Hyde is a small industrial town in north-east Cheshire, situated some 7 miles from Manchester. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Hyde relied on the production of cotton for its prosperity. But by 1971, the cotton industry was already dying and with the advent of the supermarket and the building of the M67, small shops struggled to compete, and the mills, along with many houses, pubs and churches, were demolished. As Hyde began to change local historian Lee Brown endeavoured to record as much as he could on film. Despite the overgrown trees, bushes, grass and foliage sometimes getting in the way, Lee aims to show the comparisons of Hyde past and present, and take the reader on a photographic journey through the good times, as well as the struggles in more recent years that Hyde has faced.
Born in Ashton Under Lyne to fairly nomadic parents, Dad was a skilled hat maker from Preston and when the hatting trade died there he and Mum headed for the Denton/Stockport area where it was still flourishing. All his escapades from the Sixties are well documented in his book Three Bolts for a Junkshop? that he had published in 1993. He began work in 1966 as a salesman in the gent's wear department of a large store in Manchester but changed carriers to begin a 35 year career with British Gas. He rose through the ranks from labourer to engineer in the gas control section and after having a couple lucky escapes he finally retired in one piece in 1994 after running the department for ten years. He has also been an emergency warden for dependant people and drove buses into Manchester for a while but changed so he drove buses for the disabled instead. He did that until his wife Brenda, whom he had been married to for thirty years, died in 2001 and then retired for good to concentrate on writing, photography, cricket and travel. He became a magistrate in 1993. He play's cricket and captain's the 4th xi at Hyde Cricket Club for whom he also play's table tennis. He married again, Brenda's best friend Judi, and they live in the wilds of Derbyshire with Lexi, a rescue greyhound, Saphy, a rescue Bedlington and Madge, a rescue tortoiseshell cat.