England In Photos: George Rodger

George Rodger captured English life from 1946 until the late 1960s. Many of these photos seem to be from some years earlier than that, showing how little changed during that time.

Shops reopening after the war, 1946. This shop seems to offer almost everything, and also carries advertising postcards for people selling items.

Well-to-do friends enjoy a picnic at an event, 1950s

A West Indian immigrant family arrives at a mainline station in London, 1964.

The interior of a Central London pub, 1969. Note the absence of any female customers.

The sleepy village of Smarden in Kent, 1964.

Morris dancers performing their traditional dance in Smarden, 1964.

An elderly resident of Smarden fixes a bicycle wheel, 1964.

The funeral of Winston Churchill. Central London, 1965.

30 thoughts on “England In Photos: George Rodger

  1. (1) Back in 1985, in New Zealand, hundreds of pilot whales decided to boycott pills and powders. So the pharmaceutical industry convinced the powers of nature to retaliate. “Beach ’em!”
    (2) There’s a couple making out in the backseat of one of those cars. I’m sure of it.
    (3) A West Indian immigrant family arrives in London. I blame Christopher Columbus for this!
    (4) Photographer: “Okay, ladies! Button up, and stand aside. I need to take a photo!”
    (5) It’s 12:08 in the afternoon. Time for the wives of Smarden to wake up their sleepy husbands. (If only they had come home sooner from the late night pub crawl.)
    (6) The Philip Morris dancers coping with their nicotine fit.
    (7) For his 141st birthday, the townsfolk brought their oldest resident another four bicycles to fix. Upon presenting the bikes, the town’s big wheel spoke fondly of Mr. Pavelo, calling him a living legend. He also reminded everyone of Mr. Pavelo’s famous pledge. “I will never tire of life. And so I refuse to die until I’ve fixed the very last bicycle. Ride them hard, and keep them coming!””
    (8) “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” (There are no cigars in Heaven. So Churchill didn’t go there.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful faces. It’s hard to believe people used to dress so well! I think some pubs had a “Men Only” room? Maybe what I remember is that in Zambia, where my brother was women were excluded. Times have changed almost beyond recognition. These photos are an important link.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were no ‘men-only’ rooms in pubs by 1969, but female drinkers were almost always accompanied by men, or other females. They would usually sit in the Saloon Bar, which was considered to be more suitable. This photo is probably of a Public Bar.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. Smarden looks like St Mary Mead. I’m sure the ladies in the first picture must be friends of Mrs. Marple. Such a commentary and a record of an era. As you say, Pete, some of them feel much much earlier. Thanks for sharing those. Oh, and fascinating to see the image of Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched Churchill’s funeral from a front window in my mum’s office. They allowed the staff and families in to watch it pass through the City, where she worked at the time. I was 13 years old, and the photo is just as I remember it.
      If you look at images of Smarden today on Google, you will see it has hardly changed.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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