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The magazine of the photo-essay
January 2017 issue
The North
by John Bulmer
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
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The last deep coal mine in Britain closed recently. This marks the end of an era that caused the industrial revolution and one of the greatest changes to our planet. I first went North in 1960 as a young photographer to take pictures for Town Magazine.  Over the next decade I shot eight major stories on The North for Town, The Sunday Times and Geo magazine amongst others. When I first walked the streets of Nelson in Lancashire in 1960 I was enthralled by what I saw.  The North was, to me, as exotic as darkest Africa, and I still love it to this day.  I have never wanted to live in places that I photographed: I prefer to work somewhere new and fresh to my eye.  I kept going back to the North and it continued to excite me over the decade.  I never asked people if I could photograph them. I felt that would spoil what was in front of my camera, and although often people were aware of me I did not get self conscious posed pictures, but a glimpse of life of its time. Although visually it has changed I still love the people of the North for their genuine friendliness, and go back whenever I can.
Black Country. Tipton at dawn. For Town Magazine, 1961.
Foundryman and his girl. Town Magazine, 1961.
Ocker Hill Power Station. Town magazine, 1961.
Black Country. Town magazine 1961.
Foundryman at work. Town magazine, 1961.
Cafe. The photographer can be seen in the mirror. Town magazine, 1961.
Hartlepool, sea coal gathering. 1962.
Unemployed. Hartlepool. Image Magazine, 1962.
Hartlepool, sea coal gathering. 1962. Image magazine.
Unemployed. Hartlepool. Image Magazine, 1962.
Hartlepool. Image Magazine, 1962.
Unemployed women. Hartlepool. Image Magazine, 1962.
Dawdon colliery. Town magazine, 1964.
Dawdon colliery baths. Town magazine, 1964.
Dawdon colliery baths. Town magazine, 1964.
Waldride drift mine. Sunday Times, 1965.
Aldridge drift mine. Sunday Times, 1965.
Shipyard workers, Grenock. Town magazine, 1964.
View over Stoke on Trent. Time & Tide magaaine, 1961.
Sea coal gathering, Hartlepool.Image magazine, 1962.