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The journey so far

Paul Russell
Paul Russell was born in Maryhill Glasgow on June 7th, 1964.

At the age of two years, he moved to Drumchapel, an outskirts of Glasgow housing scheme. Drumchapel, known to locals and residents as 'The Drum', is part of the city of Glasgow, Scotland, having been annexed from Dunbartonshire in 1938. It borders Bearsden to the east and Clydebank to the west. Drumchapel has a notorious reputation for being one of the most deprived and roughest areas of Glasgow. During the late 60s and the 1970s, Drumchapel's reputation grew worse as the post-war dreams of a great housing scheme crumbled. But he says the community spirit was like nothing he has ever experienced since and indeed will never see again.

Paul left Glasgow at the age of 21. He headed to Bristol and has been in England ever since.

Today he resides in the East of England in Essex and whilst he frequently revisits Scotland, he sees his final years living in England. The family now reside both north and south with grandchildren south.

He has lived and worked abroad in such far places such as Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Delhi in India and Sydney Australia. Not bad for a boy from Drumchapel.

His roots mean a lot to him and he plans one day to photograph his hometown, Glasgow. His first photographs using an old 35mm film Richo camera still exist to this day and show Royal Navy ships on the River Clyde as well as the nearby former children's Yorkhill hospital. That is where Paul started his working career, working for a construction company before doing a stint on the Docks on the Clyde. A far cry from working on the iconic Dubai Metro in 2009. His lasting memory of that two-year project was having police point guns at him and his colleagues when security in the UAE went slightly over the top. But fond memories nevertheless.

His career went into transport and rail. A signaller (or signalman in those days), he has memories of the old lever style signal boxes and says those were the best days of his life as far as work was concerned. After that, he went into management and in particular safety. London is home to work now though he is blessed with being able to work from home often, therefore, giving him more time to go to places of interest with his camera.

Those places are nature reserves and countryside. He also has a love of the sea. Paul can often be found in Suffolk at Minsemere, Hanginfield Essex, Hockley Woods also in Essex but does love his very own Essex back garden. His home backs onto farm land and he is lucky to have nothing but green grass and trees with open fields and horses grazing to soak up. He has a keenness for bird photography and this setting gives him the perfect place to indulge in this.

Paul's life has not been easy. Life isn't over yet. Sadly for some, that he has known and loved, life is now over. His fondness of his "other" mother Maimie, a disabled aunt he practically grew up with remains with him to this day. Losing her was a big moment and void in his life. Maimie was special to Paul. The loss affects him more now than it did at the time she died. Maimie's sister Cathie sort of took Maimie's place after she died and also became very close to Paul. His memories of both are warm and gave him an escape from the difficulties of school, that he disliked with a passion and Drumchapel itself, that he confesses despite his warmth for the place today, he couldn't wait to escape. A number 9 bus took him to the West side of Glasgow and to Partick. He loved those bus journeys out but never back.

Byres Road became an important teenage haunt of Paul's. He loved the vibrant west end and became great friends with a chap called Gus. Sadly Gus died after taking his own life following a stroke at a very young age. Paul's visits back to his hometown always find him back in Byres Road and Gus is never far from his mind. Pauls love of Byres Road even saw him play guitar and sing the John Lennon song Working Class Hero in one of the many public houses in that famous street.

So today Paul looks back and sees a mixed bag of emotions. But life is what it is. However, One of the toughest periods of his life was to happen south of the border. The loss of one of his sons. Surreal is all he can describe it as. That is another story.

But life goes on, and today Paul has invested in his favorite hobby, photography. We hope this site inspires those other hobbyists, that see life through the lens, and believe it can be an escape to those daily stresses and a means to enjoy yourself.