Griffiths, Philip Jones. (2 of 9). Oral History of British Photography

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  • Recording locations

    Phaidon publishers office, London, United Kingdom

  • Interviewees

    Griffiths, Philip Jones, 1936- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Read, Shirley, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2. Taking meals to father who fished at the weekend. Blowing the river up and causing a landslide. 11+ and grammar school. Whole village aware of 11+ results, same school as Stanley who explored Africa. Description of grandfather's and Philip Jones Griffiths's (PJG) attitude to drinking and smoking. Recently went back to his village for reunion. Influenced by a teacher at Rhyl Grammar and a relative. Left school at 16 and started work as an apprentice pharmacist at Boots in Rhyl. Was convinced he wanted to be a photographer but being a pharmacist seemed more sensible. Did two years intermediate BSC in pharmacy at Liverpool. For a time did both pharmacy and photography. Worked in St Mary Abbots Hospital and London Hospital in Whitechapel. Remarks on his interest in photography, from borrowing his mother's Box Brownie and teaching himself developing with some help, borrowing cameras from Boots. Joined the Rhyl Camera Club, learned to use a plate camera. Converted his parents bathroom into a darkroom. At 16 won the top prize at the Camera Club. Discussion at the Club and reading about photography. Joining Magnum became his dream, he read they did Capa's laundry for him and saw them as a band of brothers changing the world.

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