Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

London Underground under a lens in the 1970s and 1980s

Ian Harvey

A London tube station circa 1900 [Via]

Little is thought about what kind of commuters people make. But during the 1970s and 1980s, photographer Bob Mazzer studied commuters, travellers and daily life on the London Underground in depth.

Bob has now released his collection of vintage photographs.


The images show a variety of people travelling on London’s tube network. Some are in rush hour with newspaper readers and people trying to avoid eye contact with other travellers. Others show couples in warm embrace, while late at night images show drunk people trying to get home, homeless people trying to make a bed for the night or friends and families enjoying a night out.

The Bob Mazzer – Underground exhibition at the Howard Griffin Gallery, Shoreditch, London [Via]

Bob became a daily commuter on the tube as he lived in East London’s Manor House and went off to work in a cinema near King’s Cross. Every day he would travel armed with his Leica M4 camera and take random photographs of interesting people and activity on the tube. (The Huffington Post)

Sketch showing about a dozen people standing on an underground railway platform with a train standing [Via]

Some of the photographs show signs of the times from punk hair dos to 80s chic.

One image shows an arrest scene as some teenagers create havoc on a tube station.

A man being arrested at Oxford Circus [Via]

Throughout the entire collection the condition of the tube is showing its age, and since then the trains have been greatly updated and modernised, including some lines having air conditioning.


London Underground first began more than 150 years ago in 1852. It has grown massively since then and today serves 270 stations and has more than 402kms of track. The entire system consists of 11 lines and is one of the world’s largest metro systems.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News