In pictures: Hoxton Mini Press publishes Neil Martinson’s photos of work and life in Hackney in the 70s and 80s
PUBLISHED: 11:03 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 09 February 2020
Bombed-out houses, kids playing in the streets, and factories abuzz with workers.
These are a few of the raw and vivid scenes captured by Neil Martinson while he was still at school, and now published by Hoxton Mini Press.
The book, Hackney Archive, Work and Life 1971 - 1985, is the seventh book in the boutique publishing company's Vintage series.
The black and white photographs take viewers on a journey through workshops, street markets and council homes to capture a time and place before technology and gentrifcation changed local lives forever.
"Hackney was a place to leave, with its crumbling council estates and high unemployment," said Neil, whose work has been featured in the National Portrait Gallery.
"There's been a bit of romance about what Hackney was like but at that time it was still recovering from the war.
"Yet there was vitality and resilience among local people. "
Few people owned their own homes, there were no gated communities and no gastro-pubs.
"Students, radicals and artists started to move into Hackney. It was an exciting time to be a photographer and activist."
Neil, a pupil at Hackney Downs School where Mossbourne Acadmey now stands, saved up from his job as a Saturday boy at Stoke Newington's Woolworths branch to buy a camera.
Many of his images appeared in books published by radical bookshop and community hub Centerprise when he was still at school, and they were also used by local campaigns on housing, nurseries, education and trade union rights.
He extensively documented local working lives and when he was 20 he founded campaign group Hackney Flashers with Jo Spence, documenting the lives of working class women and pressing for better women's rights.
He also took pictures for newspapers like Hackney Action and Hackney People's Press.
The hardback book costs £17.95.