David Darkin took his role as Llanelli Mayor very seriously.
I initially met David Darkin in August 2018 at the BBC interview of Stephen, who was one of the Men’s Sheds Cymru subjects for my ‘Sofa to Shed’ project. He had run over from his architect’s office in the middle of town to support Stephen and represent Llanelli town.
I was immediately impressed with David’s commitment to his role as town Mayor and his energy to sprint to the bowls club in the summer heat. Following this momentary meeting I investigated Mayor Darkin and began to appreciate how stalwart a community man he was and decided to create a short profile of his activities. Additional research revealed that amongst his listed activates were Mayor, Politician, campaigner, businessman, architect and origami and skateboarding man. In December of 2018 I sent David an email requesting an opportunity to photo-document him and received an immediate positive response. With the support of Janice in David’s office, I was able to produce a Shooting Schedule and commence work. My objective was to document as many of David’s Mayoral activities until his term concluded in May. However, my failing health forced me to curtail my project prematurely
During the four weeks that I was actively photographing Mayor Darkin I attended a variety of events that included business networking meetings (BNI), quiz nights, a Llanelli Task Force meeting, Fairtrade Llanelli, and a meeting with Baroness Chakrabarti and MP Nia Griffith, in addition to the Llanelli Marathon.
I suggested an evening shoot at his office during which time he talked about the history of the business, which his father, Byron set-up in 1996 upon retirement from the council. David now has a team of eight people. During the visit David showed me his latest acquisition, a 3D printer, which is currently being employed to produce face masks for NHS and the care industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
My photo-document of Mayor Darkin is intended to provide a snapshot of a very committed, energetic, community-minded man, who champions local businesses and Fairtrade Llanelli.