Street life: The works of Newcastle photographer Jimmy Forsyth

Jimmy Forsyth, the photographer who took gritty portraits of city life in Newcastle, died last week at the age of 95. Take a look at just a few highlights from his career, shot over a period of 50 years, as he framed a lasting portrait of the northern, working-class community he was part of….

1 / 13  Photographer Jimmy Forsyth at his home, 1990 Photograph: Keith Pattison/Newcastle Libraries and Information Service
1 / 13 Photographer Jimmy Forsyth at his home, 1990 Photograph: Keith Pattison/Newcastle Libraries and Information Service
2 / 13  Sycamore St girls, 1957 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
2 / 13 Sycamore St girls, 1957 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
3 / 13  Couple, 1950s Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
3 / 13 Couple, 1950s Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
4 / 13  Demolition on Sycamore St, 1960 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
4 / 13 Demolition on Sycamore St, 1960 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Ann Doughty  5 / 13  Ann Doughty Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Ann Doughty 5 / 13 Ann Doughty Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
6 / 13  Pine St, 1960 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
6 / 13 Pine St, 1960 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
7 / 13  Old man, Quayside, 1950s Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
7 / 13 Old man, Quayside, 1950s Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Quayside - St George's Day 1958  8 / 13  Quayside on St George's Day, 1958 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Quayside – St George’s Day 1958 8 / 13 Quayside on St George’s Day, 1958 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
9 / 13  Ragman, Delaval Road, 1959 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
9 / 13 Ragman, Delaval Road, 1959 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
10 / 13  Royal Oak girl, Scotswood Road, 1956 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
10 / 13 Royal Oak girl, Scotswood Road, 1956 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Newcastle  11 / 13  A man with his son Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
Jimmy Forsyth: Newcastle 11 / 13 A man with his son Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
12 / 13  'Gatters' McElderry, c1957 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archive
12 / 13 ‘Gatters’ McElderry, c1957 Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archive
13 / 13  A city scene, with demolition in the background Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives
13 / 13 A city scene, with demolition in the background Photograph: Jimmy Forsyth/Tyne & Wear Archives

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6 Responses to “Street life: The works of Newcastle photographer Jimmy Forsyth”

  1. Ron Says:

    Our family lived 10 yards from where picture 9 was taken, in a house opposite the Co-op. I remember the cobbles and I remember Delaval road going almost all the way down to Scotswood Road.
    I didn’t know Jimmy then and it wasn’t until the mid 60’s that I became aware of his activity in the area never dreaming that one day he’d become something of a celebrity. Most of the area was desperately poor and his black and white pictures highlight this fact which should never be forgotten. Looking at the area from Google Earth shows how much has been removed and the “community” dispersed. It’s nice to read posts from some whose names I recognise and who seem to have gone on to do well. My earliest best friends lived in the Delaval road/ gardens Cranbrook road area. These places have gone along with the friends who I hope have all prospered.

    • Tyra Says:

      I used to live in St. Margarets Road just down the road from Deleval and of course, I attended Deleval nursery and juniors. If I am correct, Jimmy used to live in Cranbrook Road. I remember walking past his house on my way to school and he would be leaning over his wall most likely looking for somehing to photograph. I knew he was well known but never knew why until years later when he asked to take a picture of my sister and me. I have never seen the picture but would love to.

  2. steve wright Says:

    It was a hard area but the urban landscapes were dramatic with a wonderful sweeping view of the banks of the Tyne. There semed to me much more streetlife in those days. Folks were warm and chatty. Jimmy was often accompanied by a brown mongrel called Sandy and always had words for us raggamuffin kids on the streets around Deleval Gardens, Cranbrook Road, Davies Shop, the Tin Lizzie and the Arms Factory along Scotswood Road. People have moved on but all of us that have childhood memories rooted in that place are grateful to Jimmy for reminding us of where we came from. It must be 30 years since I last met Ron posting above – but feel the same coming a crossthese images from a much porrer but in manyw ays more real and richer time

  3. mark stewart Says:

    back in 2000 !! and something i had the pleasure of jimmy in my taxi on dropping him of at his home [the flats in cruddis park ] he took my photo i was just wondering if i would be in his photo arcives, and if yes were would i be able to see it

  4. Zena Says:

    I remember living on St Margarets Road when I was young. I loved looking over the river from by bedroom window over to the steal works of which is now were the Metro Centre has been built. I also remember playing in the tinner (were did that name come from I wonder??) I do believe that Jimmy has sadly passed away god rest his sole. My sister in law looked after him were she used to work in the care home. Happy days.

  5. ELABIGGINS@YAHOO.CO.UK Says:

    can any one help me .. am looking to trace my family roots .. my mothers family lived on scootwood road .. They were clled Masons.. they were travellers .. Anyone that can help please email me angie

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