An extensive documentation, commissioned in the early 1980s, when the industry was threatened in the first wave of Conservative government deindustrialisation.
Side Gallery invited the portrait photographer Rae to develop this work. He brought the writer Paul Rutishauser with whom he was to collaborate again in 1984’s Easington: A Mining Village. Nationalisation, aimed at modernising the industry, had only taken place in 1977. By the end of 1982, half the yards had closed to reduce overcapacity. Government legislation in 1983, when the exhibition was first shown, required the privatisation of British Shipbuilders’ remaining assets.
All images © Bruce Rae