documentary

Lost Pubs: Terrace Tavern & Hotel by Nigel Rumsey

46 The Terrace, Gravesend.

The Terrace Tavern and Hotel was present in records from 1837. It was tied to the Russell’s Brewery of Gravesend and the exterior of the still features the beautiful green tiles advertising Russell’s ‘Shrimp Brand’ beers, dating from around 1913. At one time the pub had its own football team, indoor cricket team, darts and pool teams; a real community hub.

The pub closed in 2009 and was empty until 2013 when it was converted to the current food store.

Detail of the tiles on the Terrace Tavern, Gravesend

This is just one of many pubs to have recently closed in Gravesend. Since the turn of the century 24 pubs in the town have closed their doors for the final time.

Part of an ongoing project.

Lost pubs: City of London by Nigel Rumsey

27 The Terrace, Gravesend.

The building that was once the City of London is in a great location high above the river Thames. The original pub was founded here in 1839. Unfortunately, that building was destroyed by fire in 1893. The rebuilt City of London traded until 2002, in 2009 it was converted to a b&b.

This is just one of many pubs to have recently closed in Gravesend. Since the turn of the century 24 pubs in the town have closed their doors for the final time.

Part of an ongoing project.

Lost pubs: The Pilot Tavern by Nigel Rumsey

42-43 East Terrace, Gravesend

In 2012 when The Pilot Tavern closed the Gravesend Messenger reported: Its former landlady Susan Newman remained there and rather than tear it down is now hoping to bring the building, which is in dire need of some repair, back to its former glory. Having lived in the area for 27 years, and keen not to move, she said: “It’s a lovely building, but it needs work and I’d like to be able to bring back the beauty it once was. Turning it into flats is the only way I can fund that, while still living here myself.”

Records dating from 1839 talk of a pub on this site, it’s a shame to see it closed after at least 173 years of trading.

This is just one of many pubs to have recently closed in Gravesend. Since the turn of the century 24 pubs in the town have closed their doors for the final time.

Lost pubs: The Bricklayers Arms by Nigel Rumsey

Stone Street, Gravesend

Another of Gravesend’s recently closed pubs. Since the turn of the century, 24 pubs in the town have closed.

The Bricklayers Arms opened in 1851 and closed in 1910.  It reopened as The Station Hotel in 1914 which closed in 2002. Reopening later as Bar24 and then The Bridge Bar, which finally closed in 2017.

This is part of an ongoing project.

Lost pubs: Ascot Arms by Nigel Rumsey

Central Aveue, Gravesend

The Public House, the pub, with maybe the church, was once at the centre of every English community. In my parent’s generation most men, and sometimes women, would have ‘a local’ a place to go and chat with friends about their lives, their troubles, or at least how poorly their football team were playing that week.

Yes, they sold beer, but mostly they were about community. Where I grew in south-east London, they served a very small clientele, that might only be the residents of half a dozen streets. Most of their regulars knew each other, they knew their partners, their parents and their children. It was a very territorial thing, half a mile if that sometimes, further up the road would be another local with its own regulars, another separate, distinct community.

Over the last 25 years, maybe more, that’s changed. In my own town of Gravesend since the turn of the century, 24 pubs have closed. Granted we started with a lot, being an old port on the Thames, Gravesend had more than its fair share of pubs. Nevertheless, the attrition rate is shocking.

The Ascot Arms is the latest to close, finally shutting its doors earlier this year. The brewery has advertised for new tenants, but it seems more likely it'll be turned into yet another convenience store, or demolished and the land used for housing. The Ascot Arms started life as the Central Hotel; opening in 1932. It’s a huge rambling place, so it’s hardly surprising the latest landlord struggled to keep it open.

Part of an ongoing project.

The Day I Photographed a Rodeo by Nigel Rumsey

Watching the rodeo, Hayesville, North Carolina

Earlier this year when planning our trip to North Carolina, I saw the ideal opportunity to fulfil my ambition to photograph a rodeo. 

After much time spent with Google, I settled on the Bar W Rodeo. My decision was based in no small part on the fact it is held at the brilliantly named Cutworms Corral, a proper actual corral! The Cutworms Corral is close to Hayesville, NC, we found a chalet to rent on Chatuge Lake, just outside Hiawassee which is about 15 miles away across the border in Georgia.

Friends at the Rodeo, Hayesville, NC

North Carolina is an incredibly beautiful part of the country bounded to the west by the Appalachian mountains and the east by the Atlantic ocean. As you fly into Raleigh/Durham airport, the landscape all the way to the horizon is entirely carpeted with trees. The buildings and roads are on land neatly carved from the forest. 

Shooting the rodeo was an amazingly exhilarating experience and something I’d love to do again. My one mistake was to go on Saturday evening. The rodeo is held across two days; if I'd gone on Friday I would have been back on Saturday night to shoot again. 

I’ve made a small book featuring some of my favourite shoots including the ones you see here. 

My introduction to the book:
Finding Hayesville, North Carolina (pop. 311), on the map is not easy. If you do, look to the northeast and the green of the Nantahala National Forest. It’s early evening you are travelling along the Tusquittee Creek Road, heading deeper into the forest. Before the sun goes down, you can glimpse the beautiful Hiwassee River on your left. Sections of the river have local names reminiscent of earlier times, Schoolhouse branch, Mull Cove and just ahead is Greasy Creek. Go through Tusquittee, take the bridge on the left over the river and the Cutworms Corral will be in sight. If you’re lucky, and it's rodeo time, a cowboy will be at the gate to welcome you.
                    
This literal dot on the map is where I find myself. It’s May 2017, and this is my first rodeo. We park our rental - almost the only vehicle that isn’t either a truck or an SUV - in the field next to the corral. I’m feeling just a little out of my comfort zone.
                    
The show starts as it always does here with the singing of the National Anthem and a heartfelt thank you to the members of the military in the crowd. From then to the end of the night I am strangely in my element.

Riding the bull at a rodeo

Steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding hadn’t played much of a part in my experience growing up in South London. Apart from TV, I don’t think I’d even seen a bull until I was out of my teenage years, so the prospect of riding one seems crazy to me. To be fair, it soon became apparent it seems pretty crazy to most of the crowd. But ride them they did - even if, in most cases, it wasn’t for very long.
                    
Much of the time I don’t have a clue what was going on. But the imagery is wonderful. I feel as though I’ve found a seam of gold in these North Carolina hills and I just can't stop digging. This is the second day of a two-day meet, and I'm kicking myself for not being there on day one.

Rodeo cowboy

I take my hat off to the brave women and men who take part; they put on an amazing show. This certainly won't be my only visit to a rodeo, and it’s unlikely to be the last time I navigate the Tusquittee Creek Road.

After the rodeo

You can find more of my rodeo shots here and the book here.