A GRUBBY, black-eyed boy stares sheepishly into the camera, an entire family huddles for warmth in a dark, dank, single-room house, while a girl, no older than seven, pushes her infant sister across desolate wasteland.

The poverty and terrible conditions I witnessed shocked me to the core

These are but a few scenes of the deprivation captured by photographer Nick Hedges in the Greater Manchester region throughout the late-60s and early-70s.

Commissioned by housing charity Shelter almost fifty years ago, Hedges travelled some of the UK’s largest cities in order to portray the abject poverty suffered by some three million people and to spur the government into action.

Now the charity has launched an appeal to trace the faces featured in Hedges’ seminal collection (shown below) and has urged the people of Greater Manchester to view the photographs to see if they recognise anyone.

.Young girls take baby sister for a walk, Salford 1969


“We would love to hear the stories of the people behind these iconic pictures to help us mark 50 years of fighting bad housing and homelessness," said Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb. "I’d encourage anyone who recognises themselves, or family members and friends to get in touch and let us know what happened after they were taken."

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.”

If you recognise yourself, or someone else in the images, please contact stories@shelter.org.uk or visit shelter.org.uk/shareyourstory.

The collection will be exhibited in Manchester later this year to mark the charity’s 50th anniversary.


Slums of Manchester and Salford between 1969-1972 - Nick Hedges for Shelter

Bedroom ceiling, Moss Side 1969

Child at end of alleyway, Manchester 1972

Child crossing wasteground Salford 1969

Children in their bedroom Manchester 1971

Children playing in Manchester 1971

Children with comic in a Salford slum property 1971

Childrens' bedroom Manchester 1971

Clothes drying in garden of Moss Side multi let 1969

Colliery viewed through bathroom window Burnley 1969

Doorstep joke, Burnley 1969

Elderly couple left in semi derelict property, Manchester 1972

Family living in a single room Moss Side, 1969

Father and son on front porch of Manchester multi-let 1972

Game of cricket on wasteground Moss Side 1969

Half slum cleared area of Salford 1971

Housepainting after work, Salford 1969

Housewife in backyard of Manchester terraced house, 1969

Irish immigrants recently moved to Moss Side 1969

Mother and baby Salford 1971

Mother and children dealing with the washing Salford 1971

Mother and her 2 daughters living in a substandard property in Manchester 1969

Mother and son in Manchester kitchen 1969

Mother and son in slum housing Manchester 1972

Mother and toddler in Manchester slum housing 1971

Mother in her backyard Salford 1971

Municipal washhouse 2, Salford 1969

Municipal washhouse, Salford 1969

Pensioner crossing derelict land towards her home, Salford 1971

Personal Loans shop, Manchester 1970

Play on Manchester wasteground 1969

Receipts for rodent disinfestation, Salford 1971

Salford back to back and terraced housing 1971

Salford lads 'assault' the photographer, 1969

Single man living in one room of multi let house, Moss Side 1969

Slum clearance, Oldham 1970

Slum cleared streets, nr Oldham 1969

Street corner Salford 1972

Street play Oldham 1969

Street scene and corner shops Salford 1970

Street scene Manchester 1970

Street scene Salford 1970

Street scene Salford 1970

Street scene Salford 1970

Teenage girls at dusk Salford 1969

Terraced house backs Salford 1970

Young girls take baby sister for a walk, Salford 1969