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are two pictures taken in the northern UK coastal town of Barrow-in-Furness,
The first was taken in October 1974
and the second, twenty one years later, in July 1995.
subject is the same: five people who, in 1974, called themselves "boot
boys". They were fifteen years old and in their final year at school.
A year later they became apprenticed tradesmen; four of them at Vickers
Engineering (where the British nuclear deterrent is made - Polaris then,
Trident now) and the fifth, Brian Morgan (the tall lad on the left) at
North West Gas.
I decided to re-photograph them in 1995 because I was curious to find out what had become of them. I was thinking of the passage of time, how things have changed in twenty-one years: the fashions, the employment situation, the end of the cold war, all that. And, I am afraid to say, when I persuaded the local newspaper in Barrow, the Evening Mail, to help me trace
them by publishing the picture large across its centre spread, I gave little thought to how the lads might react to being contacted again.
I report here, in their own words, the reactions of the men to the original picture when, without warning, it dropped into their lives. They are, left to right: Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle and Mike Comish.