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Steve Lewis’ Sixties Album

October 27, 2014
by the gentle author

Starting at seventeen years old, photographer Steve Lewis took all these pictures while he was working for the Ilford Recorder and the Newham Recorder in the nineteen-sixties.

Tom Duncan, Editor of the Newham Recorder, was keen to tackle social issues and the reality of working class people’s lives in the East End, that were barely touched by London’s “Swinging Sixties.” “He was very go-ahead and he asked me to take a picture every week as a way to record what was going on and he called it ‘Lewis’ View’” recalled Steve, “I was not really aware what I was doing at the time, fitting in these pictures whilst I was putting together other stories for the paper.”

Steve Lewis will be showing his photographs and talking about his work with archivist Stefan Dickers this Tuesday 28th October 7:30pm, at the Bishopsgate Institute, and tickets are available here

In a halfway home in Newham

Alfred Davies had been delivering milk from this handcart to homes in Forest Gate for over thirty years

Sisters Rose Walsham & Susan Lawrence, lifelong customers at the Duke of Fife

Street trader selling vegetables in Barking

In Whitechapel, a group of National Front supporters came by night to nail their message of racial hatred to the door and fire bomb this family

This urban beachcomber was a familiar sight upon the streets of Whitechapel and Stepney

John Loftus of the Manby Arms in Stratford adopted “Bass” a retired donkey

David Bailey and his American girlfriend Penelope Tree

Mrs Mary Riley, caravan dweller, peeling potatoes in Barking

A Gipsy family on Beckton Marshes

A street trader from the 1960s who – from his appearance – could equally belong to the 1860s

In the “Swinging Sixties”

Homeless children in a halfway home.

Leslie Lucking combined the roles of Lollipop lady and mother to her daughter Tracey

An ambitious rag and bone man advertises “COMPLETE Homes Purchased”

Photographs copyright © Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis’ books LONDON’S EAST END – A SIXTIES ALBUM and LONDON’S EAST END – THEN & NOW are available direct from his website

23 Responses leave one →
  1. Molasses permalink
    October 27, 2014

    >In the “Swinging Sixties”

    Loved that comment!

    On a separate note, life then, like now, was not a bed of roses – our imaginary memories of time past, may make it appear more idyllic.

  2. October 27, 2014

    Really looking forward to this. Great, nostalgic pictures.

  3. October 27, 2014

    Great photos which record the feeling of the sixties. Valerie

  4. October 27, 2014

    Another fantastic collection shared. Thank You. JP

  5. October 27, 2014

    The sixties weren’t only swinging, but also easygoing as one can see. — Great photographs!

    Love & Peace

  6. joan permalink
    October 27, 2014

    Manby Arms, Stratford (photo with the donkey) has now been closed down and boarded up for some months ‘closed for renovation’. Like most people who live within sight of it I never used it when it was a functioning pub but am intrigued as to what will become of the site – given it is on a largish plot of land and was auctioned for a lot of money.

  7. Kobi permalink
    October 27, 2014

    Great photos. The one with the homeless children and the kid crying on the right made me sad. I wonder what became of them.

  8. October 27, 2014

    I had the same thought as Kobi re the small boys at the halfway house. The blonde boy, especially , looks bewildered and anxious. I wonder, too what happened to them.
    Amazing pictures, and in particular the boy on the balcony sitting at a school desk.
    Thank you for sharing. I so much enjoy your blogs.

  9. October 27, 2014

    Wonderful pictures.

  10. Philip Marriage permalink
    October 27, 2014

    Lovely – every one’s a winner!

  11. Sebastian permalink
    October 27, 2014

    That is David Bailey at his house in Gloucester avenue, Primrose hill. I grew up just down the road and would often see David rushing out of Brenda’s shop with a stolen loaf of bread…

  12. October 27, 2014

    Thank you – fantastic photos, I enjoyed seeing them very much. So much emotion captured.

  13. Neville Turner permalink
    October 27, 2014

    Great photo’s the No 40 bus from Forest Gate to Aldgate reminds me of hearing Forest Gate spoken as Forest Skate localy in and around Aldgate only when at about the age of 11 seeing the No 40 bus did I realise the difference.

  14. Pauline Taylor permalink
    October 27, 2014

    Great to see these but the one of the homeless children really tears at the heartstrings, I have rarely seen such a moving picture, I hope life was kinder to them from then on.

  15. October 27, 2014

    Thanks to everyone for the comments made on the Spitalfields Life web site, it would be great to meet anyone who would like to come to the Bishopsgate Institute tomorrow night and discuss my East London photographs.

  16. Gary Arber permalink
    October 27, 2014

    A man named Alf pushed one of those milkmans hand trolleys for Evans Dairy in Ford Street, Bow for most of his life. I met him after the dairy had been knocked down for “progress” and he said that he was working in the park as a gardener and he realised how much better life would have been if he had never met Dave Evans.
    Dave Evans retired to Southend when his dairy was knocked down and had only been there for about 5 weeks when he was killed by a car.

  17. October 28, 2014

    Can’t be there tonight, but with you in spirit, Steve; have a great evening. Respond very much to the photographs. Oddly enough, for me, many of the people depicted gladden the heart. (I certainly wasn’t part of the swinging sixties either..)

  18. rose permalink
    October 28, 2014

    Best in ages thanks ….loved gypsy life all smiles ..waist coats, racism , milk bottles , david and donkeys

  19. Hilary permalink
    October 28, 2014

    Yes,the poor homeless children. There are children today having to live in bed and breakfast accommodation…

  20. October 28, 2014

    Great photos!

  21. Ellen in NEW England permalink
    October 28, 2014

    That milkman could have used the services of Bass the donkey. And so precarious with all those glass bottles! He must have developed a real feel for how to maneuver that cart.

  22. Dookist permalink
    November 2, 2014

    Amazing pics! I was brought up in this area… Looks very familiar.

  23. Herta Gehres ( Schwaerzler) Austrian permalink
    February 25, 2015

    Wonderful Pictures, nice memories. Have been in London in 1966/1967

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