The big picture: romance in rave-era Wirral

Ken Grant’s image of 90s New Brighton captures the innocence of young love in a pre-gentrified seaside town

It’s a sunny afternoon in the seaside resort of New Brighton in the Wirral, Merseyside and a group of young people has assembled with drinks from the nearby off-licence. The year is 1993, as evidenced by the baggy clothes and artfully dishevelled hair, at the height of the UK rave scene. Two loved-up couples embrace, leaning on a Mini. On top of the car, their friend looks on despondently.

“Sometimes it can get a bit intense when there are long days in the sun and people have been drinking, but that day it seemed quite innocent – just young couples doing what they do,” says photographer Ken Grant. “The Golden Guinea was one of those bars that had a late licence. When I’ve photographed [the area] over the years there’s always been a bit of a sound system going on outside, people would be drinking and dancing, and then heading to bars with bands on.”

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