This month’s FAIL award goes to … Carol Clothing Urquhart!

(Applause)

This post relates to an event which occurred on November 23rd 2013, Ulverston in Furness. There is an annual town festival called “Ulverston Dickensian Festival“, which was on-going on that day. Just for emphasis, the event’s organisers expect 25,000 visitors to descend on a town which normally houses about 12,000 residents. In short, it’s a busy event. I feel it has become too busy, and I probably won’t be going next year.

Perhaps part of my decision not to go next year is based on an encounter with an aggressive violent thug who seems to have some association with Carol Clothing Urquhart (based in Ulverston, apparently).

The reason why I’m writing is to say: If you are going to an event where you will be in a public place, with a large number of other people, then do not be surprised if some of those people are taking photographs. (My informal estimate was that about one in four people were using a camera on that day)

Further advice:

1. If you don’t want to someone to take a photograph of you, then just ask. Don’t try and launch a shouting match with me, because I’ve got enough experience to realise that you have lost all rational thought by the time you open your mouth. If you are aggressive toward me, then I will stand my ground because I’m not scared of bullies. Never have been.

2. Don’t send your thug over to me to threaten “I’ll have you on your back”, because I will continue to stand my ground. I also recognised that because he opened his mouth first, then his threats were baseless. Perhaps he (image below) was scared of what all the other members of the public would think about if he was foolish enough to assault someone. He was certainly scared of the possible consequences later on when he apologised to the police constable who attended the scene. No time wasted there in back-tracking. Hmm.

3. There is no general prohibition against using cameras in a public place. I do not need to ask your permission. If it were prohibited, then the extraordinary number of privately-operated CCTV systems would be illegal overnight.

4. Don’t threaten someone and later apologise. It is better, and more likely to be received positively, when you approach the subject in a calm and considered way.

Summary.
I believe my use of a camera in public is fair and reasonable, even if the attending officers failed to realise that it is normal and expected that people will use cameras at an event like this. The surprise expressed by Cumbria Police on this subject is also cause for concern on my part.
I will continue to shoot photographs in public places, given the ‘fair and reasonable’ rationale as stated.
All correspondence in relation to this post will be considered for publication.

There is a second award in this category for society as a whole, where some people are so sensitised about this subject that all rational thought is abandoned. As a society, that represents a great failing.

IMG_3798_small

After all this, the photo I shot looked better in my mind’s eye and it looked awful once I was able to view it on a reasonable-sized screen.

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