Much-loved photographer thanks community as he leaves job after 35 years

Mark supporting ladies raising awareness of breastfeeding.

Mark supporting ladies raising awareness of breastfeeding. - Credit: Archant

Weston Mercury and North Somerset Times photographer Mark Atherton is leaving Archant after 35 years.

One of Mark's quirkiest pictures of West Huntspill Players Alastair Murray in one of his props.

One of Mark's quirkiest pictures of West Huntspill Players Alastair Murray in one of his props. - Credit: Archant

Mark has had a front row seat at some of the biggest stories in North Somerset – meeting royals and celebrities, covering fires and riots – but what he has enjoyed the most is meeting local people and helping to tell their stories.

He said: “Dismaland, royal visits and big events are great fun, but sitting down with people in their front room and taking pictures and listening to them tell their story and get their voice heard is really special.

“I’ve enjoyed it all. What’s really been a joy is going into flower shows and country fairs across Weston and North Somerset and just being able to walk in and start telling people where to stand, it’s a privilege and great fun.

“It’s great to meet people and hear their stories and work out ways of telling their stories in pictures and it’s just a privilege to be in among the hustle and bustle of clubs and societies doing their things for Weston and North Somerset and I’ve got so many friends I’ve met through that.”

Busted at South West Live.

Busted at South West Live. - Credit: Archant


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Mark has scaled ladders and cranes and flown in a hot air balloon to snap the perfect picture.

He has also had a number of close calls when out on the job – his shoes melted when he was taking photos of a fire, he saw bottles thrown though the town hall windows during the poll tax riots and he got caught in as squall when up a crane taking photos of bungee jumpers at Marine Lake.

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Editor Vicky Angear said: “Mark is an exceptional photographer and has been a huge asset to the Mercury and Times.

“He is known by so many people in the community for his kindness and professionalism and has the ability to set people at ease so he can snap the best photos.

Banksy's Dismaland, evening and sunset.

Banksy's Dismaland, evening and sunset. - Credit: Archant

“He has dedicated more than three decades to the Mercury and Times and will be sorely missed by all his friends, colleagues and members of the community.

“We wish him all the best for the future.”

Mark added: “I just want to say a huge thank you to all the people I’ve met and worked with across North Somerset.

“It’s been such a privilege to be invited to share people’s stories and attend so many events.

Mark was honoured to meet Harry Patch in 2007 the last surviving British soldier who fought at Pas

Mark was honoured to meet Harry Patch in 2007 the last surviving British soldier who fought at Passchendaele and Ypres during World War One. - Credit: Archant

“I really want to get across how grateful I am to have worked at the Mercury. I’ve just had a ball.”

You can keep in touch with Mark at macsnapper64@hotmail.com

Mark is well-known by so many people in North Somerset.

Mark is well-known by so many people in North Somerset. - Credit: Archant

Mark forgot his wellies when taking pictures of sail boarders at Cheddar Reservoir.

Mark forgot his wellies when taking pictures of sail boarders at Cheddar Reservoir. - Credit: Archant

Brent Knoll fete.

Brent Knoll fete. - Credit: Archant

Mark covered the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark covered the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark enjoying a balloon flight to take some aerial photos.

Mark enjoying a balloon flight to take some aerial photos. - Credit: Archant

Weston Carnival.

Weston Carnival. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark lay on the ground while a dancer somersaulted over him in the Italian Gardens to get this pictu

Mark lay on the ground while a dancer somersaulted over him in the Italian Gardens to get this picture. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008.

Mark was one of first photographers to get shots of the Grand Pier fire in 2008. - Credit: Archant

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