County’s vanishing coast heritage recorded

A talented photographer is set to take audiences on a grand tour of the Yorkshire coast by documenting the lives of the communities that live within the region.

0167 - Two women sit outside their beach hut, Filey, North Yorkshire.
0167 - Two women sit outside their beach hut, Filey, North Yorkshire.

Ian Forsyth, 45, a freelance news photographer, is showcasing over 190 black and white images of the people who live, work or visit a stretch of the East Coast between an area known as South Gare at the mouth of the River Tees on Teesside and Flamborough Head.

The images were taken in 2009 and cover more than 85 miles and over 16 coastal towns.

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They are due to be published in his upcoming book Coast People – Life on the North East Coast, which goes into print on September 1.

0083 - Fisherman Bill Stocker takes part in the Jim Maidens Memorial Fishing Competition, Saltburn, Cleveland.

Speaking about his book, he said that more must be done to protect the culture and heritage of UK coastal towns.

He added: “It is part of our heritage, it is part of our history. We are in a position to document what I count as an important part of our history.

“In 20 years time, elements of some of these coastal places may have disappeared and there may no longer be any fisherman working in the same way they were for various reasons.

“The fishing industry is in decline all the way up and down the East Coast so therefore it is the collective responsibility of documentary photographers to ensure these events are recorded with honesty, integrity and compassion for future generations.”

0055 - Metal detecting, Saltburn beach, Cleveland.

Mr Forsyth said that the aim of the project was to highlight the day-to-day activities that form the special heritage of England’s North East coast.

Another project in the pipeline for Mr Forsyth is compiling a photographic record of the agricultural shows and events across Yorkshire.

Mr Forsyth added: “I’d like to make a whole documentary of country shows, festivals, such as the Great Yorkshire show, because that is part of our culture and heritage.”

Mr Forsyth supplies photographs to organisations such as Getty Images and London News Pictures. His work has appeared in newspapers including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The New York Times