A unique look at life in Darlington and the west of County Durham in the 1960s as far-reaching change hit mines, shops, factories and communities. Previously unpublished photographs show what it meant for people living in this complex county – images which combine hauntingly beautiful scenes with sharp reminders of the human cost as old certainties were swept away and the continuing search for new directions took its hesitating course.
Packed with fascinating details, the book will bring waves of nostalgia to those who knew Britain’s industrial areas in the 1960s. It also analyses some of the wider forces at work, not just in West Durham, but in many other parts of Britain’s industrial heartland. Above all, the photographs stand out, capturing the faces and textures in villages enduring ‘managed decline’ and factories no longer competitive with Germany or Japan. However, local people still marched behind the traditional banners and brass bands, and watched the new motorways and public buildings appear, sometimes admiring, mostly just getting on with daily life.
Richard Gaunt was born in Lancashire and grew up in Darlington. He attended QEGS Darlington and Corpus Christi College Cambridge with a working life covering the steel, construction and chemicals industries as well as local government, and more than twenty years as a director of a research consultancy. Gaunt is an accomplished photographer – his work has appeared in The Guardian, Steam Railway, and in two books of photographs of steam engines from the 1960s. He lives in Cardiff with his wife Elizabeth.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Extent: 160 pages
Illustrations: 258 black-and-white photographs