Bronze Award – March IOM

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Press Release
National Recognition for local photographer Jamie Morgan LMPA QGPP

Local Photographer Jamie Morgan has achieved the distinction of winning a
Bronze Award in the Guild of Professional Photographers Image of the Month competition, which typically attracts almost 1500 entries each month!

The Guild of Photographers is a highly regarded national photographic body and its members are dedicated to enhancing their skills in the art, craft and profession of photography.

They are committed to achieving the highest standards of professionalism for the benefit of their customers. They pledge themselves to delivering the highest standards of customer service and to a journey of continuing professional development.

Jamie said “It’s always heart-warming to see your work regonised by your peers and industry professionals, but the best reward is telling your clients that the special moment you captured for them, has gone on to win a national accolade. It’s a re-assurance they made the right decision, to hire a professional photographer.’

Lesley Thirsk, a Director of the Guild said that she is “delighted that Jamie has achieved this Award! The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. In fact, the judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so it is an achievement to be, quite rightly, proud of!”

The Guild website lists members throughout the country who offer this commitment, along with advice on how to choose a photographer that will meet your needs. You can find out more about them here – www.photoguild.co.uk


You can also find out more about Jamie Morgan at their website – http://www.hounddogphotography.co.uk

Lesley & Steve Thirsk
Directors
01782 970323
www.photoguild.co.uk

The Guild of Photographers
The Guild of Photographers is the Trading name of the ‘Guild of Professional Photographers Ltd.’

Registered in England. Registered Office – Beethoven House, 76 Moorland Road, Burslem Stoke On Trent. ST6 1DY
Company Registration Number 06997478. Vat Reg’d Number 176091109

Concept Sessions and Dog Models

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Concept Sessions and Dog Models

I think there should be an actual medical term for the late night stokes of genius that I seem to have in the middle of the night.

You know, when you lay there unable to get back to sleep, yet your brain is buzzing.

I spend a lot of time on the road. Even more time out walking.

There are so many views that I see, places that inspire me, and then….

BOOOM!!

In the middle of the night, they come back and I think… wouldn’t it be great if we could take a dog here, or what about if we had a Frenchie posing there… it would make an awesome dog portrait.

This morning, I got up and decided to do things about my crazy ideas.

  1. Get a notepad and pen and keep it beside the bed.
  2. Start to build a dog model database

According to the Office of National Statistics, there are about 66 Million people in the UK.

So, on fag-packet calculations thats 65 million dog lovers, 1 million cat lovers..

There has to be a few dog lovers that would like to help me out with new ideas, concept sessions, product trials and images for our marketing over the year ahead.

With a few minutes and the help of google forms, here it is, a way to get involved in my air brain ideas for new shoots.

5 Books every photographer should read in 2019

Speaking to the MPA London & Essex Region – dog photography talks london essex

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Presenting to the Master Photographers Association London and Essex Region

dog photography talks london essex

The Master Photographers Association is the UK’s premier photographic association, formed in 1958. With the prime aim of educating, mentoring and qualifying professional photographers, the monthly regional meetings are a key part of the photographers’ education.

But we live in an online world.

Interestingly, it’s a comment I hear more and more often. Can’t I learn this, or that, on Youtube?

Do I really have to leave the house and sit in a room with people?

Actually, photography talks are seeing a revival and for good reason.

You can ask questions, learn more and the speaker can actually see if you are understanding the ideas, when you attend, in person.

It is always a pleasure to speak to other photographers about my work.

It’s the equivalent of being asked to cook a meal for your friends and then talk them through things. How you lovingly chose the ingredients. How you carefully planned cooking times. Then how you chose the best crockery and presented your meal to then, partnered with a fine wine.

Each month a group of photographers meets in the function room of a Brentwood pub. It’s almost a tradition now as they’ve met here for over 40 years. From young and fresh photographers to seasoned and retired professionals they file in eagerly to take a seat.

Whilst talking through my techniques, my products, and my business ideas something strikes me.

I’ve enjoyed this type of event hundreds of times. From the other side of the projector.

It’s how I learned so many of the little tips, tricks and techniques that I use today.

The circle of life. Learn, practice, improve, educate.

No matter what your profession, it is important to stay humble. Remember your roots. Then take time to give back, help others to become better too.

dog photography talks london essex

Making Bonfire Night Safe for your Dogs & Pets

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Making Bonfire Night Safe for your Dogs & Pets

Having lived in a small coastal town called Rye in East Sussex for many years, the tradition of bonfire night has always been a huge event for me.

There is huge tradition behind Bonfire Night, from the history of Guy Fawkes and the Houses of Parliament plot, through to the local stories of the gangs of smugglers that roamed in the darkest along the Kent Coast in the prohibition years.

Rye Bonfire Night

The Hawkhurst Gang, the Lewes Gang and many more gangs of smugglers are commemorated in Rye, during bonfire night and it’s quite an event. From the thrill of the procession, marching to the beat of the drum, the flaming torches, through to the dramatic cannon fire and bangers from the smugglers, trudging through the cobbled streets before reaching the recreation ground and igniting the huge monolith of a bonfire.  Then once the flames are raging and the heat of the fire is scorching your cheeks, a dance of what can only be compared to morris dancers around a campfire commences, with bangers being thrown into the fire, before the sky is set aglow with fireworks lighting up the Romney Marshes.

It’s quite spectacular.

And has quite an impact. The booms echo off the cliff face and roll out across the marshes toward the sea.

As much as I have always loved the spectacle, I have to confess, our family pets haven’t always been so keen.

Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe on Bonfire Night

There are some great ideas you can adopt for keeping your pets safe this bonfire night. Here are just a few:

  • Walk your dogs early, well before dark. Give them a longer walk than normal and help wear them out so they are more likely to settle.
  • Find a calm space for your pets. Create a safe space deep in the house for your pets that is quiet and warm. Keeping pets away from windows and doors and areas like the explosions of fireworks is likely to echo.
  • Keep the curtains closed. Closing the curtains and internal doors will soften the sounds even further.
  • Break out a box-set. Why not use the time to catch up on a box-set, a netflix marathon, or tune into your favourite talk radio station. TV and Radio have been proved to have a soothing effect on pets and their owners.

A musical balm for terrified terriers.

This year Classic FM is producing a special radio show for pets on Bonfire Night. You can tune into Bonfire Night Bach, from Classic FM, which will be broadcast on Saturday evening of November 3rd.

RSPCA Pets & Fireworks

Take a look at a short video from the RSPCA on Pet Safety and Fireworks and ‘How to build a doggy den.’ 

Halloween Safety for Pets

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Halloween Safety for Pets

Are you turning the kids into ghosts and ghouls?

Do you have a Halloween costume ready for the dogs?

However you are celebrating Halloween this year, there are some really great things to remember this year.

Halloween can be a really fun time for all of the family including your pets if everything is planned the right way. The noises, sights, and smells can all make for a frightening night for our four-legged friends.

Dressing up for Halloween

If you are going to dress up your dog for Halloween, then think carefully about the outfits you choose. Make sure the fabrics and embellishments are safe, non-flammable and non-toxic especially if your pooch decides to chew what they are wearing. Avoid items that restrict movement, breathing, and your dogs’ vision.

If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable in a costume or becomes stressed, then don’t force it upon them.

Halloween Hazards

Take really good care to ensure that all foods that could be harmful to your pets are kept well out of reach. Ghoulish sweets and chocolate are great fun for the kids, but they pose a real hard to your pets along with sweet wrappers.

There are lots of fun toys the children have around the house, from toy pumpkins to glowsticks. They are all really great fun to get hold of and chew. Glowsticks contain dangerous chemicals if broken, so keep these safe and away from your dogs. Always keep an eye out for chew and choking hazards.

If your dogs aren’t taking part in Halloween, then be sure to give them a nice long walk well before dark. Provide them with a nice warm comfortable place to settle down and feed them nice and early.

By providing that safe refuge and distractions for the dog, like turning the TV up you can reduce the risks of the dog bolting if the door is opened.

It’s not a great idea to leave your dog alone in the garden, you never know what a trick or treater might do, and as always there’s a real threat of dog theft.

Most of all, don’t force your dog to receive any unwanted attention and do your dog a favour, leave them at home if you go out trick or treating yourself.

Halloween Safety for Pets

 

Business Networking Camberley Surrey

Business Networking Camberley Surrey

Business Networking Camberley Surrey a guide for small business owners.

Small business is a lonely place for the sole-trader, the owner operator, the jack of all trades.

Across the country, however, there are business networking groups of like-minded business owners, each meeting with the aim of building their business network and to help drive more business.

It’s been said you need to be a ninja in business, learning skills in finance, administration, marketing, social media – the list goes on and on. But where do you meet trusted local professionals to help you with the parts of the business that you have no skills in?

Networking can get a nasty reputation at times, with targets, referral slips, etc. but the whole point is to build relationships with local business people, like you and me. We each have a circle of friends who at times need other tradespeople or professionals, and because they know and trust us, they will likely trust the people we recommend.

One networking group I regularly attend in Camberley, Surrey is 4Networking, held at the Windlesham Golf Course in Bagshot, Surrey.  The beautifully landscaped groups and modern light and airy clubhouse give the perfect relaxed atmosphere for the regular meetings.

A few of the people you could have met at today’s networking included:

  • Graham Harding a chocolatier providing branded chocolate for business and events
  • Tony Donnaghue an IT expert providing support to small businesses
  • Rogan Howsell-Roberts an Enterprise Architect helping small business develop systems to grow
  •  Armand Chaudhary an international hospitality expert helping hotels grow their business
  • And many many more.

If you are new to networking in Surrey or Berkshire and would love to give it a go, then why not click on this link and find a group near you. https://www.4networking.biz/?ref=41340

Still not feeling brave? Why not drop me an email and ask if I will go with you.

MPA West Midlands Region Presidential Visit 2018

Shalford Village Fete, Guildford, Surrey – 10-06-18

Shalford Village Fete – June 2018

One of the great things about having a business that revolves around people and their pets, is that you get to go out and show people what you do in creative ways.

Each year we have a stand at LOTS of events, they are a great way to meet people, meet dogs and show and tell about the amazing products we produce.

Today we were at an awesome event in Surrey, just south of Guildford in a village called Shalford.

The great thing about Shalford Village Fete, is that it really brings the community together in what is historically a commuter belt of Surrey.

A huge array of stalls were at the event, from the usual traders, to community groups and social enterprises.

So many of the events we have been to this year have had good local causes at their heart, Shalford Scouts were one of the beneficiaries today.

Most of all you see the unsung heroes, doing great things behind the scenes.

My partner, Leanne photographed the dog show today, whilst i kept the stand busy.

You can see a few of the hundreds of dogs we met today in the images below.

The Lead Gen Academy

The Lead Gen Academy

Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of the Lead Gen Academy, but after a quick conversation at a networking event I knew it was something that I needed to find out more about.

If you have ever run a business, then you will know that you need to much much more than one skill set.

Being a professional photographer means so much more than being just a professional artist.

You need excellent financial management skills, for the peaks and troughs through the year, but most of all you need to become a shameless marketeer.

One of the greatest relationships I have built this year since being back in Surrey is through business networking.

At a 4Networking event in Camberley earlier this year I bumped into a talented entrepreneur called Richard Woods.

Richard has a real talent for business, he even spent a summer with Lord Sugar in his antics on television called The Apprentice.

One of Richards great recent entrepreneurial projects is The Lead Gen Academy. The life source of all businesses is generating business leads and then converting them.

Each month Richard brings to our group in Farnborough industry knowledge and specialists to teach digital marketing lead generation techniques.

This month techniques to build professional networks and generate leads from LinkedIn was on the agenda.

If you are interested in visiting the Lead Gen Academy, then drop me an email and I will invite you along as my guest to see what it can do for your business.

The Lead Gen Academy

The Lead Gen Academy – June 2018

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue Summer Ball 06-2018

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue – Charity Ball 2018

This year has been a remarkable social calendar, with us attending several Black Tie Charity Balls. But the most special and emotional has to be The Hounds First Sighthound Rescue Summer Ball.

It makes for quite an interesting evening when you put a whole group of doggy people together in one room in ball gowns and penguin suits. Just for good measure, make sure its one of the hottest evenings of the year.

The power of social media is such that so many of the faces that I have spoken to online or have championed me over the last few years, I have never met in person.

People know of your high’s and low’s and then you meet them in person like you have known them forever.

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue is a dog rescue charity that is very close to my heart and if you know the story of ‘Harry and Me’, then you will know how much Rachel Hyball and Tracie Gledhill did to support Harry and I staying together.

They supported and covered the costs of Harry’s stay with Cath Pickles, but more so provided the love and emotional support that both the dog and owner needed to turn their life around.

Tonight was all about celebrating the successes of the charity over the last year, recognizing the hard work of the volunteers and championing the work that they do. Whether moving the dogs from place to place, conducting home visits, fundraising or the ongoing behavioral work that has to take place.

It was a surprise and a shock to me, that Harry and I were presented with a beautiful framed picture and award. An award for being one of the charities success stories of 2017. A story that embodied the whole purpose of the charity, putting the welfare and what’s best for the hounds, first.

To find out more about the amazing work of Hounds First Sighthound Rescue visit: www.houndsfirst.co.uk

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue

When I fall In love

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Home Counties Boxer Welfare Dog Show – Worplesdon, Surrey

Home Counties Boxer Welfare Dog Show – May 2018

Supporting local breed rescues is something I am really passionate about. Especially, the beautiful Boxers at Home Counties Boxer Welfare.

Each year Home Counties Boxer Welfare hold an excellent fun dog show at the Memorial Hall at Worplesdon in Surrey.

Home Counties Boxer Welfare is a registered charity, with the sole purpose of helping homeless Boxers who come into their care. Supported by a network of volunteers who foster, home check, fundraise and transport dogs, the charity meets its goals.

The Worplesdon Memorial Hall was built just after the first world war, in 1922, to commemorate those who died in the war. The hall houses the Sidney Sime Memorial Gallery, a large events room, meeting rooms, complemented by the recreation grounds and tennis courts.

Its a cracking location with great facilities and it attracts a crowd from far and wide. As a venue, many dog shows and dog training classes are hosted here throughout the year.

The small village on the outskirts of Guildford is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves, you couldn’t ask for a greater place to live. Whitmoor Common is a large area just North West of Guildford, with great footpaths and man-made roads, perfect for dog photography.

Whitmoor Common is at the centre of the parish and has a mixed and diverse landscape of heather, copses of woodland, grasslands, and braken. For me, this is the perfect location for all types of dog session from spaniels and labradors through to german short haired pointers and english setters.

A number of beautiful manor houses around Worplesdon have historic hertiage that really needs to be seen to be appreciated, these include Frenches Manor, Merist Wood, and Wyke.

Home Counties Boxer Welfare are a small independent charity helping rehome and care for Boxers in need. You can find out more at www.hcbw.org.uk

Alternately take a look at the Charity’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HcbwBoxersLookingForHomes/

Home Counties Boxer Welfare

Home Counties Boxer Welfare

Surrey Heath Show – 19-05-2018

The Surrey Heath Show

Surrey Heath Show is probably the largest of the small shows that we exhibit at through the year.

This year it was a scorching hot May saturday, that a couple called Harry and Megan decided to gate crash.

Despite the Royal Wedding just a few miles down the road in Windsor, the Surrey Heath Show had an excellent turn out.

So many local good causes had stands from theatre groups, the local camera club and the Womens Institute were all present.

Frimley Lodge Park is home to an amazing miniature railway which kept people entertained throughout the day along with side shows like Punch and Judy.

surrey heath show surrey dog photographer

surrey heath show surrey dog photographer

surrey heath show surrey dog photographer

surrey heath show surrey dog photographer

For more information on the Surrey Heath show

The Cowpie Show 13-05-18 Lingfield, Surrey

The Cowpie Show, Lingfield, Surrey

The Cowpie Show is an amazing country show event run by the Surrey Young Farmers for over 30 years.

It’s a really important event for the Surrey Young Farmers to showcase what they do. It also provides a fun family day out and brings the commuter belt that sits around the showground back in touch with its rural roots.

The Cowpie Show combines a traditional country fair and county show, with a mix of livestock, rural crafts, and local foods, with dogs shows and exciting displays.

This year’s show included a Monster Truck Show and Anti-Gravity Big Show.

Across the country show was a huge array of trade stands meaning there was something for everyone. As you can see here, we were squeezed in between a hat seller and Goat Meat stall.

Who would have thought I would have gone home with a carrier bag of goat meat sausages…

You will find the show each year at Blue Anchor Farm, Blindley Heath, Lingfield.

Blindley Heath is a beautiful location just south of Godstone, surrounded by a huge grassland nature reserve.  The whole area of Godstone Green and Church Town, suburbs of Godstone, are now conservation areas.  Blindley Heath is home to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  It is the best-known example of a relict damp grassland on Weald Clay in Surrey and has several ponds and a stretch of the Ray Brook.

Bay Pond is just one of the fantastic locations in Surrey that I use for dog photography. Each month I spent half of my working time at different beautiful locations across Surrey, Sussex, and Berkshire. From beaches and historic woodlands to forests and heathlands.

Another great location near Godstone is Tilburstow Hill. This is a beautiful woodland of Chestnut on the Greensand Way with views across the Weald. With easy parking, the site is open all year round. You will find an amazing display of Fungi through the autumn months, wildflowers by spring, and a great selection of traditional English trees.

 

The Cowpie Show

Ottershaw May Fair 07-05-2018

Ottershaw May Fair

Ottershaw May Fair is a hidden gem in the West of Surrey, perfect for a bank holiday outing.

There’s something great about a May bank holiday weekend when the sun shines. It’s a celebration of the start of summer. This Bank Holiday Monday was awesome and one to be remembered.

Allegedly the hottest bank holiday since records began, it didn’t disappoint.

Leanne and I took our display of work to the beautiful Surrey village of Ottershaw to join in the mayday fun at the Ottershaw May Fair.

Ottershaw May Fair is a great community celebration held at the Memorial Fields on Foxhill Road, Ottershaw. The purpose of the event is to raise money for great local organizations and charities.

Just on the outskirts of the M25, Ottershaw is a beautiful parish in the Runnymede area of Surrey.  As a whole, the area is a mix of commuter belt area and retirement homes. Making it a leafy suburb just 20 miles south-west of Central London.

There is even an Ottershaw walk. Taking you through the open and green spaces surrounding the village, visiting key sites around the village. It all starts from the Memorial Field with convenient parking and toilets. You can read more about it here: Do the Ottershaw Walk!

Other great reasons to visit Ottershaw include, the Foxhills Golf Club on the western edge of the village, two spectacular pubs, The Otter and The Castle.

But most of all Ottershaw is close to some of the most beautiful places around Surrey that I use for dog photography including Chobham Common, just a few minutes drive away.

Chobham Common is one of the best examples of lowland heath in the world and perfect for exploration with the dog. Particularly beautiful for images of gun dog breeds, Hungarian Vizlas, Weimaraners and Spaniels of all varieties, including the Sussex Spaniel.

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Jamie Morgan – The Hound Dog Photographer Amongst a display of his works of art, posed for the Surrey newspapers.

Ottershaw May Fair Photography

An example of the fine art dutch master styled print with rustic frame from Hound Dog Photography.

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Win a dog photography session with Hound Dog Photographer Jamie Morgan

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Ottershaw May Fair Dog Photography

Will this year be your year of change?

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Will this year be your year of change?

One of the best things about running a small business is that you can adapt and change quickly, yet being honest, its easy to get comfortable and do things the way you have always done, until you need to take drastic action.

I can hold my hands up and admit there are plenty of times that I should have taken action in my last business but I delayed, and it cost me.

But this year I’m really starting to notice a culture of change.

Maybe it’s crept up on me, but it’s a revolution that is definitely changing pace.

I grew up on a farm in Kent. I love my gas guzzling 4×4’s and the practicality and adaptability of them. Whether full of friends and the dogs for a day at the beach, working on the farm or making sure I can get to work whatever the weather.

Landrovers have been in my heart since I was 5 years old. They are part of my make up – from an amazing 101 Forward Control to the tough bumpy ride of a 12-seater County Station Wagon if I’m at the wheel or in one there’s a smile from ear to ear.

But things start to change. As you get older, you start to become wiser. The last few months I’ve started to notice more and more waste and more things in my world that need to change. We need to adopt an attitude that welcomes change. Embrace change.

With my background in electrical engineering, I saw the introduction of solar panels, electric cars, wind turbines, ground source and air source heat pumps, all expensive technology that had a small uptake.

Yet visionaries like Elon Musk pushed hard for electric cars and little by little, more and more hi-tech chargers are popping up. The rules of measure, analyse and reduce that we adopted in engineering are starting to move into the home with the introduction of Smart Meters, allowing us to see where we can make changes at home.

I have to be honest; I’m not the best person at recycling. I always forget the bags for life when I’m shopping (with the excuse I’m too busy). I drink a whole lot of take away coffee and my car footwell normally has rubbish waiting to hit the nearest bin. I’m a consumer. I’m wasteful.

But it wasn’t always that way.

That wisdom you get when you are older? It’s actually the ability to look back on your life and see where you did better and where your life needs to change.

I grew up in a village with a Butchers and a Greengrocer. The fruit was taken home in a brown paper bag. The meat was wrapped in greaseproof paper and then placed in another paper bag. We didn’t waste food. I’m 35, but the wartime mentality was still fresh in my grandparents and my parents’ generation were resourceful.

Generation Y have had it good. The Millennials.

We had credit cards and a consumer mentality. Living for today and instant gratification, and now you start to realize the cost on your health, waistline and the planet.

We are starting to become aware of the damage we are doing. How much waste we create.

Have you seen Ben Fogel’s documentary on the waste in the Oceans? When I grew up, you believed this was some far away place. Ben’s documentary was based in Malta. 1,294.43miles as the crow flies. A four-hour flight.

Take a look here if you haven’t had time to see it.

But you know, that’s Malta, you can watch the documentary and it will give you a little bit of guilt but in general, you will forget it after a little while. Harsh but true.

Closer to home, each day I walk Harry at the moment, another epidemic is becoming more and more obvious. Little black sacks filled with dog poop. Everywhere. In the trees, in hedges, in long grass.

Dog Poo Bag Change

In 2018 there are about 8.5 million dogs in the UK, in 1983 the year I was born there were around 4.8 million. So along with the baby booming generation, and the millennial’s blossoming, the pet population nearly doubled in the 30 years that passed.

The culture change to pick up after your pooch has come, but it’s also brought some selfish habits and some environmental issues of picking up.

How long does a dog poo take to biodegrade? Dependent upon the weather, the faeces can have dissolved within a few days, the biological effects can often take up to a year.

ScienceFocus.com reports that a dog poo bag can take three to six months to biodegrade, dependent upon light, temperature and conditions. But they still come from petrochemical processes which have another level of impact. Then again, lots of people use nappy sacks and otChangeher cheaper products which could account for the hundreds of bags still not degrading on my morning walk.

High street coffee chain Starbucks is predicted to sell over 2.9 billion cups of coffee each year, that’s nearly 8 million disposable coffee cups from one chain, worldwide each day. Waitrose is one of the chains starting to face the change, becoming an early adopter. Encouraging people to purchase a reusable cup for their complimentary coffee in store.

It’s one of the changes I will make this month, remembering those bags for life and taking my coffee cup with me wherever I go. I will also aim to reduce the plastic bottles I use daily, water, coca-cola, etc.

David Katz recently produced a great Ted Talk on an innovative social project to introduce The Plastic Bank.

Putting my engineer head back on I’ve always wondered why we don’t have a shredder for our recycling in the home, so that transported waste takes less space at the point of disposal. Think about how many more bottles you could get in the bottle bank if each bottle was chewed as you put it into the bottle bank.

Now, I’m not going to go out and start hugging tree’s, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to change the world, but I am going to start to make wiser choices, its part of my responsibility now I’m getting older 😉

I will be trying to consume less, buy smarter, re-use and recycle more.

Will this be the year you start to change too?

Burrows Lea Country Fair 21-04-2018

Burrows Lea Country Fair

After moving back to the South East from the Peak District in February, knowing which events are great, or not is really hard work. But this little show is one gem that we will look forward to coming back to.

This Country Fair in Shere, Surrey just to the east of Guildford came across my radar and looked like a great place to be.

Hosted at the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Burrows Lea Country House. A venue used regularly by many for spiritual rest and retreat. During the summer season, the property is also a fine wedding venue.

The estate is a sanctuary for spiritual healing. From the moment you drive down the mile-long track to the estate, that sense of tranquility embraces you.

Head through the beautiful paneled walls of reception, down some steps to the garden room to be greeted with glorious sunshine. To the rear of the property sits a decorated marquee full of interesting goodies.

Visitors came in by coach and by car from many surrounding areas and our display definitely turned heads.

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

The Tale of Camberley Kate

The Tale of Camberley Kate

It was a huge leap to move back to Surrey from the Peak District earlier this year. But one of the most exciting parts is discovering the new area in which you live, the history, the special little places only the locals know, the best scenery and most of all the best places to photograph. One of the most interesting stories that I’ve come across is about a Camberley resident, known as Camberley Kate.

 

The story books of all local towns and villages are filled with notable characters, charitable people, historic landowners, people that did great deeds for their local areas, and there are the eccentric and odd characters. Of which Kate Ward was reportedly one.

Camberley Kate

Kate’s fame spread far and wide during the later years of her life, featuring on a number of British and American news channels, her antics even led to a profile in Time Magazine and an Award from Dog’s Life Magazine for her life’s achievements.

So why all the fuss and fame for a village eccentric?

Born in a different era, in 1895, Kate was raised in Middlesborough, a Yorkshire-lass with a heritage that she was proud of. Childhood was not easy for Kate, however, becoming an orphan by the age of 10; after which an aunt with strong religious views raised her. As she grew older, Kate moved into a role of domestic service in Yorkshire, then eventually moving to Camberley.

It’s believed that she later became Head Chef at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and had strong links to the local area. At times she had also mentioned to local’s that she had known what it was like to be homeless.

In 1943 Kate purchased a house in the Yorktown area of Camberley, and that’s where the next chapter of her life began.

It was one of those days during the second world war, that the devout dog lover took guardianship of a lame greyhound that the local vet was due to euthanize.

From that day onwards, Kate dedicated her life to rescuing strays, filling her small terraced cottage with Dogs.

Kate had a love-hate relationship with photographers, take a liberty by taking a photo of Kate and her little green trolley filled with dogs without asking and you’d be sure to get a firm reprise.

On the other hand, as she made the journey to town each day with an entourage of dogs and her little green trolley, to raise funds for her rescue by selling Photo postcards and letting people take a photo of her and the dogs for a charitable donation.

If you gave her some money, she would INSIST you take a photo. That way she could not be accused of begging. Bless her. G.S.

Strong principles and strong values are what Kate was well known for, there had been a number of townsfolk that had tried to drive her out of the village, claiming the dogs were dangerous, that they were a hazard to traffic undertaking their walk each day, however, she won the backing of local police by taking the stray dogs off the street.

She was often outspoken and protested publicly, with her cause often making the columns of local newspapers, but quietly behind the scenes, she would pay the stray dog fines at the police station and build bridges with the police that collected her beloved dogs.

Camberley Kate

A great example of animal husbandry Kate would walk her olive green cart to town, along a route suggested by the police to keep her and her companions safe. Some of the dogs would run loose alongside the cart, some tied to the cart, with the older and infirm dogs riding inside. The pack would travel with a little meat for the journey and a shovel to collect any mess made along the way. Kate spent time training the dogs and they were controlled with the aid of a whistle.

The care of the dogs was Kates’ greatest concern, and local vet Geoffrey Craddock, an admirer of Kate’s work testified to the condition of the dogs and the great care they received. Interestingly, Kate’s ethics were shown through the management of her finances, she supported her aspirations from a small pension and generous donations. But finances were kept separate and the dogs had their very own bank account.

It’s reported that she cared for over 600 dogs in her lifetime.

There are so many great lessons we can learn from the life of Kate Ward, both as responsible dog owners, human beings, and as pet rescue charities. Most of all Kate recognized the value of a photograph and how it could be used for the positive influence of others, to bring light to a cause, and to help raise money.

To find out more about Camberley Kate take a look at a few of the links below.

Links: Unusual Life Miss Kate Ward Social Paradox
BBC News – Camberley Kate
Surrey Heath Council – Camberley Kate