From children playing gleefully in the street to market traders excitedly selling their wares, it was a time when optimism returned to Britain.
And these fascinating photographs taken in London in the 1950s and 1960s reveal how the busyness of life in the capital returned, despite the horrors of the Second World War being fresh in the memory for many Britons.
The archive has now been revealed for the first time by Norma McCaskill, 51, of Newmarket, Suffolk, whose father Norman shot the pictures across the capital aged in his 30s on a Leica camera in 35mm film.
Mr McCaskill took thousands of photographs including many images of street life at the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, West London, while he was also fond of capturing architecture and scenes by the River Thames.
Pictures show women in bell skirts, men standing outside pubs, customers browsing street market stalls and young boys going fishing – as well as reflecting the changing ethnic diversity of London at the time.
His daughter told the London Evening Standard: ‘I have vivid memories walking the streets of London with my father who knew his territory and took his Leica everywhere with him.
‘He was an observer of the street and had a wonderful eye, creating images at a decisive moment. He loved people, architecture and the River Thames, which comes through in his work.’
She added that he used to spend hours in a ‘small darkroom’ to process his photos, and although she tried to take pictures after getting her first camera aged about eight, ‘unfortunately I just didn’t inherit my father’s eye’.
The series of photographs of London in the 1950s and 1960s reflect the changing ethnic diversity of the capital at the time
A boy sits next to a suitcase with shoes for sale inside it (left), while three young children play on the steps of a property (right)
A woman who appears to be a nun is pictured feeding geese in a park in London in one of the photos in the archive
Men and woman stand outside a pub smoking and drinking (left), while young boys stand on a barrier as they try to fish (right)
A group of people sit on the roof of a van in one in the photos in the archive now revealed for the first time by Norma McCaskill
A man and boy look at the boats in what appears to be the River Thames (left), while a trader tries to sell his wares (right)
A child pushes a pram through the market – although it appears to be piled high with suitcases rather than a baby
A eccentric-looking man stands in the market with a record player (left), while other traders can also be seen (right)
Shoppers browse a fruit store in one of the photos shot by Mr McCaskill across the capital aged in his 30s on a Leica camera
Mr McCaskill took thousands of photographs including many images of street life, including those pictured above
A group of six boys lean over a wall as they appear to go fishing, in one of the photos taken in the 1950s and 1960s
A woman looks in her handbag while a trader holds out his hand (left) and a boy is seen in one of the many street scenes (right)
A crowd gathers around a market stall selling clothing on what is believed to be Portobello Road Market in West London
A man holds a beer glass inside a pub (left) while another stands next to what appears to be a subway or toilet entrance (right)
Two boys and a woman stand around a pram, with the words ‘Mosley’ in the background, possibly referring to Oswald Mosley
A young boy sits on a box with a range of shoes for sale (left), while another woman has a newspaper covering her head (right)
A group of young girls and boys – one holding a football – speak to a woman who appears to be with the Salvation Army
Two people look at tableware on the corner of Portobello Road and Denbigh Close (left), while a baby sits in a pram (right)
Five women look at the ducks in one of the many fascinating photographs taken in London in the 1950s and 1960s
Three children sit on steps next to the water (left), and customers look at buckets and containers on sale at the market (right)
A collection of paintings are put on display outside a shop in what appears to be Notting Hill in West London
A young girl walks along the road (left) while a woman is pictured with a newspaper wrapped around her head (right)
A man wearing a hat with the words ‘Steptoe’ appears to gesture next to a record player as other people watch on
The man wearing the ‘Steptoe’ hat is pictured. It appears he could be impersonating Steptoe of the 60s show Steptoe and Son
A man selling newspapers reads one while he waits for customers (left), and a boy is seen holding a glass on the street (right)