It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

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It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:36 pm

North faces: John Bulmer's photographs of life in northern England

It was the early 1960s when photojournalist John Bulmer set out to document life in the bleak industrial centres of the north of England. A pioneer of colour photography, Bulmer captured the north it in all its variety and beauty.

The Guardian's northern editor, Martin Wainwright, introduces this unique body of work.


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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:38 pm


The Black Country 1960- JB.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:39 pm


The Black Country 1960- JB.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:41 pm


Nelson, Lancashire 1960- JB.

As the mills closed, many of Nelson's young people moved away, leaving large numbers of middle-aged unemployed people. A woman, still wearing her traditional wooden mill clogs while cleaning a gate post, captures the pride that many older residents still had in the town

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:44 pm


Hartlepool 1961- JB.

This photograph shows unemployed labourer and father of seven William Lowery surrounded by his family. Their weekly household income in that year was less than 30 shillings each (£1.50).

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:48 pm


Hartlepool 1961- JB.

Men return home after collecting coal washed up on the local coastline. After the closure of its steel works in 1961, Hartlepool had the nation’s highest number of unemployed people.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:51 pm


Yorkshire 1965- JB.

Women, such as these in Leeds, attempt to add character and colour to the dreary exteriors of their houses by sandstoning the doorsteps and wax-polishing the window sills. '"She keeps a lovely front" is the accolade for a houseproud woman’ – the Sunday Times magazine, March 1965.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:56 pm


Yorkshire 1965- JB.

Keeping up appearances: northern factory girls, like these mill girls in Elland, are rarely self-conscious about wearing rollers; it helps to keep their hair firmly beneath their scarves and out of reach of the mill machines.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:00 pm


Durham 1965- JB.

Pit ponies at Waldridge colliery at the start of their shift. In 1965 the Sunday Times magazine wrote: ‘The Coal Board, sensitive to criticism from animal lovers, ensures that the ponies are well cared for ... Conditions are so improved that the Pit Pony Protection Society now has little to do but urge the Coal Board to give every pony a surface holiday once a year and hurry its mechanisation to free the ponies completely’ .

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:03 pm


Durham 1965- JB.

Miners at the end of their shift at Dawdon colliery. This was one of a series of photographs that Bulmer took for the Sunday Times magazine’s special issue on the north (March 1965) .

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:06 pm


Manchester 1977- JB.

For Bulmer’s last assignment in the north of England, Geo magazine wanted images that showed a new, vibrant Manchester. This series of photographs was not well received at the time, but is regarded today an important social documentary.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:10 pm


Manchester 1977-JB.

This photograph was taken a year after Harold Wilson’s resignation. After serving two terms as prime minister at a time of economic crisis, he had come to be regarded as a champion of the working classes. But his handling of an official strike by the Seamen’s Union, together with his economic measures, changed the opinion of many.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:13 pm


Manchester 1977- JB.

This image of a hunched-up, elderly man resting in front of a clinic for sportsmen captures a poignant irony.

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Re: It's grim oop north; John Bulmer's photos of northern England in the 1960's

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:25 pm

^

All of which goes a long way towards explaining the 1960's British Blues boom and made Beatlemania both necessary and probably inevitable.

In the (very good) Who biographical CD "Amazing Journey", Roger Daltry- safely esconced in the relative working class affluence of London's Shepherd's Bush- remembers his childhood as monochrome.

In the same CD, his manager offers an anecdote of the War years in which his mother attempts to collect her Merchant Seaman husband's weekly pay and is told "Sorry, Mrs Stamp, his ship was torpedoed two days ago- no money".

Post WWII British working-class youth weren't slaves, but the appeal of black music isn't hard to comprehend.



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