The fabulous 50s… as seen by Ken Russell

"Before he became Britain's most controversial film director, Ken Russell forged a career as a photographer, capturing the great eccentrics of his youth for posterity. His work features in two forthcoming exhibitions" The Observer

1950s: In Your Dreams
From the The Last of the Teddy Girls. This image shows 14-year-old Jean Rayner in the exploratory stage of Teddyism.

Autumn 1954: Rent Day
This photo was taken six years after the arrival of the Empire Windrush and the first Jamaican emigrants to the UK.

Autumn 1957: Feeding time
From the original caption: ‘Scenes inside Hill Hall, a women's open prison. Girls are given work to do in the gardens and the chicken runs and left to do it unsupervised, providing a moral challenge. Women with babies feed, bathe and settle them down while one acts as babysitter for the day. Some work in the shop or the laundry. Lunch is at 12 and at one, prisoners, staff and babies in prams walk in a crocodile through the surrounding lanes. There are periods of relaxation in the Great Hall or Library.’


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. Roar in peace Ken Russell!

  2. I'd forgotten about this post. Thanks for reminding me.


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