There is a bench opposite the pharmacy in the middle of Hay-on-Wye. It's a pretty unremarkable bench, next to a bin, in the shade most of the day. For months during lockdown, it was a deserted bench.   

 

When lockdown restrictions began to ease in April 2021, and Hay went from being a ghost town to regaining its spirit, it became a busy bench. 

 

The first couple of photos I took were families, one from Coventry and one from London. I was attracted by their fabulous colours and styles. These two set me off on the whole series, which turned into this book. 

 

Every time I walked past the bench I would look to see who was there, using whatever I had on me at the time - my phone, my Canon 5D or my little Sony mirrorless camera.

 

Locals and tourists alike were drawn to the bench, with or without their dogs, to eat ice creams, play the guitar, read, or just watch the world go by. 

 

It's been a really fun project. A great excuse to talk to some lovely people, and to shine a spotlight on a tiny corner of the town that I've never really noticed before.  

THE BENCH by Billie Charity

£8.00Price