27 November 2014

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Photographer who snapped stuck bus dies aged 79

A photographer whose memorable image of a double-decker bus trapped in a hole in the road was flashed round the world has died aged 79.

It seemed to be just a routine assignment for John Folkes, of the Eastern Daily Press, when he was called out on the job in August 1988.

But the iconic image of the Eastern Counties’ red bus, which had fallen into chalk workings in Earlham Road, Norwich, was one of John’s proudest moments.

He was also among the first on the scene to capture the catastrophic fire at the Assembly House, Norwich, on 12 April 1995 – just nine days before his retirement after 36 years with Archant and its predecessor companies.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, he first trained as a photographer on his local newspaper, the Leek Post and Times.

But his great interest in animals and wildlife led him to join a new farming newspaper, which was launched by the Norfolk News Company, later Eastern Counties Newspapers and now Archant, in 1959.

He was Farming World’s photographer for 11 years until the publication ceased in 1970, when he switched to sister title the EDP.

His instinctive knowledge of how to display a prize-winning bull or champion cow to its best meant he was much in demand as a livestock photographer, whether for the EDP or on a freelance basis.

John also had a shrewd commercial streak and had acquired a small parade of shops and flats in Norwich, where he ran a successful wedding photography business for many years.

His funeral will be held today at Cromer Parish Church followed by burial at Cromer Cemetery.



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