The best book I found today almost ended up in the bin, as it was hidden away in a box of Reader's Digest titles. Fortunately, I spotted it just in time and a brief flick through confirmed that I'd found a gem. It's a collection of photos of the northern industrial town, Consett.
To quote from the book's blurb:
"For 140 years Consett in County Durham was synonymous with iron and steel. Then in 1980 the works were shut down and subsequently dismantled by the largest demolition projection in Europe. The town was left with a 650 acre hole in its centre, not to mention a legacy of unemployment and demoralisation."
I hadn't heard of the book's editor, Julian Germain, but as soon as I visited his website I recognised his photos of classrooms around the world, from a book that has been featured in several weekend supplements. I shall be adding that to my Christmas list.
Steel Works is divided into two sections. The first features photographs from Consett when it was a thriving industrial town in the 1960s. Contributors include Don McCullin and Tommy Harris.
The second part looks at post-industrial Consett, a town that seems abandoned even though its inhabitants still live there.
Here is a selection: