arts

Suitcase of old photos found in attic shows unseen side of London

Published 19th July 2018
Suitcase of old photos found in attic shows unseen side of London
Written by CNN Staff
For 30 years, Liz Turner and her husband Martin Carroll kept a battered old suitcase in the attic of their home in Kent, in the south of England. Little did they know that they were hoarding a treasure trove of remarkable photos.
Inside were several hundred photo negatives left by Liz's father, John Turner, a property manager with an unexpected talent for photography.
The couple only found the images by chance, during a long-overdue cleanout.
The negatives capture a lost London in black and white: Piccadilly Circus lit up with neon, flat-capped men reading papers outside a pub, a family hunting for matching shoes at an East End market, a knife grinder pushing his trolley. Many depict unexpected moments of whimsy and beauty in everyday life, both in London and in cities visited during his travels.
According to Liz, John, who died in 1987, had a dry sense of humor, but preferred to express himself visually. Finding these photos was something of a revelation.
"I was so delighted when we found these pictures because I thought, 'Yes! I knew that was in there somewhere. Because he was a man who wore a mask quite a lot," she said. "The pictures feel like the father I had an intuitive relationship with."
Watch the video above to find out more about this extraordinary collection.