See Images Of Hackney In The 70s And 80s At This Exhibition

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 17 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

See Images Of Hackney In The 70s And 80s At This Exhibition
Young protestors with banners decry the death of Colin Roach, a young Black man shot dead in the entrance of Stoke Newington police station, 1983. © Neil Martinson

Cutting his teeth as a photographer while still at school in the 1970s, Neil Martinson captured a Hackney where houses were still bombed out from the war, kids got their larks playing in the streets, a thriving factory industry belched fumes into the ether, and gentrification was about as far off as anything you could imagine.

A woman checks a pin striped jacket, in a warehouse full of them
A Stoke Newington factory producing suits for luxury clothing brand DAKS, 1981. © Neil Martinson
A youngster sits on a wall plastered in News of the World ads
Ridley Road, 1971. © Neil Martinson

Through his prolific, and candid, approach Martinson built up what is now an invaluable archive of pictures, documenting an east London barely recognisable in 2022. A book was recently released featuring many of his images, and now a selection of Martinson's photos is on display at a free exhibition at Two More Years in Hackney Wick, from 19 October-15 November.

The River Lea, wit lots of industry - cranes, barges, smoking chimneys
River Lea, 1971. © Neil Martinson
An old man and woman poses in their very 70s looking living room
Nightingale Estate, 1974, which has since been redeveloped. © Neil Martinson

While these photos capture a gritty, scuffed up version of Hackney, Martinson highlights a stark fact: "Hackney may have been poor but there was no need for food banks in those times."

Framed photographs are on sale throughout the exhibition, with proceeds going to Hackney Foodbank.

Two young boys poses by a wall with 'close the slum' written on it
Haggerston, 1971. © Neil Martinson

Martinson remains active, and the exhibition also features some of his latest photos, capturing Hackney's contemporary residents.

Rare Hackney by Neil Martinson at Two More Years, Hackney Wick, 19 October-15 November 2022, free.

Last Updated 26 October 2022

Continued below.