Great Britain

Fascinating photos show life before gastro pubs in 70s East London with buzzing factories and bombed-out houses


UNEARTHED photos reveal working-class life in East London in the 70s - before gastropubs, cafes and hipster kids transformed Hackney forever.

In the decades after the war, the area was a raw landscape of bombed out houses, kids playing in streets and buzzing factories teeming with skilled workers.

It was a far cry from gentrified, advanced areas such as Shoreditch, Hackney, Whitechapel and Dalston - now more famed for cutting-edge technology, industry and trendy pubs and clubs.

The images, taken by local Hackney boy Neil Martinson, take the viewer through workshops, street markets and council homes to capture a time that has nearly been lost forever.

Neil worked as a freelance photographer and taught photography and presents the stunning photos in his latest collection, 'Hackney Archive: Work and Life 1971-1985'.

His work has taken him around the world, from the Soviet Union to modern day Berlin, documenting everyday changes in the world's most striking places.

In the intro of his new book, Neil writes: "Why is Hackney called ‘Hackney’? Why could it not be ‘Dirty’?

"Its name stinks of steam and smoke. How much longer do I have to live in this place? Everybody wants to leave and try to forget about Hackney.

"But I can’t. It’s groaning inside me. And that is why everybody smokes. To forget about it. Everybody wants to leave and go to the country."