In 1978, Dutch tourist and photographer Ed Sijmons walked around central London with his camera. He avoided the usual tourist sights, and instead took photos of everyday life around the capital. Most of these colour photos are quite grainy, and make 1978 seem a lot further back in the past than it is. Nonetheless, much has changed in those 44 years.
The Wimpy Bar in Soho.
Run down shops in Tachbrook Street, Pimlico. (All since demolished.)
Cars in a Soho car park. Even then, the cars shown were quite old.
An Express Dairy electric milk float. At one time, milk deliveries were all done using such vehicles.
The Ladies’ public toilet in Rochester Row, Victoria. The lady posing is Ed’s girlfriend.
Ed seemed to like English ice cream vans. Here are two he photographed in Victoria.
An Evening Standard newspaper delivery van. They would be rushing around London all day, delivering newpapers to street vendors.
A single decker ‘Red Arrow’ bus. Those buses went some distance across London from A-to B, without stopping in between. Long gone now.
The classic London licenced taxi. This one is painted to advertise a coffee company.
The Art Noveau Michelin Tyre building in Chelsea. Now renamed The Bibendum, it is an expensive eatery.
Hamley’s famous toy shop in Regent Street. Still as popular today.
Ed made the journey across to East London, to Cheshire Street near Brick Lane. At the time, it was a rather shabby street market.