Forgotten black and white photograph of cheeky young lads taken in Burnley almost 45 years ago sparks search to find them

Do you recognise any of these cheeky faced youngsters in this photograph? Or could it be you?

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:47 pm
Do you know any of the boys in this photograph taken in Burnley in the summer of 1976?

It was taken in the Reedley Hallows area of Burnley, towards the end of the long hot summer of 1976, by amateur photographer Paul Kirkup.

He was just 19 at the time and studying building construction at the Harris College in Preston.

A railway enthusiast who loves building model railways, Paul would travel by train from his home in Nelson every day and on day he took this image he had decided to walk along the canal bank from Barden Lane to snap trains and railway structures between there and Burnley.

Paul Kirkup with the camera, that belonged to his father, that he used to take the picture of the young lads with after they made a cheeky request

Recalling the day clearly Paul, who lives in Fence, said: "It was a sultry late summer afternoon, and the trains I photographed had all their windows open for ventilation.

"At one point on my walk some kids had thrown stones at me from a garden that I passed, but on my way back these cheeky kids sitting on a bridge parapet shouted to me to 'take our photo mister!' "

Paul obliged and more or less forgot about it. It was only when he recently went through his collection and began scanning films that he saw photographs he had taken for the first time in almost 50 years.

The photo was taken on a camera that belonged to his father. And Paul, who went on to work in the estates department for Preston Health Authority, then for an architectural practice in Accrington, followed by a brief spell at Calderdale Council, still has the Practika Super TL camera to this day.

Paul, who took early retirement from his last job in charge of the construction works design section at Salford University, shared the picture on social media to see if he could find the lads who made that cheeky request all those years ago.