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Photographer replicates snaps of pub he took back in 1980s

“Some of the pictures line up, and that’s really great – like the one of the old boys looking at the TV," he said.

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A black and white picture taken in 1983 in the Star & Garter pub on Hessle Road that shows manager Johnny Walker is held up to recreate the same scene on September 9, 2022 in the pub that is now officially renamed Rayners and managed by Rachel Ingram, in Hull.(Russell Boyce via SWNS)

By Douglas Whitbread via SWNS

A photographer who took black and white snaps of a pub in the 1980s recaptured his old images in similar scenes – nearly 40 years later.

Russell Boyce, 60, went to the Star & Garter pub in Hull, East Yorks., England every lunchtime as an art school student and used his 35mm camera to capture locals enjoying pints.

And 39 years later, after working as a snapper for news agency Reuters, he returned to his old haunt to recapture similar scenes - and reveal how life inside had changed.

Russell said the port city had been in “decline” during the 80s, and most of the people who frequented the bar were “retired old fishermen or those out of work.”

But he said locals, who at first “teased” him about his attempts to take pictures, had later largely ignored him, which allowed him to capture them intimately.

Now he revisited his former haunt in 2022 to capture his former photos of the "friendly old boys" in the same position they were taken in 1983.

A black and white picture from the 80s held up to recreate the same scene in September 2022 in the pub that is now renamed Rayners. (Russell Boyce via SWNS)
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His striking images contrast the black and white original scenes with the modern day color setting - and make it appear the regulars have returned for another pint.

“I quite like the idea of these old boys appearing in the pub for another pint – another crafty beer in the afternoon. It’s slightly ghostly, but that was the intention," Russell said.

“It does pop you back into the past – especially with these blokes looming out at you.

“My passion is telling stories. I love people, I love pictures and I love the stories that surround them.

“Re-visiting this wasn’t so much looking backwards but actually trying to bring the past forwards.”

Russell, originally from London, went to art school in Hull in 1983, and during this time, he frequented the Star & Garter pub on Hessle Road, now called the Rayners.

“I lived round the corner. Hessle Road was where the whole fishing industry was, but basically, it had been devastated," he said.

“When I was there, they were tearing down all the Victorian housing, and the industry was disappearing.

“I used to go there in my lunchtime, and when I first went in, I asked the landlord if I could take pictures."

Russell Boyce in the 1980's. (Russell Boyce via SWNS).

Russell said the men who frequented the boozer initially teased him, but after a few visits, they forgot he was there and let him get on with his work.

“The old boys were of course a bit like, 'What are you doing here, you bl**dy southerner,'" he said.

“At first they joked and teased me, but then they ignored me – and that was great.

"Then I could stand really close to them and it was like I was invisible. They were really nice. I gave them prints, and they liked it – and it just grew and grew.

He added: “The landlord would always pour me a pint, but I would take a couple of sips from it, take a picture and look around, and it would disappear every single day.

“There was a lot of unemployment there, a lot of poverty, but there was still a very warm feeling."

Russell said when he returned to take the pictures over a few visits this year, he was amazed that some parts of the pub hadn’t changed a bit.

“Some of the pictures line up, and that’s really great – like the one of the old boys looking at the TV," he said.

Russell Boyce today. (Russell Boyce via SWNS)

“In the 80s, the pubs were completely filled with smoke, so the light was quite diffuse and smoky. But I would hold the picture up, and then I went: “Oh my god – there it is!"

"The Initial pictures were all shot on film, and the new pictures I took were all on digital.”

Russell said the pub’s current inhabitants had also shared a keen interest in his photography, but they were now more wary about where the images would end up.

“People were immediately interested in what you were doing," he said.

“Back in the 80s, there was no internet or Facebook, so people would ask 'What are you going to do with that?' And the answer would be 'probably nothing.'

“But now they ask, 'Is it going to be on Facebook, Instagram.' People are so used to instant distribution now that they’re suspicious of it.

“But they liked it, especially when you showed them the old pictures.”

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