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Ron McCormick’s Whitechapel

December 13, 2020
by the gentle author

Ron McCormick photographed Whitechapel & Spitalfields in the early seventies and these pictures were exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1973.

Hessel St

Royal Oak, Whitechapel Rd

Old Montague St

Blooms, Whitechapel High St

Old Montague St

Old Montague St

Princelet St

Black Lion Yard

Fournier St

Brick Lane

Club Row

Brick Lane

Settle St, Whitechapel

Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Woodseer St

Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Sandys Row

Brick Lane Market

Christ Church School

Settle St, Whitechapel

Photographs copyright © Ron McCormick

You may also like to take a look at

Phil Maxwell’s Brick Lane

Philip Marriage’s Spitalfields

David Granick’s Spitalfields

Marketa Luskacova’s Brick Lane

Homer Sykes’ Spitalfields

Sarah Ainslie’s Brick Lane

16 Responses leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    December 13, 2020

    Utterly fantastic! What a great photographer. Thank you so much, Gentle Author for sharing this fabulous insight into times gone by.

  2. Peter permalink
    December 13, 2020

    In the image above captioned “Black Lion Yard” – the gentleman shown appears to be a jeweller but in the background there are some military badges. J R Gaunt and Jennens had been in the area making military insignia and “Sweat Heart” badges from precious metal. Do we know the business shown in this photo?

  3. December 13, 2020

    Each and every single one of these photographs is utterly captivating. I could stare at them for hours!

  4. Ros permalink
    December 13, 2020

    How good to see these wonderful photos of the Spitalfields and Whitechapel that I knew then, showing that it was indeed as desolate, and as characterful, as I remember it. Peter, Ron McCormick is very much still alive and you might be able to contact him if you look him up. He might or might not remember about the business in Black Lion Yard.

  5. December 13, 2020

    Impressive Photographs again!

    Love & Peace

  6. Adele Lester permalink
    December 13, 2020

    So many great photos. Thanks GA.

  7. December 13, 2020

    The third photo from the top — “Old Montague Street” — is so compelling. The lady. Notice her ill-fitting coat, her hair wrapped in a strange scarf, socks drooping and doubtlessly bunched up in her shoes-that-are-not-her-shoes. She seems to be riffling her own pockets, half in confusion, partly in frustration. The bags beside her. Are they simply sacks of stuff, left at the sidewalk? Or are they her meager belongings? Or some goods she is intent on selling or swapping? The sad doorway she has selected. Just look. Scaly, crusty, worn. An ominous hole in the siding — was someone/something trying to get in, or get out? She doesn’t notice. I’m distracted by the dark shape on the sidewalk — surely not an effort to “clean up”. More likely something spilled — adding to the forlorn narrative here. Think how the photographer felt, looking through the lens at her. And now she is here.

    Thank you, GA for bringing us such wonders.

  8. paul loften permalink
    December 13, 2020

    At the gate to heaven, there will be a man from Brick Lane wearing a flat cap to let you in, or not.

  9. December 13, 2020

    Great stuff Ron, some wonderful photographs.

  10. Maurice permalink
    December 13, 2020

    Fantastic pictures. And I’ve seen our old family doctor (Mellins) tending to a patient in Great Eastern Buildings.

  11. saba permalink
    December 14, 2020

    Life looks so very hard, and I sense that the people are trapped. My heart goes out to them.

  12. Richard permalink
    December 14, 2020

    These are great pictures. Funny how the market crowd was mainly older people then. In recent years it’s all the young. Maybe because all old tatty but more interesting stuff wasn’t there any more. Thanks

  13. Colin permalink
    December 14, 2020

    Absolutely brilliant

  14. December 14, 2020

    I find these images so very moving. Every one of them tells a story. Life was hard, and people so stoic.

  15. December 16, 2020

    In the photo of Brick Lane Market, there are more men than women. Wonder why.

  16. December 17, 2020

    These are wonderful images. Thanks for publishing them. I bet drag night at the Bird Cage was interesting …..

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