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Tony Bock’s East End Portraits

March 3, 2017
by the gentle author

Clock Winder at Christ Church, Spitalfields

Here are the East Enders of the nineteen seventies as pictured by photographer Tony Bock in the days when he worked for the East London Advertiser – the poncey dignitaries, the comb-over tories, the kids on the street, the market porters, the fascists, the anti-fascists, the shopkeepers, the sheet metal workers, the unions, the management, the lone dancers, the Saturday shoppers, the Saturday drinkers, the loving family, the West Ham supporters, the late bride, the wedding photographer, the kneeling politician and the clock winder.

Welcome to the teeming masses. Welcome to the infinite variety of life. Welcome to the exuberant clear-eyed vision of Tony Bock. Welcome to the East End of forty years ago.

Dignitaries await the arrival of the Queen Mother at Toynbee Hall. John Profumo kneels

On the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral

National Front supporters gather at Brick Lane

Watching a National Front march in Hackney

Shopkeepers come out to watch an anti-racism march in Hackney

A family in Stratford pose in their back yard

Wedding photographer in Hackney – the couple had been engaged many years

West Ham fans at Upton Park, not a woman to be seen

Sports club awards night in Hackney

Dancers in Victoria Park

Conservative party workers in the 1974 electoral campaign, Ilford

Ted Heath campaigns in Ilford for the General Election of 1974

Ford workers union meeting, Dagenham

Ford managers, Dagenham

Press operator at Ford plant, Dagenham

At Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park

Brick Lane Sunday Market

Saturday morning at Roman Rd Market

Spitalfields Market porter in the workers’ club

Photographs copyright © Tony Bock

You may like to see these other photographs by Tony Bock

Tony Bock, Photographer

Tony Bock at Watney Market

Tony Bock on the Thames

Tony Bock on the Railway

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim McDermott permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Wonderful stuff. I’m not sure which was more intimidating – the putative Fourth Reich or West Ham being one down. And while not a monarchist, I don’t believe That Hat should have been inflicted on the Queen Mum. Clearly, it had felled Profumo already.

  2. Robin permalink
    March 3, 2017

    And not a cell phone to be seen….ahh yes the good old days.

  3. March 3, 2017

    There are several layers to each of these photographs. I love the Crowd waiting for the Queen Mother; socialist Ian Mikardo MP is staring directly into the camera and saying ‘I don’t really want to be here’ and Jack Profumo looks like a young boy waiting for the arrival of the Flying Scotsman. All brilliant.

  4. Jonathan Madden permalink
    March 3, 2017

    These are wonderful shots, it’s as if the whole world then was in black and white, which in many ways I suppose it was. An insightful series of pictures portraying life during the seventies.

  5. Richard permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Pure gold

  6. March 3, 2017

    The chap pointing a finger in the first NF picture pops up in the Sex Pistols film spewing his racist views here…

  7. March 3, 2017

    Wonderful Photographs from an Ancient Time…

    Love & Peace

  8. Mez permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Great pictures. Adore those bridesmaid outfits!

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