More monkey business - photographs taken in Romford Market in the 1960s

Steve Troy (right, nine) with brother Martin (centre, six) and sister Janice (four)

Steve Troy (right, nine) with brother Martin (centre, six) and sister Janice (four) - Credit: Archant

It’s hard to tell who is more snug – the monkeys in their knitted suits or the children in their winter coats.

Brian and Sandra Jones

Brian and Sandra Jones - Credit: Archant

Steve Troy, then aged nine, is shown on the right of this picture holding the warmly dressed primate. It was taken in 1967 in Romford Market by a photographer who would pose children with his pet monkeys and photograph them for parents.

Sharon and Steve Cobb with the monkeys

Sharon and Steve Cobb with the monkeys - Credit: Archant

Steve, of Aveley, is pictured next to his brother Martin, then six, and sister Janice, who was four years old.

Ann Tyrrell's daughter June

Ann Tyrrell's daughter June - Credit: Archant

“Mum took us to Romford that day to see the monkeys,” remembered Steve, now 54.

Lorraine Duncan (then Lorraine Jacques) with two monkeys, then aged three to four

Lorraine Duncan (then Lorraine Jacques) with two monkeys, then aged three to four - Credit: Archant

Last week we featured a picture from Lynn Neary of Dagenham that showed a grand total of four monkeys – one for each of four children – in Romford Market the following year.


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Seeing the picture brought back memories for a number of our readers – including Brian and Sandra Jones, who had their photo taken as a young couple with the monkeys in late 1964.

Now 65 and 66, Mr and Mrs Jones, of Brentwood Road, Romford, were teenagers when the snap was taken.

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Meanwhile, Matthew Abel sent in a shot of his mum Sharon and uncle Stephen in a pram, taken at about the same time.

Matthew’s picture offers an additional clue – it’s stamped on the back with the name A. W. Dove, Photographer, and an address in Hammersmith.

Local history expert Brian Evans, director of Havering Museum, said the monkeys were a “sign of the times”.

“It was pretty tight for a lot of people financially, so the market was a good value day out,” he said.

“People didn’t really have cameras and many of them dated from before the war – so when you had a specialist photographer it was quite something.

“The monkeys ware a way to persuade people to have a picture taken. The market still had cattle on Wednesdays and they used to sell puppies and kittens so it was quite animal-centred.”

Our next photograph shows June Tyrrell, then aged two, in her buggy, holding with a monkey with a ruff. This shot was taken back in 1968.

“Me, my mum and nan went there every Wednesday,” remembered June’s mum Ann, of Seymer Road, Romford.

Finally, proving two heads are better than one, a young Lorraine Duncan is pictured in the market in about 1965 with a pair of the loveable primates.

If you remember the monkey photographer, or have any other recollections of Romford Market to share, contact the news desk on 020 8477 3878.

You can also e-mail photos to news.desk@romfordrecorder.co.uk.

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