30 May 2024

‘I wouldn’t be this healthy now if I hadn’t stayed in this town’

by Ian Judson

A West Yorkshire photographer has given back to the community in Hornsea with a donation to the Floral Hall.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Andrew Jones isolated in the town after he was told that it was too dangerous to be around his family because of his compromised immune system.

During his time in Hornsea, the keen photographer took to taking photos of the sunrise on the beach.

Andrew said: “I started taking the pictures while I had liver failure. When I was recovering, it was during Covid. I live over in Gomersal, near Leeds, but I had to stay here. My immune system was shot, so if I’d have caught anything, I would have died.

“I was told that I could have caught any illness from my family, so I stayed here and went out each morning to take a photo of the sunrise. I got a lodge here – it sort of helped me recover walking on the front.

“When I had liver failure, I was given months to live three years ago at the height of Covid, so I went for tests at St James’s in Leeds, but it kept getting put back.

“Sometimes I was up at 4am to get the sunrise. I wouldn’t be this healthy now, if it wasn’t for staying in Hornsea.”

His photos soon gained popularity on social media with people asking for copies of them.

He added: “When I first started taking the photos it was on Hornsea Banter and Info and other Hornsea Facebook pages and I used to put them on there. Then people were asking, could you get me one? People asked me for pictures, so I would print them off for them.”

Richard and Linda, the treasurer and president of the Floral Hall, then asked Andrew if he would take a picture of their venue, which led to him getting his own exhibition within the main café where it has been on display for more than 10 months.

“I would take a picture with a different hat on every day. Then I started taking a picture of a sunrise and they asked if I could take a picture of the Floral Hall.

“They just give me a part of a wall to display my stuff and pictures I’ve taken, of sunrises mainly.”

The photos continued to gain recognition among the community, and Andrew has now sold a collection of them for £500 – which he has donated to the Floral Hall.

He added: “I’m not interested in making money on them. I just want people to enjoy them. You’ve got to use the places like this – if you don’t use them, you lose them.

“If anybody wants to buy my photos, they can, and I’ll just give the money to the Floral Hall. I’m not in it to make money.

“I usually give most of my stuff away anyway, so I’m just giving it back.

“If they’d have been displayed somewhere else, I would’ve given money there instead, but Richard and Linda have kept in touch over the months.”