My 15 minutes with John by Photographer Matt Austin
Posted on February 9, 2013
My 15 minutes with John.
Anyone who drives near Exeter would have probably seen John’s Wagon and horse parked up on a roundabout or wasteland by the side of the road, I have driven past his wagon a thousand times but never seen him.
Today driving from Exminster I finally spotted him making a fire outside his wagon, I stopped and told him I was a photographer and would like to take his picture ” there are lots of bloody photographers around here” he said with a smile, I knew he must have been asked for photographs before, but he kindly agreed and we got chatting.
He’s a very interesting man originally from the North of England where he was a University professor, I knew this already from reading a press article on him some years ago, I asked him about it he said “yes but that was in a past life” swatting the past away with his hand.
I asked him how he was doing with the recent cold weather, he gave me a puzzled look though the smoke from his fire and said “Devon winters are mild that’s why I’m down here” he then went to the back of his wagon and came back with a tin with some Postcards that had pictures of him and his Wagon that a photographer friend of his has taken over the years, he was looking for a picture of his tent he puts up in the Summer.
I don’t know why but I asked him what he does if he gets poorly “sick I don’t get sick” he said, again the puzzled look through the smoke this time making me feel pathetic after spending a large part of last month feeling sorry for myself with earache wondering how I was going to carry on.
He told me he really only recalls breaking his arm once getting it fixed at Tiverton Hospital a day after the brand new hospital was opened, he may have been the new hospitals first broken bone.
A very nice man and a pleasure to chat with I will definitely stop and say hello to John again.
Please take a look at the pictures.
Thanks for Looking