Dianne Allen, President of Nottingham City Business Club with Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Today I photographed Sir Ranulph at Nottingham when he spoke to the Business Club. His story was like something out of a Boy’s Own adventure – but true! He told how he started his climbing carreer on Public School drainpipes, then onto his gung-ho antics in the army and SAS, then clearly not quite wringing enough excitement out of life, how he went on various expeditions which would make the bravest man think twice.
After seeing photos of frostbitten fingers and toes, I had to wonder why his wanderlust drove him to such extremes, but unfortunately he didn’t touch on his big reason why…
We’ve been having our usual ‘fall of snow so the country grinds to a halt’ fun and games this week. As a professional photographer, I’m like a ‘Photographic Mountie’ in that I always get a photo of my man. Or woman. Or not, as in this case.
My assignment was to photograph the MD of an engineering company in Derbyshire yesterday. We arranged the time earlier this week. I battled through blizzards and left my car parked precariously in half a snowdrift, as despite it being a four wheel drive Jag, it struggled to get up the lane to the company’s offices, which was both uphill and covered in two feet of snow.
So as I was hiking up the hill, one of the firm’s Transit vans returned to base, took a flyer at the lane and ground to a skiddy halt five yards later. I left them, wheels spinning, determined to reach the top on time.
Halfway up the hill, I found a firm of four-wheel drive mechanics, grinning at my hike and also the large flatbed truck belonging to the firm I was photographing. That too, was stuck and didn’t look like it was going to get to London that night, as planned. They advised that we should all get ‘proper vehicles’ like their custom Range Rovers and the like. They pointed me in the direction of where I could find my MD.
Imagine my disappointment then when I got to the door of the office and found it padlocked shut.
A solitary fitter, the sum total of the company’s workforce that day, informed me that the boss wasn’t in today, he’d been snowed in back home at Sheffield. On phoning the chap, he was most apologetic, had forgotton about me, and bearing in mind he had spent the morning shutting down his various site operations in Lincoln and Birmingham, I could almost forgive him.
So I set off back, pausing only for a photograph from the fitter to prove I’d been there. On arriving back at the car, I got a call from a different client who had booked me for a financial dinner that evening in Nottingham. Called off due to snow and postponed to January.
Not n’ice’ news eh?