These photographs are taken from 'Colour in Shopping', a portfolio entered for the British Paint Prize in 1968 by one C.E. Fudge. I found this and a 1970 entry in a Sheffield charity shop and they are full of Instamatic photos of British town centres, inadvertantly documenting the fashions, designs and general meander of city life. Nobody notices Fudge as he / she strolls around, snapping the Locarno dancehall and the GPO phone booth / stamp machine kiosk. It's an odd feeling to see these cityscapes, clean and ordinary, and completely stripped of their context. This is just everyday life as it once was, and never will be again. There are quite a few of these, so I'll start off with the first in the book, Coventry.
A dapper gent and his good lady having a rest by the roses in front of Marks and Sparks.
Is this lady wearing a surgical collar? The woman on the far left seems to think so.
A rotunda cafe for ice cream and hot dogs; it could be the Korova Milk Bar. Is any of this still in existence?
The Locarno 'entertainment suite' is situated next to a Police information box. The font is surely more appropriate for a perfume or sunglasses shop?
What I would term as 'futuristic shit' - this is the GPO centre with telephone boxes and stamp machines. Street furniture at its best, although a point is deducted for not having a street map featuring a 'You Are Here' point that lights up when a small metal button is pressed.
A businessman is snapped unawares as he strolls through the dappled sunlight to his Ford Consul in the short stay car park. This picture shows the potential for dinginess in all these new concrete developments.
The Three Tuns' wall looks as if it is alive, or studded with the fossils of rare and unlikely sea anemones. This was probably demolished years ago.
Clean, bright, no empty shops ...
You could actually be there, in that shopping arcade with all those sixties people. Next stop, Birmingham.