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Photographer publishes book showing changing landscape of Birkenhead


Nov 17, 2023

A WIRRAL photographer has spent “years” capturing the landscape of Birkenhead as a way of remembering the area's history.

Kane Lyons, from New Brighton, has created and published a photography book featuring 100 photos of the unique landscape as a way of documenting the “old Birkenhead”.

The 22-year-old student said the collection of photographs originally started out as a passion project before it was announced by Wirral Council that the area would be undergoing major regeneration.

Birko Bally (Image: Kane Lyons)

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Kane told the Globe: “At first, I was just taking photographs of the town I spent a lot of time growing up in but when the council announced that it was going to undergo this massive regeneration, I thought it’s going to completely change the face of Birkenhead forever.

“Birkenhead has a fascinating history of reaping the benefits of industrialisation with the building of the docks, and then within a relatively short time period, suffering the consequences of deindustrialisation. Reading, Basingstoke, Berkshire

Mud flats (Image: Kane Lyons)

“It became my mission to document and archive all the socially significant buildings that link back to their industrial past because they are all going to be knocked down or converted beyond recognition. So it went from more than just taking photographs of somewhere I have a link to then making a conserved effort to document this town before there’s nothing left of it.”

Lotus antiques (Image: Kane Lyons)

Kane said his love of photography began at a young age when he used to visit abandoned buildings with his mum.

He said: “My mum grew up in Birkenhead so she used to take me around all the places she used to go, and we would also explore abandoned buildings so I used to take pictures on the camera on my phone before I got a proper camera around two years ago.

News and booze (Image: Kane Lyons)

“I’ve never been interested in going down the front and taking picturesque skyline photos. I like the real Birkenhead. Sometimes when I see another photographer, I think 'this isn’t the place I’m meant to be', especially if I see them all lined up taking the same shot.”

Kane released his book titled ‘Birkenhead by Kane Lyon’ on October 30 which has been sold in New York, Chicago, Sweden and Poland.

Argyle and chips (Image: Kane Lyons)

He said: “It’s crazy. It gives you a mad perspective that these people aren’t real but when I was getting orders coming in from all over the world I was thinking wow all these people who I've never met love Birkenhead and its history that they are spending their hard-earned money on a book of photographs of a place they've never been.

Ghost sign (Image: Kane Lyons)

“I have hundreds of photographs but I managed to whittle it down to 100. My favourite is the last photograph in the book which shows an older man walking past the ghost sign I put it last so it seems like he’s walking out of the book.”

To find out more about the book click here.

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