Exploring intimate scenes from the London Underground in the 1970s_Lap

Back in the 1970s, when it was still acceptable to talk, kiss and smoke on the London Underground, Mike Goldwater couldn’t help but feel captivated by the life of the underground community.
“Almost everyone on the tube travels with a purpose and a destination,” said Goldwater. “On the days that I chose to photograph on the underground I would travel on a whim; jumping on and off trains, wandering a corridor here, taking an escalator there, lingering at places that felt that they might produce interesting images. This set me apart from everyone else. I felt in some way I could enter a different time, a sort of time in-between.”

Northern Line, 1974


At the time, Goldwater was still a young photographer honing his craft. For a decade, he wandered the intricate system under the city, documenting passengers traveling from place to place, capturing chance moments of intimacy and humor across this iconic network of tunnels that live beneath the capital.
“Being in very close proximity to one another during rush hours people have to shrink their personal space, while at other times of the day, parts of the system could be almost deserted.” Goldwater said. “How people responded to both situations had picture potential.”

Take a look back at the London Underground through these intimate shots below. Goldwater’s work during the seventies was also selected and published as a book, London Underground 1970 – 1980, by Hoxton Mini Press.

Kings Cross, 1972


Moorgate, 1973


Northern Line, 1975


Tottenham Court road, 1977


Holborn, 1978


Oxford Circus, 1978


Baker Street, 1979


Oxford Circus, 1979


Piccadilly Circus, 1978


Wembley Park, 1979


Westbourne Park, 1979