Henrietta Street: Fixtures & Fittings

One look at me is enough to realise that I’m not a person who voluntarily spends much time in the gym. However, when a regular client (Fighting Fit City Gym) re-brands as Henrietta Street Gym and moves to a specially-designed new premises and needs photos, I’m there.

Owner Neil Perkins had been keeping me up to date with the re-fit of this former industrial building in Brum’s Jewellery Quarter but I was still hugely impressed when I finally set foot in the gym a week or so after it’s launch. Neil and his architects have cut no corners and have managed to retain the building’s “heritage” feel while making it an inspiring and comfortably modern place to train.

Retaining and re-using some of the building’s character features (like old machinery, exposed brickwork and parts from the goods lift) and augmenting those with well-sourced suitably period furniture (like old theatre/cinema seating and historic pugilist artwork)  gives the gym the feeling of a film set.

Even the changing rooms and showers have been carefully planned and laid out with exposed pipework, reclaimed ceramic sinks but state-of-the-art shower fittings.

Even I, whose motto is “no pain…” (that’s it, just “no pain”) can feel a little inspired in a gym like this. Neil and his team have created what must be the most stylish boxing gym in the Midlands (at least!).

Back In The Box

Back of camera shot taken on iphone.

Back of camera shot taken on iphone.

One of the previously unforeseen benefits of my ongoing documentary project about Priory Park ABC has been that it brought me into contact with Neil Perkins and his team at Fighting Fit City Gym which is located conveniently close to Fotofilia.

Over the last couple of years I’ve covered quite a few of Neil’s “white collar” boxing events and was pleased to help provide some publicity images for the boxers taking part in Fighting Fit’s next big show – The Bill Meddings Memorial Cup which takes place at Birmingham’s Gatecrasher club on 21st September (and which I’ll be photographing from ringside as usual). This involved taking a few shots of each boxer (and groups of boxers) at the studio plus some “in training” shots back at the gym.

Chantelle Johal at Fotofilia

Chantelle Johal at Fotofilia

James Collins (left) and Joel Ducille (right)

James Collins (left) and Joel Ducille (right)

There was also the opportunity to shoot some toe-to-toe face-off moments. Usually, these were accompanied by a lot of laughing, and sometimes there was a palpable whiff of “needle” in the air.

Elliot Hill

Elliot Hill

This promises to be a fantastic night of boxing and I can’t wait to be there to capture it. To find out more, please see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fighting-Fit-City-Gym/37835833657?fref=ts or http://www.fightingfitcitygym.com/