New book captures the militant 80s

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Dave Sinclair at book store News from Nowhere, Bold Street, for his book signing © Michael Glynn

Dave Sinclair at bookstore News from Nowhere, Bold Street, for his book signing © Michael Glynn

A photographer who captured images from one of the most tumultuous periods in Liverpool’s history has released a new book of his work.

Bold Street bookshop ‘The News from Nowhere’ this week hosted a book signing for Liverpool photographer Dave Sinclair’s recently released ‘Liverpool in the 1980s’.

The picture book is of images he took while working for The Militant newspaper during the 1980s.

Sinclair told JMU Journalism: “I always felt my images would be important because the city was changing so much, it felt like an end of an era, even if it was only social and architectural.

“I always loved my own photos and saw them as art, compositionally as landscapes I love them and thought others might to even at the split second the shutter went.”

Sinclair said that despite the economic improvements in Liverpool over the last 20 years the pictures still resonate today with Merseyside feeling the pinch from austerity in recent years.

“In some regard Liverpool has moved on enormously since the 80s, as has most of the country. But in many respects Liverpool still has housing and employment problems very similar to the 80s,” he said.

“Tory and, disappointingly, Labour governments see Liverpool and the North outside of London as pretty inconsequential. Austerity is a huge and cynically backward mistake and I’m amazed they are getting away with it. Wages for people working are dreadful and people on benefits are being demonised. The disparity between rich and poor hasn’t been as big since Victorian times.”

Image of council demonstration from Liverpool in the 1980s book © Dave Sinclair

Image of council demonstration from Liverpool in the 1980s book © Dave Sinclair

Mr Sinclair developed his interest in photography while studying Art at Liverpool Polytechnic (later Liverpool John Moores University) in 1980.

The book has range of iconic images from the derelict industrial and dock sites of Liverpool, children playing on demolition sites and protests against government cuts.

Sinclair added: “My abiding memories are of hope and possible change, wanting a change and realising normal people could force change. Unfortunately not all of the country wanted the same changes.”

About Michael Glynn, JMU Journalism