Rotherham and the surrounding areas have undergone profound changes during the last century. At the beginning of that period the area was the scene of heavy industry and coal mining, although the town was still an important market town and there were still rural enclaves in its hinterland. Coal mining has w completely disappeared and there is a wide range of employment. Some former sites of industry have w been replaced by out-of-town shopping centres and green spaces. The selected photographs are divided into three sections: the town core, the town beyond the old core, and the surrounding settlements and countryside. They constitute a comprehensive pictorial record of the communities during a period of profound change. The images show stability in terms of landmarks but changes in land use and physical appearance. They will be of lasting interest to long-established residents and the many visitors to the area.
Mel is Visiting Professor in landscape history at Sheffield Hallam University. His most recent books include Sheffield's Woodland Heritage (4th edition, 2009) and Sheffield: a Photographic Journey through Yorkshire's Greenest City (2009). Trees and Woodland in the South Yorkshire Landscape is due out in the Spring of 2012.