For the first time, an iconic collection of photographs which reveal the appalling housing conditions of the late 1960s are going on display in Manchester.
The shocking photographs, which were taken for Shelter, will be on show at a free exhibition to mark the housing charity’s 50th anniversary at The Engine House, 3 Cambridge Street from the 15th – 18th September.
Taken by documentary photographer Nick Hedges, these powerful images offer a rare insight into life in Britain’s slums. A far cry from the swinging sixties, the photos show families in living in cold, damp and often dangerous conditions in inner cities, including Manchester. As part of a nationwide search, Shelter is urging anyone who recognises themselves, friends or family in the photos to get in touch.
Talking about the exhibition, photographer Nick Hedges, said: “When I was commissioned by Shelter to take these photographs, I never imagined that decades later they would still have such impact. The poverty and terrible conditions I witnessed shocked me to the core.
“It’s heart-breaking to know that the conditions some people have to live in today aren’t a million miles away from the photos I took all those years ago. A home should be a place of safety and security, but too many families are having to live without.
“It would be wonderful to meet the children I photographed in Manchester all those years ago and for them to be able to tell their stories. I often wonder what happened to them, if they went on to lead happy and healthy lives.”
John Ryan, manager of Shelter’s Manchester services, said: “Thankfully the slums of the 60s are behind us, but after 50 years this city is in the midst of another housing crisis.
“I’d encourage everyone to come and see these shocking and powerful pictures for themselves. They are an incredibly important part of this city’s history – they show how far we’ve come in the past 50 years, but remind us how much more we must do for the tens of thousands of families still desperate for a safe and secure place to call home.
“And for those who recognise a familiar face in the photos, please get in touch and let us know what has happened since they were taken.”
Shelter Manchester are just a call away on 0344 515 1640. You can also drop into Shelter Manchester’s advice centre at 5 Samuel Ogden St, Manchester, M1 7AX.
If you recognise yourself, or someone else in the images, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 7505 2032 or visit www.shelter.org.uk/shareyourstory. For a full gallery of images go to www.shelter.org.uk/shelter_50