Nostalgia In Photos: London’s East End, 1960s

I found this series of photos online. They were all taken in the East End of London from 1965-1967. Most look like they could have been taken twenty years earlier.

A woman outside her Nissen Hut, 1967. Those huts were supposed to be temporary accommodation during the war, but she was still living in hers in 1967.

One of her neighbours, an elderly man. He had also been living there since 1945.

A mini-skirted school crossing lady, in 1966. She took her baby along as there was nobody to care for it while she worked. Those women were called ‘Lollipop Ladies’, and still exist today. There is one helping schoolchildren cross a busy road in Dereham, the nearest town to Beetley.

Bomb damage from the Blitz on an East London Estate. It was 1965, twenty years after the end of the war. Rebuilding had yet to be completed in this area.

David Bailey, the famous photographer. He is pictured here with his girlfriend at the time, around 1967. He was living in a run-down part of East London, what we used to call ‘slumming it’. It had become trendy to live in what most regarded to be poor quality housing, or slums.

Two old ladies chatting outside a shop, 1967. They look more like they are living in 1867.

A model shows off the latest 1960s fashion in Stratford Market, 1966. The onlookers seem to be enjoying themselves.

Little girls out playing with their dolls and prams, 1967. No sign of any supervsising parents.

30 thoughts on “Nostalgia In Photos: London’s East End, 1960s

  1. (1) I’m more familiar with Pizza Hut than Nissan Hut. (Plus, I’ve always insisted on post-war pizza.)
    (2) That old man in the doorway would frighten Frankenstein’s monster! (He kind of reminds me of Gene Hackman in “Young Frankenstein,” only not nearly as friendly looking. I wonder if he makes an espresso?)
    (3) “Stop Children”⁠—and yet she had a baby! I wonder if passersby will be cross with that lady for sending mixed messages?
    (4) The bureaucrat in charge of rebuilding the East London Estate has promised to swing into action just as soon the DVLA issues his driver’s license renewal.
    (5) Slum-where over the rainbow that photographer wished that his building had been built on the corner of Munchkin Avenue and Yellow Brick Road.
    (6) Overheard:
    Lady #1: “I heard John Stuart Mill’s motion to give women the vote was rejected by the House of Commons last week.”
    Lady #2: “Maybe us women will clean house one day?”
    Lady #1: “Dream on! But at least we can give Mill credit for respecting women.”
    Lady #2: “Especially his wife, Harriet Taylor.”
    (7) “C’mon, guys. See these horizontal stripes? Horizontal is my favorite position! Ahem!”
    (8) Headline: Two Prams Create Multiple Traffic Jams!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ‘Stop! Children Crossing’ sign has never changed. Those ‘lollipops’ are still the same today. I suspect the photographer was hoping to suggest the same pun as you. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s pretty shocking how bad things were for so long. Not that things are great now but it’s a long time since I was anywhere near London. I went once to a housing estate at the Elephant. The size was overwhelming. Not sure how I found the flat. That’s where my brother’s in-laws lived. Black and white photography emphasized the grimness I think. London after the war was a shambles. I think it’s largely why my dad wanted to get away. That and the weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That still happens in Beetley, to a large extent. Older brothers or sisters at the playground with their younger siblings. But parents are considerably more wary these days of course.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am still intrigued that the old B&W cameras seem to capture life more intently than modern colour counterparts.
    I am like Prince Charlie & condemn the modern architecture that is ruining OLD London.
    The craters, houses & huts that Stevie describes were not seen by me in 80-85. Also the oldies, who I could chat to for hours, seemed not to talk about what is seen in the photos above.
    The kids playing “mummys & daddys” I remember well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Gavin. I actually like a lot of modern architecture, although the placing of some stylish buildings in areas of London does clash with the history, especially in The City financial district. My mum rarely talked about the war when she was old, she was far too traumatised by it.
      Best wishes,Pete.


  4. We actually had a similar hut near where I used to live. Originally designed for the military, it had been repurposed into a manufacturing facility before it eventually was razed. I can only wonder what it would be like to live in one of those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right, Bruce. They were used widely as military accommodation, and then in some cities late in the war as ‘temporary’ homes for civilians who had been bombed out by the air-raids. That they were still being lived in 20 years or more after VJ-Day was scandalous.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was never supervised either as I roamed around the East End with my friends in the 1960s. We played in bomb craters, old Nissen huts and condemned houses. We had a whale of a time and I’d go back to how it was in an instant. I don’t go to the East End much now because it’s unrecognisable to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The last time I was back in Bermondsey, it hadn’t changed that much since the late 1960s. Just some ‘gentrification’ of the old terraced houses had pushed prices up to silly money. Quite a few pubs had closed down too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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