Meet the 80-year-old model from Lancashire who is happier than ever
Written by Skywave Radio News on July 19, 2020
An 80-year-old former joiner is making an impression in a new industry later in hsi life.
Harry Mountain, 80, from Chorley, turned to modelling two years ago after being roped into a photo shoot by his friend Brian Sandham.
Having spent years as a keen photographer, Harry stepped in front of the camera in 2018, as part of a Peaky Blinders themed photoshoot.
Now he is wanted all over the country and could feature as an extra in two movies being filmed in Liverpool and Blackpool.
Harry told LancsLive that he couldn’t be happier.
“I’m just really enjoying it,” hesaid.
“I’ve never been recognised before but now everywhere I go people seem to know me but I don’t let it get to my head.
“I’ve been asked to go all over, Liverpool, Manchester, across to Leeds, no one wanted me when I was younger and good looking but they do now.
“It keeps me going, it gives me things to think about. I just look forward to people asking me to model.”
Harry worked as a joiner for 30 years, even setting up his own firm.
He retired in 1992, rented out his home in Lancashire and left to live in Spain for six years.
In 1998 he returned and went back to joinery before retiring for the second time and deciding to delve into some hobbies.
Harry said: “I got into photography, I did my son’s wedding photographs and I’ve done a few more weddings here and there.
“I love taking photos and I had my own studio back in the day. I joined a camera club; Preston Photography Society.
“One of the members, Brian Sandham, had his own studio, and we used to go there and do photo shoots every Wednesday and he would get models down for us.
“We would go to Steam Punk events and Peaky Blinders events and take photos as well.”
It was during a Peaky Blinders photo shoot that Harry took his first foray into modelling.
The models were one down and Harry was encouraged to get into the cap, jacket and Tommy Gun of the 1920a gangsters.
“My mate said I was ringer for them,” said Harry.
“I’d never done it before but I enjoyed it so much. We got together some fliers and sent them out to some camera clubs.”
Harry was in high demand and soon had a great portfolio together, bursting with his modelling exploits.
In his time he has been a Viking, a Victorian gentleman, a mad scientist, a boxer and much more.
Harry said: “I had a great big moustache when I did the Peaky Blinders but I’ve grown a beard during lockdown, it’s like I’m a new character.
“I’ve been a cowboy, a Viking, a scientist, I’ll do whatever they want, I don’t care. I go to car boot sales all the time to get my costumes and props.
“I got an old fur coat the other day and cut off the sleeves for my Viking costume.
“But out of all of them the Peaky Blinders one was my favourite.”
Harry’s projects have been postponed due to lockdown but the 80-year-old is keeping himself busy.
He is a keen painter with a passion for water colour and spends the rest of his time reading or editing his latest photos.
Even though COVID-19 has put a stop to things he has great ambitions for his future.
“I joined Casting Collective to get some extra work and I was supposed to be part of a film in Liverpool before lockdown,” said Harry.
“I would love to get into films, I just hope that the extra people give me a ring back.
“I would love to keep going.”
Harry has shared some of his top tips for being a model and says that the key is to be as flexible as possible.
He said: “If you want to do it, do it, I’m 80 and I’m still doing it.
“You’ve got to be willing to do whatever they want, I’ve been a photographer so I understand what photographers want.
“I’ll do anything, they say hang off this ladder Harry, crouch down in the dirt, do this, do that, I don’t mind, I’ll do it.”
You can follow Harry Mountain on his Instagram account.