Much-loved photographer thanks community as he leaves job after 35 years
- Credit: Archant
Weston Mercury and North Somerset Times photographer Mark Atherton is leaving Archant after 35 years.
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.”
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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.
“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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org