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Most of us barely register the tube trains or stations we pass through every day, but for London photographer (and former graffiti artist) Harry F Conway, these are spaces of social significance and beauty. As a life-long north-west Londoner, the Bakerloo line has a special place in his heart as a portal to the city – almost a second home.
But as Harry’s Kensal Green neighbourhood started gentrifying, he felt the line was changing too – from the seat upholstery to the passengers. So he started taking photos. We asked Harry to pick four images from his new book ‘Bakerloo’ and explain how he came to capture these subterranean moments of London life.
Photograph: Harry F Conway
⬆ ‘Greg Cosens is famous in London as “the tube punk” – you can catch him vaping outside Oxford Circus (where he works on the Underground) most weekdays.’
⬆ ‘Chris was hesitant to let me take his picture. But eventually he said, “Do you want a real photo?” and pulled back his bandanna to expose this huge tattoo.’
⬆ ‘One day, Noel Gallagher sat down opposite me. I think he thought I was an Oasis fan, misunderstanding me in the noisy tube. But he was really chilled – we just chatted about football.’
⬆ ‘I spotted this gentleman at Kensal Green, on his way to the cemetery in his best suit. The flower in his jacket caught my eye and he told me he was an accountant. I gave him directions, before snapping a few more frames inside the ticket hall.’
⬆ ‘Just before the doors shut, I saw an old geezer on the platform covered in tattoos and jumped off the train. It turned out he had seven London Underground ones, and he told me all about his love for the tube.’
Photography by Harry F Conway.