Book reviews

JIMMY FORSYTH: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 1950s AND 1960s, selected by Anthony Flowers. Published by Tyne Bridge Publishing, Newcastle Libraries, PO Box 88, Newcastle NE99 1DX (tel: 0191-277 4174). £8.99. Softback.

JIMMY Forsyth left his native South Wales and moved to Tyneside in 1943 as part of the war effort, but an accident which led to the loss of sight in his right eye made it difficult for him to find work.
In 1954 he bought a cheap camera from a junk shop and began taking photographs along Scotswood Road where he lived.
The quality of his evocative black-and-white pictures gradually gained recognition. Newcastle’s Side Gallery mounted significant exhibitions of his work and in 2002 he was awarded an honorary degree of Master of the University from the Open University.
This new book contains a selection of photographs which have been recognised as one of the most important records of 20th century working class society that anyone has produced. Providing a remarkable record of a community at the moment of its disappearance, the images depict the gritty reality of streets and buildings between 1954 and 1967, alongside many enduring images of the people of Elswick and the wider city who allowed Jimmy to capture moments which emphasise their humanity and dignity in tough times.

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