14 incredible photos that show Leyton in the 1960s

Gareth Richman, Alice Howarth
Torfaen Corvine

Several years ago, when Torfaen Corvine was living in Mid Bedfordshire, he came across a box of forgotten photographs that had been taken during the 1960s in a local charity shop.

Two of the photos were of a group of people taken in the countryside and at the seaside but the other 30, stored in Kodak cardboard mounts, were of Leyton.

“Having scanned them,” says Corvine, “I discovered many were over-exposed and most had a heavy blue cast, but they were nonetheless a fascinating snapshot of the Bakers' Arms area of Leyton in the early 60s, a time when I was on the verge of becoming a teenager.”

Corvine says he was struck by how spotless the area was. “One immediately noticeable thing was the cleanliness of the streets and almost total lack of litter - not a KFC or Big Mac wrapper in sight”.

The photo series, called "Lost Leyton" shows a range of locations, all in colour. Glamorous women cross the high street in Jackie Kennedy-esque dresses. A family walks through the Grange Estate, which is still lived in today, and streets such as Farmers Road, Canterbury Road and Midland Road are all documented.

In recent years, Leyton has undergone huge change and has become a hotspot for first-time-buyers. No longer able to afford the likes of Shoreditch, Hackney or Stratford - the overspill of young professionals has benefited the area of East London hugely.

Just walk down the high street today and you’ll see buggies parked outside artisan coffee shops, independent boutiques with media execs browsing inside and small liquor shops stocking natural wines.

Gentrification indeed.

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