Picturing High Streets – Prescot was commissioned by Historic England, Photoworks and the Open Eye Gallery. In 2021, I explored Prescot Town Centre’s rich history with it’s residents through a series of Photography and Memory Fairs. People’s archival photographs and stories revealed how much the ‘High Street’ has played an important and fond role in their lives – their first kiss, watching television for the first time through a shop window to looking forward to your pick and mix sweets on a Saturday.
In 2022, I established a weekly photography club at Prescot Church Hall which gave local residents the opportunity to develop their photographic skills and contribute to documenting their ‘High Street’ using portraiture and street photography.
The weekly photography walks have revealed for many, Prescot’s rich and hidden history. The participant’s have highlighted that the ‘High Street’ should still be the beating heart of our town centres and have been enthusiastic about capturing a slice of social history; photographing shoppers, shop/business owners and their staff and the buildings/spaces they frequent most days to shop and socialise.
This collaboration and co-produced work has shown how the ‘High Street’ has evolved yet still gives a sense of identity and pride. A place that was, still is and should be for future generations it’s beating heart.