Photographer, 77, captures weekly visits from delivery riders

Pedal Me riders Roy and Piab

Pedal Me riders Roy and Piab - Credit: Ella Cottrell

A 77-year-old from Crouch End has pursued her love of photography while shielding by snapping delivery riders on their weekly visits.

Ella Cottrell photographs riders from the eco delivery company Pedal Me when they drop off her weekly order of bread and supplies from Crouch End’s Dunn’s Bakery. 

Before the pandemic, Ella enjoyed photographing people in the street, but since having to shield in March, she came up with the idea to combat loneliness.

Ella said: “The pandemic is a horrendous thing in the world but this has brought joy into my life. I love it.

“These gorgeous people from Pedal Me are a bunch of bright young things and this has been a godsend for me because I like being creative”.

Photographer Ella Cottrell

Photographer Ella Cottrell - Credit: Ella Cottrell

Ella joked that the riders are now competing with one another to see who can come up with the most original pose, which she posts on her Instagram account.


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Ella is a self-published author who previously worked as a props buyer and stylist in the film industry. 

She became interested in photography in the 1970s.

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“I used to take pictures of punks in the ‘70s in Carnaby Street”, she said. 

Pedal Me rider Elouise 

Pedal Me rider Elouise - Credit: Ella Cottrell

Last week, Ella met Pedal Me’s co-founder and CEO Ben Knowles whilst he was delivering her supplies. 

He had previously heard about her photography project through his teammates.

Ben said: “I really like it. Ella obviously enjoys us coming and it’s nice for the staff to feel appreciated.

“It gives us a bit of encouragement as well.”

Pedal Me has been operating since 2017 and is now delivering to those who are sick, shielding or vulnerable due to Covid-19. 

Pedal Me co-founder Ben Knowles

Pedal Me co-founder Ben Knowles - Credit: Ella Cottrell

Ben admitted that during such a difficult and uncertain time, the team has benefitted from their meetings with customers like Ella.

“As the boss, you can get caught up in the stress but you forget how much joy it brings to everyone”, he said.

“We completely understand the importance of those little conversations on the doorstep.” 

When restrictions ease, Ella’s daughter Zeta MacDonald, 48, hopes to enter her mother’s photographs to be displayed at the newly renovated Hornsey Library.

To see the full collection, visit Ella’s Instagram page at @therealellacottrell

Pedal Me rider Hannah

Pedal Me rider Hannah - Credit: Ella Cottrell

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