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Story: Tim Brown, a driver on the London Underground’s Central Line, spent his spare time photographing the city’s financial centre and transport hubs, including the Docklands area just before developers seized control of this vast industrial wasteland.

Created during his spare time, Brown’s previously unpublished photographs stand as a unique and fascinating glimpse into one of London’s most radical periods of transformation.

His work – presented here as if following a train journey navigating the farther reaches of East London and heading towards the centre of town – emerged on Flickr about 10 years ago during the first flush of social media photo repositories. They represent a prodigious photographic survey of the clearance of the world’s largest dockland complex, and creation of a new transport system that would serve as a foundation for regeneration and renewal.

Brown’s deadpan urban landscapes combine a cinematic scope with a nostalgia for a fast-disappearing world, a world of physical toil, industry, invention, drink and ordinary life about to be replaced – with almost indecent haste – by offices and dormitories for those employed in the service and financial economy.

The East End in Colour 1980-1990 by Tim Brown is published by Hoxton Mini Press.

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