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Bad Characters…
1930s Mugshots

Scrolling through these mugshots from 1930s Newcastle, it’s hard not to think about the kind of lives these men lived before they ended up in this police book. I imagine being born in the slums of the late 1800s, where thieving was the only thing that kept you alive. The captions on them are fascinating – “minus left eye,” “bad character,” “RIP London Blitz 1940” and “Died in action Benwell Hotel,” – as are their nicknames – “Doggy,” “Fatty” etc. This book of mugshots was found in a Newcastle junk shop and was preserved by the Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums. It seems like the book is a collection of local thieves, one that the cops could flip through every time someone was robbed to see who fit the bill. Step back in time below and put yourself in the shoes of a 1930s thief!


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Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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