To my great shame, the name of John Bulmer was new to me when this book came up on Amazon as a 'customers also bought' when I was searching for something else. From a dock town near Grimsby, and growing up in the 1960s, the subject matter intrigued me. The book consists of eight photo essays made for magazines - mainly the Sunday Times - between 1960 and 1976. The photography both individually and collectively is out of the very top drawer, comparable to the very best documentary photography. The fact that the earliest work is monochrome and then we see the transition to colour makes this very special indeed. A marvellous book.
I first came across John Bulmers photographs at an exhibition at Shildon in 2012 and I am very glad to find them published in book form. They are a wonderful evocation of a world that is totally lost, the working class world of northern England and the Midlands. Highly recommended.
For anyone who has grown up in the North this is an amazing look at life and for many will be truly evocative. I would recommend it as a record of how life was and how things have changed over the years.
Maybe this should be renamed It's Grim Up North because these gritty, grainy photos were commissioned to show a North that was unknown to most people living in the South at the time. Factories, cobbled streets, working men's clubs are all beautifully photographed sometimes in street photography style, sometimes more formally composed. The black and White photos are pure traditional photo journalism but the colour photos were were a new thing at the time, give a new perspective to a subject that could have easily become a cliche. This collection of photos should be considered essential viewing for anyone who wants to escape a world of heavily filtered, poorly composed Instagrams on the Internet - these aren't " an effect" avaiable for selection, these are the real deal.
I gave this to my Nan who grew up in Manchester and she absolutely loves it. The pictures are great and it's such a big sturdy book. I know my Nan will love it, and just look at the pictures to bring back those memories. Great for anyone from the North!