Nov 11 2010 Tara Brady, Harrow Observer
A DEDICATED photographer who has spent years capturing the essence of Harrow through a lens is to display his work at Harrow Museum. Dermot Carlin has snapped portraits of 20 locals to celebrate the diversity of the borough, for the I Am Harrow exhibition.
The show's mesmerising shots promise to give insight into the lives of Harrow residents, and to illustrate what individuals and groups get up to around the borough.
Dermot, 43, of Longley Road, Harrow, said: "The subjects of the photographs are all really different, from an 89-year-old lady who worked in intelligence at Bentley Priory, to a teenage former gang member.
"But they have all got one thing in common - they all live in Harrow and they've all got a story to tell."
Dermot is a familiar face around the borough. As the mayor's deputy chauffeur and mace bearer, he accompanies the borough's first citizen to a variety of events.
He is also Harrow Council's official photographer, often seen getting from one job to another on his bike.
He said: "It all happened by accident. My sister got married 16 years ago and my dad said, 'Go on, get some nice snaps'. And it it all blossomed from there.
"What turned out to be a hobby then turned into my job. And I love it.
"I've lived in Harrow all my life and I've worked in various roles across the council since 1993, from delivering meals on wheels and driving special needs transport buses, to working in the post room.
"But I've been the council's photographer since 2004 and I am still amazed every day by the stories of the people I photograph."
The exhibition shows different aspects of what makes Harrow a diverse place to live, with subjects including Morris dancers, an Auschwitz survivor, a balti chef, an athlete, a volunteer and a teenage youth worker.
"The one person who I photographed who stands out for me is Gena Turgel. She is an 84-year-old woman who survived three concentration camps during the war. Her story is quite amazing. I am privileged to have photographed her," said Dermot.
Councillor Rekha Shah, responsible for community and cultural services in Harrow, said: "Harrow is a wonderfully diverse community and I am Harrow reflects that.
"I'd recommend it to all residents. It is a reminder of what a great borough we live in."
The exhibition, which is free, opened this week. It can be seen at Harrow Museum and Heritage Centre, at Headstone Manor, in Pinner View until Monday, December 20.
The museum is open from noon to 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and 10.30am to 4pm on Sundays. It is closed on Tuesdays.
what? I Am Harrow photographic exhibition, by Dermot Carlin (right)
where? Harrow Museum and Heritage Centre, Headstone Manor, Pinner View
when? November 8 to December 20