The big picture: Thatcher’s children, 30 years on
Three decades after his photographs of a family in Blackpool came to symbolise the deprivation of post-Thatcherite Britain, Craig Easton caught up with the now adult children
In 1992, Craig Easton was commissioned by the French newspaper Libération to take photographs to illustrate a story on the idea of the British “underclass” – what the Tories of the time called “something for nothing” society. Easton spent some time with Mandy and Mick Williams and their family in Blackpool. Mick had lost his job as a removals man and he and his wife and six children had subsisted for years on benefits in a temporary hostel. The pictures of the Williams children became emblematic of the deprivation of post-Thatcherite Britain.
Easton wondered over the years what became of the family. He first tried to track the children down in 2005 and eventually caught up with them a decade later, mostly still living in the north-west. Katrina, pictured here at her wedding reception in 2018, was four when Easton first photographed her with her siblings. When he showed her those newspaper pictures, it was the first time she’d seen any images of herself as a child.