This body of work was begun during a ten day photographer in residence scheme by Stephen McCoy, initiated by the now defunct organisiation "Merseyside Arts". Using a 5x4 view camera he produced photographs of the people and landscape of Skelmersdale. After the residency finished McCoy continued working in order to portray the town over a full year.
Skelmersdale was designated a "New Town"in 1961, designed to house overspill populations from the north Merseyside conurbation. With the economic downturn in the late 1970s large industrial employers left the town en masse, resulting in an increase in crime, drug abuse and poverty. Since 2006 efforts have been made to reverse this decline. The work was exhibited in Skelmersdale in 1984 and put away into storage until a selection was published recently by Cafe Royal Books. There was a further resurgence in interest when McCoy Wynne photographed "The Magnetic North" a band making a record based on experiences of Skelmersdale and some of the archive images were used in the CD and record sleeve. Images were also projected during live performances and used to accompany an article in The Observer.