Northerners, By Sefton Samuels

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The Independent Culture

The Mancunian Sefton Samuels has been documenting life in the north of England for more than four decades – ever since quitting life as a jazz drummer, in fact.

This "Portrait of a No-Nonsense People" includes some shots that hang in the National Portrait Gallery (L S Lowry, Matt Busby, Arthur Scargill), pictures from Old Trafford and the set of Coronation Street, and photojournalism about the miners' strike and Toxteth riots. But, overwhelmingly, it is a book about the character of ordinary Northerners – pictures that "fall into the realism school of social documentary", as Samuels puts it, "not to sound too Southern". Above, a school in Cheshire, 1961