Photographer’s project is to capture faces of village

Rob Warde
Rob Warde

A BILLINGSHURST amateur photographer has started a project to photograph and profile people from the village.

Rob Warde, 43, of Penfold Gardens has lived there for eight years and decided to create ‘The Faces of Billingshurst’ after seeing a similar project in Detroit, America.

Noah Stevens started ‘The People of Detroit’ as a way to promote the city after the decline of the automotive industry there.

Talking to the CountyTimes Rob said: “I admired Noah’s enthusiasm for the city he lived in. He really loved Detroit and always manages to find some very interesting people to interview.”

So far Rob has interviewed 16 people, with more lined up in the coming months.

There has been a mixed reaction from the public, with some interested in taking part but others wondering what the catch is.

The project is free to take part in and there is no commercial benefit, said Rob.

“It’s a hobby. If I can help people along the way then it’s a win-win situation.”

Rob is eager to get local organisations, charities and volunteers involved in the project to highlight what they do.

He said: “I’m keen to do what I can to promote local organisations that are run by volunteers for the local community.

“I want to try and give something back. My job doesn’t allow a lot of free time so this is one way of helping.”

A full time computer programmer, Rob took up photography four years ago as a hobby, wanting to do ‘something different for a change’.

He commented that he had met more people in the past year while doing the project than he had in the preceding seven living in the village.

“It’s very interesting meeting people you see around the village. Your perception changes when you get to know them. I like to think I’m also made some friends,” he said.

He added that the project was not limited to Billingshurst. Rob would also like to hear from people from Barns Green, Five Oaks, Ifold, Kirdford, Wisborough Green, Slinfold and Plaistow.

To look at the project visit the website: