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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Graham moves on from Corus with a shot at photography
Graham Ward
Corus electrician Graham Ward is building a life after Corus

A lifelong Corus worker is showing there is life after Teesside steel by starting his own photography business.

Graham Ward, from Guisborough, set the company up when the first signs appeared that Teesside Cast Products was in trouble.

Since then his work has been exhibited across the Tees Valley and he has launched a range of greetings cards.

He said: "It began as a hobby but it's much more than that now. I'm really pleased with how things are going."

I'm sad and disappointed to see the works go. It's a big part of Teesside
Graham Ward

Steel sadness

Graham, a father of twins, began his life as a steelworks electrician 22 years ago.

He said: "I walked through the gates as a 17-year-old apprentice. It was pretty daunting, but I did think I'd be there forever.

"There was always talk it was going to shut but I didn't believe it. I am sad and disappointed at what's happened, not just for me but to see the works go, it's a big part of Teesside."

Last May, as it became clear the future of Teesside Cast Products was in doubt, Graham set the photography business up.

Since then, he has been juggling his work at Corus with fatherhood and the demands of being your own boss.

Valley of contrasts

He said: "It's very difficult. I've been on shifts at Corus which has helped, but there's a lot to do.

"I'm out for early mornings and late nights and busy preparing for exhibitions. It's very rewarding though and I couldn't be happier with the way it's gone so far."

Graham said the Tees Valley is a great place to work as a photographer:

You've got to go for it. As soon as I started I wished I'd done this ten years ago
Graham Ward

"There's so many contrasts, from the coast across the moors," he said. "I'm really into the landscapes, early mornings and sunsets, and it's fantastic here for that.

"I sell individual prints, framed prints, limited edition prints, my work is displayed all over the local area. There's exhibitions every month of the year.

Life continues

"It's given me something to concentrate on other than Corus, it's taken my mind off what's been going on there.

"If I can give any inspiration to other colleagues to get out there and do their own thing that'd be great.

"You've got to go for it. As soon as I started I knew this was what I wanted to do and wished I'd done it ten years ago.

"Corus is a big loss and it's going to have a devastating effect. But there is life after it."

Graham's new life through a lens
24 Feb 10 |  People & Places
Steel firm Corus cuts 3,500 jobs
26 Jan 09 |  Business
Corus closes two Midlands plants
26 Jan 09 |  West Midlands



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