Rob Bremner’s Photographs of Liverpool’s Pier Head, 1989

British Culture Archive

Rob Bremner is a British social and documentary photographer born in Wick in the North of Scotland.

Whilst studying in Wallasey Rob became acquainted with photographer’s Tom Wood and Martin Parr. Helping out in Tom’s darkroom, Rob would spend his weekends following Tom and Martin around the faded resort of New Brighton as they famously documented the area. 

Newport

Rob was later accepted on to David Hurn’s School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales. It was around this time he started to photograph the Everton and Vauxhall areas of Liverpool, then the third most deprived area of Britain.

Rob Bremner in his flat. Liverpool, 1980s.
Rob Bremner in his flat. Liverpool, 1980s. Photo © Rob Bremner.

In our previous feature on Rob’s work we focused on his colour photography documenting the inner city suburbs of Liverpool during the eighties and nineties. These images were displayed in our exhibitions in London and Manchester.

Black and White Photography

Aside from his colour photography Rob built up a significant body of black and white photography. These images were shot in and around Liverpool’s Pier Head. The images document the bus station and café – at that time it was a bit of a run down and grim place for some, however it was also an essential social outlet for many people, including the city’s elder working class communities who would spend many hours drinking tea and catching up with familiar faces.

Photo of Couple In The Pier Head Cafe, 1989.
Couple in the Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.

Pier Head

Rob:” Liverpool’s Pier Head at that time was really just a dilapidated bus station where people went to catch the ferries across the Mersey. It was the last stop for most buses and older people with their free bus passes would alight there. There was a café, the staff were friendly and you could sit there all day sipping the same cup of tea and not be asked to leave. It was cheaper than heating a home. Danny who used to the run the burger stand would give me free burgers.”

Gallery

Pier Head Café, 1989.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Café, 1989.
Pier Head Café, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Bus Station, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Bus Station, 1989
A young family at Pier Head Bus Station, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Bus Station, Liverpool, 1989.
Girls at The Pier Head, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Bus Station, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.
Pier Head Bus Station, 1989. Photo © Rob Bremner.

All Images © Rob Bremner, all rights reserved.

Rob Bremner | Exclusive Prints

A selection of Rob Bremner’s prints are exclusively available to buy from our online shop.

All proceeds from print sales support the photographers we work with and help fund our resource and exhibitions. 

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British Culture Archive is a non profit independent resource set up to document 20th century culture and social change in the UK. In 2022 we plan to open our permanent gallery and exhibition space where we can showcase our People’s Archive alongside exhibitions from our featured photographers. 

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