Candid Vintage Photographs of Victorian Revellers at London Parks, ca 1890-1910_Lap

These pictures were captured at London parks by photojournalism pioneer Paul Martin from between the 1890s and 1910s.

Hampstead, c. 1898 — A group of boys watch a man take aim on a fairground shooting range. The targets are clay tobacco pipes.


A man demonstrates the latest in nineteenth century drink dispensers, c. 1898. Umbrellas shade the ‘R Whites Ginger Beer’ stall in the background.


Children, one in a sailor suit, line up to watch a woman throw a ball in a fairground game. If she wins, she can collect one of the toys or ornaments scattered on the ground as a prize.


Hampstead, c.1898. — A young boy relaxes on the grass in the foreground. A group of people gather near a barrel organ player, while a donkey feeds from its nose bag. The hand-crank barrel organ was a popular means of music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is a fairly large barrel organ, needing a donkey to pull it.


Teenagers and children look over a stall displaying large tins of food, c. 1905. The stall on the cart to the right may be selling nuts. A shooting range is just visible in the background.


A view of a food stall at a fairground, c. 1898. The man in the centre may be looking after a hot fat fryer, perhaps for making chips. Fairground swing boats are visible through the trees in the background.


Hampstead Heath — People in their Sunday best clothes relax on a bank near a line of swings, 1898. These swings were powered by people pulling energetically on ropes. Crowds are busy amongst the stalls and other fairground attractions to the left.


A man takes a cooling drink from a stall, c.1898. The vendor stands nearby on a crate. On the left a sign for oysters reads ‘A’int they grand?’ At the time, oysters were a popular cheap snack.


Hampstead, c.1898. — Two men turn a skipping rope for a little girl. A group has gathered near the swing boat rides to watch. Two small children in the foreground, unconcerned with all that is going on around them, play happily with sticks in the sand.


A group of children and adults gather around a drink fountain at a fairground, c.1898.


Dressed in their best clothes and wearing spectacular bonnets, women drape their arms around each other’s shoulders and dance, c. 1898. The woman in the centre of the line is playing a harmonica. Photographer Paul Martin is regarded as a pioneer of photo journalism. In 1892 he bought a ‘Facile,’ a popular hand camera made by Fallowfield of London. He disguised the camera as a leather case, able to work unobserved and take the candid photographs of daily life which are now recognised as his greatest work.