Skip to content

Just Another Day With John Claridge

June 13, 2022
by the gentle author

Some tickets are available for The Gentle Author’s Tour on 18th & 19th June

Cobb St, Spitalfields 1966

One morning in 1966, photographer John Claridge met these four men working in Cobb St, Spitalfields. “They were bloody silly,recalled John fondly half a century later, “and there’s not enough of that in this world.” It was John’s way of introducing this set of pictures which he entitles“Just Another Day.”

“They were good people – full of fun – and this picture was nice to take, it has a warmth to it.” he added, upon contemplation of the image. And, if there is a common quality among these pictures, it is an open-hearted delight in the quotidian, or as John puts it –“The daily things that people do, going to work, stopping at the corner, visiting the shops.”

Where others might find only the mundane, John sees the poetry of the human condition. There may be endless sleet in Spitalfields, freezing fog in Victoria Park, and the passengers are eternally falling asleep on the early train out of Upton Park, yet John always reveals the joy and the humanity of his subjects. A generous spirit informs his photographs.

“Some of these pictures are of life drifting by,” John informed me, “because there are gentler ways of seeing the world than the obvious.”

Cup of tea, Spitalfields 1966.

Kosher butchers, Bethnal Green 1962 – “It wasn’t very big and it did have a certain smell to it.”

The cap, Spitalfields 1982 – “I love the things you don’t know as well as the things that are explained.”

Four men, Spitalfields 1982 – “You could create your own story with that.”

The baker at Rinkoffs, Vallance Rd, Bethnal Green 1967 – “Having a cup of tea and enjoying a breath of fresh air as the light’s coming up.”


Rinkoffs, Bethnal Green 1967

Breaker’s yard, E16 1975 – “I was talking to her dad and she just wandered off and got in the car.”

Feeding the birds in Victoria Park, E3 1962 – “there was ice on the lake.”

Passing the graveyard,  1970s

Bridge repair, E3 1960s

The crane, E16 1975 – “I printed this photo for the first time last week.”

SOS motors, Spitalfields 1982

Sewer Bank, Plaistow 1960s – “Where the kids used to go on their bikes and I’d take my scrambler. The craters were fantastic, it was a different kind of playground.”

In Plaistow, 1961 – “Just down the road from where I lived. It certainly has a lot of charm to it, look at how little traffic there is. That could be my dad on the bike, coming back from the docks.”

Station stairs, Upton Park 1963 – “Sometimes I met my mum here after school, when she was coming back from Bow where she worked as machinist making shirts.”

Station entrance, Upton Park 1963 – “I like stations, it’s that feeling you get of arriving on a film set.”

Leaving Plaistow early morning in winter, E13 1963 – “I had a motorbike but I liked going on the tube if the traffic was bad.”

The shed, Plaistow 1969 – “This was at the top of the street where I lived. He used to go round with that barrow and pick things up, and sell bits and pieces in that shed. A very nice man and a gentleman.”

End of the day, Spitalfields 1963.

Photographs copyright © John Claridge

You may also like to take a look at

John Claridge’s East End

Along the Thames with John Claridge

9 Responses leave one →
  1. June 13, 2022

    John has once again transported me back to those ‘days of my life’ in a 1960’s East End. Especially Rinkoffs the Bakers …..warm bread, warm memories and happy times.

  2. Mary permalink
    June 13, 2022

    Wonderful, as always.

  3. June 13, 2022

    John Claridge’s pictures are alive, they always me smile. “Just another day” is a masterpiece. Thank you.

  4. June 13, 2022

    I have always connected rough-grained black and white photos with the time of my childhood. This technique results in a special quality that is exceptional and typical of the images. John Claridge is an absolute master in this field.

    Love & Peace

  5. Mark permalink
    June 13, 2022

    Works of art one and all.
    Many a hard life illuminated.

  6. June 13, 2022

    The poetry of everyday life ….. captured masterfully by John Claridge. Never “just another day” and never “just another photographer”. This gent has the gift. A story teller, without peer.

    I’m so grateful to start the work week with JC, and GA.

  7. Andy permalink
    June 13, 2022

    A lot of us who grew up there and then remember what we didn’t have but my the characters that were there outdid it all.
    Often, we were shamed by people, teachers included for coming from poor homes.. May they….

    Great photos. True.

  8. Dave Hall permalink
    June 13, 2022

    These are some of the best photographs I’ve seen on this wonderful blog ….and thats saying something ! Thank you so much ….please keep doing what youre doing ?????

  9. Marcia Howard permalink
    June 14, 2022

    Wonderful images, although I’d like to soak that mug held by the Baker at Rinkoffs with a strong solution of bleach. The inside of the Mug looks like a major health hazard haha!

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS