|No Interflora, No Taxis : By Geoffrey K Beaumont, October 1999|
I attended the funeral yesterday of my daughter-in-law's grandfather; a man of considerable charm and boundless good humour, a man who went out of his way to welcome Isobel, Alexander and I into his wonderful extended family. At the Service of Thanksgiving, the church was packed, as befitted a man who was at the very centre of his community and his family. Geoff, however, was not just a respected member of his local community, Geoff was also a passionate photographer, and his family had brought down to the church a large collection of his mounted prints, where they were displayed on the walls. After the service we were each invited to select a few of the prints and take them away with us as a lasting memorial to a fine gentleman.
Geoff was not just a great photographer, he was also a gifted print-maker and I therefore confess that I helped myself to what was probably more than my fair share. The one I have chosen to share is one he took of King Street in Huddersfield some eighteen years ago. It is a photograph I wish I had taken, a photograph which drips with history and social comment.
The idea of distributing some of his many fine prints to family and friends is a wonderful one, but sadly one which will not be able to be repeated too often for future photographers in this new age when digital images exist for only as long as a pixilated screen is lit. Geoff's print now resides in my office and every time I look at it I think, "I wish I'd have taken that". There is no finer tribute to a photographer than that.