If asked to describe the London Underground, the majority of commuters would use words like “dirty” “cramped” “sweaty” and “usually late” to summaries one of the institutions of British culture. But there’s more to London’s dark tunnels of congestion and dust than meets the eye – you can thank documentary photographer Bob Mazzer for that.
During the 1970′s and into the 1980′s, like many he spent virtually every day traversing the train lines and ‘minding the gap’. But unlike most commuters who were solely focused on getting from A to B, he used his time to photograph and document a side of British culture rarely seen or celebrated.
“You don’t think you are starting a project, but one day you look back over your recent pictures and there are a dozen connected images, and you realise it is the beginning of a project – and then you fall in love with it. For a while in the eighties, I lived with my father in Manor House and worked as a protectionist at a porn cinema in Kings Cross.
It was called The Office Cinema, so guys could call their wives and say, ‘I’m still at the office.’” Every day, I travelled to Kings Cross and back. Coming home late at night, it was like a party and I felt the tube was mine and I was there to take pictures.”
His evocative images showcase a society brimming with all manner of unique individuals, from punks to drunks, models to housewives, blue-collar workers to religious zealots, from chain smokers craving that nicotine fix, to lovers craving each other and pretty much everything in between.
See Bob’s latest adventures over on his Flickr profile.