DIY SOS Homes for veterans project


The BBC’s DIY SOS Big Build team working in collaboration with Manchester City Council, Walking With The Wounded and Haig Housing  – set out a project to refurbish 25 empty homes on Canada Street and New Street, East Manchester, into a community village for war veterans, incorporating three specially adapted homes for veterans and a walk in support centre.

An appeal was sent out for construction firms to contribute to the project; Kier Group, ISG, Wates Living Space and Rowlinsons are among the many that supported the DIY SOS BIG build Manchester project. Also, a media call was sent out through TV, Radio, and Newspapers for Bricklayers, Plumbers, Electricians, and Roofers to volunteer their services for free. On average 150-200 construction workers and ex-servicemen a day signed in to help support the DIY SOS big build project, with many traveling from all parts of the UK.

I have been documenting the regeneration of east Manchester since 2007, and as I live only 3 miles away from Canada St, I felt that I should be documenting this massive project along with the hard work, dedication and community spirit that always prevailed to support this really good cause to help the war veterans who have put their lives on the line for our country.

Update: DIY SOS Big Build return to Manchester
In November 2016 the DIY SOS Big build team returned to Newton Heath, Manchester to finish off the refurbishment of the final house of the Homes for Veterans project in Canada Street.
I was lucky enough to capture this important part of the project and have selected a number of my images in this gallery here. 

As it should be the BBC’s DIY SOS homes for veterans programme was focused on the veterans and their stories; But I feel that the men and women who turned up each day to work on this project unpaid deserve some recognition and also the companies and suppliers who helped keep this project alive. After the programme had finished, a number of ex servicemen and construction workers who worked on the Homes for Veterans project, were inspired to setup charities and support groups, such as Hull 4 Heroes and the Band of Builders.



Posted in East Manchester regeneration Tagged , , , , |

East Manchester Project

East Manchester was once part of the industrial heartland of the UK, but sadly the area fell into decline from the late 1970s onward, which lead to factory closures from and people moving away from the area.

The catalyst that brought on the rebirth of a post industrial landscape in an area that once thrived on cotton, coal, steel and engineering, was the legacy from the 202 Commonwealth Games which was hosted at the City of Manchester Stadium that was built on a site that once occupied the Bradford Colliery.

A promise was made to create 6000 new jobs, build 1000 new homes and to improve transport links and education facilities. However, the great economic recession of 2008, caused many of the proposed housing developments being put hold or abandoned.

However, on a positive note, the Abu Dhabi United Group AUG purchased Manchester City Football Club 2008 which led to a £1b investment at the Etihad stadium and the surrounding districts.

This a selection of images from my project that I started in 2007


Posted in East Manchester regeneration Tagged , |

Artist Life Model Shoot (male nude)

I was commissioned to do a Life (male) Model shoot by Artist Nigel Patrick Mottram at his studio in Hope Mill, Ancoats Manchester.
Figurative artist Nigel requested a set of images that would depict an “Angel Rising from the Ashes of a Post Apocalyptic Landscape” of which most of Nigel’s work is centred on .
Firstly I asked life model Ewan Booth to go through his usual set of poses – which he does for life drawing classes at colleges and universities and then afterwards he did the “angel rising” poses – the session took about two hours to shoot; I have photographed and cataloged most of Nigel’s artwork over the years , so I have a good understanding of Nigel’s aspirations.


Posted in Art, Nude Tagged , , , , , , |

Nigel Patrick Mottram Artist

Artist’s Statement: Nigel Patrick Mottram
In process and content my paintings explore interrelationship between creation and destruction, chaos and order. These themes play out in layers of physical, psychological and social references in the final work: I am fascinated by the human traces referenced in urban waste ground and industrial dereliction.
• The first layer draws upon memories of Liverpool in the aftermath of the Second World War. I searched through layers of rubble, shards of rusty metal and shattered bricks on bombsites to discover what lay beneath. Memories of this are evoked in the sense of discovery/uncovery, which continues in my artistic process as imagery emerges in the process of painting,
• The second layer addresses themes of physical isolation and emotional alienation.
• The third layer references symbols of scapegoats and hero figures who survive destructive processes.
• The fourth layer articulates a search for self-expression and exploration of the complexities of masculinity identity in 21st Century.

Nigel Mottram can be contacted on 07794489994

The Works of Nigel Patrick Mottram 


Posted in Art, Nude Tagged , , , , , , , |

Saving a part of Ancoats heritage

A short film I made about a group of residents from the Ancoats and Miles platting areas of Manchester, who united together to save the historic Ancoats Dispensary from demolition.

Posted in Ancoats Dispensary Tagged , , |

Anti Trump Protests Manchester

In the wake of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America; thousands of people held rallies and protest in most of the major cities around the world, in a show of solidarity against Trump’s  Muslim travel ban, Sexist comments and his planned state visit to the UK.

In Manchester a number of anti Trump protests were held in Albert square, together with marches around the city centre; I had the chance to witness and to photograph these events – starting with the International Women’s rally 21/01/17, #NoMuslimBan 30/01/17 and the #StandUpToTrump 04/02/17


Posted in Trump protests Tagged , , , , |

The Barton Moss Anti Fracking Camp

A short film I was involved in whilst on a film making course at the Mustard tree in Ancoats, Manchester.
The group project documents the everyday toils of the Barton moss anti fracking camp, many of the protesters suffered acute medical problems due to living in a cold damp campsite next to Barton aerodrome.
This film was screened at The Round Chapel, Hackney, London, as part the Homeless Film Festival in November 2014.

Posted in Anti fracking Tagged , , |

The Bedroom Tax

The so called Bedroom Tax came into force in April 2013; officially known as the Spare Room Subsidy; it was instigated by the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith as part of the Welfare Reform Act.
This brutal policy was deemed by many as a tax on the poor and disabled; it was derived as a move to free up the waiting list for social housing and encourage people to downsize, typically, council or housing association tenants would see their benefits cut by 14% and if they have two or more spare rooms, the cut will be 25%.

Bedroom tax demo Piccadilly gardens, Manchester. 16/03/2013

Anti Bedroom tax demo Manchester. 16/03/2013

In reality this draconian policy was badly timed, the great world recession of 2008 was at its peak, there were two and a half million people unemployed and Britain’s building industry was at a standstill in 2013; in some areas there was a shortage of one bedroom accommodation, leaving many vulnerable and disabled people to move away from the support of their families and friends to find suitable property.

Furthermore, the UK government spent £1.5 trillion of tax payer’s money bailing out RBS, Lloyd TSB and HSBC during the recession, whilst a majority of the bedroom tax victims including single parent families are struggling to make ends meet, and in some cases bedroom tax victims had to resort to Credit Unions and Payday loans as some tenants can lose up to £30 a week in benefit.



Posted in Bedroom tax Tagged , , |

Remembrance Sunday Ceremony

I had the honour of photographing the Remembrance Sunday Ceremony at Philips Park Cemetery which included the Dedication of the Rainbow garden and the unveiling of a plaque in memory of the Miners who died working at the Bradford Pit which was situated on land where the Etihad Stadium now stands.



A detailed gallery of images from the ceremony can be seen on my Brian Stark the Photographer facebook site.

Posted in Bradford Pit Project, Monuments, Graves and Cemeteries Tagged , , , , |

Bradford Pit Memorial Project


A campaign is underway to erect a monument to commemorate the Miners of the Bradford Pit which once occupied the site where the Etihad stadium now stands today,  A program of events has been organized to gain public  awareness and fundraising.
A reminiscence session for ex miners and families of miners, who worked at the Bradford pit, was held at Beswick library on the 28th February 2015.

Posted in Bradford Pit Project Tagged , , , |