Spillers’ Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill

I’m pleased to announce the release of my first photography book, Spillers’ Downfall — a self-published series of images documenting the demolition of Spillers Mill here in Newcastle upon Tyne.

“…a set of images that are both strangely beautiful and undeniably awesome.” — Rob Meddes, The Crack

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

I affectionately named this iconic building The White Cliffs of Byker after cycling past it for some eight years.

I’ve photographed it on so many occasions, building up a library of nearly five hundred images in the process.  Sadly, the last six months of 2011 became a record of its demolition.

Spillers’ Downfall forms a special selection of those photographs.

— A Selection of Photographs from Spillers’ Downfall

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 11 — ‘The White Cliffs of Byker’

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 29

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 41

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 69

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 75

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 77 — “Insects pick over the carcass…”

Spillers’ Downfall is available to buy in both printed hardback and eBook formats.

UPDATE Spring 2013: A special Collectors’ Edition is now available. Read more…

OR

Click here to buy the printed hardback version for £39.99

Click here to buy the eBook version for £3.99

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

— Media Interest

Interest in this project is really gathering momentum…

  • On 17th February 2013, I was invited by Gem Andrews to ‘Culture Shock’ on NE1fm to discuss Spillers’ Downfall;
  • On 18th February, the Evening Chronicle published this article;
  • The March 2013 edition of The Crack contains a great piece by Rob Meddes (p.13);
  • Sky Tyne & Wear have already paid a visit to my studio and posted an article that you might also like to read…

https://twitter.com/skytyneandwear/status/269424487638917120

— Are You a Publisher?

This title is currently self-published.  If you are a publisher interested in working with me on this title, then please do contact me — I’m all ears!

10 thoughts on “Spillers’ Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill

  1. great work – my Dad worked at Spillers for many years in the 60’s and I remember going to meet him from work often. Looking forward to going through this…

      • Not sure if he exactly enjoyed it – he was an ex miner and ended up at Spillers after not being able to work in the mines anymore…I know he did like how close it was. We lived on Melbourne Street (demolished now) close to City Road, and it was easy for him to get back and forward -no car in those days. That big building was a fixture of my growing up.

      • There must be thousands of stories and memories about Spillers, rather like the mines.

        Interesting that your Dad ended up there after mining — maybe that was commonplace?

        JL

  2. I think they were a big hirer in the 50’s / 60’s, so my guess is a lot of men not able to work in the shipyards or mines would find it pretty easy to pick up work at Spillers -just a guess.
    I find this interesting -the communities that build up around a physical plant or place. My first job out of college back in the 70’s was documenting this kind of thing – life on the Tyne & Wear – interviewing and photographing the different micro-communities that built up around a particular shipyard or industry. Great job – I was too young then to appreciate just how interesting it was.
    Your book would make a great “focal point” for gathering interviews/memories etc.

    • I find it really interesting too, Steve. I think something ‘clicks’ in people when they get a little older, as if a new level of empathy kicks in.

      The same thoughts apply in many of the photographs I make, not least ‘Cambois’ — a photograph I wrote about recently entitled “My Own Perfect Landscape”.

      A little huddle of houses near the port, smelter and power station…

      JL

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jeff.

      Glad you like the cover image. There were a couple of contenders but this one summed up the epic scenes I saw from my bicycle on those cold wintery mornings, as the process came to an end…

      Jack

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