An exhibition has opened of previously unseen photographs which depict Stepney, Mile End, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Limehouse and the Thames riverside in the warm hues of Kodachrome film.

Stifford Estate, Stepney Green 1961. ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

In the decades following the end of the Second World War, the East End was a place usually captured in black and white, so these photographs present a rare chance to see views of these neighbourhoods in the 1960s and 1970s – some still familiar, many since vanished – in colour for the first time.

The photographs on display were taken by David Granick, a member of the East London History Society.

After his death in 1980, they were given to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. More recently, volunteers have been scanning them into digital files, and then local photographer Chris Dorley-Brown offered to clean them up for public display.

For this exhibition, the archive staff have worked with Chris to present the images as Granick originally showed them during his lifetime – using a carousel slide projector. In total, eighty of Granick’s slides appear on screen in rotation.

In addition to this, more than 200 images are hung on the walls of the exhibition hall.

Gardiners Corner, 1963. ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

As part of the exhibition, some of the photos have been published by local printers, Hoxton Mini Press as a photograph book.

The exhibition is open Mon-Fri, and some Saturdays including lates on Thursdays, until 5th May. Entry is free.

Belhaven Street, 1977 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

Whitechapel Road, 1965. ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

Spitalfields Market, 1973. ©The Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

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One comment on “Early colour photographs of East London on display
  1. Dave says:

    As I was born and raised in Stepney until my mid teens I had to visit, so popped in yesterday to the old Bancroft Road library (some 46 years since my last visit!).
    Spent an hour and a half conjuring up old memories and chatting with staff and other visitors. Then spent slightly longer wandering my old haunts, albeit on a cold and damp day.
    What I liked about the photo’s displayed was that you could add comments, thoughts and memories underneath. And I hope these will remain with the achieve.

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