William of Omlette

William was a smashing bloke, the first time I met him he was down at the Shell garage filling up his coupé and he cracked a joke about a chicken crossing the river in a frying pan.

William or Bill as he was known, something to do with his nose I believe, was a man who was involved with everything going on in the community. His main interest was birds but not the feathered variety either, no Bill was a keen photographer and loved the ladies.

His speciality was portrait photography and he always held an exhibition during carnival week of all his best work. Bill’s Birds it was called and nobody objected, this was way before all this PC crap of today where you’re afraid to even take a peck at anything.

Bill had a studio down the bottom of his garden, it was in a very large shed he called The Chicken House. It was full of all sorts of props and background scenery. He would sit one of his Hens as he affectionately called them on his perch, and he would chat to them about anything under the sun so they felt totally relaxed and as if they were at home, then at precisely the right fraction of a second he would grab their most natural characteristic look, it was as easy as collecting eggs he said.

His collection covered a period of about 20 years and he had photographed just about every female in the town, from a day old baby to a 100 year old great grandmother, during his time on the roost.

Then sadly it all came to an abrupt halt, he had cooked his goose, his chickens had come home to roost, it involved wild oats and plumb sauce. Everyone knew he had chicks who were well known not to be the types to be caged in by anyone.

His plucked results were seen by many in a wide variety of publications and it wasn’t too long before some of his more well to do ladies started having fantasies of seeing themselves captured in their best full and finest birthday attire.

Many of the husbands in the village were all in support of their wives providing such beautiful collections, for their more private albums, to peruse at their leisure in the pre digital era.

Alas Bill’s favourite location, of in the frying pan was soon to become one, of into the fire. A young lady by the name of Fay Fox had ambitions of becoming a model and needed a portfolio to aid her flight to the top.

William was up for it and as Fay clucked away so Bill clicked and sharply focused until it was soon in the can, then all off and into the darkroom. That’s where it all developed, along with the film too. Their secret all hatched out nine months later.

Now Bill and Fay run a very respectable guest house together called The Jackdaws and have two grown up children who have since flown the nest and are now studying for digital media degrees at University. A double yoke I believe.

15 January, 2015
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License