Young Abbey Wood photographer captures area at its best - and worst

News Shopper: Robbie with his DSLR camera. Robbie with his DSLR camera.

An apparent heroin user cooks up in the stairwell of a block of flats, oblivious to the world around him.

Little does he know an eagle-eyed teenager with a camera phone is just metres away, watching him as he prepares to shoot up in a public place.

Nowadays Robbie Gunn has a £470 Canon 600D DSLR but back then he had to make do with the mobile phone in his pocket.

News Shopper:

This apparent heroin user was caught on camera. 

The 18-year-old’s family all chipped in one Christmas and he hasn’t looked back since.

He told News Shopper: "Whenever something happened I kind of wanted to capture the moment and portray a message.

"I don’t want people to react by saying ‘look at this druggie, they should just kill him’.

News Shopper:

Robbie with Harriet Koroma, 17.

"I want them to have some compassion and sympathy for them because that’s what I feel."

Robbie, who lives in Hinskey Path, Abbey Wood, has spent the last few years documenting the lives of those who live in the surrounding area, including Thamesmead. 

He said: "I like the area and a lot of people are genuinely nice people but so many of them grew up in bad circumstances with a lack of opportunities.

News Shopper:

Robbie's sister Danielle with the family dog Bella. 

"Quite a lot of people don’t have the motivation to better themselves and get a decent job because they don’t see the opportunities or have the finances to do what they want to do.

"Some of my pictures show the problems the area has.

"They aren’t really getting solved and things are pretty bad at the moment and the people who do drugs really need help."

News Shopper:

It is not all doom and gloom though as there are moments of beauty, like where Robbie’s sister Danielle, 16, strolls across a railway footbridge with the family dog Bella, or the light reflects eerily off floodwater behind a bench.

The pictures’ author, who has just finished a B.Tech in Media at Bexley Business Academy, said: "I would like to move out if I’m lucky enough to get a well paid job.

"But I’ll always come back to see what’s going on."

Follow Robbie on Twitter @Robstar61

Comments (5)

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4:50pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Ed4001 says...

Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this.

I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake.
Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this. I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake. Ed4001
  • Score: 6

5:46pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Gingerbabs says...

Pictures are good but to be honest, they show Thamesmead at its worst. Thamesmead is a great place to live and I am happy to say I live there.
Pictures are good but to be honest, they show Thamesmead at its worst. Thamesmead is a great place to live and I am happy to say I live there. Gingerbabs
  • Score: 27

7:04pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Joelo says...

Ed4001 wrote:
Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this.

I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake.
Trouble is that Hinksey Path and most of south Thamesmead are in SE2 which is Abbey Woods post code. There's always confusion
[quote][p][bold]Ed4001[/bold] wrote: Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this. I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake.[/p][/quote]Trouble is that Hinksey Path and most of south Thamesmead are in SE2 which is Abbey Woods post code. There's always confusion Joelo
  • Score: 7

9:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

allday says...

Does it matter where Hinskey Path is? And if it is in Timbuktu - the point of this story is this young man and his photos. I like the pictures, so keep up the good work!
Does it matter where Hinskey Path is? And if it is in Timbuktu - the point of this story is this young man and his photos. I like the pictures, so keep up the good work! allday
  • Score: 11

1:19am Tue 8 Jul 14

Ed4001 says...

Joelo wrote:
Ed4001 wrote:
Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this.

I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake.
Trouble is that Hinksey Path and most of south Thamesmead are in SE2 which is Abbey Woods post code. There's always confusion
Maybe if its a national paper and they know absolutely nothing about the area (but almost everyone's seen Clockwork Orange & misfits and knows what Thamesmead looks like as its pretty infamous) but the local paper should. Thamesmead is pretty distinct in appearance.
[quote][p][bold]Joelo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ed4001[/bold] wrote: Hinskey Path is in Thamesmead not Abbey Wood. It's in the most obvious part of Thamesmead too - the concrete 60s bit. A local paper should know this. I think the owners of that part of Thamesmead (peabody homes) may be trying to re-brand it and avoid the name with crossrail coming. Maybe that's what's happened here if they put out a press release or maybe just an innocent mistake.[/p][/quote]Trouble is that Hinksey Path and most of south Thamesmead are in SE2 which is Abbey Woods post code. There's always confusion[/p][/quote]Maybe if its a national paper and they know absolutely nothing about the area (but almost everyone's seen Clockwork Orange & misfits and knows what Thamesmead looks like as its pretty infamous) but the local paper should. Thamesmead is pretty distinct in appearance. Ed4001
  • Score: 11
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