London In Colour: 1972

Fifty years ago, an American tourist went on a trip to London and took lots of photos. In 2016,those photos were discovered, and put in an online article. Sadly, the photographer was not named.

Denmark Street. This is known as ‘Tin Pan Alley’ and was the home of many record companies and shops selling musical instruments.

Underground public toilets in Great Marlborough Street.

Carnaby Street, the place to shop for fashion at the time.

Caledonian Antiques Market, Bermondsey.

Oxford Circus at the junction with Regent Street and Oxford Street.

The famous Selfridges department store, Oxford Street.

Piccadilly Circus.

Police officers near Whitehall. Check out the trendy uniforms of the policewomen back then!

The Serpentine Cafe, by the river Serpentine in Hyde Park.

Strand, close to Charing Cross Station.

A snack bar window. See how cheap the sandwiches were 50 years ago!

64 thoughts on “London In Colour: 1972

    1. The policewomen of the time didn’t have stab vests, CS gas spray, and body-worn cameras to cope with of course. They still carried shoulder bags and wore quite short skirts back then, Janet.
      The unwrapped sandwiches were the norm in cafes, at least there was no plastic pollution from them. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. We took very few photos when I was growing up. But I got a Swinger camera for my birthday as a young teen; I mainly used it to take pictures of friends and family. It never occurred to me to take pictures of downtown. Now I wish I had; it is a completely different city today.

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  1. (1) There’s something rotten in Denmark. What’s that icky stuff in the tin pan back there in the alley?
    (2) Do they allow you to smoke a Marlboro in those underground public toilets?
    (3) Two neighbors were talking…
    Mr. Guildman: “Is Lady Jane Dudley buying duds at Lady Jane again?”
    Mrs. Ford: “Yes. She’ll beheading there soon.”
    (4) The New Caledonian Market needs a new sign.
    (5) Oxford Circus, where people clown around for the camera.
    (6) I’m interested in a Hotpoint refrigerator. Do they sell fridges on Oxford Street?
    (7) I’m interested in cartoon cinema featuring circus characters getting drunk on vermouth. Any suggestions as to where can I go for that?
    (8) The police at Whitehall are outside wearing black.
    (9) What’s the hiss-tory behind the Serpentine Cafe?
    (10) “Hello, mum? Please come get me. I’ve been stranded by my boyfriend at the Brook Street Bureau!”
    (11) Did you hear about the sick mariner who’d eaten Liver Sosage? (Always check the spelling before you buy.)

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  2. (S)He wasn’t the greatest photographer, but yes, definitely captures the 70s. About the same time I was desperately trying to get a job in London as the wages were so much higher than in Yorkshire, plus a better music scene, but like moving to Australia, it never happened.

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  3. That is the London I remember. The last time I actually went into London must have been late 80’s. I always found cities overwhelming. Too many people rushing about, too much noise. Yet I still recognise it as the city of my birth and really wish I had had a chance to know all the historical sites. I do like seeing the pictures.

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  4. Lovely evocative photos! In some ways, to say it is 50 years ago, London doesn’t look so different, but the cars are a dead giveaway; and the sandwich prices, of course! OK, the quality might be better, yadda yadda, but they always strike me as a real ripoff now. I don’t suppose there are many public conveniences left now, either? Cheers, Jon.

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          1. We’re all on borrowed time from birth, but how much time we have depends on our lifestyles I think. My dad and his brother were both 49 when they died, but they had worked in the same chrome plating factory in their youth and the acids/chemicals there contributed to their deaths, I think. Mum lived to 92 but knew how to eat healthily.

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