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Harriet snaps folk behind scenes who keep London ticking

PUBLISHED: 15:19 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 05 October 2010

TOP: Ian Westworth and Paul Roberson, keeping Big Ben ticking... ABOVE: Tony Kelly, Props Master at The National...

TOP: Ian Westworth and Paul Roberson, keeping Big Ben ticking... ABOVE: Tony Kelly, Props Master at The National...

HARRIET Armstrong spent 12 months in her spare time between regular photographic assignments and being a mum taking pictures of people behind the scenes who keep London running. Now her work goes on public show at City Hall

By Mike Brooke

HARRIET Armstrong spent 12 months in her spare time between regular photographic assignments and being a mum taking pictures of people behind the scenes who keep London ticking—like Big Ben’s timekeepers.

Now her work goes on public show at City Hall from Monday.

She has snapped the two men who keep time on Big Ben, another who sorts out the stage props at the National Theatre on the Southbank, engineers who operate the Thames Barrier in East London, electricians who fix the neon lights at Piccadilly Circus and the campanologists (bell ringers) who ring the Bow Bells at Cheapside, just to name a few.

“I got the idea getting the last Underground train home one night,” she told the East London Advertiser.

“There was a mountain of discarded newspapers and I wondered who was paid to clear them up.

“That got me thinking about all the other men and women behind the scenes who keep London on the move.”

Harriet, 35, a full-time photographer when she’s not looking after her three-year-old daughter and running a family home at Walthamstow in East London, has snapped 200 people who work behind the scenes to keep famous institutions of London running.

Now she has been given her own exhibition at City Hall, which she has called Behind the Scenes. It’s free and runs until May 7, the day after the local council elections.


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