Kendal Street, 1969:
A few of Finnish photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen's photos of Byker, from 1969 to 1975.
Konttinen was a co-founder of the Newcastle-based photography collective Amber. If you're heading that way, check out Jimmy Forsyth and his photos of the Scotswood Road area, mostly from the late Fifties - in particular here, or here. The Likely Lads were never this bleak.
Forsyth was out of work - he lost an eye in an industrial accident - and had the idea of recording the old working-class community before it disappeared because, as he said "I had nothing else to do". His approach to photography was refreshingly unpretentious:
I wonder how I ever made the pictures, I was only on a couple of pounds Assistance then. Anyway, I picked up a cheap folding camera in one of the pawn shops. There wasn’t much to adjust, just as well, because I’ve never known what to do. I still can’t understand exposures and things like depth of field after all these years, not really. I’m just an amateur, I was never interested in photography, not really. When you’re taking a photography you’re recording something that will never happen again, catching a moment in time, I was just capturing what I knew was going to disappear. People say to me today, “How did you get all those fancy shades?” but I wasn’t looking or fancy shades, I was just taking what was there, the things I was interested in and the things I liked, and tried to make them look real. All the developing was done at the chemist’s. I could only afford contact prints. I had to wait twenty years before I ever saw the negatives enlarged or printed properly.
Forsyth died in 2009, aged 95.