats of photography.’
Jack, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, said: ‘This is the first time my photographs have been recognised at a national level in this way. I dreamed this might happen one day but I never expected it would happen while in the midst of making the work.
‘I’m over-the-moon for the RNLI lifeboat volunteers too. I can’t make these photographs without them, so it’s wonderful to see our brave lifeboat men and women placed on such a high pedestal.’
Paul McCann, Aberystwyth RNLI crew member, said the experience of being part of the Lifeboat Station Project had been an enjoyable one for the station.
Paul said: ‘It was a really great day. I think a few people were a bit sceptical beforehand, not really knowing what to expect, but it was a very different experience to the normal crew photographs we have taken. All the crew were amazed to be able to see the images developing on the glass plates there and then.’
Paul added: ‘We had lots of passers-by who came along to the station to see Jack at work too – and that was certainly different, as normally people only come along to watch the lifeboat launch!’
While Jack was in Wales photographing the volunteer crews last year, he also gave a fund-raising talk for the RNLI at the National Library of Wales, describing his photographic method and what inspired him to embark on his five-year odyssey.
The Lifeboat Station Project, which began in January 2015, is one of the biggest photographic projects ever undertaken and, when finished, will be the first complete photographic record of every single lifeboat station on the RNLI network.
Jack travels in Neena — his decommissioned NHS ambulance purchased on eBay and converted into a mobile darkroom. He looks set to reach the half-way point in late 2017 – and 2017 will also include the Project’s first visit to Ireland.
Man assaulted nurses while being restrained
A PRE-SENTENCE report will be prepared on a Ceredigion man who assaulted two nurses and destroyed an extractor fan.
Lewis Hill, aged 24, of Brynhoffnant, appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (Aug 14) to plead guilty to the three charges.
Prosecuting, Mr Vaughan Pritchard-Jones told the Court: “At 11pm in the evening on January 30, the defendant was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital threatening to jump off. Police and medical personnel attended and were able to talk him down.
“He was taken to the Cwm Seren ward in St Davids Park, Carmarthen, where they arrived at 1:03am the following morning. During the course of being assessed he became aggressive and had to be restrained by staff. He kicked out at the first nurse and was then put on the floor.
“Whilst on the floor he was throwing his head back and forth and the staff nurse, who was concerned for him, tried to hold his head but he continued to throw his head and because of the force he was using he trapped her finger onto the floor.
“The charge did originally read as common assault but the nurse went to get her finger x-rayed which revealed the fracture.
“After that incident he got free and he started damaging an extractor fan which he completely destroyed.
“I am not sure why the case has taken so long to come here but at the time of the offence he was on a suspended prison sentence, the period for which has now elapsed.”
Defending, Mrs Katie Hanson added: “He is extremely sorry for his actions on that night. He was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital trying to commit suicide. There are serious mental health issues but he accepts he was struggling on the floor but he did not intentionally hurt anyone and he apologises for his actions.”
Magistrates ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared and Hill was released on unconditional bail and must return to court on Wednesday, August 29 for sentencing.
Cardigan Classic Car Club returns with 3-Counties Run
Cardigan Classic Car Club will be holding it’s annual 3-Counties Run on Sunday (Aug 26).
There will be an excellent display of classic post war cars, plus a few dating from before the war. Cars will be gathering between 10.00 and 11.00am on The Strand, Cardigan, that stretch of road between the castle and the river for those who would like to go along to view the cars and have a chat. If you have a suitable car, why not join in?
For those who would like to pop along to see the cars as they travel through, they will start by driving through Cardigan at 11.00am, and their route will take them up the by-pass and onto the Fishguard road.
They will turn right onto the Nevern road at the 5-ways junction, arriving in Nevern circa 11.20am.
They will then turn back towards Eglwyswrw on the A487, and travel towards Boncath and Cenarth, arriving there about Midday.
A few minutes later they will pass through Newcastle Emlyn heading for Ffostrasol, then down the A486 to Horeb where they turn left on the Lampeter road to Prengwyn heading for their lunch stop at Talgarreg.
World War 2 ordnance found on beach
AN unexploded World War Two bomb was found on Ynyslas and had to be removed by Borth Coastguard yesterday (Aug 14).
There was a controlled detonation of the ordnance.
Borth Coastguard posted on Facebook saying: “Call out today with reports of ordnance. Borth Coastguard Rescue Team assisted the EODU with the safe removal of the item with a controlled detonation.
“Unexploded bombs from WWII are regularly found along this stretch of coastline, as Ynyslas used to be an MoD testing site.
“If you find anything you suspect could be ordnance, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Do not move the object.”
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