Trevor Leighton and the Rusty Red Ford Capri....

I first contacted Trevor Leighton some twenty years ago when I had hair and a more youthful look. As he is was from the same birthplace as myself (Carlisle, Cumbria, The Great Border City) I thought what better a photographer to ask for work experience. I sent him some of my black and white portraits and told him how much I wanted to be a photographer, just like him.
I did love the quality of Trevor's work and it did inspire me early on to take to the streets and photograph the local 'old bloke' types you may call characters.
About a week later I received a phone call from Trevor asking if I would like to come down to London and learn something about portrait photography. I said "very much please Mr. Leighton"
"Well then, do you have money and a place to stay." He replied.. Well I knew know one in London and my wages from my part-time Tesco job did not suffice so I never made it on that occasion.
It was a year later that I met Trevor after he had a small exhibition in the Town Hall of Carlisle called 'Homecoming' There was a talk by him after the show and I was lucky enough to get tickets. At the end of the talk I asked a lot of questions including "Do you remember that I called you last year for some works experience" He did, and we arranged to meet at his parents house the next day for an in depth chat.
The following day I arrived at Trevor's parents house and beheld the array of 10/8 framed prints adorning the hallway. What I remember the most about my visit wasn't so much the advise I was given (which was basically, well you can't assist me because I already have an assistant. So find someone else and assist them for a bit) but the fact that his late father spent an hour trying to sell me his bright red Ford Capri Gear with a big stainless steel exhaust. The very words, "this is a young fellas car, look its got a sporty exhaust and goes like shit off a shovel" still tickle me even now. I was only sixteen at the time.
When I eventually moved to London some six years later I did see a fair bit of Trevor when I was working as an assistant in various studios. A real Northern character, he always remembered the tale of that rusty red Capri Gear... Still never got to assist him though...

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