In 1965 he returned to England and took photographs of festivals (formal and informal) and English culture and customs, seeing it from an eye that was partly English but altered by his 5 years in America. This was collected and published (posthumously) under the title ‘;A Day Off – An English Journal’.
When I first looked at Ray-Jones work I was not sure how to take it. Many of the scenes are evocative of my childhood, as I lived on the South Coast, near Brighton. (and we had a Butlins's).
|Butlin's Holiday Camp, Clacton-in-Sea. c.1968 - Tony Ray-Jones|
Initially I found the images cruel and stark (much as I had originally seen the images of Diane Arbus), but as I examined them further I found that many had a quite gentle humour and reflected the quirky nature of the English on holiday and at leisure well.
|Glyndebourne, 1967. Tony Ray-Jones|
|Clacton-on-Sea. 1967. Tony Ray-Jones|
|Boarding House, Newqyay. 1968. Tony Ray-Jones.|