East London Portfolio: Cafe Society

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Everywhere you went, you would find a cafe where you could go in and get a bacon sarnie and a cup of tea,” he told me ,“they were not fancy restaurants but you could always rely on getting a cuppa and a sandwich.” In John’s youth, the East End was full of independently-run cafes where everyone could afford to eat, and his pictures celebrate these egalitarian and homely places that were once centres for the life of the community

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.

Hot Pies, E2, 1982.
“It makes you think twice whether you would eat one of their hot pies.”

Boxing managers at Terry Lawless’ Gym, E16, 1969.

Windsor Cafe, 1982.

Windsor Cafe, 1982
“As I walked past the Windsor Cafe, I looked back and saw ‘Snack Bar or Cafe.’ Genius!”

Michael Ferrier, Breaker’s Yard, E16, 1975. "He looks like the artful dodger.”

Father Bill Shergold, founder of 59 Club, at Southend.
“I met him at the 59 Club to say hello. And someone wanted me to do a portrait
for a charity thing, so I said, ‘Absolutely, we’ll get him down to Southend.’”

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