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Abdul Chowdry In Camden Square

May 12, 2017
by the gentle author

Photographer Abdul Chowdry‘s lively pictures of Camden Sq Adventure Playground are currently on display at Holborn Library. The playground operated from the early seventies until the mid-eighties and Abdul Chowdry was Playleader throughout this period, taking the pictures you see below in 1978 and 1979. Initially created in response to a petition by over 900 local people in 1971, the playground was temporarily relocated to Maiden Lane in the mid-eighties never to return, and now these photographs recall a lost era.

‘I had a camera and I was interested in photography, so it was nice to keep a snapshot of what people were doing and look back on it. It was more to show the kids what they looked like – I did not think I was taking pictures for history or anything – I simply happened to be in an environment that was conducive to taking lovely photographs. It is only looking back that you realise it is a snapshot of the time.

The kids used to take pictures as well. Nowadays, everybody has a camera on their phone but not everyone had one then. A couple of youngsters wanted to be photographers and we were blessed because we had brilliant people doing all sorts of things: candle-making, silk-screen printing, enamelling – and photography was one of all those things.

When you look at something through a lens, you look at it with an entirely new perspective, and you can see from the pictures how the kids were interacting with their environment. Photography was a way for them to converse about what was going on, to develop and to build confidence. I used photography because I was interested in it and, when we were developing the pictures, the kids could be part of that and they could learn the skill of it for themselves. ‘– Abdul Chowdry

Photographs copyright © Abdul Chowdry

With grateful thanks to Maisie Rowe

You may also like to take a look at

Travellers Children in London Fields

Colin O’Brien’s Playground Portraits

The Jungle on the Corner of Princelet St

5 Responses leave one →
  1. May 12, 2017

    Lovely photos! Valerie

  2. May 12, 2017

    Oh they’re great – especially love the magical trees one at the start

  3. Shawdian permalink
    May 12, 2017

    This is something one does not see very much at all these days; children playing. Maybe if we pop into our local museum we can see Great photo’s like these. Nice to see children looking happy. Brings back happy memories of my child investigating the outside world. Have happy memories of Holborn Library too. Thank you GA.

  4. Ros permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Lovely, happy photos – and now you probably wouldn’t be allowed to take pictures of children anyway, or at least without signed permission.

  5. May 14, 2017

    Boys and girls, come out to play,
    The moon doth shine as bright as day.
    Leave your supper, and leave your sleep,
    And join your playfellows in the street.

    Come with a whoop, and come with a call,
    Come with a good will or come not at all.
    Up the ladder and down the wall,
    A penny loaf will serve us all.


    Fine pictures from ancient childhood days …!

    Love & Peace

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