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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy Days in a British Slum

Who needs a PlayStation? Incredible pictures from the 1960s capture the last days of the slums - and an era before health and safety ruled our children 

Photographer Sheila Baker spent almost two decades documenting the changing street life around Manchester 
She photographed ordinary street scenes and captured a valuable insight into the transformation from the 1960s 

Ms Baker's streetscapes showed women and children standing outside their slums homes before demolition 

The artwork is being featured in a major exhibition in London until September 20/15 at the Photographers' Gallery 

These are the haunting pictures of the last days of Manchester slum-land when houses built during the 19th century to home workers were finally demolished.

Photographer Sheila Baker was the only female photographer documenting British street scenes between the 1960s and the 1980s.

Her work featured urban areas in Manchester and Salford at a time of major social change, catching the dying days of a previous era.

Here Shirley Baker captures a shot of a young boy in 1967, wearing a old-fashioned jacket

Ms Baker captured images of people living in the densely-packed terraced houses in inner-city Manchester - similar type places to that depicted in Coronation Street.

The photographs showed youngsters at play and their mothers standing outside talking in communal groups, something that would appear very strange to modern society.

Children were forced to improvise to find ways to amuse themselves. Instead of expensive toys and games, they used bits of rope and even a Second World War surplus gas masks.

Here a group of children play cricket on the pavement outside their house which seems to have peeling paint on its walls

 Children exploring places that would be unacceptable to today's parents

 Man feeding pigeons

                             Makeshift swing

Boys wearing gas masks