Hackney Archive Work and Life 1971-1985 Neil Martinson


Photography and text by Neil Martinson

Hoxton Press shares, ‘East London in the 70s was raw and vivid: bombed-out houses, kids playing in the streets, factories abuzz with workers. These images take us on a journey through workshops, street markets and council homes to capture a time and place before technology and gentrification changed local lives forever.’

Photographer Neil Martinson, co-founder of Hackney Flashers, in his own words, ‘I started taking photographs in 1970 around Hackney with a Zenith E while I was still at school. These were somewhat bumbling attempts with a clunky Russian-made camera. The images have a quality to them that only time can burnish … the Zenith E was everything a boy could want from a camera. It had lots of knobs and dials, and they all had a satisfying clunk when operated.

By some kind of fluke, I went to Newport College of Art to do a Documentary Photography course led by David Hurn of Magnum. It didn’t work for me, and I came back to Hackney, where I had been working with a local publishing project called Centreprise. I set up Hackney Flashers with Jo Spence and started to take more photographs of Hackney, especially around work.

Today his photos are in the National Gallery collection.

Hackney Archive: Work and Life 1971-1985

120 Pages

Cloth spine

156mm x 196mm


120 pages

20.27 x 1.7 x 16.51 cm


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Additional information

Weight 700 g
Dimensions 23.0 × 5.0 × 18.00 cm

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