Thirty years of life etched on their faces
Among them you will find highs and lows. One ran away to live on the streets of London, another now leads the way in tackling deprivation. The black and white pictures represent life's rich tapestry, captured before the pattern was set.
It was part of a project set up by local community worker Chris Mearns who was running summer playgroups in Elswick but who also had a passion for photography.
So much so that a decade later he wondered what had become of the kids who were growing up in a deprived part of Tyneside. However his attempt to find them didn't come off.
Chris Mearns in 1981
A local newspaper showed some interest in appealing for the original participants to come forward, but managed to lose all his prints and the story never appeared.
Luckily he still had the negatives and 30 years on he approached me to see if I could help track down the Elswick kids.
Along with some of Chris' friends who developed a website and social media sites we all worked together and a short report went out on Look North and the whole thing took off.
Chris' aim was to reshoot the self portraits and capture not just the image but their stories.
Trish - Swimming Instructor
Their stories are amazing as you'll see on our next programme (BBC One, Monday 28 November 2011, 19:30hrs GMT)
Trish was a young swimming instructor who as a single mother decided to up sticks to make a better life for her family in the Channel Islands. With just backpacks and a lot of courage they set off in the hope it would work out.
Also in the motley crew a woman who became a drug addict after running away to London at just 13 years. With no educational qualifications Gill turned it all around and now has a university degree as an occupational therapist.
Margaret - still at school
She lives in the same house as when the picture was taken of her as a little girl. Even more surprsing is that she now works at the same primary school she went to back in 1981
Amanda used her childhood growing up in a deprived area to build a career in urban regeneration. For her life has come full circle.
Tonight's show has a very emotional twist to it that will certainly give extra impact to this project. After it's aired I will add more information to this blog.