In the spring of 1962, 20-year-old photographer Howard Grey went to London’s Waterloo Station to photograph commuters and their everyday life. For decades, these pictures remained unknown. The majority of them were from the Windrush Generation. It wasn’t until 50 years later when digital scanners were introduced, that this historic collection could be restored for posterity due to poor lighting conditions. Grey’s photographs are now displayed at the Autograph gallery in east London, and you can view them online.
While Grey has always been curious about the identities of his subjects, he failed to obtain their personal information when he shot them. Perhaps they’ll see themselves in the photographs if they look at them now. In a sense, he’s also discovered his younger self through the images.
Who were these people then? What happened next? So many stories. If this is you or someone you know, please get in touch. For now, let’s look at Howard’s incredible pictures that capture a momentous time in so many lives, and imagine the stories between.
I was the only photographer there and you could buy a platform ticket for two pennies. When I got there, everybody was waiting for the train to come in and I got shots of the train coming in, and [a news crew] was there … By the time I got the cameras out, I was standing amongst all the people, so I just spun round taking pictures.
There was a quiet, subdued atmosphere. You’ve got the laughter … they could see their relatives coming but there were barriers. The barrie rs stopped them going up to them because of all the luggage. All the luggage was taken out of the goods van as they called it and was put on the platforms … But it was very quiet. The whole thing was apprehensive.