Before the hipsters came to Hackney: Evocative 1970s pictures show long-lost east London community of vibrant markets, children playing in the streets and factories buzzing with workers
- A stunning set of black and white photos reveals what Hackney and the surrounding areas used to look like
- The images were captured by by Stoke Newington native Neil Martinson who went to school in Hackney North
- Today bars, yoga studios and pop up shops line the streets in the area but the photos show a simpler time
Evocative pictures from the 1970s show a version of east London that has long been forgotten since its streets have been taken up by artisinal coffee shops and hipster craft beer bars.
A stunning set of black and white photos reveals a vibrant community full of market sellers, children playing in the streets and factories buzzing with workers - a far cry from the studio spaces and yoga dens that now take up most of Hackney and the surrounding areas.
Today places like Ridley Road Market in Dalston are home to funky cocktail bars that promise diversity and a great night out for locals. But in the 70s market sellers would line the streets, with customers queuing up to buy fresh produce. While the market is still active today, the number of customers visiting the area specifically for their fix of fresh fruit and veg is depleting.
Other images show the River Lea running through Bow and Hackney Wick. Barges carrying various goods would usually be spotted on the water, but now house boats line the river edge and runners are often seen donning their best high visibility gear as they pound the pavements.
The lives and trying times of those living in Hackney and the surrounding areas were captured by Stoke Newington native Neil Martinson.
He started taking photos while he was still at school in Hackney and has now released a the 'Hackney Archive: Work and Life 1971-1985', which is a unique collection of photos showing Hackney before it became gentrified.
Dalston Kingsland's vibrant Ridley Road Market in 1981. These days, world food stalls and veg sellers rub shoulders with trendy bars and clubs. The picture above shows one of the market sellers at a fruit stall where lucky customers were able to purchase ripe peaches prices at a bargain on six for just 20p. A shopping centre can be seen at the end of the street and bananas are also seen hanging from another fruit stall
Hackney started to change in the 70s and 80s. Nurses took to the streets in pay disputes outside Bethnal Green Hospital. The four female nurses are seen above in their traditional uniforms. They are holding on to leaflets which say: 'Help us win a fair wage' and 'you can't live on dedication'. Other campaigners were also seen out with the nurses as they flicked through the newspaper
A factory worker smokes as he works in a garment factory in Dalston's Shacklewell Lane, 1981. He is wearing a turtle neck jumper and the atmosphere looks casual. Other workers are also seen in the background, one is wearing a striped top and the other wearing a shirt. Health and safety regulations would today state that correct attire would have to be worn at the workplace and smoking would not be allowed
The cover of the book which was been released through Hoxton Mini Press is pictured above and shows the image of a man at a barber shop. The new release is Book 7 in a series called 'vintage Britain'. The images included in the book take the reader on a journey through the various areas of Hackney, covering everywhere from Dalston to Clapton the the surrounding areas such as Stamford Bridge
The River Lea, in 1971. The river originates in originates in the Chiltern Hills, England, and flows southeast through east London where it meets the River Thames. The barges above are likely carrying goods from one end of east London to another. There are now several bars which are near the river bank and today house boats also line the river, as many struggle to find affordable accommodation in London
It was common to see children playing on the streets in the 1970s. The lack of traffic, and very different attitudes, gave children a freedom that seems quite remote now. It is very rare now that you see children all outside in large groups playing together. Now many attend play dates and other organised groups where local people are able to meet and interact with those who have the same interests as them
A man has his moustache attended to at a local barber shop. This is a far cry from the hipster salons in Hackney which offer so -called 'clean beauty' treatments. Many salons in Hackney now also offer a range of services and the high streets are home to many various nail stores and afro-Caribbean salons which cater for the diverse population of Hackney and its surrounding areas
Rachel Point and her family at their home on the Nightingale Estate in Lower Clapton, 1974. The children beam for the camera in the decor is traditionally 1970s chic. There is a lamp on the right hand side which is complete with tassles. There is also a comfy arm chair and a sofa. The children are wearing cute dresses and are both wearing long white socks, Mrs Point is wearing something similar but without the socks
The Telsner family at home in the predominantly Jewish community of Stamford Hill in 1981. Hackney and surrounding areas has played home to multiple nationalities and cultures throughout the decades. One man can be seen reading from a large scripture while the children listen to him. Another child is being read to by a woman. Stamford Hill is now home to a range of Jewish shops
Giorgi's Cafe on Bethnal Green Road, 1971. Some of the areas cafes, such as E Pelicci's, have remained in the area since 1900. If you take a walk down Bethnal Green Road today you will still find some of the old shops from the 70s, as many were family run businesses. It now connects hip Shoreditch to the rest of east London and is home to a Nandos, a McDonald's and even a KFC
Fresh fish of the day on sale in Dalston's Ridley Road Market in 1981. The owner of the stall smiles and other customers can be seen on the other side of the stall. For sale are various fish such as Salmon, Mullet, Trout and Rainbow Trout. The market is still running today and now includes various bars and pubs as well as the more traditional fruit and veg stores and of course a fish mongers
A local rag and bone man rides his horse and cart on Graham Road, Hackney, in 1971. Graham Road is still mainly residential. One end of Graham Road today boast many amenities for local residents and is close to Hackney Central overground station. The other end is closer to Dalston and has a music shop and some smaller independent shops and eateries which local residents can enjoy
Hackney Archive: Work and Life 1971-1985 by Neil Martinson is published by Hoxton Mini Press on 6 February (https://www.hoxtonminipress.com/collections/books/products/hackney-archive)
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