From 1983 to 1984, photographer Chris Killip documented the people of Lynemouth. It was no small task, Killip had been trying to get permission to photograph for seven years, but his struggle mirrors (ever so slightly) that of the Northern English town. Killip notes, “When I first saw the beach at Lynemouth in January 1976, I recognized the industry above it but nothing else I was seeing. The beach beneath me was full of activity with horses and carts backed into the sea. Men were standing in the sea next to the carts, using small wire nets attached to poles to fish out the coal from the water beneath them. The place confounded time; here the Middle Ages and the twentieth century intertwined.”
The result of his work, contained in the book, Seacoal, is an unflinching portrait of a struggling industry and its inhabitants.