Paul Trevor, photographer
Paul Trevor photographed these children playing in Fournier Street one afternoon in 1974. “Much of it was derelict. It felt abandoned,” he says, describing the neighbourhood at the time, “yet from this unlikely location I was gifted a vivid story of a community surviving considerable hardship with resilience, humour and hope – none more so than the kids.”
Since the nineteen seventies, Paul Trevor has been taking pictures here whilst going about his day-to-day business. The result is an important body of work by a photographer of stature that now exists as a record of the social change that has come upon this place, and five hundred of Paul Trevor’s photographs of Spitalfields are collected in the London Metropolitan University East End Archive. Currently, there is also a well chosen exhibition of his photographs of children, at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green until 29th November.
Paul Trevor’s beautiful and empathetic pictures record the daily lives of people here with an acute eye, while also recording the vast physical changes and witnessing the social tensions too – manifested particularly in the demonstrations by the Anti Nazi League against the National Front. It was at one of these in 1978, that he photographed this audacious brat gleefully waving his toy gun behind a policeman’s back at the corner of Brick Lane and Quaker Street.