Vintage: Britain during the 1970s by Homer Sykes

Vintage: Britain during the 1970s by Homer Sykes


Homer Sykes (born 1949) is a Canadian-born British photographer. He was a keen photographer as a teenager, with a darkroom both at home and at boarding school. In 1968 he started a three-year course at the London College of Printing.

While wondering about a new photographic project, Sykes serendipitously came across a story on the Britannia Coconut Dancers in an issue of In Britain magazine. This led him to research other local festivals in Britain at the archives of the Cecil Sharp House. Sykes’ photography of these festivals was inspired by that of Benjamin Stone, but he approached them with a modern sensibility and a small-format camera.

Sykes went on to photograph the glam rock, punk, new wave and other music/fashion scenes of Britain.

During his career as well as his commercial magazine assignments Homer has worked on personal photographic documentary projects. These include documenting traditional British folklore customs, that started in 1970 and completed seven years later.

Southend on Sea Essex. England 1974.

An English summers day, Southend on Sea, Essex, Saturday 17 August, 1974. © Homer Sykes

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Paul and Linda McCartney, their bouncer and daughter in a hotel lift, Manchester, 1975. © Homer Sykes

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Allendale Tar Barrel Parade, 1972. © Homer Sykes

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Marshfield Mummers Paperboys, Marshfield, Gloucestershire, 1972. © Homer Sykes

A day at the races, Derby Day picnic horse racing at Epsom Downs, Surrey, 1970.

A day at the races, Derby Day picnic horse racing at Epsom Downs, Surrey, 1970. © Homer Sykes

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Ripon Sword Dance Play, Boxing Day, Ripon, Yorkshire, 1972. © Homer Sykes

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Caking Night, Dungworth, Yorkshire, 1974. © Homer Sykes

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Minehead Hobby Horse, Minehead Somerset, 1972. © Homer Sykes

Blacksanding, sunday morning, under Brighton Pier looking for coins that are washed up. Brighton, Sussex, 1970.

Blacksanding, sunday morning, under Brighton Pier looking for coins that are washed up. Brighton, Sussex, 1970. © Homer Sykes

The Eton Harrow annual cricket match at Lords. St Johns Wood, north London. England. 1975

The Eton Harrow annual cricket match at Lords. St Johns Wood, north London. England. 1975 © Homer Sykes

Children playing in a suburban street, Wandsworth, London, 1970s.

Children playing in a suburban street, Wandsworth, London, 1970s. © Homer Sykes

Coal miners, Snowdown Colliery, Kent, 1976.

Coal miners, Snowdown Colliery, Kent, 1976. © Homer Sykes

George O'Dowd as Boy George at the Blitz Club, Covent Garden, London, 1980.

George O’Dowd as Boy George at the Blitz Club, Covent Garden, London, 1980. © Homer Sykes

Group of friends II at the Blitz Club, Covent Garden, London, 1980.

Group of friends II at the Blitz Club, Covent Garden, London, 1980. © Homer Sykes


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