In 1976 Daniel Meadows, photographer-in-residernce to the borough of Pendle, Lancashire, photographed the Weldone gang of boiler fluers working at Bancroft Shed, Barnoldswick.
Weldone of Brierfield cleaned Bancroft's boiler and chimney passages three times every year but Charlie Sutton, the boss, had had enough. "Ive known every bloody boiler house in this part of the country” he told Meadows, "I’ve been to hell and back." He was forty-nine and exhausted. "I have a bad heart. I told Jack [his 'inside man’], if he comes to me funeral, I want half a bottle o’ Bell's puttin' in with me, and me fluin' mask"
This set of photographs, thought to be the only picture story ever done of boiler fluers was published that year in Lancashire Life magazine. As a result, a buyer for Weldone was found and Sutton was able to retire.
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.