A pioneering collection of photographs that capture the changing face of Salford in the seventies is to be exhibited alongside new pictures of the modern regeneration of Miles Platting.
The free exhibition ‘Separate + Together: Bringing June Street to Miles Platting’ will be held at the Church of the Apostles in Miles Platting from 16-23 June.
It is being organised as part of the Age Friendly Neighbourhoods Manchester initiative. The initiative, which is led by Manchester Metropolitan University through the Manchester School of Architecture, is designed to make areas of Manchester better places to grow older.
The exhibition also launches to coincide with the ‘Great Get Together’, a programme of national get-togethers inspired in memory of Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered in 2016. Communities will be encouraged to come together celebrate all that unites them through large neighbourhood celebrations.
In 1973, then-students Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr from Manchester Polytechnic, now the Manchester School of Art, took a series of photographs documenting the lives of the residents of June Street just before it was demolished to make way for high-rise tower blocks.
Families and older residents were photographed in their living rooms and out in the street outside the local shop. The photos were accompanied by recorded interviews with the residents who voiced concerns over losing a sense of neighbourhood and not being able to bring their dogs with them to their new homes.
Originally broadcast on BBC Look North in 1973, the June Street photographs and recordings provided a unique insight into domestic working class life at the time and the fears and hopes of a community coming to terms with a changing urban landscape.
Meadows and Parr went onto have illustrious careers as photographers and digital storytellers at the heart of the New British Photography movement, capturing the changing social landscape of Britain.
Now the photographs return to Greater Manchester as a contribution to the Miles Platting Age Friendly work. Resident-led partnerships have been formed in the communities of Burnage, Moston, Hulme, Moss Side and Miles Platting, supported by Manchester Metropolitan. Funding is provided through the partnerships for activities to highlight the issues of loneliness and social isolation among older people and to create an action plan to make each neighbourhood more ‘age-friendly’.
The exhibition has been organised by David Jones, an MA Photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University who has been inspired by the June Street collection.
He said: “Forty years on the dignified pictures that Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr took still resonate and provoke strong reactions. People laugh and people cry. So much has changed, but the fundamental importance of resilient local communities remains.
“Both the benefits and pitfalls of regeneration and the emergent economy have been played out and are still in play within Miles Platting with the impact on housing, education and employment.
“We have a rapidly increasing number of older people, many with long term conditions, who will provide a dramatic challenge to the health and care system and for whom engagement and human contact is critical. Loneliness is a key driver in people’s health and ability to maintain independence.
“The exhibition is not about a romanticised, nostalgic view of community but a part of the ‘Great Get Together’ weekend in memory of Jo Cox. It is a celebration of the amazing people who create and sustain community life.”
The exhibition will be opened by Daniel Meadows on Friday 16th June at 11am.
It will be open until Friday 23rd June (10-3:30pm) at Church of the Apostles, Ridgway Street, Miles Platting, Manchester, M40 7BJ.