Thomas Blower is a documentary photographer from Manchester, UK. Thomas’s images in our gallery below have never been published before. The images were taken in Greater Manchester during the seventies and eighties as well as a series of images from Moss Side, and the Rock Against Racism Northern carnival, 1978 which featured performances from Buzzcocks, X-O-Dus and Steel Pulse.
Thomas – “I was born and raised in the Manchester area and lived in a two up two down terraced house in Fildes street in Failsworth, a short street of four ‘workers’ houses with the entrance to Ferranti, the electrical engineering factory, at the end. Every house had net curtains and the steps and window ledges were mopped and stoned regularly! These were the times of gas-lit streets and knocker uppers, and where any older person was an auntie or an uncle. My father worked at Carborundum in Trafford Park as a labourer and my mother worked in the local mill (the Argyle) as a ‘piecer upper’. I worked as a sorter in the returns department of Dannimac the local clothing manufacturer.”
“I fell in love with photography in my teens, which was in the mid sixties when photography was becoming popular and trendy, with people like David Bailey and Terence Donovan becoming the new pop stars of the art. As a youth I always fantasised about owning a Rolleiflex, like ‘Bailey’, but could never afford it. I bought my first camera, a Yasica Minister 11 rangefinder and just took pictures of anything that took my fancy. Later, In the 70s, I upgraded to a Canon AE1 and took photos of the demolition sites around Ancoats in Manchester, carnivals in Moss Side, including the Rock Against Racism Northern Carnival in Alexandra Park, and political demos in Manchester and London. These days I do mostly street photography and use both film and digital. I have also realised my 60s dream of buying a Rolleiflex!”