The First Saturday in June

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The Epsom Derby?


If someone mentions the Epsom Derby and you're British, the image conjured up for many could be horse racing, summer dresses, top-hats, a day out and betting. Possibly the Queen, too, who we're told likes a flutter.

The Derby is much more than the Grandstand goers, in their morning dress and fancy hats or "toffs" as some might call them.


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There's the Punters' Derby - punters are what bookies or bookmakers call regular racegoers, which is made up of the toffs, plus tens of thousands of others. Who for one day, travel from all over England, flooding out of London to Epsom for a day out.

Punters come in many forms, from families, locals, post-code gangs, blokes on the razzle, social clubs and the occasional Hen and Stag do. You name it, and you'll see them there.

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Local painters<br />
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A grand day out<br />
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Very much a family affair.<br />
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There are really three types of Derby goers, the "Toffs", the "Punters" and the "Travellers".<br />
What follows is a collection of photos snapped over about 8 years, within the centre of the Derby course, where the fun-fair and the traveller community,  whose business it is, gather together.<br />
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Shot with a FujiFilm X-T2

There's another, not always seen, Derby, which is the traveling community.

Who typically arrive the week before and set-up their fun-fair of Dodgems, helter-skelters, Waltzers and all manner of G-force and sick-inducing rides - all with their own mega-watt deafening sound systems.

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Shot with a FujiFilm X-T2
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As part of their week, on the Saturday of the racing weekend, there is an impromptu pop-up market. Primarily for the traveling community, which sells all manner of goods, from baby clothes, high-heeled trainers, carpets, furry slippers, unique furniture and all sorts of stuff, wigs included! Most of it has to be seen to be believed! (scroll through and see for yourself)

Hot pants.<br />
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Syrups (wigs).<br />
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Logan, Sienna, Isabella and Mason.<br />
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Shot with a FujiFilm X-T2
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Shot with a FujiFilm X-T2
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Shot with a FujiFilm X-T2
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I live close to Epsom and have friends who live about 150 metres from Tattenham Corner, which is a bend on the racecourse. Every year without fail they host a garden party and BBQ for all ages, and it is a tradition for all who attend to pop across mid-afternoon to place a bet, watch the Derby race and have a mooch around.

For the last eight years or so, I've taken a decent smartphone and more recently a decent camera, either snapping from the hip or using some other subtle way to capture what I see.

You could also judge me for doing it, but my intention is to capture a community that passes through where I live, year after year.


Over time, I've observed the traveling community has a lot more in common than is different. With that said, when one is on the outside looking in, other groups and cultures are fascinating. It is this that catches my eye and feel compelled to capture.

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