East London Portfolio: Along The Thames

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“As a child, from my bedroom in Plaistow, I could see the lights of the docks at night and I used to go to sleep listening to the sound of the horns on the Thames whenever there was fog, which was quite often. You could smell the river if the wind was blowing in the right direction. A lot of the men in my family worked down the docks. My father took me down to the dock gate when he worked for the New Zealand Shipping Company – and I used to go out with my camera at weekends, or any spare time I had, to take pictures. I went out to see what was going on, I reacted to what was there and, if I saw something, I photographed it. It was instinctive, I never thought I was documenting. I had a need to take pictures, it was as natural as breathing.”

Excerpt taken from an interview with gentle author, Spitalfields Life, who first published these photographs.
To read the full interview and see the remaining 14 photographs in this series, Click Here.

1962, a crane driver takes a break for a fag in Silvertown.

In Silvertown, 1964.

“I climbed over the dock wall to take this picture in New Canning Town.
You never expect it to go and then all of a sudden it’s gone.” 1964.

In Poplar, at the very end of the docks, 1982. “You can see how quiet it is.”

Near Stratford, from road bridge with the canal in the foregound, 1960.

Near St Catherine’s Dock, 1960. “It was all open then, you could walk around.”

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