For the past few years, a local photographer has been documenting life in Preston’s traditional pubs and social clubs. The resulting images have just gone on display in The Harris café. It’s not the first time Joseph Gudgeon’s photographic work has been exhibited in The Harris. In 2018, his exhibition 72:18 captured life in the indoor market just before the market shut up shop to move into the new The Market Hall. His latest exhibition, The Last Suppers, captures everything from traditional pub games to the local characters who frequent Preston’s traditional drinking establishments. We spoke to Joseph to find out more.Advertisement
What inspired you to take photographs in Preston’s pubs?
I used to catch the school bus from Farringdon Park and it travelled the length of New Hall Lane. I vividly remember all the weird and wonderful pubs’ names along that route, including the Acregate, Queen Adelaide, General Codrington and the Rosebud to name a few. I think these names always stuck with me. I am drawn to interesting and quirky places and I enjoy chatting to the characters who frequent these establishments.
How many pubs did you visit?
I have documented virtually every traditional pub and social club in Preston. It is an ongoing series. I only have a handful left to photograph now. I don’t envisage it coming to an abrupt end though. I will continue to document the pubs of Preston.
How did people react when they saw you with your camera?
I have experienced a gamut of emotions directed towards me. From bewilderment, amusement, and threatening behaviour. But the vast majority of people are great and are inquisitive about my photography. I take a genuine interest in the people I photograph, and in turn, they seem to take to my honest and down-to-earth nature.
Tell us the stories behind three of your photographs featured in the exhibition.
Stag Do (PNE Fan).
This brave PNE fan donned the kit of our bitter rivals on his stag do. This photo was taken in Deepdale Labour Club before the game against QPR on 7 March 2020 – the last match at Deepdale with fans in attendance before lockdown restrictions were introduced.
Dominoes at Jalgos.
I have been documenting Jalgos Sports and Social Club for a few years now. I kept being told how competitive the dominoes matches got. I decided to go and experience it for myself, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Cops and Robins.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw this Reliant Robin disguised as a police car. The mobility scooter was just the icing on the cake! I think the gentleman who owns the car goes around pubs and collects for charity.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently documenting Preston allotments. It’s a close-knit community. There are plenty of unique and interesting features to photograph. I enjoy seeing the environment change with the seasons.
When does the exhibition run until?
My exhibition runs until Saturday 2 October 2021. I am proud that it will be one of the last exhibitions in The Harris before it closes for three years.
You can follow Joseph Gudgeon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow his Last Suppers project on Twitter.
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Will you be going to see The Last Suppers? Let us know in the comments.