Museum calls for help to identify people in old Clapton photos

Group of friends taken at Gibson photo studio

Group of friends taken at Gibson photo studio - Credit: Archant

Residents could help identify people in a vast collection of old photos for a forthcoming Hackney Museum exhibition.

A boxing match, possibly at Shoreditch Town Hall

A boxing match, possibly at Shoreditch Town Hall - Credit: Archant

The photos were taken at Gibson’s photo studio, Lower Clapton Road, mainly in the 1970s, with some negatives dating as far back as the 1950s.

Residents living in Hackney at the time or who have connections to the borough are being asked to illuminate the untold stories of the 100 photos that will be displayed.

Images include scenes of weddings outside Hackney Town Hall from African, Asian and Caribbean families, studio portraits, university graduations and multicultural fashion throughout the decades.

Museum manager Niti Acharya said: “We are initially working with about 100 images but we have an archive of 40,000.

A nurse's portrait taken at Gibson photo studio

A nurse's portrait taken at Gibson photo studio - Credit: Archant

“I had one taken there when I was a child. I was going through the negatives and I even found one of my aunt and uncle’s wedding; I had no idea they were photographed there.”

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet member for Health, Social Care and Culture said: “The photos in the Gibson’s collection are a wonderful peek into the everyday lives of Hackney’s past.”

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The entire Gibson’s photographic negative collection was donated to Hackney Archives by Kevin Danks.

He said: “The collection illustrates a period of social change in Hackney after the Second World War.

A smiling portrait taken at Gibson photo studio

A smiling portrait taken at Gibson photo studio - Credit: Archant

“In the 1950s almost every shot features white, working class people and by the early 1970s this changes and the diversity we see today is evident.”

A selection of the negatives has been digitised and can be viewed on flickr under R. A. Gibson.

These include a boxing match from 1952, believed to be at Shoreditch Town Hall; a 1952 netball team from Nisbet House in Hometon and a Southwold School production of The Wizard of Oz.

The forthcoming exhibition is part of the council’s Black History Month programme. Events will also be taking place in Hackney’s libraries and at Hackney Archives.

See more of the photos hereHackney Museum can be contacted by email: Hmuseum@hackney.gov.uk, phone 020 8356 7302 or Twitter: @hackneymuseum

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