London Jewish Cultural Centre honours ‘one of life’s good people’

Adrian Dell

Adrian Dell - Credit: Archant

A decade of portraits by photographer GP go on show

Sir Willard White

Sir Willard White - Credit: Archant

An exhibition of portraits will honour the work of an 82-year-old photographer who has been snapping celebrities for the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) for a decade.

Talented Dr Adrian Dell, described as “one of life’s good people”, has volunteered his time for the centre since it first took up residence in Ivy House 10 years ago.

Now staff are honouring his “generosity and talent” with an exhibition of his work as he recovers from treatment for prostate cancer.

Former GP Mr Dell, who has lived in Litchfield Way, Hampstead Garden Suburb, for 50 years, began photographing celebrity guests at the centre when he retired after 40 years service to the NHS in 2000.

Maureen Lipman

Maureen Lipman - Credit: Archant

He said: “I had always been interested in photography and taken family photographs but wanted to do more after retiring, now that I had the time.”

He joined the Hampstead Photographic Society to develop his hobby and started at the LJCC after seeing an advert in a newspaper, to which he was the only applicant.

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Mr Dell has since been on hand at more than 100 key events in the centre’s calendar to photograph celebrities such as actresses Maureen Lipman and Zoe Wanamaker, opera singer Willard White and has always volunteered his time for free.

The grandfather-of-three said: “I have enjoyed it so much. I have met such a wide variety of people who are interesting, warm-hearted and sometimes scary. It has been a privilege to be part of it.”

But he believes it is now “time to retire” after undergoing gruelling chemotherapy treatment.

“I have finished treatment and am now starting to get my strength back,” he said. “I am proof that there is life after cancer.”

LJCC chief executive, Louise Jacobs, said: “Adrian’s professionalism and the quality of his pictures have proved a real asset to the centre. We are very grateful for his continuing commitment and contribution.”

Marketing director Mandy King said: “He has so generously given us his time for 10 years. He is such a talented photographer and one of life’s good people. He is full of good grace, good temper and he is such a modest man with a huge amount of talent.”

Mr Dell was recently awarded Honorary Life Membership of the LJCC for his work, which has been displayed at the Hampstead Photographic Exhibition at Burgh House and at Swiss Cottage Library

A Decade of Guest Speakers, featuring 22 of his works, will be on show in the Ivy House Café at the LJCC until March 27. All of the photographs are available for sale.

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