New book celebrates Gloucester Road
By Keri Beckingham
A LOCAL photographer and author is set to release a second street photography book supported by Destination Bristol and Visit Bristol.
Colin Moody’s book The Great Bristol High Street - Glorious Gloucester Road will launch on Thursday April 30, and it follows on from the success of his first book, Stokes Croft and Montpelier.
A launch event for the book was set to take place on Thursday April 2 from 6pm to 9pm at Alchemy - 198 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8NU.
Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp met Colin at the launch of his first book a couple of years ago and suggested that his next book should be about the Gloucester Road. Colin immediately took up the challenge and spent months getting to know the traders and characters based on our much loved, independent high street.
Speaking about the book, a spokesman for publisher The History Press said: "Traders are the heart, soul and backbone of our high streets. Their shops provide a focus for the community, a friendly face and in hard times, a helping hand. This project recognises the personalities and services we rely on and which add to the layers of history already laid down with Gloucester Road as the Great Bristol High Street.”
Colin Moody has been a photographer for 15 years. Speaking to The Voice about the book, he said: “Gloucester Road is fiercely independent and there is a strong community. My key focus was to give a voice to those that aren’t usually heard, and the whole project took a year from start to finish. I wanted to capture the passion that people have for the businesses along the road, and also showcase the future by capturing images of children during a ballet class – it’s certainly a very special street.
“I’ve been helped, fed (a special thank you to Maryem who gave me her sofa for the night!), guided, advised and welcomed by so many who wanted to share their thoughts on the road and what makes it tick, or been nudged on social media to look here and there. Never just a referral but often a back story and a reason why. This has shaped the project in a profound way and it has guided the way I have chosen to take the images. I am not seeking to add elegant touches, light it up and snap it to package it to you in a glossy way. I believe in good documentary to boldly capture what is there, offering here and there, a glimpse of something deeper.”
Fraser, owner of Ablectrics said: “Every day I go out and get my stuff. I don’t shop for the week, I shop for the day. And that’s ‘cos I’ve got the Gloucester Road on my doorstep. And I enjoy that. I could be in and out in two minutes, but I like having a chat. I like finding out what they are up to. Engaging with my local shop keepers and the community around us. Hearing the pros and cons of what they are up to. What’s gone wrong for them, what’s going right. Subjectively offering some kind of help from time to time. I might take some flyers up for my sales and they put them out for me. It’s just how it should be.”
Photos from the book will be on display in the Downstairs Gallery at Alchemy 198 this month between 11am and 11pm. The book will also be on sale at Room 212 and book shops from April 30.
To order, visit: www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/the-great-bristol-high-street/9780750992497/