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Armadale Victoria, Australia
DoneMon, Sep 1, 2014 8:00 AM GMT

The Fletch Collection

Neil Fletcher has always done things his own way. By the seat of his pants some might say. Indeed, he wasn't known in the photographic industry as 'The Colourful Mr Fletcher' for being the shy retiring type. A renowned joke-teller, incredibly generous, very open-minded and a marketing guru, his life has been no gentle ride. The word 'ride' here is very important to the story of Fletch because from a very early age his love of fast motor bikes and cars was evident. The 'potato-potato-potato' of a Harley Davidson or the 'vroom vroom' rev of an American muscle car was the music of his life, second only to his love of Elvis Presley! Born in Sydney's western suburbs to a working-class family, Fletch had high ambitions from an early age. He learnt his marketing skills while still at school when he bred homing pigeons and sold them to his schoolmates. Of course, the pigeons kept coming home so he was able to sell the same pigeons over and over again. His Mum's flyspray can was commandeered as the tool of trade when young Fletch picked up old pushbikes at the tip, spray-painted them and sold them for ten bob each. By the time he left school, he already knew how to make a quid. Fletch's passion as a teenager was photography and his brother and sister were constantly banging on the door of the bathroom which Fletch commandeered as his darkroom. As soon as he left school he was off to pursue his career in the industry and at fourteen took a job in the camera department at Anthony Horderns. He spent his lunch hours photographing the down-and-outs in the parks and on street corners throughout the city. His work began to be noticed and he was approached by well-known press photographer Ernie McQuillan and soon became his assistant. Fletch married young, at 20, and took a 'responsible' job at George's Camera Store as a salesman, working his way up to Manager. For eleven years he worked hard, never taking holidays. He was hungry for success.