Better Than Watching TV

Richard McClean
13 - 22 June 2024

turntable gallery is very proud to present a photographic project by esteemed local photographer, Richard McClean: Better Than Watching TV.

In the 1960s a close-knit community to the east of Freeman Street in Grimsby was dispersed and their homes cleared for the construction of six fifteen storey tower blocks or ‘Houses’; Albion, Bevan, Garibaldi, Nelson, Tennyson and Thesiger. The last residents of the close knit community that developed were dispersed in 2017 and the towers demolished in 2018. In 2024 the site remains derelict.

This collection of documentary photographs by Richard McClean with research by Carla Linford and stories from local residents charts the history of the site from WWII bombings through utopian brutalism to the long decline and eventual demolition. The humour and poignancy of the memories shared contrasts with the photographs of the empty flats and their destruction and invites us to reflect on our own relationship with the towers which cast their shadow over Grimsby for over five decades.

Richard mentions:
“In terms of influence… there’s no one specific but the Café Royal series of books is. I kind of aim that my photos might be something they would publish in 20 years. A kind of future nostalgia, documenting today’s mundane in an artful way so it becomes more interesting as time passes.”

Whether our view was from the windows looking down on the daily comings and goings on Freeman Street or looking up as the cranes tore down a chapter of local history, it was better than watching TV. 

turntable gallery
  • 88 Wharncliffe Road
  • Grimsby
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • DN31 3QJ
  • UK
Opening Hours
  • Thursday to Saturday
  • 11:00 - 14:00
  • or by appointment