20 thoughts on “London Town ’54”

  1. Hi, I am Kevin Clarke, writing from Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia. In the picture of Watney Street, identified by Christopher Matheson, I am the boy wearing the over-sized jeans, next to the couple with the pram. Those jeans were my first pair if long trousers. I was very taken with them — but did not like having to turn up the bottoms. I was aged 9 or maybe just turned 10 when this photo was taken. I lived at 145 Shadwell Gardens, top end of Watney Street, near Shadwell Station. I am now 70 :).

  2. Thanks, Mike – great to hear from you, and incredible you’re pretty sure that is your Mum and Dad by the stall in Witney Street. I’m pretty close to having the complete ‘London Town 54’ online, approx. early March 2016 hopefully. All the best, Pete.

  3. Just seen the photo of Witney street market and the two people standing behind the, stall look like my mum & dad we lived in the pub at the bottom of Witney street called the old house at home, their names were. Rose & Bart Quinn they had three daughters & one son me

  4. Correction of typo on previous posting:
    Very interesting throughout.
    When Hans Richard took the picture of the cinema showing the film “Rear Window”, he was probably aware that the film features an Exakta 35mm camera that played an important role in the plot!

  5. Very interesting throughout.
    When Hans Richard took the picture of the cinema showing the film “Rear Window”, he was probably away that the film features an Exakta 35mm camera that played an important role in the plot!

    1. Yes, Trevor, it’s odds on that he’d been to see ‘Rear Window’, and seen that it was an Exakta camera with the special telephoto lens that the James Stewart character was using in the film. I will probably footnote this fact when the full version of ‘London Town 54’ goes online, hopefully
      mid-December, 2015. By the way, apologies, that I didn’t attach your corrected comment: ‘Aware’, for ‘Away’ (see above), but I pressed the wrong button! Thanks for your comment, and for your interest.

    1. Hello Sapphire, Lovely to hear from you. There will be lots more photos of Southend-on-Sea when “London Town 54” goes online. I’d originally said this would be in September, 2015, but it is now more likely to be October 2015. I will put an alert here on petegrafton.com when it does go online. All the best, Pete.

  6. What a blessing you historians are to people like me who are grounded far from home through fear of flying. I’m an ‘eastender’ who grew up in the years after the war and have so many happy memories of my childhood. Can’t wait for September and your next edition.
    Regards Pat

  7. Hello from Australia,
    I also just ‘stumbled’ onto this amazing collection. Thank you for the photo of Juniper Street. My husbands Great Grandmother had remarried and lived there with her children in 1901. I am anxious for more photo’s in the future. Always a Londoner at heart, Pat Warren

    1. Hello Pat,
      Lovely to hear from you, and sorry I did not ‘pick up’ on your comment earlier. That’s amazing that your husband’s Great Grandmother lived in Juniper Street in 1901. I’m still on target for publishing “London Town 54” – the full collection of photos with a commentary – online this September, 2015. It will get flagged up at petegrafton.com. Best wishes, Pete.

  8. Thank you for publishing these on your site. Some really great pictures. Are you still going to be publishing the entire collection later this year?
    Many thanks!

    1. Yes, Dave I plan to be publishing around 100 photos, called London ’54, September 2015. And yes, aren’t the photos good? Some of them upset ideas of “drab London” in the early to mid 1950s. I will be providing a commentary with the photos, setting the context of the time. I will be scanning the photos in at a fairly high resolution so that they can be blown up, to reveal details within the photo, if viewed on a smart phone or tablet/iPad. Thanks so much for your interest and kind words. Keep an eye on my petgrafton.com site in September 2015 as I will be publicising the free online publication then. It will have it’s own website, as I’ve done with “Len: Our Ownest Darling Girl”
      Best wishes, Pete.

  9. Great photos. I was about a month away from coming into the world when these were taken. Oh just a minor point, the Ford Consul with the whitewall tyres is in fact the newly introduced Ford Zodiac which was the top of the range. Very glitzy with two tone paint as standard as are the whitewalls. Lovely cars.

    1. Dear Paul
      Good to hear from you, and many thanks for keeping me right about the ID of the Ford Zodiac in the Picadilly Circus photo. I’ll give you a name check when I correct it.

  10. I don’t quite know how I stumbled on this earlier today but it’s all very interesting.

    I would just like to point out that the street market, with the steam engined train in the distance, is not Limehouse. This shows the view, looking south, in Watney Street, Shadwell. Limehouse is somewhat to the east of Shadwell. I wonder if the other ‘Limehouse’ photographs are also misidentified?

    I also can’t fathom where this will be posted.


    1. Christopher, Many thanks for this very interesting correction. I’m amazed you have been able to identify it as Watney Street, Shadwell, as I’d have thought it would have changed dramatically since the photo was taken in 1954. Many thanks again. Pete.

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