Looking back on the Trente Glorieuses, the allegedly glorious thirty post-war years until the beginning of the steel crisis in 1975, can of course not only be a review of the now unimaginable wealth of heavy industrial installations during this period.
It is also always a look back at a lost working class culture. And nowhere was this more pronounced than in the U.K..
One photographer who has documented this era in breathtaking pictures is Nick Hedges who was kind enough to allow me to show some of his pictures here.
There are many more on his website: Nick Hedges Photography.
And there was no other band in the late 70s and early 80s that more accurately described and interpreted the decline of this culture than The Jam:
Drink lots of beer and wait for half time results,
Afternoon tea in the light-a-bite, chat up the girls, they
Saturdays girls work in tescos and woolworths,
Wear cheap perfume cause its all they can afford,
Go to discos they drink baby cham talk to jan, in bingo
Saturdays kids play one arm bandits,
They never win but that’s not the point is it,
Dip in silver paper when their pints go flat,
How about that, far out!
Wallpaper lives cause they all die of cancer,
What goes on, what goes wrong.
To selsey bill or bracklesham bay,
Think about the future, when they’ll settle down,
Marry the girl next door, with one on the way.
Not given a thought, its the system,
Hate the system, what’s the system?
Wear v-necked shirts and baggy trousers,
Drive cortinas fur trimmed dash boards,
Stains on the seats – in the back of course!