We will use this section to introduce you to some of our friends who share our passion for getting things right without fuss. We are kicking off with: -
- The Photographer - Neil Emmerson
- The Autojumble Organiser - Mark Woodward
- The Luggage Specialist - Frost River
- The Adventure Travel Experts - Paul & Anne
- The Bushcraft Expert - Roger Harrington
Neil Emmerson – Photographer
Travelling to far away places and taking photographs may seem like the perfect job but anyone who has worked with Neil knows otherwise! Neil is not cut from the same cloth as many of the 'Fashionistas' whose work space is the studio with lighting and banks of assistants. He is made from far more gritty stuff.
As a Cumbrian lad he knows what rain is, but his heart still beats a little faster as he eyes the lakes and hills he still calls home. It is not a criticism to say he lives to work and works to live. He comes alive as soon as he has a camera in his hand. I have rarely found anyone so dedicated to his job.
When he works with models for the first time they are often shocked when he wants to be on the move by 4 a.m without coffee or breakfast. He has a simple philosophy “There may be only one minute in a day when I can take the best possible picture. I have to be in the right place at the right time and ready to shoot” he says with a seriousness second to none. Some look upon this as luck but I can vouch for the fact that Neil’s best work is about painstaking preparation born out of a life time of experience.
In the mornings and evenings the light is low and golden and it is most photographers’s favoured time. “Dawn is a fantastic time of day, the light starts to creep across the landscape, mists start to rise and there are few people about” comments Neil. Over the years I have learnt to go with Neil’s instincts – they are always good. I can guarantee he will always end up in the most difficult position, generally on the floor pointing his camera at a distant horizon. Good models love to work with him as he makes everyone feel part of the team and they know he produces exceptional work.
I asked him how he describes his work as it is a mixture of both fashion and landscapes. He thought for a second, turned his head and said “I just take pictures”. Working with him is not for the faint hearted because you need to share that desire for the elusive perfect picture. He can be in the Arctic Circle one week and the deserts of North Africa the next. He seeks out the unusual, the difficult and the uncomfortable all of which add grittiness to his work. By not using lights, shooting everything in real time and in real surroundings and not retouching the finished article you get an end product that is believable. His style is much more of a reporter in pictures than an image enhancer; quite a distinction in this age of CGI!
Get him chatting and he wears his heart on his sleeve. “What you see is what you get. When shooting clothing or fashion I prefer a small crew just two to four people only. When you are working in remote areas you all have to get along. I try to tell a story with my work. It is like one family on a journey, everyone has a job to do. It is not about fancy hotels and luxury, although that is good every once in a while” he says with a sparkle in his eye.
He continues “Some people just come alive once there is a lens on them. So much depends on how the day shapes up, the weather and what the surroundings offer. If we have travelled two thousand miles and its raining we still have to get the photo. Clients are not prepared to pay day after day for the weather to change. This is where working with a great team helps because we all know we have to get the shot”.
Neil works on many commissions but he loves to follow hunches. If he hears on the news there is great snow in the Alps he is just as likely to throw a bag in his vehicle and head out. He is one of the few people I know that can always make tea on the move. If you ever see a man parked up on the side of the road with a camera and brewing tea it will be Neil no matter which country you are in. There are only two questions:- can I have a cuppa? and what are you shooting?
For die hard Land Rover fans Neil has taken some of the most iconic pictures. He was fortunate enough to travel on all the Land Rover G4 Challenge and Trek events. Living for months in a small pop up tent, always trying to get ahead of the main convoy and anticipating where the best pictures could be taken. His portfolio of these pictures alone is stunning.
I have worked with Neil for over twelve years and can pay tribute to his magical eye and ability to deliver work I could never imagine. He has never liked working to a script and I fully support him in this view. He has always produced great photographs that I feel extremely proud to be associated with.
The 1948 Original Equipment Gallery is full of his work; we hope you will enjoy taking time out to look through it. Many of his great shots are used as artwork in homes and offices around the world. Take a look at www.neilemmerson.com for more images that ask questions and show what a beautiful world it really is in all its hardship and glory.
Neil is married and lives in central London where he and his wife have rooms in a flat owned by his two cats.
Mark Woodward & Autojumblers - the original re-cyclers
Mark Woodward is a great friend of 1948 Original Equipment and organises Newbury 4x4 and Vintage Spares days.
He is tall, straight talking and honest and everyone warms to him instantly. What you see is what you get and he understands shows and autojumbles. He knows what it means to be a seller in the rain and how important visitor numbers are to any event. Within the trade he has a reputation for complete fairness. In his spare time he is also the engine room behind many other Vintage, Steam and Spares events around the UK.
Newbury is held twice a year at Royal Berkshire Showground. It is now the largest Land Rover Autojumble in Europe and it is still growing in size.
Included is a section for classic car, bike, truck and tractor, in fact anything motor related, plus memorabilia of a halcyon period in British life.
It must be the only event in England that the visitors arrive with wheelbarrows to carry their finds back to the public car parks.
Mark is passionate about these events and says “The Buzz about autojumbles is the thrill of the chase, because you never know what is going to turn up. Most will go home with something they had no idea they needed.”
Classic vehicle owners and restorers were one of the first truly green movements!
Through autojumbles they have been recycling parts for over fifty years. Mark commented “Selling at autojumbles is easy and great fun. Many old friends from across Europe meet up at Newbury to keep alive myths about long lost vehicles as well as buying and selling.” Mark is quick to highlight the most important question you will hear hundreds of times at each event, "What did that come off and will it fit a ……? "
He started breaking Land Rovers back in the late 1970’s as a result of being sold a diesel Land Rover that had been purchased from a less than scrupulous seller. His purchase looked good on the eye but beneath the bonnet was an engine that should have been scrapped many years previously.
Having paid far too much for the vehicle he realised the only way forward was to trade his way out of the problem. So his new hobby of breaking vehicles for the parts he needed and selling the rest for profit was born.
“The great thing about Series Land Rovers was that they are like Meccano they all go together with 7/16 and 1/2 inch nuts and bolts. A lump hammer and a wide chisel are the only other useful tools you need” said Mark with a grin.
One of his best deals was to buy a three year old pickup stuck on the sands at Lytham St Annes. As the tide came in and covered the vehicle he struck an excellent bargain (he is not prepared to say how much!) and the unlucky and embarrassed owner went by train back to London. As the tide went out, dry land revealed as a bonus a very desirable not very old drum winch which was state of the art at the time.
Back in his early teens he lived in Kendal, Cumbria and regularly used to visit a well known old fashioned scrap yard called Greggs. The yard had a number of interesting old vehicles which never moved and he was particularly interested in a well stripped 4x4 which was basically a chassis and a front grille and he assumed it was a WW2 jeep.
Move on 10 years and visiting a friend who was restoring an early 'headlights behind the grille' Series 1 it dawned on him that the 4x4 at Greggs was possibly an early Series 1. He set off to Greggs and, amazingly, it was still there now with two scrap Austin Champs sat on top of it! A deal was struck and two weeks later he picked up a very early Series 1 with an excellent chassis.
Mark has never lost his love of Land Rovers and today drives a Defender 110 Utility. “I use this for my business, running classic car shows and of course Autojumbles” commented Mark.
The next Newbury spares days are Sundays 3rd April and 2nd October plus Mark is running a new summer weekend show at Newbury on the 2nd and 3rd July.
We have worked with Mark for many years and found him to be a real “Gent” and a stalwart of this fantastic trade we all love. If you have never been to one of the Newbury Spares days you don’t know what you are missing!
Take a look at Mark’s websites:- www.markwoodwardclassicevents.com or www.newbury4x4andvintagesparesday.co.uk or call him on 016974 51882.
Frost River – Manufacturers of Packs & Bags
We first starting using bags made in Duluth, Minnesota over 35 years ago.
They have travelled the world with us in and on Land Rovers, packed on mules and in canoes. We still have them and like us they now show their age but every time we take them out someone always wants to buy them. They are part of the family.
The Frost River is found in over a million acres of wild woods and water along the Minnesota Canadian border. With large and small lakes, beautiful falls, winding beaver streams and high beaver dams, it is this countryside that has inspired this company to take its name and to make some of the finest packs in the world.
Their rugged backpacks and bags have enjoyed a rich history in the discovery and exploration of the entire region. Traditional canoe packs have been part of this North Country Wilderness for over a century. Their products have been designed and tested to perform in the most rugged environment.
Made from waxed cotton, nicknamed 'Tin Cloth', and using a generations old formula the bags repel water yet breathe. This is something many synthetic materials cannot do. Bridle leather and brass fixing combine with the cotton fabric to produce a rich patina that improves with age and use.
Every bag they make has a story and a history. They share our philosophy and have learnt from the past. All the canoe packs have 'Tumplines' just because they believe in them. Alternating between the Tump and the Back Straps will distribute weight and prevent fatigue.
Our favorites are The Isle Royale, The Isle Royale Junior and the The Summit Expedition Pack.
The price of Frost River bags will long be forgotten when the quality is tested time and time again. Once you own one you will cherish it and probably leave it to the grandchildren.
Anne & Paul – One Life Adventures
A few years ago we met two very special people who decided to set out on a journey. Like most it had good and difficult times in the early days. Not only did they decide to travel overland but also to make a business guiding small, select groups into the wilderness. Today they now have a thriving enterprise, One Life Adventures, which has built a first class reputation for organising and guiding 4x4 overland trips.
We put them to the test when we asked them to organise for us a photographic shoot around Iceland. They rose to the challenge and took us to some of the most beautiful and daunting scenery we have ever seen. We were reminded of this when we watched on television a walk Julia Bradbury undertook to the now infamous volcano that brought European air travel to a standstill last year.
The picture you see here is how the glacier used to look and the great lake at its foot. On the television walk it showed how this lake is now gone and it is a desert of ash.
Both Anne and Paul have great personalities and they understand how important managing expectations on a trip can be. Paul has led many trips to Iceland, it can be a tough challenge at times but the sheer diversity and scale is alwyas a reward. Iceland is the size of England but with only 350,000 population compared to our 50,000,000. This is one of the few places we have ever driven where we were very aware that the next fuel stop could be five or six hours away. The most notable impression of Iceland is the changing scenery from glacier to desert to lava field all within 30 kilometres; also the weather can change in an instant. We got lost in fog and in a sand storm in the same day. Iceland is breathtakingly beautiful and a must see. It is not cheap but it is worth every penny.
One Life Adventures organise trips to suit all, Morocco, Romania and the Western Sahara to name but a few. You can even start with a taster in the mountains of Wales.
Overland trips can be a fantastic family holiday both educational and a way to miss the regular tourist haunts. We really want to go on One Life’s trip to the interior of Spain. The appeal is that it is close to home and can fit into a shorter break.
For more information see www.onelifeadventure.co.uk. We don’t think you will be disappointed as Paul is a perfect host and you can be assured you and your family are in a safe pair of hands.
Roger Harrington - Bushcraft Crazy
One of Bushcraft’s unsung heroes is a supplier and friend of ours called Roger Harrington.
Roger is an experienced outdoorsman who has taught Bushcraft and Survival to civil and military clients for the last fifteen years. His influences come from family involvement in The Scout Movement and his extensive travels around the world researching primitive living skills. He is also a Master Craftsman in the design and manufacture of knives. In this realm he has built up a considerable reputation with customers eager to go on his waiting list for an exclusive handmade knife. These items are beautifully made and a pleasure to own and hold. He can customise a knife for an individual and no two ever come out the same. Using only the best steel and metals and a variety of woods and leather each one is a gem.
'Designs evolve over time and are the product of experience and use', he comments. His enthusiasm for the subject is evident the moment you talk with him. What started as a casual conversation at a Land Rover show soon evolved into the superb Quartermaster's Trail knife that he crafts for 1948 Original Equipment. He understood immediately what we wanted and our ethos for products that last.
Roger then took his love of Bushcraft and the outdoors one stage further and started The Wilderness Gathering Festival of Bushcraft in 2003. This has quickly evolved into one of the premier 'must visit' shows on the calendar. If you have never been, take the family for the day or camp for the weekend. It is just a wonderful event with plenty to do, great food at sensible prices and advice all round. 'Our aim for the Gathering was to create a yearly event for the sharing of skills, knowledge and information around Bushcraft and the Wilderness' he said. In this he has more than succeeded! - the Gathering is held in Wiltshire every August - www.wildernessgathering.co.uk.
Take at look at Roger’s knives and all his products including Wilderness Courses at www.bisonbushcraft.co.uk