Three’s a Crowd

Marie Graham, Eve Law and Nicola Taylor

Three always is a nice crowd when it's made up of MARIE GRAHAM, standing, blonde EVE LAW kneeling on the left and NICOLA TAYLOR on the right.

 The girls got together in a young wives' Club P.T. session, designed to keep one's shape shapely, and we snaked along and sneaked our photographer in to make a record of the proceedings.

 It was fun, really, and being really hospitable they gave him tea when he'd snapped his final shot.

Nicola Taylor

Sugar

We’ll take two lumps. NICOLA TAYLOR makes a lovely cup of hot char, and that's not all. She also has lovely legs and in her mini-dress makes just about the prettiest picture around the house you would wish for.

Of course, if you’re about eighty you probably still conjure up pictures of Mistinguette when you think about legs. You're very welcome, but we'll stand by Nicola.

Ken Howard - Interview (1982)

Ken Howard - The Glamour Book Interview.

This is of interest to some more than others I know, and some of you may have seen it before, but I was certainly not aware of it. I would like to thank Max for sharing and passing it on. At the time of the interview, I reckon Ken would have been about 49 years old, as this is a good few years after the demise of Town and Country Publications.

During the interview, Ken refers to a Spick and Span set that was taken with a local girl falling off a bike in a country lane. I thought that sounded familiar. - check out Nicola Taylor,  Spick No 169 - December 1969 (Can you see Ken’s marker stone in picture 4?)

I have not reproduced the whole interview here, as it is quite long. Just the introduction and the first two sections. The full interview is placed at the bottom of the Ken Howard page (The Glamour Book Interview)

"The Glamour Book" (1982) - BFP Books - ISBN 0 907297 

Introduction

Like many keen photographers, Ken Howard works in an office from Monday to Friday. But on Saturdays, at his bungalow in Bournemouth, the lounge becomes a studio.

Glamorous girls travel up to a hundred miles to the quiet housing estate, where they are photographed by one of Britain's most successful “amateur” glamour photographers.

Despite the disadvantages of working as a part-time freelance, Ken Howard has managed to find a regular market for his work. Photographs taken in his home studio have appeared on the covers of Amateur Photographer and Practical Photography, and have been used in national newspapers and foreign magazines. During the last twenty years, Ken Howard has proved that it is possible to break into some of the major glamour markets without being based in London, and without becoming a full-time professional.

The Beginning

It was in 1951, on a boat to Malaya, that I first became interested in photography. I was a regular serviceman - one of the idiots that signed on!

An Ensign Ful-Vue was my first camera, soon followed by an Agfa Isolette. I found out all about developing and printing films in the RAF station photographic section as a sort of hobby.

Ken Howard - Home Studio

This hobby continued after I left the services. At first, I could only make contact prints from the roll-film negatives, but persistent hints finally produced the much-needed enlarger as a present one Christmas.

Early subjects were the usual family snaps and landscapes. People liked the sort of work I was doing, though, and I soon started receiving requests from neighbors to photograph their babies and kids.

From these beginnings, I progressed to photographing girls from the typing pool at work I am not too sure of the connection. I just fancied women, I suppose!

So far, all my indoor pictures had been taken with a single Photoflood Bulb in a small Photax reflector. This was fitted with a clip, so that it could be attached to the back of a chair, or shelf.

Something a little more professional was obviously called for, so I found two large tins, stuck a pole in each and filled them with concrete. Then I bought another clip-on reflector to go with these new lighting stands.

One of my very first glamour sessions was on a Photo News Weekly outing to Hastings. We had great times on the beach, though you took pot luck with the weather.

I submitted some of my beach shots to Photo News Weekly shortly after - and one of them was published.

It was this success which encouraged me to answer an advertisement in Photo News Weekly. "Photographer by the sea," ran the heading. ‘Would you like to be the staff photographer on a woman's magazine?"

My application was successful and I moved down to Bournemouth early in 1960.

Miss World and Magazines

Within a couple of weeks of joining the magazine, I had a row with the editor about covering a local beauty contest.
‘You’re a woman’s magazine,” I argued. "If a local girl wins, it's good publicity. Why are you haggling about it?"

In the end, the editor agreed. “But don't make a meal of if" he warned.

Ann Sidney - 1979

It was at this contest that I first met Ann Sidney, who went on to become Miss World!

But things were not going so well for the magazine. One day, I got a call from the editor. "Howard, you are a luxury I can no longer afford," he said. “Go out and get yourself a job. When I've got more money, I might take you back”

So, it was back to office work. But at least I now had a few contacts. I continued to photograph Ann Sidney, and she was the subject of my first cover success with Amateur Photographer.

However, when Ann won the Miss World title, I lost my model. But quite a lot of my work had been published by now and was getting known. I actually had girls coming and asking me to photograph them!

By today’s standard, my photography sessions with Ann Sidney would hardly qualify for the glamour label, there were no topless shots. But a new model agency opened in Bournemouth and I hired two or three of the girls, submitting the pictures to magazines such as Parade.

Then I started having some success with Spick, Span and Beautiful Britons publica­tions. I received commissions from them nearly every week - the old stockings and suspender stuff mostly.

Every commission came with a shooting script. This was fine to a point, though it became a bit of a bore after a while.

But the shooting sessions could always be relied on to liven up the area. I remember one where I was photographing a local beauty queen riding a bike.

The first part went as planned. I put a small stone down on the road so that there was something for me to focus the camera on. Then I told her to ride slowly by with her right foot on the handle bars and the left foot down on the pedals. She had to show her briefs, you see. And as she passed over the small stone, I pressed the shutter release to capture the picture.

Then we came to the last shot, where it had to look as if she had fallen off the bike. She sat on the road and I lowered the bike on top of her. She lay spread-eagled, showing all she had got. And just as I was about to take a picture, a tractor and trailer with a load of hay came around the corner of the country lane. So, I had to lift the bike up and drag her to her feet. We stood there on the side of the road while he drove past very slowly, staring at us as if we were something off another planet - he just could not believe what he had seen.

He kept looking and looking - until he drove straight into a ditch - tractor, trailer, hay and all!

I put the girl back on the ground, took the final picture and then cleared off home as quickly as possible.

Originally, very few of these magazines featured nude or topless models. It was mostly glimpses of underwear, which quickened the pulses of purchasers.

Then a new type of magazine started to appear - and the girls they featured were definitely not wearing briefs and bra. Or much else!

Some of the magazines I was working for felt they had to offer their customers a little more, but I decided I did not want to get involved some of the requests were bordering on pornography and I did not want my girls getting into that kind of work.

Ken Howard Page

Nicola Taylor

Design For A Garden

If you don’t care about your garden and any old design will do, you can fill it with broken furniture and call it what you like. Funny thing is, people might fall over themselves to see it and then go away with the dazed look of those who have just seen the ultimate in horticultural architecture.

But if you care genuinely all you need to obtain to complete a garden design that will fill the beholder with delight is a garden seat containing NICOLA TAYLOR. For our money that’s the ultimate.

Nicola Taylor and Joanna Young

Peaches and Pairs

Two peaches make an adorable pair. Especially two peaches like NICOLA TAYLOR and JOANNA YOUNG, happy housewives of Bournemouth who still believe in the mini. From left to right, Nicola is the first peach, Joanna the second.

First Peach:  "I don't know what I'm going to do if the midi does take over. It'll cost me a fortune."

Second Peach: "Me too. And the bus conductors are going to be ever so gloomy."

First Peach:  "Especially the one on the No. 42. He hasn't looked at my face for ages."

Second Peach: "Nor mine. When I came down the stairs.”

First Peach:  Yesterday he said he liked me best in the frilly pink ones I was wearing the day before."  "Well, when Mary Pipkin came down the stairs last week he rang the bell six times and fell off the bus."

Second Peach: "Isn't he a giggle?"

First Peach: "You mean goggle, darling."

Second Peach: "Don't look now but here comes the park-keeper wearing his binoculars."

Nicola Taylor

Pick-Me-Up

You can be the most indispensable secretary to the busiest tycoon in Black Boulder Falls or Little Twittering, but you can’t keep at it indefinitely. Sometime you’ve got to put the lid on the typewriter and go in for a bit of rollicking fun.

Like letting off a firework in a room full of transcendental meditators or taking a ride on a recalcitrant bicycle. NICOLA TAYLOR chose the latter. She went spinning down the garden path, through the gate, down the lane and up the hill.

Then there was a crunch, a clatter and an “Ouch!”

Oh well, it’s all part of a pick-me-up.

Nicola Taylor

Better and Better

Some models go off and get married, others get new jobs abroad and don't come back, and a few give everything up in favour of farming.

A very select minority keep at it and get better and better.

Like NICOLA TAYLOR, an always beautiful Hampshire model. Nicola gets better and better all the time. Don’t ask us how she does it so that you can pass the hints on to your wives or girlfriends, as it must be Nicola's own secret and probably wouldn't work with Nellie, anyway.

Now that summer's here you'll frequently find Nicola sunning herself on a beach at Bournemouth and getting a lovely golden tan nearly all over.