Café Royal Books is a really great niche publisher of photography mini books. I think it’s quite unique in its approach, publishing these small format books at very affordable prices.
This one, Petticoat Lane, London 1966 caught my eye from this week’s email. Photographer Roger Taylor created this series on his first ‘proper’ trip to London as a young photographer in 1966. His images of Petticoat Lane market traders capture a very ‘London’ essence of camaraderie, community and a little eccentricity. There aren’t many of these types of markets left but there are a few.
Markets are such fantastic places for photographers. As a fashion student I loved going to Portobello to take photos, but some stallholders could be quite shirty. You have to ask permission as they might be selling dodgy goods. There’s definitely a fine art to being a street photographer and I didn’t really have the confidence for it at the age of 20 (or ever). Dorothy Bohm (who co-founded The Photographers’ Gallery) was another very good street photographer from around the same time. Her Café Royal book, London Street Markets 1960s-1970s is also fab.
My mum told me a great story about my Indian grandmother, who loved Petticoat Lane and always paid a visit on her trips to London. ‘Bups’ (as we called her) had a thing for cameo brooches and would buy fistfuls from Petticoat Lane to sell to her friends back home in Bombay. She would piss off the market traders with her haggling at first, but was so charismatic, she would soon charm them into submission. One time, she irked a trader so much, he asked her to please leave his stall. My mum was mortified and fled the scene. Ten minutes later she returned to the spot to see that my grandmother had made firm friends with the trader and bought his entire stock of brooches. And also acquired an invitation to stay with him and his family on her next visit.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Roger Taylor Petticoat Lane, London 1966
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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