Photographer Paul Graham published his first book in 1983, A1 – The Great North Road, a gray-hued, rain-soaked visual essay linking London to Edinburgh on the 400-mile road. The path had a history dating back to Roman times, but the road itself was constructed in the first half of the 20th century. In the early twentieth century, this road was developed. By the 1950s, the interstate had been bypassed by (both literally and figuratively).
Graham was an English self-taught photographer (encouraged by his Scoutmaster) who when he took this picture was in his twenties and unemployed. His 1980s vision of the Great North Road is one of fry-ups and Little Chefs and truck drivers and Formica and Boiler Suits, now reissued by MACK. Captured all in color. This is a glimpse into a forgotten world almost 40 years ago. So near, but so far away.
A1 – Paul Graham’s The Great North Road is written by MACK and costs £ 40. Image © Paul Graham