Photographer Don McCullin in Finsbury Park, 1958 and now

edited February 2019 in Local discussion
#FinsburyPark, 1958. Local boy photographer Don McCullin's first published picture, taken somewhere on Seven Sisters Road, the boys were street gang The Guvnors. Where was it shot & where did McCullin live? TV documentary of him revisiting the area showing on Monday (BBC4, 9pm)


  • Don McCullin was a pupil at Tollington Park Secondary Modern School. I presume that was what is now IAMS, Islington Arts and Media School. I wonder if IAMS is doing anything to celebrate the connection, and it's famous pupil. (Or are the pictures too grim and grisly for the poor lambs - who maybe in some cases the successors to The Guvnors.) Also, they're in black and white = old.

    Tate Britain show opens Tuesday.
  • Thanks Krappy, heard him interviewed on the radio on Saturday morning. Very interesting. Will have to watch that.
  • AliAli
    edited February 2019
    The program was excellent. He lived as a kid at 40 Fonthill Road and went to visit and tell the story of his early photos around here
  • Interesting, particularly as he refers to inequality in England, that he doesn't speak as you might expect an impoverished working class person who grew up in this area in the middle of the last century. I wonder if his speech changed while rubbing shoulders with middle-classed types over his long career, and if so, whether it was a conscious choice.
  • edited February 2019
    Found more on the famous Fonthill Road 'Guvnors' picture in the Tate Gallery catalogue today. The seven gang members were indeed 'school friends', fellow pupils, or contemporaries of his at Tollington Park Secondary Modern. The photo was inspired by (or was at least taken at about the same time as) a gang fight at the bottom of Fonthill Road in which a policeman was fatally stabbed. The Guvnors gang were in that fight. I'll get the exact words next time I'm at the Tate. There are other photos taken in a pub in Hornsey Road and off the Caledonian Road in the late 50s-60s.

    Unaccountably, failed to record the programme, but will get it on iPlayer later. If anyone is interested I have an old copy of his selected pictures on my shelves (must have picked it up somewhere years ago). I hear that his autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour is a terrific read.
  • edited February 2019
    Brilliant film, lovely man. Refreshing, because the film is about photographing England and the English, not just revisiting the famous dark war photographs - in fact, no mention of them at all. @MissAnnie you will have a lovely time when you meet him.
  • edited February 2019
    Loved the exhibition. Photos of the East End/Finsbury Park/ Caledonian Road are fascinating.
    Very lame of the curators to state in the exhibition timelime that"Tollington Park Secondary School" is "currently George Orwell School".
Sign In or Register to comment.