Friday, 26 August 2011

A Dearth Of DayGlo...

This sort of thing happens every now and again. PR outings to interesting places, under the heavily watchful eyes of the corporate press officer who's duty it is to keep you safe, out of harms way, and clearly visible to the man in the moon. I'm all for the staying safe bit, i like that. I don't want to be crushed by a 10 ton tarmac ripping machine that turns once smooth road surface into dust. I don't want to be reversed over by a digger as the driver drinks tea whilst reading the Sun newspaper on his way to lunch either...

Playing a game of "spot the journo"

And so it was that i found myself wrapped in DayGlo jacket and hard hat on another tour of the major roadworks on the A3 at Hindhead, or rather what was the A3, as most of it is now ripped up, covered up, and returned to nature following the building of the tunnel that now snakes it's way a few hundred feet beneath us.

Following a safety brief from the safety officer, we were safely herded into minibuses and were safely driven to a safe part of the site, where we could safely film the works under the watchful eyes of the safety officer... So far, so safe.

The senior Engineer wears special trousers...

But i am a rebel. I don't go in for following the masses or doing what i'm told, i like to break away, free in the knowledge that i am a member of the free press, at liberty to take pictures and inform and educate the news watching public. Sod the PR people, the health and safety brigade who want to keep me safe, to hell with it... so i didn't tell them that my boots were not steel toe capped. There, that showed 'em. I wandered the scene knowing the risk i was taking, and smirking inwardly at the safety officer full in the knowledge that i had beaten him and the PR machine.

ITV Cameraman... in full Health and Safety rig. Also behind barriers, naturally.

Oh yes... i laugh in the face of impending danger. I snigger at the god of sod's law and give the one fingered salute to the 'elf 'n' safety nazis that follow our every move. I filmed my story without mishap until we were safely shepherded back to the minibus, whereupon i stubbed my unprotected toe on the rear safety step into the minibus. Emitting an audible "oohyafucker" the safety officer turned and enquired if i was ok. I bit my lip and replied that i was... thank you very much. Nothing to see here. Im sure i saw a smirk on his face. The bastard.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.