Let’s meet our new UK CitySlicker Eleanor and learn about Thrapston, her hometown.
School: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Hi, I’m Eleanor, I’m 22 and I’m a new UK CitySlicker! I’m currently in my second year of university in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire studying Music Management but my real hometown is a small historic market town in Northamptonshire called Thrapston. I’ve taken all the photos in this article in this little town so I hope you like them. I’m really enjoying uni as music is a big part of my life and keeps me vaguely sane when everything else threatens to overwhelm me. Living in High Wycombe can get quite dull but being short train rides away from both London and Birmingham (where my arty bestie, Sarah, is at uni; she’s the redhead in the check shirt in the photos) makes up for the rest of its shortcomings!
I’m absolutely thrilled to get this opportunity as Lomography is a big part of my life. I never go anywhere without my trusty Diana Mini (a cherished 21st birthday present from a beloved uncle) and I have an ever-expanding collection of vintage analogue cameras picked up from charity shops or donated to me by friends and relatives. My latest baby is the Valentines Day limited edition Diana F+ from last year which my mum gave me for Christmas; it hasn’t had a real test run yet due to me being a little too precious about it but I’ve just purchased the 35mm adaptor so I’m looking forward to getting some lovely sprocket holed wonders out of it! This month a lovely friend of mine, Chris Newport (apprentice tattoo artist at Hope and Glory in Bury St Edmunds), tattooed my Diana Mini on my hip and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it (photograph by Frances Carter)! I guess that’s some serious Lomography dedication…
I’m pretty addicted to my tattoos in general and have grand plans for my poor skin over the next few years. I already have a plethora of traditional beauties from a ship in a bottle on my forearm to a pin-up on my thigh (both by Leigh Tilbrook at Lost Time in Peterborough). I love all my tattoos and get a real thrill out of strangers approaching me to compliment them! As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a huge music fan and although I have about as much musical talent as a deaf sloth, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I collect vinyl and go to as many gigs as possible and I pretty much live in band tees. My favourite style of music is alternative/hardcore/punk but I have pretty diverse taste and can appreciate most musical styles. I recently saw Brand New live in Birmingham and they completely blew my mind. I love the after effects of an amazing gig; you sort of feel like you’re never going to come down from it.
Another great passion of mine is reading and I absolutely adore rummaging through secondhand bookshops (try Harrowden Books in Finedon, Northamptonshire for some great bargains and a diverse selection). I read mainly classics with my all time favourite book being Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I also love Russian literature for its dark, brooding qualities; Nabokov and Dostoyevsky are incredible. My ultimate goal in life is to have a house with a library; I love the look, feel and smell of books just as much as the content. Other loves are my incredible best friends, horses, my VW Lupo, eccentricities and eccentrics, photography walks with my mum, Pre-Raphaelite art, Oscar Wilde, cooking for friends and family, skinny jeans, eyeliner, cider, Hedi Slimane, obscure magazines, my mum’s roast dinners, post and packages, texting, men with beards and long hot baths.
Thrapston probably isn’t the most scintillating of towns but I’ve lived here now for about 7 years and have some great memories. I’ve really spent the formative years of my life here and although it may be quiet, I love coming home from uni and spending time with my friends and family in the holidays. Thrapston has been a market town since the 13th century and still holds a weekly market. Although Thrapston has been extended over recent years with a handful of modern estates, there’s still a traditional feel to the more central architecture. The tearoom on the High Street, the Victorian Tea Shoppe, is a charming little place that really harks back to a bygone era. The décor is suitably vintage and the gift shop sells beautiful cards and delicate teacups. The scrambled eggs on toast and sausage rolls are both delicious! The high street offers a few quirky little gift shops and the charity shop sometimes offers up a few gems. There’s also the cattle market which is good for some real retro feeling rural photos. The bridge to the next village, Islip, offers some lovely views of the River Nene or walk down by the football club for some boating lake photos. Thrapston may be small, but wandering around offers some great photo opportunities and with a bit of exploring, some picturesque landscapes.
In these CitySlicker assignments I hope to explore my hometown and the surrounding villages and towns a bit more with my cameras as well as discovering hidden gems in my favourite cities (London, Birmingham, Peterborough, Cambridge and those I’m yet to discover). I can’t wait to introduce you to my friends, favourite bands and the places that inspire me. I would love to get to know people in the Lomography community so come and say “hi” on my Home. Thanks for reading!
The Diana Mini is the ultra-compact, petite version of the Diana F+. This camera takes soft-focused, lo-fi images in 35mm and allows you to change between half-format and square shots with a flick of a switch. Get your own Diana Mini now!