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David Truzzi-Franconi’s East End

March 15, 2020
by the gentle author

Photographer David Truzzi-Franconi sent me these pictures that he took in the seventies, published for the first time today.

“While I was working in the City of London as an heraldic artist & calligrapher, I discovered on my lunchtime walks that a few paces from the bustle of Bishopsgate led me to another world. I combine a love of the drawing and writing of Geoffrey Fletcher with the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Eventually I bought a Rolleiflex camera and spent my days off exploring the East End with a few rolls of film in my pocket. ”  – David Truzzi-Franconi

Derelict House in Bethnal Green

Gunthorpe St, Whitechapel

Shop, E1

Chicksand St, E1

Derelict House, Spitalfields

Knife Grinder, Wilkes St, E1

Street performers at Tower Hill

Three legged dog

Meths drinkers on a bomb site near Brick Lane

Meths Drinkers at the Peabody Buildings

Blending ‘Red Biddy’ – wine and methylated spirits

Blacksmith’s Arms, Isle of Dogs

Thames Foreshore at Low Tide

Three Mills Island, Bow

St Paul’s, Covent Garden

Photographs copyright © David Truzzi-Franconi

15 Responses leave one →
  1. March 15, 2020

    More great east end photos. Terrific work

  2. simon smith permalink
    March 15, 2020

    Outstanding photo’s, would love to see a book

  3. March 15, 2020

    Fabulous set of photos. You would’nt use the knife sharpener, there’d be nothing left! Where are they all now?

  4. Kay permalink
    March 15, 2020

    A jog to my memory. How easy to forget how a place once looked compared to how it looks

    today. I have enjoyed these photos thank you. Kay

  5. March 15, 2020

    Heart-wrenching, poignant.

  6. March 15, 2020

    David obviously went on some wonderful walks! Thanks for publishing these brilliant photographs. I hope we will see more.

  7. March 15, 2020

    GA, you’ve brought us many remarkable photographic essays, and as Shakespeare said —
    “Comparisons are odious”. However, this series tugged at my heart and made think deeply about the human condition. Starting with the intrepid (seemingly-fearless!) street urchins (“watch OUT for those shards of glass there……”), to the babushka lady in the forlorn storefront (who wouldn’t want to go pick some daisies for her and lift her spirits just a bit?), to the rowdy brotherhood carousing amidst the empties, and the old fellow at the piano (oh just pull up a wobbly chair and listen for as LONG as he wants to play……I’m here). And the topper was the lady and her aluminum beach chair — the ultimate “lost in thought” photographic image, methinks.
    The endurance and fragility of man……captured.
    Deep thanks to you and Mr. Truzzi-Franconi

  8. Stephen Barry permalink
    March 15, 2020

    A terrific record of East End life. The really sad thing is that the last photo of people sleeping rough outside the Covent Garden church could be replicated exactly today.

  9. Pauline Taylor permalink
    March 15, 2020

    Lynne Perrella has said it all for me, thank you Lynne, all I can add is that I, as an art student, was shown the wonderful world of Henri Cartier- Bresson photographs and taught to use a rollieflex camera by the late great Nigel Henderson. I am sure that he would appreciate these superb photos, and thank you David Truzzi- Franconi for allowing the gentle author to share them with us on an, otherwise rather grim, Sunday morning.

  10. Saba permalink
    March 15, 2020

    David Truzzi- Franconi, GA and GRs (Gentle Readers!), hard times in the past as I have realized through many of the photographic essays. This essay seems to build a sequence from the children playing on the ruins of the homes and workplaces of past generations to disillusioned-looking drinkers to a scene of quiet meditation and a city sleeping. Many of the subjects must have known and been fundamentally changed by WWII. As many will say during Passover next month, may we never forget.

  11. Pimlico Pete permalink
    March 15, 2020

    Photo seven with its shop fronts in advanced decay: a first glance suggests that nothing remains alive. But what a surprise to see that number 35 was still hanging on, open for business. Old Montague Street perhaps? An earlier Kelly’s directory lists the occupier of that shop as Joseph Putter, Greengrocer.

  12. Hernando Cañardo permalink
    March 15, 2020

    Excellent Pictures !!!

  13. March 15, 2020

    So Very Sad. Hard Live, Bless Them.???

  14. Ramon Cook permalink
    March 16, 2020

    Within living memory being a kid in the 70’s but seems nostalgic, sadly for the wrong reasons ?

  15. Dave R permalink
    March 20, 2020

    Noble and respectful, beautifully composed, perfectly lit. Magnum quality studies.

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