Note: Mention of harassment, just an advance warning
Friday 28th February, the last day of the month and also the last night of shooting The Petrol Station Series. I was back in Croydon again, but finished in South Norwood. Thankfully four stops for the finale.
First stop was BP on Shirley Road in Croydon. A little far out from the town centre by bus, passing through Addiscombe. Once I got to the petrol station and got my camera out, I was met by a guy (who happened to be sitting next to me on the same bus). He asked if I was a photographer, to which I replied yes and briefly explained I was shooting petrol stations, however things turned a bit weird after he said he was interested in me and said ‘lived around the corner’. I told him firmly I wasn’t interested in him and to leave me alone. Then in panic mode hoping he would go away, I ran to the petrol station but he was soon following me. I went straight up to a staff member on the shop floor and told him I was being followed. So the kind staff member took me to the back, that was the warehouse, and he checked if the creep was on the shop floor or lurking around outside. I waited a few minutes until I was confident to see if the coast was clear, so I could take the photo of BP. It was quite scary, to be honest and I was glad that it didn’t escalate. I did thank BP, also an M&S Simply Food publicly over on my Twitter afterwards.
Second stop also on Shirley Road was Tesco Esso, a ten minute walk from BP. I was constantly looking over my shoulder and walking at a fast pace, checking if the creepy guy was following me again but he was nowhere to be seen. It was a quick snap from an angle, capturing all three cars at the pumps in perfect harmony.
The next stop was Shell on Portland Road in South Norwood, which was a short bus ride to get there. It is located on the high street, surrounded by various shops, restaurants, a dental practice and Citizens Advice bureau. Norwood Junction Overground Station is even nearby, where I would go from to return back home after the next stop.
The last and final petrol station of the night was BP on South Norwood Hill. A walk up from the previous stop, not even a mile away. I shot the station from the side on Holmesdale Road, in a similar style with an Esso on Brighton Road earlier that week.
Click. The last exposure. Then the film began unwinding from 38 to E on the camera. It had been an absolutely adventurous couple of weeks – trekking around South London during the cold and sometimes wet nights.
As usual, thank you everyone for the support and kindness throughout this series!! I apologise for posts coming in a little later than usual for the last few weeks. I have been juggling work and my personal life quite a lot, especially during recent times.
That’s it. Third Series is a wrap and I am glad it is finally over!!
Take care and stay safe