East London Portfolio: In A Lonely Place

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While many left the East End after the war to seek new lives in the suburbs, there were others who stayed and were comfortable living among the bombsites and empty houses, and in his youth John counted himself in the latter category. “I didn’t find it depressing,” he assured me, “because there was still a kind of community. I loved it. There was destruction everywhere yet you couldn’t destroy people’s spirits. But when they took their gardens away and put people in towers where they didn’t know their neighbours, that was destruction of another kind.”

John is keenly aware that outsiders may project their own tragic interpretations upon these pictures of dereliction but, as one who is not ashamed to call himself a Romantic, he asks – “Is it really a lonely place, or is it all in the mind?”

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.

Girl in the Window, E2, 1966.

Pedley St Arch, Spitalfields, 1987.

News of the World, E1, 1968.

End of the Street, E1, 1982.

Circus Poster, E7, 1975.

Pram, E14, 1968.

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