John Cole

© John Cole, Hastings Fishing Families; Robert ‘Podgy’ Ball

For over thirty years I have worked all over the world as a professional photographer shooting assignments for major news corporations including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Newsweek and Paris Match. I have photographed celebrities, sporting stars and politicians, such as Mohammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Elton John, Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman. Which is fun, but what I really love doing is documenting ordinary people doing extraordinary things, giving voice to those who may not have a voice of their own.

For me, documenting the Hastings fishing community has always been a labour of true photographic love. Fishing is a family business in Hastings. This beach-launched fishing fleet has been here for almost a thousand years. However a combination of severe economic, political and environmental reasons may possibly claim its existence. As such I’ve been working closely with the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society (HFPS), updating my earlier images, with the emphasis on family connections. I have also documented the women within the fishing community, who are rarely recognised for their tireless work on shore, work that helps keep the Hastings fishing industry alive and thriving.

PhotoHastings: Committee

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