As a relative newcomer to the Village, a lot of what I’ve discovered about our lovely Village has been through conversations with my neighbours. One neighbour, Dave Parry has been a wealth of information, and lively tales, as he’s worn many hats throughout his interesting life, and has lived to tell!
His Facebook group Park Street People and Places is one of my first stops when I open my laptop. Through it, I’ve met some very talented photographers who share their work with me. I consider Dave among them. Though not trained as an artist or photographer, to me Dave has an innate awareness of composition and balance in his shots which undoubtedly serve him well in his chosen profession as an architect.
When asked about his photos, Dave provided me with some background, which touches not only on his imagery, but his experiences in Park Street and the surrounding area. Read it below this gallery of some of his photos of local scenes, and one from far afield.
Thank you, Dave, for your generosity!
-Heidi Patterson Howson, 6 August, 2020
As admin of the Park Street Facebook Group, many of you have been subjected to some of my photos and apparently because of that, PSRA have asked me to write something about my background and how I became interested in photography. Big mistake!
We are relative newcomers to the area, having family roots only going back some 95 years, when my granddad bought a plot of land on a dirt track, now Hazel Road, and built his bungalow for all of £250, including well and septic tank.
Although I was born far away, in St Albans, I was forcibly relocated to Bricket Wood by my parents at just 8 months old. Apparently, they thought a one bed attic flat was not particularly suitable. For some reason MPL School was not seen as suitable school for me, possibly they frowned on pupils keeping live frogs in their pockets, anyway I was sent to Homewood School, which at that time was a single classroom upstairs in the Social Club in Bricket Wood.
The owners Mr And Mrs Hemming owned a plot of land at the very top of Hazel Road, and Wednesday afternoon lessons soon became slave labour – ie practical building classes. We built our own School!
Josh Hemming was an interesting head, with a style that would now be seen as somewhere between the Montessori system and ‘Forest Schools’ – yes he positively encouraged frogs in pockets! What he also did was to encourage us to look closely at everything, particularly in the natural world. With a scientific background he also encouraged us to challenge and question everything – which explains a lot about me! – But that’s another story.
It was my grandad who partially got me interested in photography, he used to take super8 movie films of his work on the railways and of the family, and also show us old Charlie Chaplin films. My dad also took many photos, mainly of his time as a mining prospector in Rhodesia (Zimbabwee).
I do not really consider myself an ‘Artist’ I just take shots of things that interest me. Often I look for something that I might not otherwise notice, or to capture a mood or feeling. I very rarely ‘set up’ a shot but prefer to be spontaneous and shooting into the light is a particularly favourite technique. In my younger days, when I was a ‘roadie’/hanger on/writer for a not very good band (all amateur), I had a couple of Pentax SLR’s and filters, but now, although I do have a CanonM3 SLR, practically everything is taken on my phone.
Dave Parry, 20 June, 2020