A London vignette

Before crossing Marylebone Road on my way home on Friday afternoon I stopped at the traffic lights, and whilst waiting for the lights to go green, I don’t jump lights and anyway Marylebone Road is much too wide, I looked to my left. On my left was a large building which had been recently part renovated, part rebuilt. It’s one of those hybrid building, of old and new, and actually works. Camped outside this building were a phalanx of media people; press photographers, cameramen, journalists and others buzzing around. It was a real hive of activity!

I sat there, looking with a sort of vague interest, but just before the lights turned green I lifted my bicycle on to the pavement and continued looking for a few minutes, half-pulled to go and take a closer look. I knew why it was so busy. It was 1:30, and at 2:00 John Terry, of Chelsea and former England captain, would learn the judge’s verdict on the the racism case that had so delighted the tabloids, led to Fabio Capello’s ‘resignation’ and turmoil in the England squad just weeks before the European Championships, where they lost on penalties in the quarter-finals, as always. If you’re not familiar with the case you can always find it on the internet.

I had things to do though, which included going to Argos and cleaning the bathroom, so I got on my bike and with a last look at Westminster Magistrates Court, pedalled away. As I cycled I thought that it might be interesting to photograph the scene outside the court, and then that I could always photograph something similar another time. I pulled over to the kerb and thought.

‘Did I really want to go back?’ And then thought,’well one hour isn’t going to kill me or change anything’. So, having cycled for five minutes in the opposite direction I turned back. I got back at 1:45 and decided to produce a photo essay with my camera phone.

I locked my bike up, and with two panniers hanging precariously from each shoulder, pushed my way through the crowd.

Outside the court before the verdict announcement

I’ve  always found that newsworthy situations that attract the press also attract quite interesting members of the public. People that you would never know about or see otherwise,

A committed Chelsea fan

and who seem to blossom in these situations.

Standing on a traffic island he took quite a bit of abuse, w***er being the favourite term used, usually followed by a one-fingered salute or internationally recognisable hand movement.

However, he also had a supporter,

Possible Chelsea supporter

or two.

Another possible Chelsea supporter

As the clock ticked towards two o’clock,

Lost in thought

people waited anxiously for the verdict,

The media circus outside the court

and the press jostled for position.

‘Is he on the way?’
‘He’s on the way!’

Making ‘important’ calls.

Finally, the verdict reached the crowds..


Not guilty!

And some people just couldn’t believe it!

Whilst others were utterly relieved and celebrated with cheap pink bubbly.

It’s not champagne

Then out came the chief protagonist, John Terry,

John Terry

who walked with a fixed stare straight towards a waiting car,

The press pack

hotly pursued by the press.

After a few minutes Anton Ferdinand appeared,

Anton Ferdinand, top left

and was whisked through the crowd,

The press pack

also hotly pursued by the press.

Finally, John Terry’s unofficial defence team appeared,

Max and Penny

followed by the real one.

The defence team

The media interviewed fans,

Max being interviewed

who said all the right things.

People posed for photos.

Max and Penny

to send to their friends.

And the photographers filed their photos,

Filing photos

before moving on to another job.


If you are interested in using any of these images please contact me. All photographs copyright Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann. Any use requires authorisation. Thank you.

© Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann


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