A display of images that capture London’s eclectic social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s has gone on show at the Museum of London.


All taken by the photographer Dick Scott-Stewart, they sweep from the New Romantics at the famous Blitz club in Covent Garden and Rockabillies in Elephant and Castle to wrestling matches at Battersea Arts Centre and punks on the Kings Road.

Taken in black and white also pushes back how the images seem to be of a far and distant land, not something that for many is within living memory.


A quote by Scott-Stewart is on the wall explaining why he takes photographs of people: “I’m a 6ft 2 voyeur. I love looking at things. Photography is just an excuse to meet interesting people. It is a passport to situations that I like to be involved in.”


As a voyeur there is a danger of being drawn into the scene, rather than a removed observer of what others are doing.

But most of us who lived through these years were also voyeurs who experienced them through reporting in magazines clouded by the veneer of a daily drudgery that meant we often lacked the time or money to hang out at fashionable nightclubs or worked in places where the experimental clothing was not permitted.

The photographs are a new acquisition by the Museum following a donation from the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive.

The exhibition is based in the lower floor of the museum by the cafe, and is open until 18th September. Entry is free.


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One comment on “Photos of London’s 70s and 80s subculture
  1. gillian lawrence says:

    Absolutely true sbout holding down a job and knowing what was out there via magazines.
    It may be the fact that after the event, then you know you were in a subculture that you thought was normal.
    going to see.