We use cookies on our website. Find out about our cookie policy here.Continue

Open seven days a week, 10.00-18.00. Entry to the Museum is free.

Birmingham, January 1969 by Nick Hedges

Make Life Worth Living: Nick Hedges’ Photographs for Shelter 1968–72

Uncover the harsh realities of poor housing in sixties Britain

Make Life Worth Living presents a collection of powerful and moving works by documentary photographer Nick Hedges, commissioned in 1968 by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.

These hard-hitting photographs, exposing the poor housing conditions and abject poverty being endured by people across Britain. The collection forms one of the most important documentary photography projects of the 20th century.

One hundred black and white photographs are on display for the first time, following a 40 year restriction to protect the anonymity of the subjects. Edited texts from Hedges’ detailed notes accompany the photographs.

Discover our compelling selection from the extensive Hedges archive in the Virgin Media Studio at Media Space.


The Hedges archive is part of the National Photography Collection at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

About the exhibition

Floor: 2
Open From 2/10/2014 

To    01/03/2015
free
  • Children sleeping in the middle of winter, on two sodden seat cushions covered by a couple of old ‘macs’. There was no heating in the room, the snow lay thick outside and the windows were broken. Birmingham, January 1969
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford
  • Playing at ‘Weddings’. The Gorbals, Glasgow, August 1970
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford
  • An Irish family living in a single basement room – tenants of a multi-let house. Liverpool Toxteth, November 1969
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford
  • Children living in substandard property. Birmingham Balsall Heath, June 1969
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford
  • “Make Life Worth Living”, terrace of back-to-back houses. Leeds, West Yorkshire, July 1970
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford
  • Street scene in an inner-city slum area. Toxteth, Liverpool, March 1969
    Credits : © Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford