CANDID black and white photos using the post-industrial North of England as their backdrop are currently on display at a Bradford museum.

Taken by a West Yorkshire family the pictures form an exhibition entitled After the Coal Dust, which shows life in the former industrial towns now that the industries have gone.

They are on display at Bradford's Industrial Museum and there is also a slide-show exhibition on the big screen in Bradford's city centre.

The photographs were taken by John and Bridget Gill from Castleford together with their 16-year-old daughter Freya and an earlier selection had already been on display at National Mining Museum for England last year.

Mr Gill told the Telegraph & Argus: "I have been taking pictures for many years, originally on film and printing in a home darkroom. Bridget has long had an interest in documentary photographs but has only been taking pictures more seriously over the past four or five years.

"All the photos were taken candidly in and around the local area, originally Castleford but subsequently taking in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and other Yorkshire towns. Gradually we're spreading it a little wider with some of the recent photos having been taken in Manchester and some coastal towns."

He described how following the exhibition at the National Mining Museum, Bradford Industrial Museum invited the Gills to form an exhibition here, running with a different selection of photos.

"The feedback we have received so far has been very positive.

"Having the exhibition at Bradford hopefully will bring the photographs to a wider audience that might not necessarily be traditional 'art' enthusiasts.

"The strongly local aspect of the photographs hopefully adds a greater attraction when displayed in the local community. The Museum curators chose the final selection of 36 prints from the several hundred on the website."

He added that the idea of the project has been to show life in the former industrial areas of the North after the industry - the focal point of the community - has disappeared. This was the coal mines in the Castleford area, he said, but it applies equally to textiles in the Bradford area or steel in the Sheffield area.

"Although there has been some reinvestment and redevelopment several areas seem to have been left behind and the photographs aim to show the people of these areas," Mr Gill added.

"None of the photos are staged or posed, the aim being to get as close to reality as possible whilst still retaining some artistic appeal. It is not designed as an exercise in nostalgia for the 'good old days' but a dispassionate look at life afterwards."

The After the Coal Dust exhibition continues at the Gallery in the Mill exhibition space at Bradford Industrial Museum in Eccleshill until April 27.

In addition photographs taken from the exhibition are currently shown on the big screen in Bradford's City Park as part of the North in Focus permanent exhibition at 12.15pm and 5.10pm every day.

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