By Mark McConville
THE UNSTOPPABLE march of progress has been revealed in a series of stunning retro pictures of London in the 1970s and 1980s found in previously forgotten boxes in a retiree’s home.
The vintage images show huge rolls of paper being delivered to printing presses in Fleet Street, where many of the national newspapers in the UK were based at the time.
Other incredible shots show Picadilly Circus illuminated by well-known advertisements, Regent Street lit up by Christmas lights and Londoners enjoying the sunshine on deck chairs in Hyde Park.
The nostalgia-inducing photographs were taken by former Head of Photography at the National Railway Museum (NRM) York Chris Hogg (64), from York, as he visited family in London.
“Very soon after taking up my post at the NRM surrounded by historic artefacts including some 1.6 million photographs, I realised that a photographic record of what can seem the most mundane everyday life is as important to future generations as the pictures of great occasions and earth shattering events,” he said.
“So, in the late 1970s to early 1980s, when I wasn’t on the terraces at Tottenham I had a go at recording some of the odds and sods of London.
“Around the same time, I heard that Denis Thorpe the great Guardian photographer when asked how he was able to capture such incredible pictures of everyday Britain replied “keeping my eyes open and just mooching around”. One great piece of advice.”
Mr Hogg, who only recently uncovered the pictures in boxes in his house, laughed about the never-ending quest for progress.
“I remember recording the construction of Waterloo International as part of museum project covering the building of the Channel Tunnel,” he added.
“This station will be the ‘Gateway to Europe’ I was told. It was only a few years later that I was back in London photographing the re-construction of St Pancras to St Pancras International the new ‘Gateway to Europe’.”