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Phil Cunningham’s East End Streets

April 21, 2017
by the gentle author

Shall we join Photographer Philip Cunningham for a stroll around the East End streets in 1985?

Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ on the Stifford Estate

“I began photography by taking pictures of the East End, which was my local area. Then in 1979, when I was at art school, my tutor, Roger Jeffs came down to the East End and we walked around together. Even then, things were changing fairly fast and he urged me to document it, so I got into the habit of taking photos of the place and its people. In 1995, I moved to Suffolk and my documentation of the East End ceased. All the negatives and prints were put away in boxes and forgotten about, until one day I was contacted by the Gentle Author who came to have a look at my pictures.” – Philip Cunningham

Clinton Rd

Whitechapel Rd, site of the Pavilion Theatre

Cable St

Whitechapel Market

Commercial Rd

Myrdle St

Backchurch Lane

Rampart St

Morris Rd

Cudworth St

Cudworth St

Wickhams, Mile End Rd, viewed from Assembly Passage

Edwin St

Hessel St

Whitman Rd

Off Winthrop St, Whitechapel

Mile End Park

Hart St

In Stepney

Morris Rd

Morris Rd

Morris Rd

Backchurch Lane

Backchurch Lane

Photographs copyright © Philip Cunningham

You may also like to take a look at

A Walk with Philip Cunningham

Philip Cunningham’s Pub Crawl

Philip Cunningham’s East End Portraits

More of Philip Cunningham’s Portraits

Yet More Philip Cunningham Portraits

A Lost Corner of Whitechapel

Philip Cunningham at Mile End Place

Philip Cunningham’s East End Shopfronts

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim McDermott permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Beautiful, evocative photographs. I convince myself that my memories of that year are as clear as a washed window, yet seeing these images it now seems like a lost world

  2. April 21, 2017

    Thanks to GA this is real street history in the 1980s a true representation, as the photographer saw it, of streets on the East End in his time lots of dereliction. Among them could be some WW2 blitz damaged buildings. This must be before the property boom time and land grab. Poet John. PS Whitechapel Bell Foundry must be saved for the nation !ok.

  3. April 21, 2017

    “….and forgotten about, until one day I was contacted by the Gentle Author……”.
    Hats off to People Who Notice! Not only the intrepid photographer, but the inquiring Author.
    These photos have a startling and stark beauty, and I am grateful they have been
    Thanks, as ever.

  4. Sparks permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Great photos – love the last one with the old kitchen range still in the near demolished wall!

  5. Marigold Gorick permalink
    April 21, 2017

    The photo marker Hart Street is Sly Street looking West beyond the crossing of Rampart Street….The Shalamar Sweetshop stands/stood on Canon Street Road.

  6. mark permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Evocative photos which remind me of my numerous visits to the East End in the 80’s. Thatcher had already been in power for 6 years by the time of these wonderful pics, and her shadow was long and enveloping. Some grim looking shots for sure, but real. People really did have a sense of community whatever that old witch said. [No such thing as society, etc]. Thanks.

  7. Luke Pease permalink
    February 13, 2018

    The photo captioned ‘Myrdle St’ actually depicts Romford St, one street over in the infamous Fieldgate Mansions. I lived on Myrdle St, my sister lived on Romford St during the times recorded in these photos. Although the streets looked very similar, Romford St had Fieldgate Mansions tenements on both sides, whereas Myrdle St only had tenements on its east side. The photo shows Fieldgate Mansions tenements on both sides, and therefore must be Romford St. Such wonderful photographs, such a wonderful website. Good work everyone.

  8. Sheik Jahan permalink
    November 13, 2021

    Wow.. I’m the little boy behind the two girls (my sister and her friend) pictured in Hessal Street E1 this is amazing thank you..

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