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Malcolm Tremain’s East End In Colour

May 14, 2016
by the gentle author

Complementing Malcolm Tremain’s colour photographs of Spitalfields in the early eighties, here are those taken around the East End and the City in the same era published for the very first time – as always, identifications of precise locations from readers are welcomed.

‘Games & Viewing Lounge Upstairs’


The Turk’s Head, Wapping







Brewhouse Lane, Wapping

King Henry’s Wharf, Wapping


Smithfield General Market

London Wall

Entrance to Museum of London at London Wall

London Wall

Spitalfields Market

Admissions line at Crispin St Night Shelter

Dusk in Allen Gardens

Photographs copyright © Malcolm Tremain

You may also like to take a look at

Malcolm Tremain’s Spitalfields

Malcom Tremain’s Spitalfields In Colour

Malcom Tremain’s Spitalfields Then & Now

Malcolm Tremain’s City & East End

14 Responses leave one →
  1. Robert Green permalink
    May 14, 2016

    These are fantastic, I love this sort of thing so much, so often photo’s like this are in black and white so images like these in colour are even more valued, the first THREE pictures are of LEVEN ROAD POPLAR, it still looks similar today although the wall has been lowered and now has a fence on top, the building that is the Sweet Shop / Newsagents in the first photo is still there its at the corner of Leven Road and Oban Street but the shop front has been removed and has now been converted into a private house, after having my memory refreshed by these photos its sobering to note just how much some of these places have changed in a relatively short time period, I won’t go on or people will be getting sick of reading my comments but I do hope there will be more of these to come because I think they are WONDERFULL.

  2. Doreen Fletcher permalink
    May 14, 2016

    Wonderful evocative photographs capturing an era gone forever.

    Image no 1 is of Canning Town ( I produced coloured pencil drawing of same subject but in Summer with brilliant blue sky.

    Image no 3 is of Ben Jonson Road, the gasometers now replaced by modern blocks of flats with lots of glass, anonymous and inhuman

  3. May 14, 2016

    It may be because I am using a compact smartphone to view these, but the first one is very painterly. I love the light in several of these too. I don’t always enjoy derelict views but the shot of the tall buildings by London Wall has something. I also like the shot of the library. It suggests a sense of community – a small library at the shops – different from today, where local libraries are fast becoming a thing of the past. I hope you manage to find the locations.

    I need to get on my PC and do these photographs justice.

  4. May 14, 2016

    Wonderful, evocative photos of a world once familiar, but now ghosts beneath mammon’s rampage.

  5. Roger Tiller permalink
    May 14, 2016

    Just Fabulous photos, takes me right back to the 50/60s, more photos please.

  6. Malcolm permalink
    May 14, 2016

    The locations where I took the photographs are:

    1-3 – Oban Street, Bromley-by-Bow
    4-5 – Wapping Wall
    6 – Little Britain
    7 – Bunhill Row
    8 – Wapping
    9 – Liverpool Street
    10 – Wapping Wall
    11 – Scandrett Street, Wapping
    12 – Tower Buildings, Brewhouse Lane, Wapping
    13 – Corner of Wapping Lane and Cinnamon Street, Wapping
    14 – 17 – Wapping Wall
    18 – Brewhouse Lane, Wapping
    19 – King Henry’s Wharf
    20 – Tower Bridge Stairs on the south bank
    21 – Liverpool Street
    22 Between Moorgate and Barbican, now demolished
    23 – Billingsgate Market just after it closed
    24 -26 – The demolition of Little Britain

    The others are correct.

  7. May 14, 2016

    Great photos, for me another walk down memory lane. Valerie

  8. John Rowe permalink
    May 14, 2016

    The blue and white striped coffee bar with viewing lounge upstairs was in Wapping on the river near Hermitage basin. Opposite was a boat ( on dry land) lived in by, I think, an elderly lady.

    That stretch of river frontage was derelict and sometimes after a drink bonfires were lit there.

  9. Annie G permalink
    May 14, 2016

    Was this the very cold winter of 81-82? It doesn’t snow that often in London but it did that year. So cold in my Shepherds Bush flat….washing froze on the clothes frame.

  10. M D West permalink
    May 15, 2016

    Very careful, thoughtful work!..Are these transparencies or scanned colour negative or from colour prints…great muted colours!

  11. Malcolm permalink
    May 15, 2016

    M D West – These are all transparencies. Ektachrome and Kodachrome.

  12. May 20, 2016

    An amazing & unique record.

  13. Shawdian permalink
    July 18, 2016

    Some one mentioned the value of these photographs in colour. Where I think black & white adds more interest to a photo. Like many photographers, I prefer location photographs in black & white which for me allows the charismatic form of the subjects to come alive rather than let the colour speak for them. There is something ‘deep’ about black & white that colour can miss. Plus I like to see the distinction between ‘light & shade’ and ‘shapes’ which black & white can form. I personally think colour can shrink certain subjects in a photo blending the subjects into one mass. Colour photos such as sunsets and certain landscapes and flowers etc can lend a beauty to the pictures capturing the essence of the colours like a painting creates a picture. In portrait photos black & white can add more interest to a face bringing out ‘that something,’ capturing angles and precision which I think colour can miss. Then again there are some facial photos that look beautiful in colour that cannot be found in a black & white. It all depends on the ‘atmosphere’ the creator is trying to capture. Each to ones own. The world is much more interesting having the beauty of Photography. Like music, a photograph can bring out feelings and memories, only you know and understand. Photography Speaks. Magic!

  14. Philip Marriage permalink
    May 26, 2019

    Wonderfully, the Police box outside Liverpool Street (No 21 (60)) can still be seen to this day.

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