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Colin O’Brien – sad loss

2016 August 22

cover Public History Reader websiteI am very sad to report that the wonderful photographer of London, Colin O’Brien, died unexpectedly last week. I got to know him a little after I first saw his work at a local exhibition in Hackney and soon one of his iconic images had pride of place on my sitting room wall.

I was delighted that Colin allowed us to use another of his images, see above,  for the Public History Reader. He said it was only his second book cover – the first being for Alfie in the 1960s! Not only did he graciously allow us to use this but even came to the launch where he engaged everyone with his enthusiasm – and memory of taking the image.

I have previously commented favourably on his images of traveller children in Hackney and also his retrospective collection.(He even replied to my query about his knowledge of animals in London in the late 1940s!)

The ‘gentle author’ of Spitalfields Life reported his death today. I understand that there will be a memorial event in the Autumn. His work will be missed – but so will this generous man.

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