Feature: Murton in photos

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The painter, the OBE, the local football team... all have stared down Anth Short’s camera lense.

He has spent the past six months capturing locals on camera for his book Hinny – In the Shadow of the Pit Wheel.

The 29-year-old set about building a picture of the former pit village 20 years after the pit closed.

“I noticed that the shops in Murton were dropping like flies and realised it was changing so much it would soon be nothing but houses and a Co-op so I decided to take photos before it all went the way of the Dodo,” he said.

Football teams, scout groups, shop owners, local characters and of course, ex-miners all agreed to be pictured for the book.

All told, more than 130 photos of residents appear in the book alongside snapshots of buildings and landmarks in the village.

He said: “I put posters and flyers up and a notice in the Echo but most of the photographs came from word of mouth.

“I’d take someone’s picture then they’d suggest someone else. For some I had to go and see them a few times so it was a lot of work running from one end of Murton to the other.

“I wanted the photos to look like each person was just doing what they always do and I turned round and took a picture.”

Anth started out as a professional photographer two years ago and hopes to use money from the sale of the book to start his own studio.

At the moment he is working in Sainsburys to support his young family – partner Angela and daughters Jessica, six and eight-week-old Sophie.

He said: “I moved to Murton a year ago because Angela’s from here.

“At first I just thought every bus stop had a single parent and a pram. It took me as a place where people got shoved.

“As I’ve got to know it I’ve changed my mind. I think the people here are brilliant.”

Anth says the book ‘is for Murtoners’ so outsiders can only guess at the stories behind the faces.

He added: “It’s for the people who live here and it’s not about one photo, it’s about the collection.

“I got to hear a lot of life stories and it changed my whole opinion of the place.

“When I take a photo, that’s how you’re going to see it. I don’t airbrush or use Photoshop because I haven’t got time. All I do is convert them into black and white.”

The book is for sale from December 1 for £9.99 in Murton shops or from Anth Short. Email anth_short@hotmail.co.uk