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Tony Bock’s East Enders

April 15, 2022
by the gentle author

There are a couple of tickets available for my tour on Easter Sunday and bookings are open until the end of May:

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 poncy 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 clock winder, the Guinness tippler, the solitary clown, the kneeling politician and the pie & mash shop cat.

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 fifty years ago.

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

Children playing on the street in Poplar.

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.

Mr East End Contest at E1 Festival.

The shop cat at Kelly’s Pie & Mash Shop, Bethnal Green Rd.

At the White Swan in Poplar.

Enjoying a Guinness in the Royal Oak, Bethnal Green.

Boy on demolition site, Tiller Rd, Isle of Dogs.

Brick Lane Sunday Market.

Clown in Stratford Broadway.

Saturday morning at Roman Rd Market.

Saturday night out in Dagenham.

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

12 Responses leave one →
  1. April 15, 2022

    Wonderful scenes from everyday life. Besides marches, protests and speeches however always — LIFE.
    Would love to toast with the old lady and her GUINNESS!

    Tomorrow I’m finally going on the Easter March against the war in Ukraine again. A few days ago I spoke with some refugee women and children….

    Love & Peace

  2. April 15, 2022

    Magnificent pictures, they’re so alive. Have a great tour on Easter Sunday.

  3. John Venes permalink
    April 15, 2022

    I was there!
    I was born in Bethnal Green and grew up in the 60s.
    Those scenes and people look so familiar to me.
    Yet, sadly it also feels so long ago.
    A different world.
    But thanks for sharing these photos.

  4. Sue permalink
    April 15, 2022

    What a wonderful selection of photos. I married in ‘75 and looking at the ladies having a knees up they would probably only been in their late fifties/sixties and had been twenty odd at the end of the war. Now there is hardly anybody alive who worked or fought in the war. I’m feeling old.
    Easter greetings to all.

  5. Saba permalink
    April 15, 2022

    If Paris instead of London, a Simenon novel.

  6. Mark permalink
    April 15, 2022

    Great photos.
    Comb over
    Tories indeed.
    Republic now!

  7. Hilda Kean permalink
    April 15, 2022

    A fascinating memory of earlier times when I too was living there.
    Why isn’t this being published in a book portraying those East End times?
    Surely publication in Spitalfields Life books would also complement the work of Colin O’Brien and John Claridge?

  8. Mary permalink
    April 15, 2022

    Wonderful images! Wonderful memories!

  9. cherub permalink
    April 16, 2022

    My husband is from East Ham, is a huge West Ham supporter dating back to the 60s. He went to Upton Park regularly and says that photo wasn’t taken there.

  10. Susan permalink
    April 16, 2022

    How I would love to have had a night out with the ladies from Dagenham!

    And as for wanting to purchase these photos, I notice that, if you click on one of the photos, you’ll find the name of the book featuring these photos, plus Tony Bocks’s address, email address and even phone number 🙂

  11. Susan permalink
    April 16, 2022

    I should add that I clicked on the old lady with a Guinness photo, and that is where I found the info.

  12. Tony Bock permalink
    April 18, 2022

    To those who pointed out that the photo of West Ham supporters was not taken at Upton Park, they are quite correct. This was the crowd at the FA cup semi final at Villa Park, West Ham vs Ipswich.

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