Town residents are captured in a whole new light for photography book

Wartime nurse Joan Lloyd, one of Andy Griffin's portraits in Thaxted's People

Wartime nurse Joan Lloyd, one of Andy Griffin's portraits in Thaxted's People - Credit: Archant

A collection of quirky portraits of his interesting neighbours has brought Thaxted photographer Andy Griffin the honour of being made a fellow of The Master Photographers Association.

The cover of Thaxted's People a celebrated collection of portraits

The cover of Thaxted's People a celebrated collection of portraits - Credit: Archant

This is the highest qualification that a photographer can achieve worldwide.

Andy, 48, spent four years taking photographs of people from all walks of life living in Thaxted. He then published more than 150 photographs in a glossy book called Thaxted’s People. Though its selling price is £60, it is now close to selling out its print run.

An exhibition of the photographs was mounted last year in Thaxted Church to coincide with the book’s launch. Now a second display will be presented in Thaxted’s ancient guildhall over the town’s famous Morris dancing weekend of June 2 and 3.

The portraits include clergymen, ballet dancers, actors, equestrians and firefighters. Each subject has been photographed twice, usually once in action in their occupation and a second picture, often in formal dress. in a studio.

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Each picture tells something of the subject’s life story. Among the striking pictures in the book is Joan Lloyd, who was born in Thaxted in 1922. During the Second World War, she was a nurse looking after both prisoners of war and members of the armed forces. Her late hushand, Charles was a builder, a Morris man and a bomb disposal expert during the war. Joan learned to swim aged 70 and is a member of Dunmow Dolphin over 80s swimming club. In one picture, Joan is in a smart, rose pink suit, in another, her bathing costume.

Another subject is the actor Michael Culkin, born in Dublin in 1952. He played the Archbishop of York in Downton Abbey and has lived in Thaxted since 2009.

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Hairdressers, Sophie and Richard Fox met working in a salon in Bishop’s Stortford in 1999 and were married in Thaxted Church. They own a hair boutique called Ladles and Jellyspoons. He plays football and she has gold and silver medals in karate.

Some 50 of the portraits will be be on show at the new exhibition and the book will be on sale at a specially discounted price.

The exhibition runs from 10am-4pm. Free entry. Thaxted’s People is on sale at Harts Bookshop, Saffron Walden, Gifted in Thaxted and In Between the Lines, Great Bardfield or from

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