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Colin O’Brien’s Chatsworth Rd

September 17, 2015
by the gentle author

Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien moved to Hackney from Clerkenwell in the early eighties and has been photographing the traders and shop faces of Chatsworth Road through the decades

Old sign uncovered at a former pie & mash shop

Wet fish shop in the eighties

Dave and his wife stand outside Jim’s Cafe, they had acquired it and kept the name

Paks is an African & Caribbean hair and cosmetic products shop that has been trading for more than thirty years

Greggs, Nigerian butchers

Poetry reading from the butchers shop in the eighties

Altun Food Store sold everything from chewing gum to whisky. Fatima and her two brothers ran the shop until it closed recently and became a Turkish restaurant

Keith’s electrical repair shop, T Jaden, which opens a few hours each day

Clapton Glazing

Chatsworth Rd seen from the butcher, eighties

Chatsworth Tyre Service was in business for over fifty years before they closed in 2010

Albert stands in the doorway of his shop on a cold day in November 2009

Jai Dee’s Seafood & Caribbean Restaurant

The cat of Chatsworth Rd in the eighties

Wayside Community shop run by Rev Jean John

Mighty Meats trading for more than half a century on Chatsworth Rd

Chatsworth Rd Market in the eighties

At Carnival Cards

Asif, Manager of Chatsworth 24-Hour Supermarket

Kentucky Fried Chicken in the eighties

At BJ Fashion

Star Discount Store where you can buy almost everything and anything

Staff at the Regal Pharmacy

Remy, Owner of L’Epicerie Delicatessen with a bottle of his best wine

Suleyman the cobbler, now closed

Now closed

Owner of The Regent, selling  jewellery, Swiss lace, bags, shoes and men’s Italian shirts and trousers

Chatsworth Laundry

Bullet hole from a drive-by shooting in 2010

Photographs copyright © Colin O’Brien

You might also like to look at

Colin O’Brien’s Brick Lane

The Photographer from Clerkenwell

The Man Who Photographed Car Crashes

The Last Days of London

9 Responses leave one →
  1. September 17, 2015

    Love the picture of Suleyman the cobbler standing in his cluttered shop.

  2. Tanya permalink
    September 17, 2015

    A delightful set of photos. I love the way you’ve intermingled the past and more recent shots.

  3. Ros permalink
    September 17, 2015

    More wonderful photos! Love the character and variety so affectionately shown. Wonder what the story of the poetry reading outside the butcher’s shop is?

  4. September 18, 2015

    Lovely photo’s. Colin captures the essence of a place.

  5. John permalink
    May 23, 2018

    My Dad had his fist wet fish stall in this market in circa 1969-70. It didn’t work out and went on to have stalls in Walthamstow for over 25 years.

  6. Roy fich permalink
    March 14, 2020

    I remember most of those scenes in the photographs, i say some, as they were taken after my time in Clapton.
    I went to Rushmore infant and primary school (like my grandfather before me), Albert and his partner or friend serving us in his shop, I went to school with suleyman’s son halile (what happened to him?),Annie and her brother always dressed in black with beret in the cafe, the radiator shop on the corner of Millfields Rd, the stand alone public toilet opposite in the park.
    Kings the iron mongers, army surplus store, the lady in her Sunday best preaching and singing after the church service on the corner of Blurton Road .
    All the stalls on the Saturday market, the wet fish stall, when we passed the stall saying “POO”, the little old fella saying ” whats the matter, have you shit yourself”
    The Tyre shop with old Johnny with his greased back hair and Pat.
    After kings closed it became Ma’s Delight Caribbean take away, Daltons the Bakers, Macefeilds who sold Airfix kits. the two old boys( charlie and Pop and pop being blind) who pushed their stall from David Pithers bakers yard to chats via Rushmore Rd, incidentally i think charlie was one of the last boy soldiers to kiss the Gunners daughter.
    Riding motorbikes through james latham wood yard to springfield, not a person in sight and no narrow boats moored along the length of the LEA.
    What has it become? a gentrified playground of hipster cafes with scaffold boards as decoration, London Fields, Broadway, Victoria park and many more can now only Accommodate the new money or the Poor, a sad indictment to the East End

  7. Katrina keller( now Wood) permalink
    December 9, 2020

    I went to both Rushmore road schools. I lived at 110 chatsworth road, above the
    Shop called Taylors( opposite the school) my grandmother an the shop with my mum.
    It was two doors away from the tyre shop. We sold everything from knitting wool and
    Fabrics to children’s and adults clothes. Just wonder if anyone has a photo of the shop
    Or even remembers it . I lived there from 1954 to 1964. I am now 67 but my memories
    Of my school days are still very vivid and happy.

  8. Gary Lazarus permalink
    March 2, 2023

    My dad owned Bernell Furniture at 98 Chatsworth Road. You may remember all the furniture out on the pavement in the summer. He opened it in the late 1950’s until the early 1984. I worked with him there for a few years. firstly Saturdays when still at school then full time for about three years. He sold the shop and upper parts and it was later turned into flats. He also bought another sho a few doors down previously owned by a guy who ran it as an army surplus store. I loved visiting that shop. My dad passed away in 2022 aged 95.

  9. May 5, 2023

    I would like to feature Colin O’Brien’s photo of Jim’s Cafe on Chatsworth Road in a forthcoming small exhibition in a local coffee shop. Are you able to put us in touch? Thanks

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