My father was a keen amateur and us kids would be his main subject matter and on Sunday's I would spend hours locked with him in his make shift dark room which was a piece of board over the bath with the enlarger and the Developer, Stopper and Fixer with a gap to a bath of running water for the final rinse. I would watch in amazement as the photos would magically appear on a white piece of paper.
At about 9 years old my dad gave me his Lubitel 2 as a gift because he was now using a 35mm camera, the make I remember was a Practica. I was aloud 1 roll of film with 8 exposures per month, not a lot but we were a poor family, money was hard to come buy, I remember when he gave me the Lubitel that he had saved for moths to get it and about 2 years to get his new 35mm Practica, I would treasure that camera for about 7 years, saving my pocket money for film, this meant I had 2 rolls of film a month, 16 exposures, Lovely.
I started work at 15 with a film company that my dad worked for, kicking and screaming I started 2 days after leaving school at easter that year, 1972, I really wanted to be a panel beater at a garage my best mate worked for, I went with him to Muswell Hill in London where I lived at the time where I met his boss who said that because I showed a lot of enthusiasm he would give me an apprenticeship when I finished school, I would also earn £2 10s a week, that meant I could buy at least 3 rolls of film a month, winner winner chicken diner.
However like I said earlier dad dragged me into the film business, however my attitude changes when I got my first wage packed, £15 10s a week, yes a week, OMG, I was in my mind a millionaire, my dad took £5 from me to give to my mum for my keep???? WTF, £5 was average wage for an adult and I had to give that to my mum, I wanted to know why so much, I then got the story of, you eat, we give you shelter, you want atv, radio and sofas in the house, I was expected to help pay for all of this,