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Widnes, Lancashire, 1969. | by Fray Bentos
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Widnes, Lancashire, 1969.

Taken from Runcorn Bridge, Saturday 4th October 1969. The River Mersey can just be seen between the chimney pots in the distance.

In the late 1960s I had seen some of the films of the "kitchen sink" school such as "A Kind of Loving" and "A Taste of Honey". I was spellbound by the strange tenebrous beauty of the locations where they were filmed. I wanted to see these places before they disappeared. This was not easy since I lived in Bristol, could not drive and earned about £8 per week. I eventually saved enough for the train fare and, in December 1969, devoted a week's holiday to mooching around places like this.

The last time I was in Widnes, in the 1980s, these houses still existed but many had succumbed to pebbledash, masonry paint, new roofs, plastic windows or, worst of all, that ghastly 80s fad for stone cladding. I expect few of the outdoor lavatories remain in use.

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Taken on May 14, 2008