A search has begun to find the children and their families featured in iconic photographs of Birmingham’s shocking housing conditions in the 1960s. As part of Shelter’s 50th anniversary, the housing and homelessness charity is hunting for the people behind the pictures and is urging Birmingham residents to view the images to identify family or friends.
The shocking collection of photographs, taken for the charity in the 1960s by documentary photographer Nick Hedges, depict the lives of families living in cold, damp and often dangerous conditions.
The search comes ahead of an exhibition of Nick Hedges’ photos in Birmingham next year, as part a series of activities and events in the region to mark the charity’s 50th anniversary.
Shelter would like to hear the stories of the people featured in the photographs - who will now be aged between 50 and 70 – to give them the opportunity to tell their story and revisit the areas they once called home.
Launching the search, photographer Nick Hedges, said: "It would be wonderful to meet the children I photographed all those years ago and for them to be able to tell their stories. I often wonder what happened to them, if they went on to lead happy and healthy lives.
"When I was commissioned by Shelter to take these photographs, I never imagined that decades later they would still have such impact. The poverty and terrible conditions I witnessed shocked me to the core. I hope that all these years later, by reconnecting with some of those I photographed, I am able to hear good news of what happened to the families.”
Nick Hedges, now in his 70s, was commissioned by Shelter in 1968. He spent three years visiting some of England’s poorest and most deprived areas, documenting poor housing conditions and quashing the myth that only people on the streets are homeless