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Southern Street

Southern Street in Salford, Greater Manchester was a row of Victorian terraced houses typical of those built in this former industrial heartland of Britain. Over time its inhabitants were made to leave through a combination of alleged social deprivation and the desire of government to enforce a contentious urban renewal programme.

There was an interim period before demolition when the 'condemned' houses of Southern Street seemed almost frozen in time. This in-between period was when many of these photographs were taken. At first sight, the terrace seems uniform in appearance, but look closer and you see intricate door arches, special mould bricks and unusual studs set into brickwork. Even with the doors and windows boarded up, it is possible to get a sense of the personalities of the working class people that once lived there. Painted in various tones of red, white, even purple and sporting different types of ornamental features the houses reflected the changing individual tastes of the street's inhabitants.

Southern Street has now been torn down. For a while traces of the perimeter of the Victorian terrace were still visible, marked by small fences and rows of poles that made up the edge of those fences. Even those traces have now disappeared.

The book Southern Street, published in November 2010, combines architecture and photography in a novel and inventive manner. In telling the story of a single street, it illustrates the disappearing cultural heritage of Britain and the immense urban changes taking place in post-industrial cities across Europe.

* Buy the book at Amazon.
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