Hyde is a small industrial town in rth-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, Lee Brown's father was a skilled hat maker from Preston and when the hatting trade died there he and his mother headed for the Denton/Stockport area where it was still flourishing. 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 currently lives Derbyshire.