Petticoat Market in 1947 – The Extraordinary Photos of Willem van de Poll

This is the first time I’ve posted something here that has nothing to do with the Isle of Dogs – not even a loose connection. I was looking for photos of the Isle of Dogs, online, in the National Photograph Archive of the Netherlands of all places (, when I came across a collection of extraordinary photos taken in Petticoat Market in 1947 by Willem van de Poll. They are not only of high quality, they also capture perfectly the post-war grittiness and crowded energy – you can almost smell and hear what it was like down the lane. Unsurprisingly, van de Poll is considered as among the best Dutch photographers – yes he is barely known outside of the country.

The best place I could think of sharing the photos was here. In all cases you can see a larger version by clicking on the photo. They are public domain, which means they are free to copy and reproduce; the text on the photos just shows their source, and is no claim to copyright.









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8 Responses to Petticoat Market in 1947 – The Extraordinary Photos of Willem van de Poll

  1. jacqueline S says:

    Amazing! What a find. Love seeing all those faces from past lives.

  2. conmaloney says:

    Extraordinary set of photographs! I hope that a local East End curator notices these and that they can be exhibited in the area they were taken, as a collection. Well done for bringing them to a wider audience, Mick, a wonderful pictorial record of the immediate post war East End.

  3. brian gilbert says:

    Amazing set of photos.

  4. Baebara wager says:

    Brilliant photos 😊

  5. Carol says:

    Thanks very much for setting up this page . Truly enjoyed

  6. petegrafton says:

    What a find, Mick. Good quality camera used, probably a Rollei. Anything known about the photographer? Who eats jellied eels in the East End these days?

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