Down South

Photographer, Ciaran Dunbar explores the parochial mentality of an Irish border town

Words by Ciaran Dunbar

This project deals with the parochial mentality within a border town in Ireland and how this affects the Northern community of people that moved “down south” to escape the conflict in the north of Ireland. It looks at the feeling of displacement within this community and how being displaced affects these people’s daily lives.

According to Dr Pauline Conroy (author of All Over The Place) a displaced person will always have a feeling of being displaced, even if they end up returning “home”, and they will die with these feelings of displacement.

Sláinte

Photographer, Paul Wheatley captures young adults emigrating from Ireland to live and work abroad

Words by Paul Wheatley

This Autumn marks the starting point of a large number of childhood friends emigrating from Ireland to various parts of the world to live and work, from just over the pond to London, to further a field in cities such as New York and Santiago.

Through the following images I look to document two ends of the spectrum, providing an insight into the fleeting moments that are left for certain individuals on Irish soil, whilst also documenting those who have decided to stay put. This ongoing series looks to find out their thoughts on why they are leaving and the reasons that some have decided to stick around, whilst also attempting to discover the true meaning of home for this group of Irish youth.

Sláinte is a nod to the young Irish who inevitably leave the comforts that home provides, as they venture out into the world.

Jack

Where are you going?
London

What is pushing you to leave Ireland?
Ireland is such a small place. It’s kind of said jokingly that if you know one person in Ireland you know everyone, but there’s a certain amount of truth to that, especially around Dublin. I love my city, I love Ireland too, everything about it, but I’m just at an age where I need to get out and see what else is going on in the world before I root myself too deeply here. It’ll be nice to be a stranger in a big city again, and have to figure it all out by myself.

Do you think you have a strong attachment with Ireland and that you will find yourself missing home?
Absolutely I have a strong attachment with Ireland, whenever I’m away for long periods of time it’s the place that I romanticize the most. But it’s funny in the way that I don’t really appreciate it until I’m deprived of it for a bit. I had the pleasure of meeting the Irish writer Collum McCann when I spent a summer in New York, and he told me that when he started writing, he felt like he had to leave Ireland to remember Ireland, and I think that’s a really nice and honest way of thinking about it. There are just certain beauties and intricacies around the country that you don’t really think about or appreciate until you leave them behind. In that respect I’ll probably have my days when I’m missing home, but I’ll also appreciate Ireland a lot more for it, and savor the days when I come back to visit.

What are you going to miss most about Ireland?
The people, the family and the friends. I’m lucky enough to have an extremely tight knit group of friends, we’ve hung around for years and despite jobs and what not, we still get together every week and do a trip or two each year. However we’re all growing up a bit now, and this year five of us will have emigrated, me included, along with many more extended friends. It’s a bit sad when you see the effects of adulthood taking a hold on your friendships, you kind of don’t want to believe that you’ll grow apart, and maybe you won’t, but when people start emigrating it gets a lot tougher to get everyone together, and that’s probably the most daunting thing, the idea that I won’t get to see as much of my friends. So yeah, I’ll miss the people around me most.

Jamie

Where are you going?
New York

What is pushing you to leave Ireland?
I want to gain independence and experience by living in a brand new and exciting place. As I am finishing college, I want to develop some work and life experience in all sorts of areas. Why not do it abroad when the opportunity is there? So its not necessarily that there is something pushing me to leave, it's more of a desire and in my head a necessity.

Do you think you have a strong attachment with Ireland and that you will find yourself missing home?
Absolutely. I love my Irishness. Extremely proud of my roots. Home will always be home and I'll definitely miss my family, friends and everything else. And my dog.

What are you going to miss most about Ireland?
I'll miss the people the most - everyone I'm close to as previously mentioned and just the general hoi polloi. You cant replicate the Irish humour anywhere else, so I will miss being around that. Being from Ireland and knowing everything and everyone is a real comfort. Acceptance in a place is a lovely feeling. But I feel leaving temporarily will almost increase my appreciation of Ireland because it really is a special country.

Do you think it's necessary for you to leave Ireland?
For me yes most certainly, especially at this time of my life. But hopefully not forever. For my whole adult life I only really know what it is like to live here. So I personally believe it is actually important - if the opportunity is there - to try living away.

Will you come back?
Oh yes, I plan to. Having said that, I don't know what the future will bring and what scenarios will present themselves.

What is the most fond memory you have from your years living in Ireland?
Really tough to say as I've been here practically my whole life and so much has happened. Its impossible to say one in particular. I'll just say its all the times I have spent with some great people. The normal and banal aspects of Ireland are things I don't take for granted. They are very evocative and are kind of at the essence of our Irishness and sense of home. So that is a memory I will store away and one that is already a fond memory.

Brian

Although you have no plans to as of now, do you think you will eventually live outside of Ireland?
Yes

Is there a reason why you have decided to stay in Ireland?
I’ve just finished a masters in music technology and want to develop on that and get more into producing. I fear if I go abroad I’ll be too distracted or too busy to give that proper attention.

I also feel like I need to find a way to make a move abroad a step forward rather than just using it to defer thinking about a plan for my twenties, but then again maybe I don’t at all. We’re sometimes detrimentally career-obsessed in Ireland and there’s a lot to be said for just moving away for its own sake.

Do you think you have a strong attachment with Ireland and that when you are away, you find yourself missing home?
The longer I’m away the stronger it seems to get. I do find myself missing stupid things like the DART and the colour of tenners when I’m away but obviously family too. As much as all of that stuff is difficult it’s so much easier than it ever has been to keep in touch.

Do you think it's necessary for you to leave Ireland?
Yes, for lots of reasons.

Dublin is great if there’s good reason to stay but it can feel so stagnant otherwise, especially when your best friends leave in their droves. I could easily erode my twenties away in Dublin flailing in the wake of peoples’ departures, adapting my social circles and wondering what it would have been like somewhere else. If I stay, I’d very likely end up resenting things about Dublin that I’d have otherwise missed from abroad by the time my friends arrive home with fresh perspectives.

What is the most fond memory you have from your years living in Ireland?
One from recent years would be watching the sunrise from Dillon’s park in Dalkey on a really still morning. It’s such a beautiful part of Dublin.

Niall

Where are you going?
Santiago de Chile.

What is pushing you to leave Ireland?
I want to see new things and meet new people post university. We do great things when we force ourselves to leave the comfort zone.

Do you think you have a strong attachment with Ireland and that you will find yourself missing home?
Yes I have a strong attachment. I have lived abroad before and always start to miss Ireland coming up to Christmas time. The feeling of excitement flying into Dublin airport late December is one that is hard to beat.

What are you going to miss most about Ireland?
Family, Friends, Food. In that order.

Thomas

Where are you going?
London

What is pushing you to leave Ireland?
It's not really a push away from Ireland, but more of a pull towards London. I think it's an important experience to live abroad at some stage, and I think now is the perfect opportunity for me while I don't have anything tying me down.

Do you think you have a strong attachment with Ireland and that you will find yourself missing home?
Over the last few years I couldn't wait to finish college and leave Ireland, but now that the time is here I'm realizing how much I'll miss all my friends and family. I never thought i'd be one to miss home, but that has become clear to me now.

What are you going to miss most about Ireland?
Being able to spend time with family and friends on a daily and weekly basis.

Do you think it's necessary for you to leave Ireland?
Not necessary, but an important life experience. I know i'd regret it when I'm older if I didn't go now.

Will you come back?
I hope so.

In The County Of York

Exploring community and belonging in rural Saddleworth with Jack and George Springthorpe in the second of TRIP’s exclusive zines

Words by George Springthorpe

Saddleworth
In 1974 the Local Government Act of ‘72 came into effect and Saddleworth, historically a part of Yorkshire’s West Riding, now found itself in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, Lancashire.

Situated somewhere on the cusp of Manchester and West Yorkshire it’s often said that Saddleworth is more a state of mind than anywhere in particular. In reality it’s just a name for a 7-mile long, 5-mile wide valley, home to a series of villages and hamlets. Penned in by moorland and the quick-changing weather of the Pennines there’s a distinct feeling of isolation in the air. You can touch the silence if you catch it on the wrong day. The sort of quiet that makes you rush back to the car after stopping for a piss.

Approach Saddleworth from Huddersfield and you’re firmly in Last of The Summer Wine country. The long-running sitcom was filmed in nearby Holmfirth. It’s steep, winding hills and rolling countryside transformed into a tourist hotspot in the process. The summer months see a pilgrimage of pensioners arriving by the bus load. Cameras at the ready, ice white trainers pouring round the town in search of their favourite scenes.

Leave Holmfirth towards Saddleworth and you find yourself on the road known locally as ‘the way to the airport’. Winding through the Pennines it reminds you just how vast and empty Yorkshire can be. Deep green bracken crawls across dramatic cliff faces, purple heather stretching as far as the eye allows.

There’s a phrase in the area to describe non-natives. Nick, who runs a community orientated website in Saddleworth explained, “If you’ve lived here less than 40 years the locals will call you a ‘comer-inner’. It’s all lighthearted but there’s a strong sense of pride with people who were born and raised here.”

Today ‘comer-inners’ seem to be more common than locals. Saddleworth is within throwing distance of the M62 and Manchester and Leeds’ commuters are now choosing to settle down in the area more frequently. Certain villages even play home to the odd ex-footballer, a fact many locals like to mention when discussing everything from house prices to the lack of attendance at summer events.

Yorkshire Day
First celebrated in 1975 Yorkshire Day began as a protest movement against the Local Government reorganisation that occurred the previous year. Its date on the 1st of August alludes to the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce campaigned.

It’s as if the village of Uppermill is the centre of all life in Saddleworth. The once yellow, now black, sandstone houses pile around twisting roads, pie shops and pubs. It’s a manicured image of Yorkshire life. One where you imagine there’s an abundance of flatcaps and whippets while everyone holds a general distrust of Lancashire.

It’s this image that’s on full display during the Yorkshire Day celebrations. Blue bunting and white roses adorn the village’s playing fields. Burger stands, brass bands and Shetland pony rides provide entertainment. For most of the attendees this is less about Yorkshire and more about keeping the kids happy on a Sunday, much to the annoyance of one of the events organisers Mike, “the new ones moving in, the kids and that, they don’t care, they think we’re in Lancashire.”

Oliver, a retired schoolteacher who’s lived in Saddleworth all his life, has been helping to organise the event since it’s early days. Blue Yorkshire flag in hand he sees his role as an important one. “We do this so that the younger ones can learn about their heritage and the area they live in.” While he hopes that the next generation will carry on the tradition in the years to come, many don’t see it as that important.

Darrel, an 18-year-old working on a zorbing stand laughs when we ask how he feels about his home county, “It’s just where you’re from init? You can’t help or change that.” Others like him see the day as just a bit of fun. After all Saddleworth is one of the only places to celebrate it on this scale.

The brass bands pack their equipment away for lunch, heading straight for the local pie shop. At 21, Laura is one of the youngest members to play the event every year, “I guess it [Yorkshire Day] is old fashioned but so are brass bands.” For Laura the lack of interest in the day and the reasons behind it represents a serious problem with youth disengagement when it comes to local politics and history. “It’s important to know about where you come from… How can you complain or change things if you’re not involved?”

White Rose Society
By 1988 many people both in and out of Saddleworth believed the area was part of Oldham. With the aim to educate the community on the issue the Saddleworth White Rose Society was formed. Through a mixture of events, leafleting and talks in schools, the group aims to raise awareness of the boundary changes and how it has affected Saddleworth.

Brenda’s house is rammed with bright blue Yorkshire memorabilia. Family photos mingle with white roses and church pamphlets. Shoes are left at the door and Irn-Bru coloured tea does the rounds. As a founding member of the White Rose Society she’s seen it go from a large protest group to a close-knit circle of friends. She concedes that over the years the rate of new members signing up has fallen drastically and many of those already in the group have either lost-interest, moved away from the area or in some cases died.

When she talks about the Saddleworth of her youth it’s hard to get Brenda to stop. A smile creeps across her face as she recalls the days when pubs and churches were full, “when you used to go out, get the bus, everyone knew each other. It isn’t like that these days.” In the years since the society’s formation she feels community in Saddleworth has slowly declined whilst interest in local traditions and history has pretty much flatlined.

With the majority of White Rose Society members being elderly, it’s not always a surprise to hear them complain about a lack of community. It was once an essential support in an area that could be cut off for weeks when the first snow of winter landed. Michael, a fellow member, stresses how big the world feels now compared to 1974, “with computers and everything it can be easy to lose sight of those around you.” With lives lived less locally there’s a sense that people like Michael feel almost irrelevant at times.

Through the White Rose Society and events like Yorkshire Day it’s as if Saddleworth’s elderly population can maintain a sense of what was in the face of immense change. The days when they belonged to Yorkshire are reminiscent of a time that has now passed. Knowing everyone in your area seems such a remote prospect now.

The boundary act is a scapegoat. At the heart of it lies a larger problem, one that we’re all going to have to deal with as our population gets older. Feelings of isolation and loneliness within this elderly section of society is something that needs combatting. As Brenda put it herself, “I’m proud of Yorkshire and I’m proud of Saddleworth but I need to feel I belong.”

Delph
Like most towns and villages in the Pennines, Saddleworth was built around a flourishing textiles industry. After the decline of this in the 30’s only a handful of the mills remain functioning. The rest converted into flats or offices, the names the only hint of an age in which this area was the heart of the textile world.

Up the road from Brenda’s lies Delph, home to two of these working mills; R. Gledhill LTD and Mallalieus. The roar from the former rumbles through the village, A loan employee sits at the back reading the local newspaper. Farmland lines one side of the valley, a housing estate the other. Small cobbled streets pushing their way between leaning houses. Bookshelves and honesty boxes blocking pavements.

Joan has lived on the Carrcote estate ever since she moved to Delph as a child. Since retiring 5 years ago she explains that most of her friends and family have moved away. “Communities are dying everywhere. It’s ever since they sold the social housing off.” She cites this shortage in affordable housing as one reason her friends and family no longer live nearby.

She sounds a bit tired of it all and tells us that many young people don’t have a reason to stay in the area as they get older. “My son lives in London and has everything within ten minutes of him. There’s only a pub here.” This lack of prospects and entertainment for the younger generation are easily visible on the streets of Saddleworth. Youth seems like a rarity here, something that hides indoors and leaves at the first opportunity. It’s easy to understand when the promise of a career lies elsewhere and all Saddleworth offers is isolation.

This isolation is something that many of Delph’s pensioners have known all their lives. Mike has lived all over Saddleworth in his 67 years here. He even had a stint living over the border in Lancashire, something he puts down to ‘brief madness’. He claims the opportunity to leave Saddleworth used to be for the select few who attended university, “I guess I was too scared to move away. It just wasn’t the done thing then.” Regret hangs in the air for a moment, only to escape as Mike moves the subject on, “I wouldn’t live anywhere else though, it’s home.”

The world might seem big and scary to Joan and Mike now but it’s only set to get larger. ‘Devolution’ is slowly becoming a reality. One in which Manchester acts as the primary case study. As the local MP Debbie Abrahams put it on Yorkshire Day, “the more devolution continues the more Yorkshire and Lancashire will have to work together.”

For Saddleworth’s young this offers the long-needed promise of local careers but also requires a serious improvement in transport links. The Transpennine line is a key component of George Osborne’s ‘northern powerhouse’ plans. A route he admitted they need to be ‘much more ambitious’ with. At present the trains to Manchester and Leeds only stop in Saddleworth once an hour. There’s also a real need for affordable housing, something that seems as rare as the trains. With an average house in Saddleworth costing above £200k there’s not much hope for the first time buyer.

There has been vague promises to ‘rebalance the country’s economy and establish the North as a global powerhouse’ as well as talk of unifying and harnessing ‘the people power of our city regions’. This rhetoric only maintains the idea of the North as a separate entity. A region somehow not part of the wider national economy or vision.

For the older population it appears to be a young persons game. The plans remain focused on private sector investment and utilising the skills of the regions youth. There’s not much mention of how this affects those outside cities, let alone those past working age.

Meanwhile in Saddleworth, like much of Yorkshire, concepts of community, identity and belonging seem like relics of a pre-Thatcherite era. There’s no quick fix to problems of loneliness or isolation. De-centralised government and local investment may never be able to solve them. At the same time communities alone can’t create a sense of belonging or pride out of thin-air. The true solution probably lies somewhere between the two camps.

Fenyw

Photographer, Megan Winstone explores various representations of womanhood in her first solo exhibition

Megan Winstone’s Fenyw is a photographic series exploring various representations of womanhood.

Exhibiting at Arcade Cardiff, an artist-led gallery and project space in the Welsh capital, Winstone’s photographs reflect a current zeitgeist characterized by explorations of female identity, femininity, sexuality and really awkward teenage years. Speaking of the show, and women today, the photographer says: “this generation of women have grown up with the Internet; this has had a profound effect on our mental stability regarding body image and acceptance. Being a woman is shit sometimes; we are still facing sexist remarks, struggling for equal pay and menstruation is treated as a taboo. Other than that bollocks, I love being a woman!".

As a publisher and Community Interest Company, TRIP is dedicated to showcasing unconventional stories that may otherwise be overlooked. We aim to give a platform to the unseen and a microphone to the ignored. Expression is a right and should not be confined to those that can afford to work for free; which is why we strive to support a diverse range of creatives in their work, commissioning exciting projects and creatives to visualize them.
 

Founded as a magazine in 2013 by photographer, Dean Davies, TRIP was born from a desire to provide opportunity and exposure for image-makers across multiple platforms and medias. With a focus on people and place, in 5 years TRIP gained a loyal readership, and became known for its honest image output and representation of the underrepresented, featuring over 800 image-makers from across the world through a website, 5 magazines and 3 free zines.
 

As TRIP C.I.C. we are not interested in profiting from the activities of the organization, and re-invest all income back in to consecutive publishing projects.
 

Directors:
Dean Davies
Alfie Allen
 

For all enquiries: trip@trippublishing.co.uk.