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May 12, 2022

32 Candid Photographs of the London Underground in the Late 1980s

“The images shown here were taken over a three year period on the London Underground,” wrote Paul Baldesare. “Returning to London after a three year absence I felt that the Underground had become a microcosm of modern day London with its overcrowding and often tense and claustrophobic environment, dilapidated stations, broken lifts and escalators and patchwork renovation work acting as a backdrop to the overcrowded trains and fitful service.

“These pictures were taken around the time of the King’s Cross disaster – a major underground fire in one of London’s main underground stations which caused multiple deaths and injuries. The threat of fire was not the only safety worry; fear of violence was becoming a real worry or a sizeable minority of travellers, particularly women.

“The discomfort will often show in the body and facial movements of the passengers. Travelling on the underground seems to create a that vacuum of mind and soul. People lie, perch and hang to gain greater comfort from the often stressful journey.”


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