Hartlepool in pictures

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A PHOTOGRAPHIC pioneer has published a book of his images of Hartlepool taken more than 50 years ago.

Herefordshire man John Bulmer, now 74, came to the town in 1962 when his inquisitive nature prompted him to find out more about the place with the highest unemployment rate in the country at the time.

He took shots at the labour exchange, steelworks, library, the beach and at the spot where people were sea coaling.

His abiding memory, he recalls, was “it was very cold. It was freezing and it was pack ice”.

But after five days he left with another lasting thought: “The people were really nice and friendly.”

John found people who were “scraping coal off the beach to keep warm” and added: “It amazed me that they were living on an unemployment rate of less than £2 a week. People were surviving on that.”

The shots he took were used for a magazine article and now they make up part of an eight-section book just published, all featuring John’s work.

His own story is historic.

John was one of the first photographers to work with colour images.

He worked for the Sunday Times Magazine from the very first issue until the 1970s, and shared the cover of the first issue with David Bailey with a picture of a footballer he took surrounded by pictures of Jean Shrimpton’s armpit.

While many of John’s projects took him overseas, he was also known as an excellent recorder of life in industrial areas of England.

After a lifetime of travelling, he has now returned to Herefordshire to catalogue and show his huge collection of photographs, many of which have never been seen.

His book of his work is entitled The North and costs £19.99. It has been published by Bluecoat Press and is available from Amazon.

Signed copies are also available from his website, www.johnbulmer.co.uk.