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60 Miles

60 Miles by Road or Rail is an intergenerational arts project exploring and celebrating Northampton New Town heritage. It is supported by the Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This socially engaged project aimed to document Northampton new town stories after 50 years of its creation. The photography is part of a much wider project and collaboration between me as a photographer, a videographer and includes oral history and theatre.
Over the course of a few months, I have developed a photographic project which ended up featuring more than 200 portraits and captured 190 residents with their own voices and stories.
The portraits were all taken in the Eastern part of Northampton, often referred to as the ‘Eastern District’, which was the first part of the extension and creation of a New Town. The Eastern District often has a bad reputation but for many it’s simply Home.

The project has been showed at the Northampton Museum in December 2021 with a solo photographic exhibition. For more info:
“The exhibition features a fantastic series of unrehearsed portrait images of residents outside their homes, shops and community centres, accompanied by stories from the subjects reflecting on the place they call home.
Presented in a state-of-the-art digital format at Northampton Museum, audiences are invited to take a contemporary look at the town’s New Town legacy and what it means for residents today.”

"We moved to Northampton when we got married in 1966. We were here when it all expanded, I remember the centre of the town being much much smaller. Abington Street used to be a two way street, with buses going up and down it and as you know now it's a pedestrian walkway. These houses were built in 1972 or 1973. It's so handy for everything, we are walking distance from Weston Favell shopping centre and Tesco and the health centre and the leisure centre - the swimming pool, the cinema - what's not to like. We've got eleven grandchildren, the two youngest ones are two and five and we are here now so we are really seeing them grow up now."

Radu & his daughter.
Radu is from Moldova and has been here three years."We used to live in London but Northampton is a better place to live. I really see myself living here forever. My daughter is learning Russian through playing with the neighbours children and that really make me happy'

Mum Vicki, not in the picture, said:
"I'm from Oxford. I moved here after I met Simon in 2002. My family had a caravan in the Aquadrome so we were spending every weekend and any school holiday in Northampton.
Northampton will always somehow have the feel of the holiday.
I left Oxford at 16. I got with Simon when I was 15, we moved together at 16 and bought the house, next to Simon’s house, at 17 and at 18 we had our first child. Now we are 5 kids. Youngest being 1.
I really don’t want to see my kids living in the ED because of the crime but to be fair the court we live in is very safe and we all know and look after each other.
Millie is 3 and Ronnie was 11 weeks not even vaccinated.
Ollie, is 10. Like to be around here. It simply feels home.
This is the second time I dye my hair, I had blue hair before.
I did it because I like to be different.

Ghulam & Perveen

"Northampton is friendly and it's easy for us to get around everywhere and do things. Different communities have always been here. As time has gone on it has become more multicultural."

William & Bailey
"I've lived here in The Eastern District for thirty five years and I have recently moved from Thorplands. We've got the park right here and there's a great community. It's quiet, everyone gets on. All the kids play with each other, it's a nice area to live in. I go into town once a week but only if I need to. There aren't enough things to do - it needs an up lift. Bailey likes it 'just because!'

Frank & Margaret.
Brother and sister. I just managed to photographed them second before jumping on the bus at the Weston Favell Shopping centre.

"I spent ten years in the Eastern District before I met my wife and I've been living in Kingsthorpe (outside the ED) for ten years, we've recently split so I moved back to familiar ground. I'm staying with the folks, saving up for a mortgage, got about two months left and then I can start looking for a place. I might buy a house in Little Billing. I like the Eastern District, it does have a bad reputation from back in the late eighties, lot of London overspill. There's quite a close knit community, everyone in similar circumstances and they bond together. The Eastern District is familiar, I like it."

We met Bill whilst they were setting up for his daughter's birthday party. He has been living in the areas for ever. All his family are around and live within a few meters. They often gather together and all the time they support each other." We came from a traveller background but we are long established into the Eastern District'

Rukshana & her son.
"I came from Bangladesh and moved to Northampton as that was where my parents moved in the 1990s.
We have lived in the Eastern District for twenty five years now; in Southfields for eight years and before I was in Goldings. Everyone is friendly and the neighbourhood is really quiet so I enjoy living here. Every-time I see anybody they say hi and we have a little catch-up. My son has friends here and there is a big park near here which we go to everyday and the ice-cream is amazing!
There are too many trees and they should be cut down, the leaves get everywhere on the cars etc. They are really tall.
When they built the New Town for whatever reason they planted forest trees, which are now getting totally out of control

Anne-Marie & Royston with their son

Yakubu, Rafiatu, Abdul-Hak, Nasiba, Adk
Dad Yakubu said "I'm a veteran of the British Army, and I moved here in March 2015 with my family. Before I moved here, I applied to about five councils but Northampton was the only council that gave me a chance. They told me if you don't get a house we will find you a house, since I moved here I've never regretted moving here. Northampton is a good place to live. We are all happy living here."

She moved to Northampton with her family.
Dad Yakubu said "I'm a veteran of the British Army, and I moved here in March 2015 with my family. Before I moved here, I applied to about five councils but Northampton was the only council that gave me a chance. They told me if you don't get a house we will find you a house, since I moved here I've never regretted moving here. Northampton is a good place to live. We are all happy living here."

Mum Vicki, not in the picture, said:
"I'm from Oxford. I moved here after I met Simon in 2002. My family had a caravan in the Aquadrome so we were spending every weekend and any school holiday in Northampton.
Northampton will always somehow have the feel of the holiday.
I left Oxford at 16. I got with Simon when I was 15, we moved together at 16 and bought the house, next to Simon’s house, at 17 and at 18 we had our first child. Now we are 5 kids. Youngest being 1.
I really don’t want to see my kids living in the ED because of the crime but to be fair the court we live in is very safe and we all know and look after each other.
Millie is 3 and Ronnie was 11 weeks not even vaccinated.
Ollie, is 10. Like to be around here. It simply feels home.
This is the second time I dye my hair, I had blue hair before.
I did it because I like to be different.

"I've lived in Northampton for seventeen years and was born here. I have worked at this Chinese take away for ten months now...."

"I worked on Lings, Southfields then I went to Milton Keynes. I was a plasterer. I moved up from Croydon in 1974, Western Favell was being built. I did actually work on building those tastes.
I came back from Australia and I couldn't find a decent place to live in London, we went to Milton Keynes but it was all mud so we moved up here. We stayed here because of the kids in schools, we have four kids. We happy here, we know everybody."

Ann-Marie with daughters Grace, Nancy & Bella.
"We live near Lings, I was born here. My parents moved from Jamaica. It's a nice place, it's very homely. I love this place. I've lived here my whole life...."

Paige & her children.

"My parents met each other in London, my Dad's Jamaican and my Mum is English, she was born in London. They came down here nearly forty years ago, had me and my brother and I grew up in the Eastern District. I live in Thorplands. When I was younger it was a bit rough but it's okay now, we've got a new community centre, nice new nursery there. It's my home, I've never left, I've moved in different places in the Eastern District but I've always come back to Thorplands."
"My parents met each other in London, my Dad's Jamaican and my Mum is English, she was born in London. They came down here nearly forty years ago, had me and my brother and I grew up in the Eastern District. I live in Thorplands. When I was younger it was a bit rough but it's okay now, we've got a new community centre, nice new nursery there. It's my home, I've never left, I've moved in different places in the Eastern District but I've always come back to Thorplands."

Anne-Marie & Royston with their son

"I was born and bred on the estate, I've moved away before and come back. Home's home. It will always be my home. Everyone knows everybody, the community is quite a good community. I'm happy here. When I was growing up there were playing areas, lots of children out playing together. But the council took lots of those away.
The police came and installed all this fences, apparently to control crime, but we removed most of this fences as, they were turning it the estate into an open prison."

"I spent ten years in the Eastern District before I met my wife and I've been living in Kingsthorpe (outside the ED) for ten years, we've recently split so I moved back to familiar ground. I'm staying with the folks, saving up for a mortgage, got about two months left and then I can start looking for a place. I might buy a house in Little Billing. I like the Eastern District, it does have a bad reputation from back in the late eighties, lot of London overspill. There's quite a close knit community, everyone in similar circumstances and they bond together. The Eastern District is familiar, I like it."

"I'm from Blackthorn, I've lived there for eight years. I go to the school right behind us.
It's alright, all my friends are here so it's nice. Sadly, there is a lot of crime but I've never experienced it. I want to go to London, I want to live in a big city."

Arthur, from Poland. "I moved to England because my brother Derek was here. I worked at a belts company at Sixfields for eleven years. Now I work at the Brackmills factory for NHS Supplies."

"I moved from Peterborough, my brother was here and he told me to come here. I drive lorries and I moved here 10 years ago, got a job and stayed here. The community is great, everyone helps each other. If something goes wrong I can count on people's helps. I wasn't in a good place and my bother gave me the kick up the arse to get back into work. I've done alright. Everyone is so friendly. The Eastern District Community club (where I photograph Roy) is such a friendly club, is my second home"

George, originally from Ireland.
"My wife picked Northampton really: some friends had moved and we'd come up at weekends to visit them. At that time they just started to build Rectory Farm and she fell in love with it. We both had pretty good jobs in London with good wages but when we came up here the wages weren't as good but still we chose this part of the world.
We moved to Rectory Farm on St Patrick's day in 1981. No gas, No electrics, freezing cold. My house had just been finished around January time and we were the first people to move into this area. There was no final coating on the road, no buses, you had to walk. All around us used to be fields and we used to catch rabbits. It's been a good life, I wouldn't like to live anywhere else.

Emily & Celestina.
"We have been friends forever, today is our last day in school and we are ready to celebrate.
We like living around here, is has good cake shops and restaurants.
The area should not be stereotyped or viewed in a negative way because there's loads here and people should explore it to see more."

Marina, originally from the Seychelles.
"My late husband was in the army and when he came out we were given a choice of London, Northampton or Nottingham - he chose Northampton so I've been here since 1978. We didn't like London. I go to Virgin gym, I used to do Zumba but it stopped. When I first came there was a lot of farms and now there are houses everywhere, where the children used to play its not there anymore and they are just building houses, building houses. It's turning into a mini city. There are a large number of new houses - they are killing the beauty and view of Northampton.
This has been my church since 1978, it's always looked like this. All my family is here so we have a good thing in Northampton.

Marina sings in Italian at the end and she has a great laugh.

Chloe, 16

Evering Road People

Evering Road is a mile long road in the heart of Hackney. I've lived here for more than eight years, without ever truly knowing those around me.
Lockdown presented a unique opportunity. I couldn’t do my usual work, but I could turn my camera on to my own community. With people having more time on their hands, I started documenting my neighbours from a safe distance.

At first, the project was mostly for my personal sanity, but in talking to the people of Evering Road, I began to uncover a consoling web of human stories, small gestures and common threads. One of the few positives of this pandemic has been how communities have pulled together. I saw evidence of this every time I stepped out of my front door.
So I opened an account on Instagram called @everingroad and posted daily. The idea was to tell at least one story per day during the first phase of lockdown, which began on the 24th March 2020 and ended on the 31st of May.

The account quickly became popular, featured in Guardian Weekend and on the Instagram account of Vanity Fair Italia, and the BBC. This was great but I’m particularly proud of the way in which it became a community hub; a way for neighbours to connect and get to know each other.

Evering Road is unique. Built at the end of the 19th century, this long, leafy road is strikingly diverse, a microcosm of London life in 2020. Its levels of social housing and ethnic diversity are significantly higher than the national average. Many properties are owned by housing associations and estates are interspersed amongst the Victorian villas.
Just twenty years ago, the area was considered rough. Although gentrification has inevitably crept in, the road holds traces of how east London used to be. It’s a wonderful melting pot, where a strong sense of community sits alongside liberal values. Here people can be whomever they choose.
There is also a real mixture of ages, from young families to students just starting out, to retirees who have lived entire lives here, frequently after having arrived from faraway countries and impoverished backgrounds. In documenting the road’s residents, I’ve had the privilege of listening to a wide variety of stories across the generations - from the struggle of millennials to the anxiety of people in their 80s.

Despite the huge range of voices, what emerged most from the many people I spoke to was our collective humanity. Whatever our age or background, we share so many of the same joys and fears.
That’s why I decided to go one step further and create a photo book. A unique diary of these unprecedented times. A memento of how we pulled together, to take forwards with us into the future. I put the project on Kickstarter, swiftly raising enough to make it a reality, with many generous donations from the very community I’ve documented.
So here we are. A road, like hundreds of others but also distinctive. Its residents united through their smiles to each other, the views shared from windows, the small gestures of cooperation. Lives lived side by side and - perhaps more than ever - together.

‘I’m originally from Antigua but I’ve been living on Evering Road for more than 25 years. I’m self-isolating at the moment and one of the things I’m missing the most is sitting in my car listening to the radio. The postlady gets a mint every time she delivers my letters.’

‘I love my job. It keeps me fit without having to pay for a gym. I know lots of people on the road. Sometimes, when I see their faces around Stokey, I can remember their addresses. But usually when I’m not in uniform nobody recognises me! One of the residents is growing a fruit tree and some other plants for my allotment. And I often have a mint in my pocket.’

‘I’m due to give birth on the 17th of April and I’m planning to do it at home. Last week it was reported on the news that that would be the peak of Covid19 deaths in the UK. My due date, can you imagine? It prompted me to write a letter to my unborn baby about the extraordinary time they are arriving into. Part of it says, “Of course there is despair, anxiety and grief, but woven into this
unchartered territory are many acts of kindness, the opportunity to make better choices and build a better future, which I hope you will be part of.”’

‘I moved from India to the UK ten years ago. Within two months I was employed by the council and have been taking care of Evering Road ever since.’

‘I moved here from south London five years ago. I work with people affected by protracted conflicts, like those in Syria and Iraq. So many people have lost everything and had to flee their countries. If you’ve grown up in the UK, it’s often hard to put ourselves in that situation but the current crisis helps us to realise, if only in a small way, how fragile things are and how difficult it is when you feel threatened.
I have suffered from anxiety in the past but I’ve learned to be kind to myself and to think of what I can do well in the next half an hour, or hour, without necessarily thinking about tomorrow or the near future.
My priorities for this year have changed so much. At the moment, the idea of just seeing my brother and nieces makes me cry. It would make me so happy.’

Colin and Zoe
‘I grew up on this road. I know everybody and everything about it. I helped to fly my old friend Zoe back to London a few days ago and offered a place to stay. We are now working on opening a plant and flower shop called Number 50 in my dad’s old cab office. I’ve also been trying to think about what I can do for local elderly residents. I just laid some new flooring for Helena next door.’

Sophie, Trinity and Kevin
Kevin says, ‘We are proud Londoners, with a few stories to share between us. We’ve been going through a difficult period but they say that time is a healer...’

Kate and Rita
‘It’s been just over a month so far of lockdown. I think it’s amazing how a situation like this, outside any of our experience, soon becomes normalised. We adapt so quickly. But while this ability to accept things can be a strength, I do worry that it might prevent us from asking the right questions. Yes, the ways in which communities are coming together to support one another is inspiring and worth celebrating, but it mustn’t stop us from demanding answers from those responsible. We must refocus and hold our government to account for their poor and costly decisions. We need honesty and clarity, moving forward. Clapping is

not enough - we need to demand better for those, the families, communities and frontline workers, who are actually fighting this.’

Alice, Aki, and Jimmy, Bob, Laura and Hester, Tiago and Martina
Alice says, ‘Our three families live in different flats within the same house at the E5 end of Evering Road. We don’t have access to the back garden so we’ve decided to turn the front garden into a communal space. Our passion for music and great food, as well as the kids playing together, has really helped to cement our friendships.’

Peter with “Dad”
Peter says, ‘I’ve lived on Evering for 13 years and in Hackney since 1984. I create my puppets in the attic of the house. My latest show, which was supposed to be touring in September, is an adaptation of the nonsense poem ‘The Dong with the Luminous Nose’ by Edward Lear. It’s a heartfelt expression of my own feelings of isolation and loneliness. The themes are so apt for the current moment, it’s a real shame the tour will be delayed. “Dad” is the main character. I’m also in the process of developing a new project, once again about isolation. You could say I’m a bit obsessed with the subject.’

Imran, Amina, Zeynab and Zahra
Amina says, ‘Imran left India at a young age. We met in South Africa, where I’m from. We fell in love and fulfilled our dream of moving to London. It’s completely met all our expectations. Both of our children were born here and we are so happy to be able to give them a better life and a great education. Imran is still working, collecting clothes for a dry cleaning company. When he comes home the kids are so excited to be able to play in the van, swinging from the handles and jumping in and out of the different doors.’

Jim and Shartyn
‘We’ve lived here for nearly 17 years. We’ve seen the whole place change, while at the same time many faces have happily remained the same. This whole situation has really highlighted the vital importance of community, both in providing a sense of comfort but also in an economic sense. It’s crucial that we support local people and businesses, otherwise they’ll be gone. Throughout this period we’ve really tried to shop locally and support local enterprise. The likes of Edi Supermarket, Londis N16, World Foods E5 are the lifeblood of all of us. They’ve worked so hard to maintain stock levels and retain hours despite growing pressure. They have been there for us and we will be there for them when we emerge from the fog. Indeed, most support will be needed by those other businesses who have been forced to close during this time. When such places as Bake St, Wander restaurant and Café Z Stokey return so will all of us - with support buoyed by survival.’

Singhashri and Shraddhasiddhi
Singhashri says, ‘We are ordained Buddhists and moved here just over two years ago. I emigrated to the UK from San Francisco eight years ago in order to become a mindfulness teacher. I met Shraddhasiddhi soon afterwards and we married in 2016. My daily ‘spacious solidarity’ blog features aspects of daily life under lockdown, including nature and wildlife in the area such as Abney Park and Hackney Downs. Shraddhasiddhi works at METRO charity, heading up their HIV and mental health services. We both love living here. It reminds me very much of San Francisco with its diversity, artistic feel and community vibe.’

Bev, Mark and grand-daughter Phoebe
Bev says, ‘Mark and I live right opposite the house where Jack McVitie was killed in 1967 by Reggie Kray. My uncle grew up alongside the Krays and was a boxer at the same club in Bethnal Green. But they were arch enemies and he
was violently attacked by them with a knife because Reggie Kray believed - wrongly - that my uncle had been sleeping with his girlfriend. Miraculously my uncle survived. My nan was ready to ensure they faced charges for attempted murder, but the Krays wined and dined her, although in a menacing manner, as they simultaneously made verbal threats to kill my mother and smash the windows of the bakery where my grandpa was working. My nan backed down of course. But my uncle never really got his experience with the Krays out of his mind, especially in the last couple of years of his life. He was having terrible nightmares. As he was dying, he was genuinely scared that he would see them again in the afterlife. I was blessed enough to be with him as he passed away and I really hope he does rest in peace.’
Mark says, ‘I moved into Evering Road in 1997 because the Nightingale Tower Blocks were taken down. My aunt and grandparents already lived in the Heatherley Court Blocks further down Evering Road. Bev and I are both still working as Platform cleaners on London Overground.’

Elizabeth and Jo, Sussan and Stuart, Sian and Tom and Dipak
Elizabeth says, ‘We moved into our flat in April 2007, just after the house had been converted into flats. Sussan and Stuart have also lived here since then. It’s always been a friendly house and we’ve had some great parties in Sussan’s garden. Sian and Tom moved into the first floor a few years ago and we all get along really well. When Dipak moved into the basement, he was surprised that we invited him up for neighbourly nibbles and said that he had never experienced that sort of neighbourliness before. If anything, the lockdown has brought us together more. We have been exchanging baked goods and home cooking, doing communal quizzes and shopping for each other. We did a World music quiz and a guy passing by started to sing along with the Ghanaian lyrics. He told us all about their meaning and even had a little dance with us.
We’re on the top floor and the only flat without outside space, so we brought out a picnic blanket to sit in the front yard. It’s turned into a lovely social hub. Olive, our cockapoo, is the best thing in our life. We both work in hospitals and Jo brought the virus home quite early on. We think we have both had it and recovered, which made us feel a bit more relaxed.
We hope we can hold on to the positives that have come along with the lockdown. Decreased traffic, pollution and airplanes, but more time for each other as neighbours.’

‘I’ve been living in this house with my family since the 1960s. My brother Peter managed to buy the whole property in 1982 for £18,000, from three brothers who owned it. At that point, Evering Road was full of Jewish families. then West Indians started to move into the area. In the 1980s, the area was pretty derelict and many squatters took advantage. As a result, lots of houses ended up being bought by housing associations at auction.
I’ve been fully self-isolating since before lockdown even started but I haven’t missed a single Thursday evening clapping for the NHS from my doorstep. My arthritis means that clapping isn’t easy, so I dug out the bells that were originally bought to play in my church for the Olympics and proudly make lots of noise.’

Celia and Neil
Celia says, ‘We’ve been lovers of Hackney since the ‘60s and moved to the road in 1985. Neil came to the UK in 1963 from Trinidad, bringing with him a deep passion for music and a carnival vibe. In the past we held many word-of-mouth “blues parties” which were illegal parties organised in houses, often in the basement. People didn’t pay for entry but they would be charged for drinks and food. It was a good way to make money and get the community together. The music was Caribbean and they would start at 11pm and go on all night long. Hackney was very different back then in many ways. It was a very working class area with a lot of grass culture, as well as feminist activities and radical and literature projects, many of which we were involved with. It is still a fairly diverse area, surely more than other parts of London. And it’s still full of creative people.
The first person that lived in our house in 1875 was Harper Twelvetrees. He was an industrialist, responsible for developing and marketing Penny Patent Soap Powder. But even more interestingly he was one of the leading coordinators for the anti-slavery movement. He wrote a book on the life of a slave called “The Story of the Life of John Anderson, the Fugitive Slave”.
Until a few years ago we had street parties, we had face painting, mask making, cake stalls and even a bookstore. We are definitely ready for another one when this all ends.’

‘I was born around the corner and lived in the same house for over sixty years. I looked after my mum there when she suffered from dementia. In 2019, after she died, the council moved me, claiming that the house wasn’t suitable for just one tenant. I was terrified but thankfully I felt home on Evering right away. This road is unbelievable. There isn’t a lot of traffic and people are so friendly and cosmopolitan.
I haven’t been to the seaside for twenty years, but I always had a hankering to live on the south coast. But when I visited it wasn’t nearly as lovely as I expected. I’ll never leave Hackney.
My joint passions in life are music and my missus. When I was a kid I heard “The House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals on the radio and that was it - I knew I wanted to play guitar. I wanted one for years but my parents gave me a ukulele instead! I’ve been teaching guitar and ukulele for many years. You can get a ukulele for about £16 these days - the perfect lockdown activity! Last year I joined the Hackney Orchestra, it’s a self-funding orchestra and we play anything from classical to pop to jazz. We practice every Thursday night and perform at The Bridge Academy in Haggerston.’

Ivan and Lesley
Ivan says, ‘The first line of my autobiography reads, “I was born a Hungarian bastard.” It’s a homage to my parents. My father was Jewish and had to escape Hungary - my name is pronounced in the Hungarian way. He was on the run carrying a suitcase full of money when he met my mother. When they finally got to Austria’s border, they decided to burn all the money, so as not to attract any unwanted attention.
We finally arrived in the UK as a family in 1949 when I was one. They had to start life over. I’ve always assumed that the rest of my father’s family were killed by the Nazis but he never talked to me about the details. I haven’t been able to trace them. We used to hang the Hungarian flag outside the house for special occasions but it’s been a permanent feature for the last ten years. It would have made my father very proud.

Three years ago our house was destroyed by a big fire that started in the basement. We were very lucky to escape. Unbelievably the flag survived without any damage at all.
I met Lesley during our college years. We have two daughters and have lived on Evering Road for twenty years.’

Antony, Bekki, Esmé and Jude
Bekki says, ‘We moved to London from Melbourne five years ago and have been living on Evering Road since then. Esmé arrived six weeks after we moved in and Jude followed in 2019. We love this street, it has such a wonderful and welcoming community and you see a familiar face every time you go out. In these scary and uncertain times (and without a garden!), it's great to walk down our street with the kids to get some exercise and to see a bit of life outside the flat. As horrific as Covid-19 is, one good thing to come out of it is how the community has pulled together and become even closer.’
Esmé says, ‘Mummy is a chatterbox! I’m mostly missing going to Stokey Common and playing with my friends. I also miss Bake Street Café’ and going to nursery. But the new bubble machine is so much fun!’

Steve, Meera, Kushan, Maya and Sharm
Steve says, ‘The house was bought by my father in 1959, after he came from India in the 1950s. My parents had ten children here. Many religious ceremonies and weddings have been celebrated under this roof. We are Sikh and this house has been playing the role of a hub for the Sikh community for many years because we didn’t have easy access to a temple.
The first Sikh migration came in the 1950s. It was mostly men from the Punjab seeking work in British industry, which had a shortage of unskilled

labour. Most of the new arrivals worked in industries like foundries and textiles. The first batch of Sikh migrants usually removed the outward religious symbols (turban, hair and beard) as racist prejudice in Britain would have kept them out of work.
I grew up in the house and moved back with my wife and four children after my parents passed away. I have plenty of memories - I’ve been here longer than some of the trees in the road. The area was full of families. Gentrification has brought a new form of resident to the road and most of these houses have been turned into flats but there is still a good sense of a community as demonstrated during this period.’

Esteneita, Olivia and Ayomi
Esteineita says, ‘My dad came to the UK from Jamaican in 1949. He came with no intention to stay, he was simply looking for opportunities and maybe to save money to bring back home. The work was very hard, he worked in coal mines, building roads and ultimately in construction. Time slipped and as he used to say, he got “happily trapped” here. My mum decided to join him and then I came too.
I’ve always felt like I’m on an extended holiday! But the real holiday is when we all got back to Kingston. We love the vibe there, the sense of freedom and how strong the sense of community is, not to mention the food, it is

epic! We always try our best to bring some of that special Caribbean vibe back to London.’
Olivia says, ‘I’m one of four children and was born and bred here, as Ayomi is now. He’s even going to Benthal Community Primary School, which is where I went. In his class there are 21 children from all sorts of different backgrounds: Irish, Portuguese, African, Indian - you name it. All my school years were spent around here. This is home. I love to see other people’s cultures. My own friends come from all sorts of backgrounds, although many of them have now moved out. As young kids we would pretend to be the Spice Girls or Destiny’s Child, standing on my front garden wall to dance and sing.’

Meyla and Eser
Meyla says, ‘We’ve been married for three years. As is traditional in Turkey, we were given gold and money for our wedding. Normally people buy cars or a house, instead we decided to use it to start our new life in London.
London feels liberating compared to Istanbul. Here there is no judgement, people are free to express themselves as they wish.
The lockdown has helped us as a couple. Eser became less stressed due to the lack of commuting for work. We have more quality time as a couple. I feel happier because I am at home and feel safe.
I’m looking for a new job opportunity at the moment. In the past I’ve suffered from anxiety and now I’d like to be involved in a charity who work with mental health.
Anxiety never leaves, one has to find a way to control it and get used to it.
We have only left the flat for short periods. For the essentials and to exercise.
I have a mixture of hopes and fears but I’m trying not to think about it too much because it could trigger my anxieties.
In Turkey, like in many Mediterranean places, sitting outside and talking to passers by is very common. So this is something we really appreciate about this specific time. I enjoy sitting on our front steps “people watching” because it grounds me and makes me feel a part of something. We live opposite the girls of the “Iso Arms”. We often cheer them from a distance. Maybe one day we will join them in the pub!’

Vini and Vincente
Vini says, ‘We’ve been married for four years, together for six. We met one evening at The Joiner’s Arms on Hackney Road, which sadly closed in 2015. We got married at Pub on the Park in London Fields, and have been living on Evering Road ever since. As a gay couple and as foreigners, we feel accepted, safe, and at home here in Hackney.
We love the road for its beauty and our neighbours. This pandemic, though stressful, has caused a major positive shift in the way we all relate to each other. Many of us are now making greater efforts to greet each other on the street and get to know each other. We can't wait for the day social distancing is over because there are so many interesting people here that we'd love to get to know better. We're usually out walking our dog, Jack. He’s black and white with one blue eye and one brown. If you see us, do say, “Hello”. We'd love to get to know you!’

Miriam and Joe
‘We are just so blessed with our neighbours. Hassan keeps the gardens bursting with flowers and Helen from the top flat is just the best baker. The other day she dangled fresh doughnuts out the window on a string for us! We love living here and have really enjoyed a break from the normal daily grind during lockdown. Life seems much slower and calmer now
I’m still working at a special need school as a teacher but Joe has had some time off from his role as a set builder working on TV and film sets. We have a book sharing case on our front wall. The original blue one was made just to get rid of some books in house but it was starting to get a bit weathered. But after receiving a curry and a pina colada from our upstairs neighbour we took on their challenge to jazz it up. This new bookcase is dedicated to Joe’s mum Joanna who died from suicide two years ago. Suicide creates so many emotions and grief for all those affected by it, it’s a long battle trying to understand and accept it. The lockdown has been a special chance to take a breath and work out what we value in life, heal and let out some creativity. We hope the community will use and enjoy the new bookcase.'

Kirsty and Adriano, Chris, Susana, Becca, Marcela, Orla and Luke, Sean, Dylan and Joe
Marcela says, ‘This is our NHS Thursday night samba ensemble. I’m the horn player. It started with clapping but has escalated week-on-week to a full scale DIY samba escalation using bins and kitchen utensils. A lot of practice is still needed!
I’ve lived on Evering Road since 1986. I’m originally from Dublin and I grew up around my family’s horses. I was 11 when I joined an anti-hunting campaign group. We marched and protested. We also used horns similar to the hunting ones to distract and misguide the hunters.
I felt strongly about it and that conviction has never gone away. The funny thing is that my sister was actually a hunter. My views have always created very interesting family dinner conversations.
Years afterwards, some friends bought me this horn as a joke. It has been sitting in my house for years but during the lockdown I finally found a great use for it.
I share the house with four other households. We have always been friendly but now we spend more time together. I’ve always felt that if something happened, I could count on my close neighbours. I feel supported and shielded here.
I have always been a big fan of the road, it has a very strong socialist feel. During the year I had previous tenants knocking on my door, eager to share stories about the house. People have an emotional attachment to this place. ‘

Emma and Grace
Emma says, ‘I’ve lived on Evering for over two years. My older sister used to live in this very flat up until 2017, then she moved to Chicago. During my university years, I spent many summers and weekends visiting her here. I’ve always loved the spirit of this road and now even more than ever. We grew up in different countries and moved around a lot when we were kids. This road will always remind me of her and it truly feels like home.’
Grace says, ‘I’m really trying to embrace the positives of lockdown. We’re so used to being go go go all the time: hectic work schedules, plans most evenings and every weekend. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have time to breathe or take time for ourselves. So it’s been refreshing to just slow down, recharge and enjoy each other’s company. That said, this period has also made me realise how precious time spent with family is, and I can’t wait to see my 81-year-old Nan and baby nephew again.’

May, Gary, Marcus, Crystal, Leila, Lecie, Jameson and cat Simba
May says, ‘We’ve all lived in this house since 2016. We didn’t buy the pool for the lockdown, but we are definitely trying to make the most of it while the weather allows us.
The house has been busy during this period. It’s been challenging, to say the least, but also rewarding. The kids have been busy with different activities. At the beginning of lockdown, they collaborated with their scout group to create a collage of pictures encouraging people to stay at home.
The hardest part of lockdown has been homeschooling four kids. On a normal day they would be in school for six hours. Then they come back home and soon afterwards it’s bedtime.
As a mother, of course I know my children well, but during these last few months I’ve learned so much more about their personalities. Spending more time with them has been precious. It has actually been nice to be able to stop. Even if the rules soon change, we’re going to stay in. The kids won’t go back to school until September, even if it reopens. I declined the school’s offer as it’s not fair to ask children to socially distance. We think it would just be a stressful situation for them and I wouldn’t feel safe. When homeschooling finishes for the day we watch films and eat rubbish. We have all grown in size!’

Mr Danny
‘You’d need at least a month to listen to my life story. I think I’m the oldest resident of Evering Road. I’ve lived in this house since 1960. It was derelict when I bought it, the only place I could afford. I bought it for £4,000 and had to rely on private lenders for the mortgage. They put me under medical scrutiny before signing off my mortgage. The doctor crossed his fingers when the visit started. My brother took one look at the house and told me that if he knew a psychiatric doctor, he would send me straight there!
It took me many years to refurbish the place and I did everything myself, from the front door to the staircase. I was a French polisher by trade, which is a very skilled job. I came from Jamaica as a part of the Windrush generation. It took my neighbours ten years to even say hello. Back then the place was very different and not very inclusive. Cecilia road, not far from here, was called “Monkey Town”. So we’ve come a long way. I like all the neighbours now, they all respect me and we talk. I never create any issues. I am the only person that has spent 60 years in East London and never had a fight with anybody.
I don’t think this virus is human. It comes from “up there” to remind us that we are all equal. Humans can be hubristic but this virus doesn’t discriminate.’

World Cup 2018

the joy and despair in British living rooms

I spent the first 2 weeks of the World Cup travelling around England watching 13 games with as many different nationalities, capturing the joy and despair in British living rooms.
Definitely one of the nicest and joyful (intense at time) job ever done.
I’ve eaten a lot of crisps and beer, but also the traditional Brazilian dish of feijoada in north London, Mexican quesadillas and guacamole in Putney, Colombian arepas in Manchester and a lovely Moroccan tagine cooked on the barbecue in Letchworth.
I was sat with a fixed camera near the television screen and never asked anyone to pose. As soon as the match got under way, they forgot I was there.
Very few people left the room or changed positions throughout the game. They were glued to their chairs

England 6 Panama 1

Serbia 1 Costa Rica 0

Mexico 1 Germany 0

Mexico 1 Germany 0

Morocco 0 Iran 1

Brazil 1 Switzerland 1

Japan 2 Colombia 1

Japan 2 Colombia 1

Iran 0 Spain 1 (Iranian goal which moment after got disallowed)

Iran 0 Spain 1

France 1 Peru 0

Iceland 0 Nigeria 2

South Korea 1 Mexico 2

Senegal 2 Japan 2

Russia 3 Egypt 1

Colombia 3 Poland 0


Taylor Swift

Tom is singer-songwriter. His first album was one of the best selling debut albums in 2018.
He lived on Evering Road for a couple of years and has only recently moved out.
‘This is the road of love, heartbreak & redemption. It’s the place where I grew into the person I am now. My time here taught me a lot about how to act and how not to react in relationships and it will always have a massive place in my heart.
Today, I’m excited to announce that my new album, due in March next year, is titled Evering Road. The album sums up my time here. I wrote all the songs in between living here and moving out. The album is about redemption. I realised that I was the toxic one in the relationship and my songs are a long letter to say that I’m sorry and yet grateful for what I’ve had and experienced.
This road gave me confidence; it represented my creative space and it’s a great expression of East London.
It would be nice in the future to be able to recreate what I had here, but I don’t think I will ever be able to.
This is my favourite road in London

Jimmy Cliff, Strawberry Hill, Jamaica


John Cale artist and founding member of the Velvet Underground, in Venice

Kelly Jones, Stereophonics

Ernie Ranglin in his studio in Jamaica

Kaki King

Jason Pierce

Es Devlin, artist and stage designer

Shaggy, downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Laura Mvula at Glastonbury

Melanie C in the backstage of the Royal Albert Hall

a young Adele in her house in London

Suede frontman Brett Anderson at The Ministry of Sound

Wolf Alice at Reading Festival

Chris Blackwell founder of Island Records, photographed in Jamaica

William Basinski, musician, composer, at St John on Bethnal Green

The Arts

Gilbert and George, in their house in London

Tracey Emin, at Turner Contemporary, Margate

Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Xiaolu Guo, writer

Saskia Reeves, actress, at the Barbican

Don McCullin, in his house

Legendary director Wim Wenders

Irvine Welsh, writer

Sarah Lucas, artist, at the Venice Biennale

Jane Freud, artist

Dylan Moran, comedian

Will Gompertz, BBC arts correspondent

Marie O'Riordan, editor of Marie Claire

Nick Hornby at his studio in London

Daljit Nagra, poet

Peter Bowker, playwright and screenwriter, at Bafta HQ

Richard Bacon,TV presenter, in the Groucho Club in Soho

John Hannah, actor

Stephen Jones OBE is a leading British milliner based in London, who is considered one of the world's most radical and important milliners of the late 20th and early 21st centuries

Joseph Morpurgo, comedian

Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Presenter, at BBC Broadcasting House

Cary Elwes, actor

Lily Cole model, actress and broadcaster

Jokha Alharthi, 2019 Man Booker International prize winner. First female Omani novelist to be translated into English

poet Roger Robinson, 2020 TS Eliot prize-winner

Kit Harington photographed for Guardian 2 about his Henry V show

Kit Harington photographed for Guardian 2 about his Henry V show

Yomi Adegoke - author - journalist

Bette Gordon photographed at the Melia White House

Politicians and Business

Boris Johnson inside the underground RAF Operation Room

Chuka Umunna, labour politician Streatham constituency

Tessa Jowell, Labour Party

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative Party

Laura Parker, national organiser of Momentum

Cristiana Collu, Museum director

Elizabeth Louise "Liz" Kendall, Labour Party

Jeremy Hunt, Conservative Party

Emily Thornberry, Labour MP

Gina Miller at the Michelin House

Elena Panteoni, wine producer

Max Mosley in his London's house

Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London in his house

Cristiana Olevano, rice producer

I'm Hackney

I’ve lived in Hackney since 2003 when I moved to the UK and have witnessed its changes socially and structurally year by year. The gentrification of the city is especially visible in this part of town. The City is moving east, transforming its social and architectural fabric.

Hackney is divided into different sections, each sub-section so deeply disparate from the other. From Stamford Hill, with its Jewish community to Hackney Wick, where artists have transformed once empty warehouses into their studios. From Hackney Central, which lends itself to a great energy through its multiculturalism and diversity to the ‘cool and trendy’ Shoreditch. From the council estates of Hackney South and Homerton, to the new-builds for families in Stoke Newington and Lower Clapton.

London – like all major cities – never stands still, but the speed at which Hackney is transforming has been enhanced, thanks to the Olympics and new investment generated from the event. As a consequence, many people are destined to leave this part of town to move further east, but many other homeowners have seen their properties increase in value.

My project intends to photograph each sub-section to deconstruct Hackney and offer a voice to its residents. The borough, its architecture and atmosphere can be seen in the background, but the attention is focused on the people of Hackney, each photographed where I found them as a I rambled through this part of the world.


Twins born in Hackney


Alysha Joseph (31) with her 9 month old daughter
Born in Trinidad
Living in Hackney for 10 years


Mrs. Swollen (80)
From Ireland
17 years living in Hackney

Hackney Central

Milda Kuasausk Iene (7)
From Lithuania
Living in Hackney for 1 year

Hackney Central

Kaye (18)
Born in Hackney

Hackney South

Colin Roy Todd (34)
Born in Mansfield, UK
Living in Hackney for 3 years

Hackney South

Michael (40)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

Sarah Lugue (32) and Winston Francis (37)
She's from Spain and has lived in Hackney for 1 year
He was born in Newham and has lived in Hackney for 3 years

Hackney South

Vito (35)
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney South

Simon Charles Randal (42)
From Leicestershire
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney South

Anthony (19)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

Eroll (61)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

From Spain
Moved to Hackney a month ago

Lower Clapton

Veie Knight (54)
From Barbados
Living in Hackney for 4 years

Lower Clapton

Tony (47) and Jake Wilkinson
From Leeds
Living in Hackney for 17 years

London Fields

Irene (60) and Tayler (3)
From Hackney

London Fields

Jeanette Harman (68)
From Northhampton
Lived in Hackney all her life

London Fields

Tu (22)
From Sweden
10 months living in Hackney
Fashion student

London Fields

Tara Stout (40)
From UK
21 years living in Hackney


Z. Jacob (87)
From Antigua
60 years living in Hackney


Ka-sh (57)
From Ghana
20 years living in Hackney
Shop owner


Violeta Durand (30)
From Argentina
2 years living in Hackney


Amal (9)
From Mogadiscio, Somalia
3 days in Hackney

Lower Clapton

Danny (45), Leonard (51) and Daddy
From Jamaica
Danny 21 years living in Hackney, Leonard (a chef) 1 year & Daddy 30 years

Lower Clapton

Greg Hall (31)
From Hampshire
31 years living in Hackney
Bike courier

Hackney Wick

Tania Houghton (27)
From Norwich
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney Wick

Frank (54) and Rosie (45)
He was born in Italy, she's from the UK
Living in Hackney for 24 and 54 years

Cafe owner

Hackney Wick

Amanda Maroulis (41)
From the UK
Living in Hackney for 24 years

Hackney Wick

Egle (23)
Born in Lithuania
Living in Hackney for 1 year

Stamford Hill

Chaim (25)
Born in Hackney

Age UK: I can see into your eyes

Client: Age Uk

The idea for this project came about when I was commissioned by Guardian News and Media to take portraits of older people in the King’s Cross area – Age Uk Camden is one of GNM’s local community partners. I was inspired by the hope and optimism of the people I met. My photographs are designed to challenge perceptions about the elderly, and show that older people can be glamorous, inspired, beautiful, and full of life.

In order to capture this optimism, I had the idea to photograph all of the subjects in studio conditions as if it were a fashion shoot. I asked all of the sitters to dress in their favourite clothes, I hired a make-up artist, and for the photograph I asked them to think about a really happy time or experience. The portraits are meant to be a playful take on the circularity of life.

I tried to create conditions that allowed my subjects to recapture, however fleetingly, the spontaneity and curiosity of a child. The background colours - the rose and pale blue - are intentional, an ironic reference to the fashion and advertising worlds. In other words, I tried to capture them in ideal conditions as they themselves would like to be seen. The 16 people I photographed were enthusiastic about the challenge, in the excitement is evident from the light in their eyes.

Edna Bulles

Robert Green

Beryl Elrith Joseph

Ian Haymlyin

Dolly O'Brien

Helen Pottock

Joan Henchy

Lawrence Campbell

Ronald Silrold

Laura Howard

Margaret (Peggy) Smith

Marie Smith-Laing

Megane O'Brien

Rufus Sealy

Willie Millar

Peggy Eileen Jacobs