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A life behind the lens revealed

Earlier this year photographer Will Nicol celebrated 30 years working on Bath newspapers, and almost 40 years in the regional press. Here he looks back at his career so far…

Will Nicol has become a familiar face behind the lens at events large and small, taking photographs for Bath newspapers for the past 30 years.

The 55-year-old (right) first started his career in Gloucestershire at the Stroud News and Journal, before making the jump from a weekly title to a daily, joining the Bath Chronicle.

He said: “Bath was a beautiful, vibrant city with lots going on. There was also a lot of movie stars and royalty around, so the area had a higher news value than Stroud.”

But after experiencing the hustle and bustle of life on a daily title, Will is now back where he began, on weeklies, working for the Somerset Guardian and Somerset Standard, and is equally at home covering golden weddings and cheque presentations.

He said: “Those were exciting days (on the Bath Chronicle), but I love the weekly papers that I work on now. I moved into the area and it is nice to be well-known and part of the community.”

And it is that ‘being part of the community’, together with great scenery, that has kept Will in Bath for so long – and away from Fleet Street.

He said: “I was never a foot in the door kind of photographer – if someone told me to ‘f’ off I usually did!

“It wasn’t my cup of tea – it’s a young man’s job and not a married man’s job.”

Among the more memorable highlights of Will’s career, is a day he spent with the Queen Mother when she visited Bath – he later got a letter from Clarence House requesting copies of his photographs.

He has also capurted many celebrities on film, including Joan Collins, Charlton Heston and Richard Todd (above), and was even sent over to Bosnia.

Will said: “It was pretty nerve-wracking, being shot at! I couldn’t wait to get back.

“But it was very memorable – and a bit different from Golden Weddings.”

Over the years he has also taken vast changes in technolgy in his stride, starting out in the days of the old glass plate cameras, and progressing through the darkroom days to colour, before getting to grips with digital photography.

He said: “Digtial photography still has its problems, but it saves hours in the darkroom and you can just press a button and its on the front page.”

But despite changes in technology, one thing that hasn’t changed is Will’s love of the job.

And although he may not be ‘staking out’ celebrities and rubbing shoulders with the stars at film premieres, he is still very happy in his work.

Will said: “Every day is different, I enjoy meeting different people and you see something new everyday.

“If I go on a week’s holiday I can’t wait to get back – I have a horrible feeling that I’ll never retire and will just fade away like an old photograph.”

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