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Ron McCormick’s Spitalfields

March 24, 2024
by the gentle author

If you are at a loose end over the forthcoming Easter holidays and looking for an excuse for a walk, why not join me for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS on Easter Thursday 28th March at 2pm or THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF THE CITY OF LONDON on Easter Monday 1st April at 2pm?



Ron McCormick took these splendid pictures when he lived in Princelet St in the seventies

Knifegrinder, Spitalfields

Fishman’s tobacconist & sweet shop, Flower & Dean St, Spitalfields

Entrance to Chevrah Shass Synagogue, Old Montague St

Clock seller, Sclater St

Dressed up for the Sunday market, Cheshire St

Maurice, Gents’ Hairdresser, Buxton St

Gunthorpe St

Club Row

Steps down to Black Lion Yard, Old Montague St

Old Castle St, Synagogue

Sunday market, Cheshire St

Corner of Gun St & Artillery Lane

Shopkeeper, Old Montague St

Inter-generational conflict on Princelet St

Goldstein’s Kosher Butcher & Poulterer, Old Montague St

Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Convenience Store, Artillery Lane

Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor, Brune St

Alf’s Fish Bar, Brick Lane

Waiting for the night shelter to open, Christ Church Spitalfields

Resting, Spitalfields Market Barrows, Commercial St

Great Eastern Buildings, Quaker St

Rough sleeper, Spitalfields

Mother and her new-born baby in a one bedroom flat, Spitalfields

Photographs copyright © Ron McCormick

You may also like to take a look at

Ron McCormick’s Whitechapel

9 Responses leave one →
  1. March 24, 2024

    When I look at these pictures, I come to the following conclusion: there was a time when the world was simpler and more manageable. And I was lucky enough to experience it! Thank God.

    I haven’t watched the news for a year or two now so that I don’t let the troubled world of today get me down — it makes me sick. I can only recommend this to everyone. When I switch on the computer, the “most important things” come flooding in anyway. And then I go to the Gentle Author and there I usually find something more uplifting for the day. And sometimes it’s a newborn like in today’s last picture…

    Love & Peace

  2. Kate Amis permalink
    March 24, 2024

    Wonderful evocative pictures. Thank you for sharing these. I love the one of something kicking off on Princelet St – the woman hanging out of the window brandishing the umbrella !

  3. Andy permalink
    March 24, 2024

    All I can say is here are a collection of true life photos that tell some of my story and my family story .
    The most frightening one being a man followed me one Friday afternoon in the summer holidays when I was seventeen and said he had a gun on my back .
    He ordered me to keep walking and told me when we got to Black Lion Yard we would be turning off .
    I had no money so I knew it was to be beaten up or raped or both . Either way it was going to be terrible so I chose to run across the traffic of Whitechapel road .

    I survived and when I got home I told my Mum . She laughed .

  4. March 24, 2024

    What beautiful pictures – a mix of great humanity and such a sense of time and place. Thank you 🙏

  5. Cherub permalink
    March 24, 2024

    The young mother with the baby looks very sad and alone, I hope she was ok.

  6. March 24, 2024

    I know that many other readers will rightfully comment on the content of the photos, and the vivid human stories depicted here. Remarkable. But, I would like to comment on the skillful compositions here, and how the photographer has maximized each subject. Whether he is (seemingly) far away (the folks perusing the sidewalk market) or is right on TOP of the subject
    (gazing down at the sleeping gent) he presents each tableau with an unerring approach. So many favorites! — the grouping of doors, the array of clocks, the numerous human dramas, the dark winding walkways, the fascinating work carts (so charismatic in their own right, they almost eclipsed the people in the photos), and the concluding photo of the young mother and child. The tenderness of the photo made my day.

    What an amazing group of photos! Thanks for shining a light, as ever.

  7. Mark permalink
    March 24, 2024

    What genius nailed up those doors as boarding?
    Performance or avant garde. Love to have seen that in Kodachrome.
    Also the well kept old gent in his bowler hat get up.
    Lovely pics of a past long gone.

  8. Chris Webb permalink
    March 25, 2024

    In reply to Mark, it was usual for the doors from demolished buildings to be used that way, probably up until the 80s.

    I’ve seen washing lines on pulleys in an old film, I think it was Poor Cow.

  9. Mark permalink
    March 25, 2024

    Thanks Chris.
    You learn something everyday.
    Especially here!

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