Scenes from town and city centres across the North East feature in a collection of photographs documenting a year in the life of the English high street.

The final selection of images taken by members of the public as part of the Picturing High Streets project are now available to view online in the Historic England Archive.

Among them are several from the North East, capturing scenes in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Durham and Consett.

But before you look at the captions, how many high streets/locations can you guess correctly based just on the photos? 

Number 1:

The Northern Echo: The Dog and Parrot in Grainger Town, Newcastle, features in the collection of street scenes archive

Number 2:

The Northern Echo: Foggy Middle Street in Consett features in the English Heritage high street scene archive

Number 3:

The Northern Echo: Old sketch and recent image of Middlesbrough's Winter Garden featured in English Heritage

Number 4:

The Northern Echo: Haircut underway at Bronx barber's in Saddler Street, Durham

Number 5:

The Northern Echo: Calm before the shopping storm at The Grainger Market

Number 6:

The Northern Echo: Bus shelter under the A66 in Middlesbrough among English Heritage's street scene photographic

Picturing High Streets marks the final year of Historic England’s High Streets Cultural Programme and the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme.

The final collection of 377 photographs introduces viewpoints of differing communities across the country to the archive

People across the country responded to an online national call to submit photographs of the high street on Instagram under the hashtag #PicturingHighStreets, since September 2022.

Now, these 204 winning photographs have entered the archive, the nation’s collection of the country’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history, alongside 173 new images taken as part of local projects with resident artists on high streets.

Those selected from this region include Newcastle’s Grainger Market, a barber’s shop in Durham, a misty morning in Consett and Middlesbrough’s Winter Gardens. 

Picturing High Streets has been a partnership between Historic England and Photoworks, helping to build a contemporary picture of the main thoroughfare’s in towns and cities across the country through mass public participation and community engagement.

It has revealed how important the high street can be as a space for people to come together and connect.

The resulting Picturing High Streets exhibition marks the final year of Historic England’s High Streets Cultural Programme and the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme which has helped to revitalise more than 60 high streets across England.

Tom Frater, Historic England’s Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We were overwhelmed by the amazing responses from the public to our call out for photographs of high streets across the North East and beyond.

“Through contemporary photography, people have captured what makes high streets such special places for social connection, revealed the histories hidden behind shopfronts and celebrated the communities that are keeping them alive today.

“This new national collection is a truly brilliant historic record of high streets today for generations to come.”

The Northern Echo:

Louise Fedotov-Clements, Photoworks Director, said: “This incredible and ground-breaking national programme has produced a truly unique and important photographic representation of the high street.

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“The works highlight a diversity of views featuring the places, people, histories and activities that help us to understand our dynamic relationship to, and the importance of, the high street today.”

Works by resident artists based across England will be seen together for the first time in the Archive.

Photographs from the public and artists toured towns and cities in England, including Middlesbrough, last year, an exhibition said to have "reached" more than 1.1m people.

Answers: 1- 52 Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2- Middle Street, Consett, 3- Middlesbrough's Winter Garden, 4- Bronx Barber's in Saddler Street, Durham, 5-Grainger Market, Newcastle, 6- Bus shelter under the A66 in Middlesbrough