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Ron McCormick’s Spitalfields & Whitechapel

April 30, 2022
by the gentle author

Today it is my pleasure to publish a selection of Ron McCormick’s fine photographs of Spitalfields and Whitechapel taken in the seventies when he lived in Princelet St

Carrying bicycles over Pedley St bridge

Street musician in Brick Lane market

Faces in the crowd, Commercial St

‘The boys’ pass time on the steps of the Great Synagogue, Fournier St

Costa cobblers, Hanbury St

Engineering works, Heneage St

Engineering works, Heneage St

Bottling girls in the Truman Brewery

Mother and toddler, Buxton St Holiday Club

Street scene, Whitechapel

Flower seller, Whitechapel

Shoe shop, Wentworth St

Mr & Mrs Ali with their children, Brick Lane

Bakery, Whitechapel

Leaving Spitalfields, Artillery Passage opens onto Middlesex St

Family playtime in streets off Whitechapel Rd

Cheshire St market

Girl and her grandmother, Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Rooftop playground, Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Roof of Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Tenement buildings, Spitalfields

Street singer, Brick Lane market

Diamond merchants, Black Lion Yard

Woman with dogs in alley off Quaker St

Photographs copyright © Ron McCormick

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Ron McCormick’s Whitechapel

Ron McCormick’s Spitalfields

11 Responses leave one →
  1. steven stuart permalink
    April 30, 2022

    I enjoyed these

  2. April 30, 2022

    Oh yes, the 70s…. what do you think happened to all those people? I would like to know…

    Love & Peace

  3. April 30, 2022

    The seventies… That’s only 50 years ago and yet, lookingat these pictures, it seems ages have gone by. Perhaps because they are black & whte. I had the feeling they belonged to another world. But they’re fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Thank you, as always.

  4. Annie S permalink
    April 30, 2022

    Brilliant set of photographs!

  5. Marnie Sweet permalink
    April 30, 2022

    My goodness! The bottling girl on the right could be The Countess’ sister!

  6. Linda Granfield permalink
    April 30, 2022

    The last photograph, of the young boy in boots, brings to mind some of your Nippers of long ago.

    And I know you can’t reply but when I see these and similar photos I am always wondering why there was no refuse/garbage collection done by the local government on a regular basis? Neighbours just expected to kick cartons as they walked about each day? Markets weren’t responsible for the refuse they created?
    If a reader can offer information I would appreciate it. We are fortunate now to have weekly disposal visits to keep communities clean. Lucky us!

  7. Mark permalink
    April 30, 2022

    Vibrant portraits of life.
    The one of the boy jumping on the rooftop reminds me strongly of the Cartier-Bresson picture of the man launching himself off a ladder to try and avoid a flooded area, without any hope of doing so. These are beautiful and wonderful studies. Ron McCormick truly has it.

  8. Peter Holford permalink
    April 30, 2022

    So Harry Worth had a sideline in selling flowers.

  9. Andy permalink
    May 1, 2022

    Thank you Ron for lending permission to Chris andvI forthe cover of my book of poems “Story of a Stepney boy”, with one of your photos.

    The book has just had another reprint and if anybody would like to buy a copy please contact me and I wikl post it out. It is not expensive.

    My book of poetry runs in tandem with the above photographs.
    I lived in Whitechapel from 1953 till 1973.
    Went to Robert Montefiore Primary school and Davenant.

    Thanks to Chris Searle and Ron McCormick for recogbising my poems and encouraging me.
    Bleee them and the Gentle Author for doing the same.
    All emotional to me as I write,

    Andy Strowman

  10. May 1, 2022

    Fifty years anniversary for these pictures.
    Thank you to the Gentle Author for resurrecting them. I am still photographing, although now based in South Wales I still have a strong affection for the old East End and still make the occasional visit.
    As Andy Strowman commented, I was involved with Chris Searle in the publication of Stepney Words a book of childrens poetry from the John Cass School at Stepney Green, in 1971 and only a few of years ago published a new volume – Stepney Words III with poems by children from four east end schools in the larger Whitechapel area. This book contains a set of new photographs from a recent visit in 2017 and can also be found on along with WHITECHAPEL BOY the most recent book that contains 76 pictures from the 1970s.
    You can see a page run-thru at:

  11. August 28, 2022

    grew up in whitechapel in the sixties we lived in durward st my dad used to drink in the roebuck pub my sister lived in brady buildings along the road my dad worked at prescotts fruit and veg wholesalers in spitalfields market sometimes we would go club row on sundays and look around the stalls also go to ziffs chicken slaughterhouse on hessell st to get a chicken for dinner on heath and safety in those days blood and guts all over the floor and the workers would be smokeing as they were killing the birds

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