WIGAN WORLD - Old days live on in this gem

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SOMETIMES you come across something ... a book, a film, a fantastic CD, or a great spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic. It may be a great restaurant or pub. And immediately you have a burning desire to share the delight.

That’s how I feel after spotting a soft-backed book entitled “Northerners” that’s just hit the shops.

If you, like me, are fascinated, obsessed even, by the gritty, misty, smoky atmosphere of yesteryear, then “Northerners” – a portrait of a no-nonsense people – by vintage photographer Sefton Samuels deserves an honoured place on your bookshelf.

It’s a gem and the pictures are all the better for being in black and white. You won’t find any Wigan photos, but many of them could have been taken here. Just like the one showing the backs of terraced homes in Salford back in 1962, pictured left.

There are illustrations of cobbled streets, the demolition of the old and the re-building of the new, as well as cloggers, pitmen, black-pudding makers, dog racing, scrap yards, and important men of the north – including Appley Bridge artist Theodore Major.

The living and the dying are all part of Sefton’s picture essay spanning 40 years.