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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A tribute to Simon Crouch, main photographer for Dymond Guides

Anyone who has picked up a copy of the Dymond Guide to the Lake District and Cumbria in the last year or so will have seen the many lovely images in the book, taken by Simon Crouch. Very sadly, Simon died last weekend so I’d like to pay tribute to a special friend, a great photographer and an exceptional TV cameraman. I knew him for half of his life, and worked with him, on and off, for many of those years. His smile, his enthusiasm, his laughter made every minute in his presence a joy. Born in Torquay in 1944, he was at first a photographer at Westland Helicopters in Yeovil, before joining Television Wales and the West (TWW) as a film processor. He later moved to Southern Television in Southampton where as an assistant cameraman, he worked on the famous television series Out of Town with Jack Hargreaves. In 1968 he joined Border Television in Cumbria, his home county for the rest of his life.
He was the producer/director on Melvyn Bragg’s Land Of series that Border TV made for Channel 4 in the 1980s (Land of the Lakes/Borders/Eastern Borders, Mann) and was at the heart of many other productions that Border produced in that golden decade. Latterly, as a freelance he filmed Band Aid 20’s Do They Know it’s Christmas in 2004, Virgin Records 21st birthday celebrations with Elton John and three series of Channel 4’s music programme The White Room. He worked with Paul McCartney, U2, the Stone Roses (the famous Fools Gold video, filmed in Lanzarote), Meatloaf, Sting, Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Jools Holland and Nigel Kennedy. He took tea with Jerry Lee Lewis at his home in Mississippi and came to the rescue of a model at one of Stella McCartney’s Paris fashion shows, mending her catwalk handbag with a piece of camera gaffer tape. None of this turned his head. He was modest and unassuming in the extreme. And when the time came to park the TV camera, he was just as enthusiastic - and gifted - with his Leica, taking photographs in his beloved Lake District for himself and for Dymond Guides. How lucky I was to know him and to have his work grace my guide books.

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