1950s London In Photos: Bob Collins and Roger Mayne

I found some more photos by two British photographers who specialised in social history. They both took many photos in London, from the 1950s through to the 1970s. All of these are from the 1950s.

Bob Collins.

This boy is shopping for comics in Romford Market.

A lady haggling over the price of fish in Billingsgate Market.

Tourists photographing a guardsman outside Buckingham Palace.

A lady racegoer at the Epsom Derby.

Roger Mayne.

Boys setting up a lamp-post swing.

Girls using the lamp-post swing.

Playing with a skipping rope in the road.

This little girl has hurt her arm, and is running home crying.

A street scene in West London. The little girl has an ancient toy pram.

Boys playing cards on the front step of a house.

1950s teenagers hanging out on a street corner.

35 thoughts on “1950s London In Photos: Bob Collins and Roger Mayne

  1. (1) “My pop says he’s a superhero, so I’m looking for him in one of these magazines.”
    (2) Wait till the lady gets the Billingsgate’s bill.
    (3) At the rodeo in Texas, they ride bucking beef.
    (4) When the winner is declared, do the men throw their Epsom Derby hats in the air?
    (5) Out west, we don’t have lamppost swings. However, many cattle rustlers have swung from the end of a rope. (“Hang ’em high!”)
    (6) Hey, girls! Just you wait till the Swingin’ 60’s!
    (7) Them rustlers are always a-dreamin’ of skippin’ rope. (The better to live another day!) (Or as they say, “No noose is good news!”)
    (8) Hey, girl! Just you wait until you have to get your Covid booster!
    (9) Someone buy that girl with the ancient toy pram a doll. I’m talking to you, Barbarella!
    (10) Overheard:
    Jack Kingston: “One day, you and me will be croupiers.”
    Boniface Spader: “How do you know?”
    Jack Kingston: “It’s in the cards!”
    (11) Overheard:
    Lumpy Cole: “I read this cool story where people’s behavior was changed by a blue light.”
    Whit Greyson: “Look around, Lumpy! Do you see any color? Must have been science fiction.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photos remind me of youth growing up unsupervised. I was the oldest of four. It was my job to keep the order and “babysit”. I hated my little siblings for that. I couldn’t wait to get out of the house. Too bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of hands on hips! There are so many little things in the details that jog memories, such as the collar of the girl’s coat in the rope-jumping pic. The cigarette hanging from the lady’s mouth. Women did that a lot in those days, my mother for one. She always had a “fag”, no matter what she was doing and she half closed one eye because of the smoke. Yet she was very fussy about her appearance. Never could understand it. Kids were always good about making their own games. I can’t imagine kids playing cards now but I suppose they do it online, or something more “fun”. Great choices as always Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. Cigarettes hanging from lips was never a good look for anyone. My paternal grandmother used to do that, and the ash was all over her dress.
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. I’m older so do remeber those swings. It always seemed to be girls on them though. There were so few car owners in our street, we could easily play all day in the road, until dinnertime. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the pics, Pete! I remember shopping for comic books on the road. I even bought Harry Potter from a roadside vendor. The improvised swings, card games and skipping ropes are so relatable. My daughter, though, had a problem understanding any of it. Anything not on mobile phone does not exist for her. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

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