Hulme Street, Chorlton on Medlock, 1912

Paul Morley was in town last Friday night to discuss his new book The North (And almost everything in it). In conversation with Dave Haslam he discussed aspects of his childhood and his career. Reddish Vale was mentioned as an important ‘wild place’ and Reddish Library got a name check as the place where he got most of his education. ‘You could smell great minds’.

The smell of books in a library is a Proustian experience for a lot of people. We can’t share that aspect of the archives online (yet!) but if you find the photos Paul Morley has chosen for his book evocative, take a look at our flickr photostream and Local Image Collection.

How to define the North is always dependent on where you are in relation to it. It’s a debate that will run and run. Images have become iconic. Mills, chimneys, terraced houses and corner shops seen through a dirty net curtain of smog and grime. Those of us who live here know that’s not the whole picture, but the photographs have a power that can’t be denied.