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Oban Lifeboat station first in Scotland to be captured by Jack Lowe in project to photograph every RNLI station in Britain

Jack Lowe, photographer and life-long dedicated supporter of the RNLI, has embarked on an ambitious project to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations, recording each on traditional glass plates as he goes.
On 15th April he made it to Oban and was welcomed with open arms at the Oban Lifeboat Station.Grandson of Dad’s Army actor, Arthur Lowe, Jack has admired the RNLI since he was a little boy and is delighted at the way this project gives him licence to ‘follow his heart’.Speaking of his visits to Scotland on his RNLI trail, Jack says, ‘This will be mission nine of the project, taking in a section of the West Coast, including a couple of the islands. It will see me visiting and photographing Oban, Tobermory, Mallaig, Portree, Kyle of Lochalsh and Helensburgh lifeboat stations.image1-16 copy‘My sister and I were both born in Aberdeen and despite moving away at a relatively early age, we both feel a deep connection with Scotland and there’s always a sense of home coming when we return. My sister, Nina is now studying in Edinburgh and I’m really pleased that she has been able to join me on this leg of my journey.’This will be the first time The Lifeboat Station Project has visited Scotland and Oban will be the 50th station I’ve visited so far, some very significant milestones on my journey and a very important part of this project for me.’

image2-7 copyThe talented photographer has been a lifelong supporter of the charity, joining Storm Force [the RNLI’s club for children] at the age of eight and raising over £6,000 for charity by completing the Great North Run three years in a row. Photography has also been a strong passion of Jack’s, ever since he received a Kodak camera from his Grandma when he was nine.

He plans to photograph the views from each station along with the crew members. He will be using a Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that allows him to record images on glass. The project is predicted to take approximately five years to complete.

Jack began the first Scottish leg of his trip yesterday [15th April] at Oban RNLI Lifeboat Station; is in Tobermory today, 16 April; Mallaig on 20th April; Portree in Skye on 23rd April; Kyle of Lochalsh on 25th April; and finsihed by coming back to Argyll, to the Helensburgh RNLI station, on 27th April.

He’ll will be back in Scotland in June when he’ll be heading to RNLI lifeboat stations in the far North East, including Shetland and Orkney. He may be creating a unique collections of images he will also be the recipient of a unique collection of stories of challenging shouts, as he makes his way around every station in Britain.

His unique glass photographs are being developed in a decommissioned NHS ambulance, which he purchased on eBay and transformed into a mobile darkroom.

Jack says: ‘Some of the images I have captured so far have been regarded as mesmerising and have even rendered some crew members to tears’

We will all be able to check the confirmed times of the itinerary by following the link to the Project’s interactive Mission Map online here.

You can also follow the photographic mission here on the Project’s dedicated website.

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