A photograph of a scene at the Durham Miners' Gala, Northumberland, taken by Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972) in 1969. An elderly man and a young boy sit on the grass, surrounded by a selection of musical instruments and banners. This photograph was reproduced in Ray-Jones' book, 'A Day Off - An English Journal'. The first Durham Miners' Gala was held in 1871. Tony Ray-Jones studied graphic design in London before moving to America in 1962 where he met the influential picture editor Alexey Brodovitch who was to have a profound influence on his work as a photographer. In 1965 Ray-Jones returned to Britain to work on a book of photographs about how the British spent their leisure time. A keen social observer, he took photographs of 'everyday' events and made them into something extraordinary. In 1972 Tony Ray-Jones died from leukaemia, aged just 30. His book 'A Day Off - An English Journal' was published posthumously in 1974. His work has influenced a new generation of British photographers.
© Tony Ray-Jones / National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library