Salford-born photographer Shirley Baker’s images from the event in the 60s and 70s capture our enduring obsession with dogs
In 2003, researchers at the University of California at San Diego went to the local park and took separate photographs of 50 dog owners and their pets. They then asked a random group of observers, with no knowledge of the subjects of the photographs, to match the canines with their owners. They managed to do so with a very significant degree of accuracy, proving once and for all the anecdotal wisdom that people tend to choose four-legged friends in their own image.
Shirley Baker’s photographs demonstrated that fact 40 years before the Californian experiment. Baker, born in Salford in 1932, has become most celebrated for her poignant, snatched documentary photographs of street life in her native city during the years of slum clearance. She also had a mischievous eye for the idiosyncrasies of the postwar English and their hobbies.