East London Portfolio: Nation of Shopkeepers

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“I used to go to the shops with my mum every Saturday morning, and she’d meet people she knew and they’d be chatting for maybe an hour, so I’d go off and meet other kids and we’d be playing on a bombsite – it was a strange education!”

“People had a pride in what they were selling or what they were doing. You’d go into these places and they’d all smell different. They all had their distinct character, it was wonderful."

Excerpt taken from an interview with gentle author, Spitalfields Life, who first published these photographs.
To read the full interview Click Here.

Ross Bakeries, Quaker St, 1966

Shop in Spitalfields, 1964.

C & K Grocers, Spitalfields, 1982
"From the floor to the roof, the shop was stocked full of everything you could imagine"

Cobbler, Spitalfields, 1969.

Flo's Stores, Spitalfields, 1962
"All the shops were individual then. Somebody painted the typography
themselves here and it�s brilliant"

Fruit & Veg, Bethnal Green 1961
"I'd been to a party and it was five o'clock in the morning, but she was open"

W.Wernick, Spitalfields, 1962.

Fishmonger, Spitalfields, 1965.

Corner Shop, Spitalfields, 1961
"The kid's just got his stuff for his mum and he's walking back"

At W.Wernick Poulterers, Spitalfields, 1962
" She�s got her hat, her cup of tea and her flask.
There was no refrigeration but it was chilly"

Fiorella Shoes, E2, 1966
"There�s only four pairs of shoes in the window. How could they measure shoes to fit, when they couldn�t even fit the words in the window? The man next door said to me, 'Would you like me to step back out of the picture?' I said, 'No, I�d really like you to be in the picture'."

Bertha, Spitalfields, 1982 - �
"Everything is closing down but you can still have a wedding!
She�s been jilted at the altar and she�s just waiting now"

Bakers, Spitalfields, 1959
"There's only three buns and a cake in the window"

Jacques Wolff, E13 1960
"His name was probably Jack Fox and he changed it to Jacques Wolff."

Waltons, E13 1960
"They just sold cheap shoes, but you could get a nice Italian
pair knocked off from the docks at a good price"

Churchman�s, Spitalfields, 1968
"Anything you wanted from cigarettes to headache pills"

White, Spitalfields 1967
"I saw these three kids and photographed them,
it was only afterwards I saw the name White.�

The Door, E2 1960.

The Window, E16 1982
"Just a little dress shop, selling bits and pieces.
The clothes could have been from almost any era"

Victor, E14 1968
"There�s no cars on the road, the place was empty, but there was a flower shop
on the corner and it was always full of flowers."

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