Protest, pensioners and puppiesMarch 28, 2012 About my museum job, Blogs, Collections online, Photography, Websites
Our Collections online team reveal the latest group of Henry Grant photographs to be released online, including images of protest and of working life in the Capital in the 1950s.
On 11th November 1954, the annual rally of the National Federation of Old Pensioners Association, was held at the Central Methodist Hall. The Guardian newspaper interestingly wrote a rather derogatory report stating that there were more women than men at the meeting “among them very old ones; and true that there were cups of tea continually being sipped and bars of ice cream sucked and a lot of deaf-aids being twiddled.”
Club Row was the only weekly animal street market in London during the 1950s. Every Sunday morning traders would bring hundreds of dogs and puppies to Club Row, off Bethnal Green Road where they were sold. From 1951 all animal sellers were required to hold licences however there were of course many disreputable traders. In 1982 the local council banned the sale of animals in Club Row Market.
In May 1959 the Conservative Council in St Pancras introduced a new means tested rate scheme which increased rents dramatically for the majority of tenants, most were doubled and some even tripled. 35 separate tenants associations were set up and there were regular protest meetings, rallies and demonstrations. As many as 8,000 tenants withheld their rent in protest. This photograph depicts demonstrators at the eviction of tenant Don Cooke who had withheld his rent in protest.
By the 1960s there were only a small number of boats using the London canals for trade and by the 1970s the use of canals for leisure had begun. A large crowd has gathered to watch police divers search the canal; unfortunately Henry Grant hasn’t left any notes about this photograph so we don’t know why they were in the water or where exactly they were.
Protestors in Trafalgar Square on the final day of the Aldermaston Peace March in 1960. The marches were anti nuclear weapons protests taking place on Easter weekend which took the form of a march from the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston to Trafalgar Square in London. As can be seen from this photograph the marches were attended by thousands of people.