For a small town, Bude is blessed with more than its fair share of colourful local characters and some of those are rightly known as local Legends.
Some of the Legends can be easily guessed, others may be a surprise inclusion but all will be well-known to Bude folk.
The photographer, Tim Martindale, was himself born in Bude, in 1962 and having lived all his life in the town (apart from half a dozen years at Art School and freelancing in Bristol) has personally known most of these characters for as long as he can remember. Others have come to Bude in more recent times, although as Tim says, the definition of a Legend is ‘entirely my own’. He continues ‘you don’t have to have been born here but you do need to have been here for a long time, and it generally takes half a lifetime to acquire the status, so you won’t find any youngsters!
The project is something of a departure for Tim who is better known for his colourful Cornwall landscapes, commercial work and his self-published calendars. ‘Legends is different’ he states, ‘These are people who interest me and whom I have a deep affection for. I want to celebrate and document them. None of us are here for ever and the town becomes a poorer place when we lose them. Since I originally had the idea about three years ago, we have lost a number of lovely characters such as Des Gregory and Bryan Stamp who would most certainly have been included. I’m really disappointed that I was unable to include them.
The exhibition though is the just the first part of a wider project, the main part of which will be a coffee-table style book due for publication next year. ‘The book will contain many more of our Legends and each portrait will be accompanied by a brief biography of the character.’ Following publication of the book, Legends will continue in the coming years as an archival project with subsequent exhibitions and hopefully further volumes of the book.
‘My hope is that with these books and exhibitions we can enable our Legends to live for a while beyond their time!’