Nextdoor // April-May 2021

 

On the 22 April 2021, I posted a message to the “Nextdoor” website;

 

Hi neigbours,

I am a university student studying MFA Photography (master of fine arts). I am working on a project.

I won’t bore you with the academic details about concept, but broadly .. I am focusing on the representation of “ordinary” people – old, young, male, female, blah blah to show the diversity of our community.

What does it involve? I will come to your chosen location (house, garden, workplace – the location is totally up to you). I will ask a few questions and then make a few photographs.

Once edited I will give you the pictures to do with as you please.

I may then submit the images as part of my university project.

If you have got this far and are thinking “no one would want to look at a photograph of me im way too ordinary” you are exactly the subject I am searching for.

Please don’t be shy, I am easy to work with and if you would like to take part, send a message.

Best,

Simon Peter Green

 

This work represents a sample of people who live in the community of Sheep Fayre, Andover, Hampshire, UK. The state of the Nation.

Agnieszka Kostecka

I’m from Poland, down in the south by the mountains. I came for holidays 15 years ago and never went home. I would like to stay. 

It’s a really nice quiet area, I really like it here.

I don’t have many friends because I have a social phobia, it’s hard. I’ve got a few friends but they live in Southampton.

I was thinking I can get nice pictures with me, especially with me because I’m always doing pictures for the kids and I’m not there. I don’t have many portraits of me.

Thank you, I really appreciate this thank you so much, thank you.

Susan Woodhead

People are always very generous if they garden and they give you cuttings of things they have grown. 

The Hellebores which have just gone to a very green colour but were a rich burgundy colour about a month ago, they came from a friends garden. And another friend in Romsey, who’s no longer alive, she gave me a beautiful little plant, a Pulmonaria, a Lungwort which seeds and flourishes freely on the chalk and produces lots of plants. I had that in my previous house and brought cuttings with me and I’ve given lots of cuttings of that to other people. It’s a wonderful plant because it comes out in the early spring and flowers in March. I think of her and that’s a lovely memory to have. 

And then my lilies of the valley, which again was a little tiny clump somebody gave to me and this year I’m going to have about 50 lilies of the valley. 

It’s just a joy, it’s just a joy.

My garden is my sanctuary and it’s the place that I find tranquility and balance in my life. It’s the place where very often my heart is.

Helen Jephcott

I’ve worked in Andover as long as I’ve lived here. I used to work at the college and met a lot of people there. I used to work at the community hall on King Arthurs Way and got really involved in the community and met so many people. Everyone helps everyone out. Yeah, everyone knows everyone elses’ business but if you keep yourself to yourself it’s not really an issue.

My job in the funeral industry makes me appreciate my family even more. It makes me appreciate my kids, my parents, my friends because you do see the other side of it. And life isn’t forever and it’s for living, all that family and friends stuff and enjoying your time.

The funeral industry is very male dominated. To have females is just amazing because females have that caring touch. They look after peoples loved ones, their care and attention is amazing. They are a lot more emotional about it so they want to do their best, they want to put the best into it. 

On my team I have a female conductor who is absolutely fantastic and when people see a female conductor they always comment on how lovely it is to see. Because it’s not what you see everyday.   It’s becoming more everyday, and we are going to take over the funeral industry.

I think it’s fantastic what you are doing. There are so many people under represented and everyone deserves a voice. I think it’s amazing.

Margaret Willoughby

I’ve always wanted to have my nose pierced but up until now I’ve not had the confidence, but now all of a sudden I have so I just went for it. Confidence comes with age. 

And the tattoos, I hated them when I was young but since ive been older I just love them, I see them as an art form.

At the age of 21 I had my son. My mum had died previous to that and I was living with my younger brother in a caravan. When the baby came along we needed a house, so luckily enough I got a council house. 

The house I’m living in now is not the original one, because when they did the remedial work on Pilgrims Way I applied to have this two bedroom house. I knew the garden got the sun all day and I wanted a house with the stairs in the hallway as opposed to the stairs in a room. 

That’s how I’ve ended up here and since then I bought it. 

It’s my own, it’s all paid off. It’s a nice spot.

I wish the world was a kinder place. Be at peace with everybody and be kind.  

Anita Nutter

I don’t like my own company. I like to meet people, I like to see places, I like to chat to new people. I’m very sociable.

I have to be doing something all the time. The local people are very nice. I’ve started volunteering, phoning up people who are bereaved because I’m bereaved. I’ve been bereaved. For 7 years I’ve been on my own. Except for the lodgers, I took in lodgers when I moved here and that was great because they are good company. I joined the Andover Baptist church, it’s very friendly and nice there.

I have a camper van and I’m going to explore the area a lot more.

My partner was a master photographer and I was a DPAGB, so I was one under him. And every time I won a competition people said he was doing the work. So when he died, I had to carry on and show everybody that it was my work. And I think that shocked a few people, they didn’t think a woman could do it. 

I also did a lot of judging. Women judge differently than men, they have a different eye and see different things. They said you are right about that and the men weren’t keen on having a woman judge. 

Men are much more technical. Women are more creative sometimes.

Be nice to each other.  

Milly Jephcott

School is good, sometimes it can get boring. 

This community is nice.

Sexuality and stuff, race, people don’t get treated the same. 

This needs to be explained more. I feel like most women don’t feel safe in their area and workplace, they should feel safe everywhere but they don’t. Men think they have all the power and think they can do what they want and get away with it. 

They think this because they do get away with it.

Treat everybody the same.

Sarah Johnson

My dad was in the army, we moved here when I was 12 and I started at Winton in what was the second year of secondary school. 

Everybody else had gone through infants and juniors together and formed friendship groups and then I come along and didn’t fit in. I felt like I latched on. Those friendships aren’t real friendships and when I left school I didn’t see anybody anymore. 

Then you go through life and you get to an age when you realise those friendships aren’t real. I was there for them yet they were not there for me. I couldn’t necessarily talk to them about any issues or problems I was having. 

As you get older you pick your friends more wisely. You start to know the people who will be there for you if you need them in a crisis, or you are feeling down you know you can just call and they will support you. 

These are the friends you can count on. 

Pauline Broad

When I finished college in 1962, all firms were run by men. All managers were men. Women were definitely secondary usually working in secretarial and support roles.

I don’t think equality will ever come because it’s very difficult to combine a family with a responsible job. I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision. I didn’t want to be the president of a company, chief executive or anything like that. It was bad enough sitting next to “him”. It was always a man, there were few women on the board, one token woman perhaps to six or seven men.

I’ve worked overseas for small companies, big companies and been self employed. Being self employed as a French tutor was quite rewarding. It was all about helping people to pass exams and get a job. Which I liked, I don’t like thinking about myself really. 

Now I’m retired I like voluntary work, probably because I like to feel useful.

I gather that things have improved very slowly for women. I’m glad not to be working. I’m glad I lived when I did. We had the war and rationing for ten years afterwards. Things were drab. We played on bomb sites but everybody was in the same boat. We were happy and those were the days.

Toby Philip Pearce

I am me. 

I am who I am and I’m OK with that. I don’t want to be seen as disabled or the child who has seizures. 

I want people to see me as just a boy who does things differently. I want to be known as the boy who smiles all the time, the boy who enjoys life and is a happy soul. 

That’s what I want people to see in me. 

Jennifer Penny

In the mid sixties we moved down with the London overspill because of my husbands job. He was a milkman. Andover creameries was bought out by Express Dairies. It was fabulous because we had a brand new house. The locals in the shops weren’t keen on serving us and would natter away and ignore you as a customer. I’ve walked out of lots of shops and sworn never to go back.  

Things took quite a long time to change, they just couldn’t see that we were bringing a lot of money into their town. That’s all in the past now and things are better.

If you were growing up in the 50’s and 60’s you’ve had to work very hard to get any equality today. I had two kids and remember having to have my husband or a guarantors signature to buy a washing machine! It was horrendous. You couldn’t do anything without somebodies agreement.

Things have improved, it’s so nice to be a single woman able to go and do what you want, when you want.  

I’m very thankful for the national health service. I’ve had three years of quite bad health, including cancer. I’m thankful that I’ve had three extra years quality of life, God bless the NHS.

Eva Wheeler

At 19 and 20 years old my parents left Spain to come here. Franco was just coming out of power. There was a massive economic depression and no work. 

A couple of years later, after they’d worked and saved, they went back to Spain and found nothing much had changed. So they came back to Andover and decided to stay. They made friends, found jobs, learned the language and here I am 52 years later.

A lot more people from further away have come to live in Andover compared to how small it was. It’s become a lot more diverse.

I enjoy going out, you see the same faces, its nice. You do get familiar with the people around you, everyone is super friendly and people help each other. It’s a friendly community, everyone is willing to help if you need it. 

I do like where we live.

John Wheeler

It does make you angry that people take advantage of other people.

There’s still misogyny, because people don’t feel they are going to get support if they do say “look this happened”.

Things are starting to improve because things are publicised more widely, information can become available and that’s probably one upside of social media. People can see that if someone does make a stand they’ll get support, other people will actually stand up to the plate and say “this happened to me as well, I didn’t say anything because I felt on my own”. You get a bit more collective support.

There are signs of improvement but its frustrating that’s its taken this long. Hopefully more people will stand up and not tolerate any form of abuse.

Kerry Gillespie

I was born in Buckinghamshire and grew up with my dad who unfortunately passed away when I was fourteen. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s shaped me in my life. 

I moved to Hampshire in 1999 and lived in Gosport until 2009. I went to South Africa and spent seven years over there and then, in 2015 it was time to come home. I went to Nether Wallop, and then to Tangley and then to Andover. And here I am and here I will stay.

I had a very interesting work life. I had my own company in South Africa heading up a 50 seat call centre. Unfortunately, I came back and am now registered disabled.

I’ve got three kids, obviously all grown up and now my life is my furry children, I have three pugs.

It’s great here. Close to town, easy. The communal gardens are nice, people are pleasant and we get on well with the neighbours.

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