Shirley Baker’s street scenes of Manchester and Salford

Shirley Baker, born in 1932, was a pre-eminent street photographer who captured the daily life of working-class communities in post-war England.

An elderly woman looks at a cat on a street pavement

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester, 1965

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An online exhibition at the James Hyman Gallery has been co-curated by Baker’s daughter, Nan Levy, showing depictions of older people from the photographer’s archive.

A woman sits on a chair and looks out of a horsebox trailer with a horse standing alongside it

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Shirley Baker

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Poynton, Cheshire, 1968

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The black-and-white photos show elderly people in and around Manchester and Salford over three decades.

The exhibition also includes some rare colour photos from Baker’s career.

A woman sits on a street bench smoking a cigarette

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester, 1985

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“We are now starting to see the easing of the lockdown and with that we can begin to step outside, enjoy the sunshine and play sport,” said co-curator Nan Levy.

Current government advice says that those aged 70 and over should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

Levy adds: “I have gathered together a collection of Shirley’s photographs taken from the mid-60s to the mid-80s; these show older people enjoying their daily lives in the community in a way that is not possible at the moment.”

An elderly woman sits on her doorstep and looks to the camera

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester, 1968

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Two men sit on a bench, one with pigeons on his arms

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester (Man with Pigeons), 1967

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An elderly woman stands next to a pram with bundles of cloth on

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Shirley Baker

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Ancoats, Manchester, 1968

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An elderly man feeds pigeons in the street

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester, 1965

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Two women shopping

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Shirley Baker

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Untitled (Two women looking), undated

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An elderly man sits on a street bench and plays the harmonica

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester (Musician), 1985

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Two women stand in a run-down residential street

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Shirley Baker

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Manchester, 1965

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A woman sits on a bench with two dogs

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Shirley Baker

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Woman on Bench, c.1965

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Two women sit on hay bales and eat food whilst surrounded by cows

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Shirley Baker

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Untitled (women with cows), 1983

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Shirley Baker, A Different Age, runs online until 24 July.

All photographs courtesy James Hyman Gallery.

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