19 June 1987
Setting out from Waterloo Station to Ascot Ladies Day, 1987, by Brian Harris. The Independent has always been a pioneer in newspaper and magazine photography – capturing people, places and dramatic moments with originality. This image adds a little humour.
17 September 1987
Margaret Thatcher at a photocall for the Teesside Development Corporation, 1987, by John Voos. Soon after her third general election victory Mrs Thatcher pledged to turn her attention to Britain’s inner cities and industrial wastelands, some created by her own policies. This famous picture was taken at a photocall for the Teesside Development Corporation. John Voos comments: “Of course I shot her walking towards me too. The film went back to London on the train and then the decision was made not to use the obvious photograph. It couldn’t have been done without the vision of the picture desk.”
10 September 1988
Russian soldiers give each other haircuts, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1988, by John Voos. The banality of war, an image that remains timeless.
3 December 1988
A dance at Wilburton Social Club in The Fens, 1988, by Witold Krassowski. A fine image, full of life and movement, capturing the spirit of the English village.
13 December 1988
Clapham rail crash by photographer and picture editor Glynn Griffiths: "I’ve witnessed many horrible events – some you know are going to happen, some you watch develop and others, such as Clapham in which 35 people died, come with a phone call. The press was only able to see the site after the emergency services had removed all the casualties, and then only in small groups, for a very limited time, and from one designated vantage point. Back at The Independent’s darkroom, I was one of several photographers all processing essentially the same image. When we came to compare prints, the only difference between mine and the others was that mine was photographed and printed as a vertical image. I think that enforced the horror and the spent energy of the two crossed and entwined trains."
17 December 1988
Father Christmases at Selfridges, London, 1988, by John Sturrock. Here we have two store santas taking a well-earned break. It was this kind of innovative use of photography that earned the respect of readers and gave The Independent its much-deserved reputation in image use.
18 February 1989
Kwasi Afari-Minta, victim of the King’s Cross Fire, 1989, by Glynn Griffiths. The King’s Cross fire, caused by a discarded cigarette end, resulted in the deaths of 31 people, with a further 100 injured. The nation was appalled by the complacency at London Transport that had led to the inferno. Glynn Griffiths: “Kwasi had to wear a moulded mask to soften the scar tissue before going for plastic surgery. The particular tragedy of this was that he was a musician but his fingers were welded together in the fire”.
11 March 1989
Protests in Liverpool in 1989 in anticipation of a visit by Margaret Thatcher, by Brian Harris. Always controversial, a visit by Margaret Thatcher to Liverpool was something of a special event for all concerned.
3 March 1990
The Gradinari hospital for the disabled, near Bucharest, Romania, 1990, by Mike Abrahams. This institution for the disabled near Bucharest was typical of the squalid conditions that the Ceausescu regime imposed on orphanages, hospitals and homes of the old and those with disabilities. After the fall of the dictator the world discovered the true horrors, and responded with a wave of charitable giving.
31 March 1990
Poll Tax riots, 1990, by Peter Macdiarmid. Such was the unpopularity of the Community Charge, better known as the Poll Tax, that it prompted riots and demonstrations spread across the country. Here fire-fighters deal with a car’s exploding fuel tank on the Charing Cross Road in London.
15 March 1991
Release of the Birmingham Six, 1991, by Brian Harris. Six Irishmen were wrongly imprisoned for life for the IRA’s Birmingham pub bombings in 1974. Doubts about their convictions soon emerged, and the sentences were finally quashed in March 1991. The Independent was part of the campaign for justice and was pleased to publish this joyous image.
15 April 1991
John Major outside Lancaster House, in London. Photographer Simon Grosset remembers: "It was the launch of the European Bank and John Major was hosting lunch for European leaders. He’d just taken over as Prime Minister without being elected, and everyone was wondering who he was. The man with the brush was there to sweep the red carpet in-between dignitaries arriving; he was peering around the corner to see if he had an opportunity to nip out before another limo deposited someone important for Major to usher in."
25 August 1993
Chris Bailey knocks over the net-cord judge on Centre Court at Wimbledon, 1993, by David Ashdown. The Independent always looks for the unusual, and sometimes it almost lands on a photographer. This was an unusual thing to see at Wimbledon.
5 May 1994
By-election in Yorkshire, 1994, by David Rose. Election canvassing often produces the opportunity for an interesting composition. An unremarkable by-election in Yorkshire produced this amusing take on pavement politics.
16 June 1994
Irek Mukhamedov, former principal at the Bolshoi, dancing with the Royal Ballet.
Photographer Laurie Lewis recalls: "The Royal Ballet sent a print of my picture to Princess Margaret to thank her for something. But it went by mistake to the wrong princess. They said, 'Diana won't give it up, may we have another?'"
25 November 1994
The Williams family in Blackpool by Craig Easton. Easton recollects: “I spent a number of days with the family. They were incredibly welcoming and open to a stranger with a camera. They understood the pictures were representative of a wider story about poverty and social exclusion. It felt like we were shining a light into a dark corner of British society.”
17 December 1995
Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, to give him his full name, was profiled by us. He has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
8 May 1996
Broken window by David Ashdown. A six that’s been hit at Hove County Cricket Ground, Sussex, reaches some nearby flats. David Ashdown explains: “The lady came to the window just as I’d turned my tripod round. It was a fantastic moment. We used the picture on the front page.”
8 June 1996
Sikh wedding party by Kalpesh Lathigra. As in this picture, The Independent’s pictures often had “edge-to-edge” information. That meant that a reader had to be able to go right round the picture and for it to be a thing of value in its own right, independent of any story.
10 July 1996
Osama Bin Laden. This photograph was taken by Robert Fisk, when our Middle East correspondent interviewed him in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was then a relatively obscure figure; in due course his name and face were to be globally infamous. Robert Fisk remembers: “I opened my camera and allowed his armed guards to watch me as I threaded a film into the spool. I told them I refused to use a flash because it flattened the image of a human face and asked them to bring the paraffin lamp closer. The Egyptian scribe held it a foot from Bin Laden’s face. I told him to bring it closer still, and I had to guide his hand until the light brightened and shadowed Bin Laden’s features. Then without warning, Bin Laden moved his head back and the faintest smile moved over his face, along with that self-conviction and that ghost of vanity that I found so disturbing.”
18 April 1997
Jacob Rees-Mogg during the general election, by Colin McPherson. Rather more obscure then than now, the elegant Tory candidate is seen going door-to-door in the rock-solid Labour seat of Fife, where he finished third. The story ran that he went canvassing with his nanny. He is now MP for North East Somerset.
28 December 1998
Three generations of a family on Skegness Beach, by Tom Pilston. Action can be captured in the most unlikely of locations, including the Lincolnshire coast. A typical British seaside scene, with a twist.
23 June 2000
A storm strikes Ascot on Ladies Day, by Tom Pilston. Ladies Day always provides colourful images, and by 2000 colour printing was comprehensively adopted. A gust of wind resulted in this delightful tableau.
11 September 2000
West Side Boys in Sierra Leone, by David Rose. Brutalised, drunk and reckless even by the standards of militias, this group terrified civilians and UN and British troops equally. Some were forced to torture their parents to death before joining the group. David Rose remembers this as “a very macho moment. I felt it was one of those instances where you wanted to take a picture, and they wanted you to take a picture. Anything else would have been ill-advised.”
12 August 2005
A member of Niger’s Tuareg people, by Tom Pilston. The Tuareg people have long been marginalised and persecuted across the swathe of north west African states they are spread around, with periodic outbreaks of serious violence. This photograph was taken during one such war, little noticed by the rest of the world.
22 September 2012
Vivienne Westwood in her studio, by Immo Klink. An unusual pose from the flamboyant designer.
10 November 2012
Shane MacGowan, by Dragana Jurisic. MacGowan’s pose lends this picture something of the quality of a Hogarth painting. By this time he had left The Pogues and formed Shane MacGowan and the Shane Gang.
27 September 2014
Henry Kissinger, by Daniel P Shea. The statesman was 90 years of age when this painting-like photograph was commissioned. By that time he was facing demands for him to be placed on trial for war crimes.
22 November 2015
Seema Butt, by Micha Theiner. One of the stars of the Rainbow List, our annual celebration of diversity and the LGBT communities. Seema Butt is a Muslim drag queen.
26 December 2015
Rebecca Front, by Charlie Forgham-Bailey. One of the nation’s favourite actors, captured in perfect symmetry.