In Pictures

Candid moments on the London Underground

Victoria Line train at Oxford Circus in 1978 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Victoria Line train at Oxford Circus in 1978

Since the first trains ran on the London Underground in 1863 the tunnels and platforms that make up the network have acted as the backdrop to the lives of the many passengers travelling across the capital.

For photographer Mike Goldwater the interactions and chance encounters were there to be recorded by his camera. Taken during the 1970s, these pictures capture the network before modernisation, a time when you were allowed to smoke and tickets were purchased from large machines for just a few pennies.

Buying a ticket, Piccadilly Circus, 1978 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Piccadilly Circus, 1978

Today it seems as though everyone is taking pictures on the tube, often of themselves, but in the 20th Century a camera below ground was a rare thing, meaning the photographer could capture candid moments, or sometimes generate a reaction from those pictured.

Goldwater travelled from station to station looking for his next picture for ten years as his career as a photographer began to take shape. The series ended in 1980 when he helped to set up the picture agency Network Photographers and he turned his lens to the wider world above ground.

A couple kiss at Holborn, 1978 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Holborn, 1978
Riding the escalator, King's Cross, 1972 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption King's Cross, 1972
Woman on a platform, Moorgate, 1973 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Moorgate, 1973
Presentational white space
Fancy dress, Northern Line, 1974 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Northern Line, 1974
Asleep on the Northern Line, 1975 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Northern Line, 1975
Two couples, Oxford Circus, 1979 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Oxford Circus, 1979
Match seller, Tottenham Court Road, 1977 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Tottenham Court Road, 1977
Football fans, Wembley Park, 1979 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Wembley Park, 1979
Ticket barrier, Westbourne Park, 1979 Image copyright Mike Goldwater
Image caption Westbourne Park, 1979

London Underground 1970-1980, by Mike Goldwater is published by Hoxton Mini Press.