Daniel Meadows: Steeplejack 1976

Café Royal Books

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Softcover | 14 X 20 cm | 20 pp

Café Royal Books | 2020

In September 1976 Daniel Meadows photographed Rochdale steeplejack, Peter Tatham, ladder and then demolish the 150 foot (46 metre) chimney of the former Salford city incinerator.

With a hole cut in the chimney's side at the bottom so that rubble could be removed, Tatham worked his way down the stack. Sitting astride the wall he took it apart piece by piece, dropping sections of cast iron and brickwork down inside the shaft.

"It's a job like this” said Tatham. "If you're workin' up there, you need to have done the labourin' job to understand what the labourer's doin' down there and what you want him to do. The first time or two were a bit uncomfortable, cos they stuck me up a big 'un down in Rochdale first time, in winter. I got under the head and I came back down again. I couldn't feel me bloody finger ends, you know?”

Café Royal Books, established in 2005, is a small family-run publisher based in England, focussing on documentary photography linked to Britain and Ireland, printed and bound locally by a small 170 year old printing company. In 2022 Café Royal Books received the Royal Photographic Society Award for Photographic Publishing.

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