The Leas School,  Hoylake

Photographer: Michael Tomkinson

contributed by Adrian Stevenson

from Liverpool Echo, 23 April 1955

... the recognised way to the top is to be in the right place at the right time, and if possible before anyone else. When 13-years-old Michael Tomkinson, of Braeside, Prenton Lane, Birkenhead, heard a crash in the road outside his house, he made first for his camera, and then for the front gate.

He was rewarded by a dramatic photograph of a car which had been in collision with another, and burst into flames—a picture which, as the result of another piece of quick thinking, he had the satisfaction of seeing in the Echo not many hours later.

"That day," said Mrs. Tomkinson, " he was quite determined that he was going to be a Press photographer." Michael has been thinking it over, however, and is now not so sure he wants to commit himself yet about his career. But he is extremely keen on photography, and has been since his mother gave him a small box camera three years ago. Now he has a much more impressive folding camera.

Michael's chief needs are an enlarger and a dark room. With them he thinks he would enter for photographic competitions. As it is he can use his school dark room and enlarger at The Leas School, Hoylake, in the summer. Last year, he came first in the school competition for owners of folding cameras.

Yet, photography is only one of a host of interests for Michael, which is no doubt why this business of choosing a career is so difficult. "Science is my joy," he says, and he laments the fact that, because he needs Classics to get a scholarship, he can't give up Greek and take extra science.

He is a Scout, and last night was away on the two-day hike for his firstclass badge. Photography, science, scouting (and Greek); "Oh, and then there's sailing," added Michael, "I've got a boat of my own." There seem to be several ways to the top there.

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