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Roland Collins, Photographer

September 30, 2015
by the gentle author

Celebrating the achievements of artist Roland Collins who died on Sunday aged ninety-seven, it is my pleasure to show this selection of his evocative photographs of the East End and the City. For a spell in the sixties, while he was working as a Commercial Artist for the Scientific Publicity Agency in Fleet St, Roland Collins had access to a darkroom which enabled him to develop his own photography, and he produced striking and imaginative photoessays exploring different aspects of London life.

Fairground on the Hackney Marshes.

Salvation Army prayer meeting in the Lea Bridge Rd.

In Petticoat Lane.

In the East India Dock Rd.

Porters at Billingsgate.

Spirits are high as a porter is hoist onto his own shellfish barrow by his sixteen stone son.

A porter makes a bit extra on the side, street trading in boots and shoes.

The Monument.

View from the top of the Monument.

Looking down Eastcheap from the Monument.

Fish shop by the Monument.

Visitors at the top of the Monument.

The shadow of the Monument cast upon King William St.

Relief upon the Danish Embassy at Wellclose Sq at the time of demolition – now removed to Belgravia.

In Albury Rd, Rotherhithe.

At Limehouse Basin.

Photographs copyright © Estate of Roland Collins

You may also like to take a look at

Dennis Anthony’s Petticoat Lane

Philip Marriage’s Spitalfields

Tony’s Hall’s East End in the Afternoon

15 Responses leave one →
  1. September 30, 2015

    Striking images of a lost London.

  2. Peter Holford permalink
    September 30, 2015

    Great photos – a good eye.

  3. Ruth Richardson permalink
    September 30, 2015

    These are WONDERFUL photos. So sorry to hear of Roland’s death. Heavens! He had a EYE.

  4. Campbell Matheson permalink
    September 30, 2015

    Such evocative images of London in the 1960s. I especially like Roland’s photo of the Salvation Army meeting in front of the Victorian one-room schoolhouse in Lea Bridge Road, Hackney.

    Victorian architect and philanthropist Arthur Ashpitel gifted the building and the land on which it stood to the local parish for charitable purposes on the stipulation that if the building ceased to be used for those charitable purposes it should revert back to him or his heirs. So why is a developer now proposing to redevelop the Old Schoolhouse into private flats for sale? The building should be used for the benefit of the local community.

  5. September 30, 2015

    That’s what street photography should be. Amazing images form a great Londoner

  6. September 30, 2015

    Wow, what fantastic images. So evocative.Favourite? The photo taken from the top of the Monument.

  7. September 30, 2015

    Fantastic photos! Valerie

  8. September 30, 2015

    Another artist who knew the power of black and white photography. I love the one of Petticoat Lane.

  9. Sue permalink
    September 30, 2015

    Wonderful photos.

  10. martin permalink
    October 1, 2015

    Fab photos. Put “19 Albury St, Rotherhithe, London” into google maps and you can see the same doorway of the house the little girl is stood in. Only #19 has the same cherubs on the door frame in the whole st.

  11. October 1, 2015

    How polluted London looked from the top of the monument. Coal, I guess. Another age.

  12. October 2, 2015

    I especially admire the young girl standing in a doorway under scrolls of putti and flanked by chalked graffiti; a subject and composition reminiscent of the great American street photographer Helen Levitt. This photograph is captioned Albury Road, Rotherhithe, but such a name isn’t in the old A to Z. I suspect this is Albury Street, in Deptford. The eighteenth century terrace on one side of the road remains intact; its counterpart opposite was criminally torn down in the 1960s.

  13. October 2, 2015

    He saw the World with his very own eyes …
    Mr Roland Collins — R.I.P.

    Love & Peace

  14. Connie Collins permalink
    November 23, 2015

    Thank you so much for putting Roland’s photographs on this site, and for your part in his lovely obituary. Connie (Roland’s wife).

  15. February 6, 2016

    Interesting photos , all I have of london is pics of my pitch in camden stables market 20? Years ago,

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