Since 1985 I have been documenting the beach landscapes and tourists of Newquay, Cornwall. The photographs began when I was staying with friends during the Whitsun holidays. During the day, while they were working, I wandered around the clifftops and beaches with an old twin lens reflex camera I had bought for £40. I found myself revisting familiar spots remembered from early childhood holidays. We would travel overnight from Derby to Newquay by train and then in later years by car, driving on A roads so my Father could avoid motorways, arriving in the early morning and eager to be on the beach.


Newquay was also where my Father's family had first lived in England; arriving as Polish refugees after the Second World War. A Polish community had been established at St Mawgan Airforce Base nearby. My Father worked as a waiter in several local hotels before moving to Derby where he met my Mother.


Freak wave on Tolcarne Beach 1968 - photograph by Czeslaw Nadolski

Me aged three on Tolcarne Beach - photographed by my Father  Czeslaw Nadolski

In a sense, when I began, I was photographing not only the present but also the past as my memories were guiding where and what I photographed. Our earliest holidays had been recorded by my Father on slide film. These colour-rich slides would then be projected, larger than life, in our darkened living room in the suburbs of Derby during the winter months. Viewed again and again over many years, these pictures became my memories.


From the very beginning I was determined to try and avoid ridiculing tourists in my photographs, that would have been too easy. After all, I was a tourist and am I really any different now? For me the beach has begun to resemble a stage set and I am just an observer of the myriad of stories played out upon it. I watch. I am a tourist.



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