The boy in the bath

Amateur Photographer - - Your Letters -

I re­cently had a painter and dec­o­ra­tor in to do quite a lot of work in our house. He had done odd jobs for us be­fore so I knew him quite well. Dur­ing one of the many cof­fee breaks (for both of us) we got chat­ting about our re­spec­tive jobs. I clearly knew what he did, but he had no idea what my line of work was, so I ex­plained that I was a pic­ture edi­tor and re­searcher for a num­ber of mag­a­zines.

To which he replied that he was once on the cover of a mag­a­zine: Am­a­teur Pho­tog­ra­pher. He was pho­tographed as a 4-year- old kid in the bath! The pic­ture was taken

by his dad, who was a keen am­a­teur pho­tog­ra­pher him­self and had a vast se­lec­tion of cam­era equip­ment and his own dark­room. He sent the photo to the mag­a­zine and they de­cided to run it on the front cover. I then ex­plained that Am­a­teur Pho­tog­ra­pher is one of the mag­a­zines I work on, and this got me think­ing. A few emails to the ed­i­to­rial staff and some fan­tas­tic re­search by AP’s own stu­dio pho­tog­ra­pher, An­drew Sy­den­ham, and the 16 De­cem­ber 1964 cover was found, with a young Mike Howard on the front. As you can see by the cur­rent im­age with paint brush in hand (be­low), he hasn’t changed that much. For his day job he now goes by the name of Southend Handy­man, and his paint­ing and DIY skills are as good as his fa­ther’s pho­tog­ra­phy 54 years ago. Dun­can Bond

A great story, Dun­can. How times change – I don’t think we’d put a pic­ture of a child in the bath on the cover to­day! – Nigel Ather­ton, Edi­tor

Southend Handy­man ap­peared on the cover of AP as a child in 1964

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