Knife crime

September 21st, 2018

London is a safe city, with relatively low crime and absolutely no ‘no-go’ areas, despite the scare stories put out by some US right-wing personalities and ‘fake news’ web sites. The murder rate in London – at 1.8 per 100,000 people in the year ending March 31 2018 – is around half that of New York (though it did briefly overtake that city earlier this year) and less than all of the  US’s 50 main cities, which are led by  Detroit on  39.7, New Orleans on 40.4 and Baltimore with an astonishing 55.8, over 30 times the London figure. Even this is topped by St Louis at 65.8, though this still puts it well behind cities in Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil, with, according to Statista, Los Cabos and Caracas more or less tying for top place at 111.

Even so, London’s figure of over 100 murders so far this year, showing a considerable recent increase, particularly with around 60 mainly youths being killed by knives and around ten shootings are worrying, and every single death is a tragedy for the victim and family.

So I welcome London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s announcement of a ‘Glasgow’ policy based on a public health approach, which saw the rate halved in that city, and hope it will have the same effect in London. London’s knife killings are largely of young people, particularly of young black men and are often linked with violence between gangs, though not all the victims are gang members.

Both shootings and stabbings are often linked with drug trafficking, and the legalisation of cannabis and the return to a proper system of regulated use of heroin by registered addicts would almost certainly lead to a considerable reduction in these killings, as well as in the huge amount of petty crimes carried out by people to pay for the high-price illegal drugs they need. Years of evidence show that our present approach to drugs just doesn’t work – or rather only works for the organised crime that supplies the drugs.

Problems with my train service meant that I arrived too late in Brixton to go the the 7th Day Adventist Church to photograph the ‘Be the Change’ march from there to Windrush Square. I tried to meet them on their way, but they took a different route to that I had thought most likely as it would have made the march more visible; by the time I had realised this and returned to the square they had arrived and the event there was beginning.

A gospel group sang, a preacher prayed and preached, there was more music and the congregation sang and danced, and there were placards ‘Knives Take Lives’, ‘We Care About Our Youths’ , ‘Be The Change’, ‘Knives Take Lives’ and ‘God Is Love’ , but spirited though the event was, it attracted little attention from the people of Brixton, and I think myself and a photographer friend were the only people there who would not normally be worshipping in that Brixton church, though a few walking past did turn and look as they walked.

While I’m sure the church is sincere and does good work, particularly among those families who attend, from what I saw at this event I think this  has little effect on the wider community. It needs wider initiatives such as that proposed by the Mayor – and changes in the way working-class communities are seen and regarded by the authorities – police, schools, councils and government etc – to produce the changes in society that would change lives for young people growing up poor and currently disaffected in cities such as London.

More pictures at ‘Be the Change’ Knife and Gun Crime.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Last month in Hull

September 20th, 2018

I had scheduled this post to appear on August 30th, but due to some WordPress glitch that didn’t happen – and I’ve only just noticed it. So I’m trying again.

At the end of July I went to Hull with Linda to celebrate  with the family and friends. We stayed there for four days which gave me time to take a few photographs too. You can see these now, in a ‘Hull Supplement‘ to My London Diary.

Hull Supplement


Anlaby Rd & Hessle Rd
Spring Bank, Chants & Newland Park


Wet Sunday Morning in Hull
A short Hull tour
Riding the Bridge


Hull Panoramas


Bankside Galley
Stoneferry, Wincolmlee & City Centre
Hull, Cottingham
Hull – Pearson Park & Beverley Rd


Hull – City Centre & Old Town
On the way to Hull

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Seeing Red over Universal Credit

September 19th, 2018

Those t-shirts reading ‘#STOPUNIVERSALCREDIT’ that I’d photographed earlier at Tate Modern were again on display outside Parliament later in the day, though there were some different messages before everyone got sorted out and in order, and I took advantage of this. Of course the full message does also contain a number of three letter words, ‘TOP’, ‘PUN’, and ‘RED’ as well as ‘EDIT’ (and I suppose some might count ‘UNI’.)

But even when it was all sorted out, I didn’t manage to make much of a picture, perhaps partly because there were other photographers crowding round which meant I wasn’t in the optimum place, but more because I didn’t really think there was a decent picture possible.

Red isn’t my favourite colour for photography, and I think is best used more sparingly. It seems somehow less subtle than other colours in its photographic rendition, and often needs a little darkening and ‘de-hazing’ to restore gradation. Fortunately not all those taking part were in red, nor were the banners.

Another problem with ‘#STOPUNIVERSALCREDIT’ for photographers is simply that it is 20 characters long, and the message itself will occupy a rather narrow strip across any picture. Banners are often rather long, and I seldom like to photograph them in their entirety from directly in front, preferring to work fairly close to one or other end, and gaining some interest from the people nearest to the camera.

The march which followed, through Parliament Square to Caxton House was more to my liking in terms of photography, enabling me to hide much of the red and also to concentrated on some of the protesters.

The protest which followed in front of Caxton House was also photographically interesting, though the very limited space and crowding made it hard to work.

Universal Credit is almost universally recognised to be a disaster, causing a great deal of hardship – and even some deaths – among both the working poor and those who are unable to work. Delays in payment and reductions in benefits have led to many being evicted from their homes and a dramatic rise in people needing the support of food banks and the demand on street kitchens. The government are pressing ahead with the programme despite the growing evidence of its terrible consequences, with some ministers clearly gloating over its effects on the poorer members of our community.

Although the aim of simplifying and unifying the benefits system was laudable, Universal Credit was designed and is being implemented by people who simply are incapable of understanding how most ordinary people live with little or no financial resources. No money in the bank (if they have an account), no savings, no wealthy friends or family who can help them out if they are short at the end of the week or month.

It could perhaps have worked, had it been combined with a true living wage and a proper transition that didn’t leave people without money for weeks or months. But that would have needed more money to implement. It would also need a system that didn’t feel so obsessive about over-payment and possible benefit fraud. The rich who avoid or defraud the tax system on a huge scale get away with it most of the time, and the government makes surprisingly little effort to stop this (even admitting that in some cases they haven’t taken action as it would ‘damage the reputation’ of those concerned) and the losses there are hundreds or thousands of times greater than any loss over benefits. We have a benefits system – with excessive use of ‘sanctions’, taking away benefits for up to three years – that is clearly designed to publish the poor, and reports have shown to cause many deaths – according to some estimates one every 33 minutes.

More pictures at Universal Credit rally & march

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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John de Prey’s Notting Hill

September 17th, 2018

John de Prey‘s pictures of Notting Hill in 1971, made when he stayed for a few months with a friend in Powis Square in 1971, show some of the more interesting sides of daily life down the Portobello Road and elsewhere in an article in the International Times archive, and you can see more of his work on his Flikr site, serious but unabashed, though its a shame there is only one or two more from Notting Hill among the 150 in his ‘United Kingdom‘ album. Not that some of the other images aren’t of interest, though it would be nice to have more information with some of the pictures, including some taken by others.

Most of his other work is in colour and what broadly might be called travel photography, much of it from the Indian sub-continent, and of rather less interest to me. The Notting Hill pictures were I think made when he was fairly young and fairly new to photography and show an appealing freshness and directness.


I suspect I may be around the same age as de Prey, or perhaps a year or two older, but from a rather different social milieu, and it was a total lack of funds that meant I was only really able to start taking photographs seriously in my mid-twenties. And it was many years later that I first went to Notting Hill, though I think it had perhaps changed relatively little by 1987 when I took a few pictures there, including this one on the Portobello Road:

Back in the 1970s, Notting Hill to most people still meant the 1958 race riots and Rachman. The media were always keen to seize on any violent incidents, particularly around carnival and give them maximum publicity, and it was an area most Londoners avoided.

Now it is generally swamped by tourists, and many of the old shops and pubs have gone or been changed out of recognition. The main language I heard on the streets visiting there recently was Italian – and even some of those sitting begging on the streets had notices written in that language. The biggest change came of course with the 1999 film ‘Notting Hill‘, but for some years there had been increasing emphasis on Carnival as a spectacle rather than just the crime statistics. But even when I first went to Carnival back at the start of the 1990s there were people who told me I would get attacked and knifed and have my camera stolen and told me I would be mad to go.

It wasn’t of course true. Though like any large public event it makes sense to be careful and not to make life easy for pickpockets, and to be careful not to antagonise people. But for most people Carnival was a great day out and they came to enjoy themselves and were happy to be photographed – as I think you can see from the pictures in my ‘Notting Hill Carnival in the 1990s‘, still available at only £6 plus postage.

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Universal Credit at the Tate

September 16th, 2018

Sometimes space in photographs can be very important, and this picture of protesters in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern in London is I think a good example. But it isn’t without its problems, and as this small reproduction shows one of them is that we really can’t read the message on the t-shirts unless the image is used on a rather larger scale.

The picture is one of around a dozen taken of the group of protesters, and actually one of them is missing. In this picture it reads STOPUNIVERSALCREDIT and there should have been a ‘#’ at the left. But the ‘#’ was talking to and delaying the security man who was trying to stop the protest, and a later picture shows running to join the protest with security runinng after him.

I was standing on the bridge across the hall, I think at the same level as the horizontal beam along the wall at the right, and hoping that there were going to be no security officers trying to stop me taking pictures – and fortunately there wasn’t. And I was able to take a series of pictures before the security officer rather got in the way of the message, some of which were more legible in small reproduction.

As well as making the message more legible, the larger scale also makes the reflection on the rear wall stand out more, helped by a little massaging in post-production. I’ve also done a little tweaking to make the inside walls of the building more or less vertical as intended, which is a lot easier on the computer than when we had to tilt the easel holding the paper under the enlarger.

I’d started taking pictures of the group earlier, at the riverside outside Tate Modern, and we had to start with the protesters with their back to us as they didn’t have quite enough people to wear the full set. Then they managed to persuade a person (or was it two) walking by to make up the numbers for a full frontal image by the river and then on the Millenium bridge before a couple of late-comers made it. It needed the 16mm fisheye to get in the whole group on the bridge with the former power stationi behind them.

But I think the pictures I like most from the riverside are those where you can’t read the message at all, or only the odd bit of it – and the tape which says ‘Beware Hostile Environment’.

And there was even a role for that over-zealous security officer when the protesters went to pose on the tarmac outside the building and he came to insist that they go completely off the property. But the logo on his jacket enabled me to take a photograph showing clearly where the protest was taking place. I’ve put the image on the web without cropping, but should really have cropped the group tighter, taking out the woman in blue at the left and a little of the foreground.

Universal Credit is now pretty universally admitted to be a disaster, but the government is refusing to halt its roll-out, creating greater hardship to so many, leading to evictions and suicides as well as a huge degree of deprivation and misery. If we lived in a society that was truly just, Iain Duncan Smith would be in jail and the whole programme scrapped.

The action at Tate modern was a prelude to other protests in London and elsewhere on a day of action against Universal Credit, of which more later. But its also a set of pictures, a little over 30 in all, which show very clearly how I was working that day, about the closest I like to get to studio photography.

Universal Credit protest at Tate Modern

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Emerging Photographers

September 15th, 2018

A nice piece in the New York Times, a paper that has used a great deal of good photography over the years, showcases the work of 12 ‘emerging photographers‘.

My own experiences working for the New York Times organisation were considerably less positive, working for an organisation they took over, I got fired from a job writing about photography and photographers because the editors they brought in thought my work was not commercial enough. I’d been hired to write about photography for professionals and collectors of photography some years earlier, but what the new editors wanted was something that appealed to a well off market in the USA that would appeal to advertisers. I had to stop using British spelling, stop writing long pieces, stop writing about foreign photographers, write everything for people who knew nothing about photography but had just bought a camera to photograph their kids, July 4th and thanksgiving… I should assume my readers knew nothing about photography but should convince them that if they bought the latest new camera it would make them a real photographer, up with the greats.

I’d built up a considerable following over the seven or so years I had written the web site, with photographers around the world reading my articles and writing to me. One article on the photographs from 9/11 got around a million hits in 24 hrs, and the audience figures generally weren’t bad – just as well as I only got paid by results. Though it turned out I and the other writers weren’t actually getting paid what we were promised, and a couple of years after I left I got a couple of thousand pounds more from a class action settlement.

All along I had been writing some things specifically for beginners and also for an American audience, but I also wrote and continued writing more serious articles as well. Using US spelling didn’t worry me, but there was too much I wasn’t prepared to compromise and dumb down on so after an uncomfortable few months I got fired. Which is really how this blog started.

A Holiday in Manchester

September 14th, 2018

Manchester, England’s second city, might not be everyone’s choice for a holiday, though I think it has a great deal to offer.  A little over 50 years ago, it was where I spent my honeymoon, though that was mainly because we had a flat there and were too broke to go anywhere else – at the time we were both pretty penniless students.  Though I’m not sure we went out a great deal in the first week or so, except for a day coach trip to the Lake District.

I’d lived at various addresses in south Manchester – Whalley Range, Alexandra Park (or was that really Moss Side), Longsight, Withington (that only lasted a week before the bed bugs chased me out), Rusholme, Fallowfield before we moved to occupy the top floor of a small terraced house within spitting distance from Maine Road where we spent the first two and a half years of our marriage, but after around seven years had to move, first to Leicester and then on further south, where work took me. I’d applied for jobs in Manchester, but without success. Since moving away in 1970, I’d only been back for the odd conference or passing through on my way elsewhere.

So my short holiday there – three days at the start of August – was something of a nostalgia trip both for me and my wife, and we spent some time visiting some of our former haunts, though most had changed beyond recognition. And as you will find if you read my accounts on the web site ‘My London Diary’ at least one of the places we had never quite managed to visit (and that Linda has held against me since 1970).  Three days wasn’t quite enough, as there weresome new things we wanted to do. and there were a few places we didn’t manage to revisit, so perhaps we will make another visit some time.

You can see some of what we did on My London Diary, perhaps not the most appropriate place, but though it mainly includes events and occasions in London, it should perhaps have had the rather less snappy title ‘My Diary of events and places mainly in London’. As usual on that site, the posts are in reverse order with the first at the bottom of the list.

Manchester Visit 

Ancoats – Saturday
Central Manchester – Friday
St Johns Quarter
Oxford Road to Castlefields
Mersey Walk &, Fletcher Moss
Manchester to Didsbury
Manchester: Canal walk
To Stockport & Bramhall Hall


Science & Industry Museum
Manchester: City Centre – Wednesday
Manchester: City Centre – Wednesday


Manchester: Oxford Road
Manchester: City Centre – Wednesday

I didn’t take a great deal of photo equipment with me, just one camera, the Nikon D810 and three Nikon lenses, the 16mm fisheye, 18-35mm and 28-200 zooms, along with one spare battery and a charger. It was all I needed.

 

 

London 1978 (11)

September 12th, 2018

The final of my series of posts of my pictures from 1978 which include most or all of the selected photographs I took in London in 1978 and posted recently on Facebook with comments, and a few related images. All of these pictures are in my London Pictures web site, and eventually I intend to add the comments there too.

Click on any image to go to the web page – with a slightly larger picture for landscape format images.
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London 1978 (11)


ICA, The Mall, 1978
17y33: Westminster, gallery, Arts centre

A row of small ‘keep left’ islands in front of the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall amused me, wondering if they were perhaps an avant-garde sculptural piece – and were the bicycles part of this?

But perhaps those islands were just dumped there ready to be brought out and put onto the centre of The Mall for some special ceremonial occasion.


Sea Food stall, The Oval, Kennington, Lambeth, 1978
18d-62: Lambeth, sports ground, cricket

People at the entrance to the Sunday Market in the car park at the Oval Cricket ground, Kennington, with a ‘Jellied Eel Stall for Prowns, Cockles Whelks and Winkles’ in front a a cigarette advert that it seems to recede into – and it could be called ‘Three Fives Seafood’.

Three Fives, King Size cigarettes from ‘State Express of London’ do appear to have reached a new low in advertising originality and impact from what we can see of this billboard, and few could believe that anything with a name like ‘State Express’ was really from London.

Although it did, though as Wikipedia explains the name suggested itself to London tobacco merchant Sir Albert Levy when he was a passenger on the Empire State Express which reached a world record 112.5 mph on a run from New York to Buffalo in 1893. He came home and trademarked State Express followed by any triple numbers, probably because the engine pulling the express was No. 999. The company brought out several different products using the trademark, including ‘State Express 444’ but only ‘State Express 555’ was truly successful.

Albert Levy & Thomas based at La Casa de Habana (The House of Havana) in Leadenhall St became The Ardath Tobacco Company Limited in 1895. Ardath probably came from the title of a book by Marie Corelli, who got it from the Books of Esdras in the Apocrypha. Ardath had a large factory in Shoreditch. The company was sold in 1925 to British American Tobacco (later BAT) and Imperial Tobacco, the UK rights to ‘555’ also going to BAT in 1961. By that time it had become widely sold around the world and is still a major brand in Asia, including China.

I visited a student on work experience with BAT in the 1990s and was amused to find that their large office building was a no-smoking area.


To complete this selection of the London pictures I made in 1978, here are some of those I’ve included on the web site but don’t appear to have written anything about, for one reason or another.


Bird Bath and flowers, Crouch End Hill, Hornsey, Haringey, 1978
16r55: Haringey


34 Crouch Hill, Hornsey, Islington , 1978
16r62: Islington


Temporary Globe Theatre, Bankside, Southwark, 1978
14u32: Southwark, theatre, power station, works


Temporary Globe Theatre, Bankside, Southwark, 1978
14u33: Southwark, theatre, power station, works


Skin Market Place, Bankside, Southwark, 1978
14u53: Southwark, works, derelict


Skin Market Place, Bankside, Southwark, 1978
14u65: Southwark, works, derelict

This is the last in the series of posts London 1978.
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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no
sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

London 1978 (10)

September 11th, 2018

Continuing my series of posts of my pictures from 1978 which will eventually include all of the selected photographs I took in London in 1978 and posted recently on Facebook with comments, and a few related images. All of these pictures (and more) are in my London Pictures web site, and eventually I intend to add the comments there too.

Click on any image to go to the web page – with a slightly larger picture for landscape format images.
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London 1978 (10)


Brody House, Bell Lane, Spitalfields, 1978
17g61: offices, shop, Tower Hamlets

Brody House, built in 1938 is a fairly rare example of surviving 1930s architecture in the area. This view is of the back of the large development, which has its front in Strype St.

Estate Agents now describe this as “one of Spitalfields most sought-after residential blocks” and a 2 bedroom flat will set you back around £700,000. Built as a button and sequin factory for the Brody company, it was considerably smartened and extended as luxury flats, complete with concierge in 1998.

The building at left has been replaced by an extension which looks authentically from the 1930s up to 2nd floor level. The large ground floor windows have gone and to the left of the main doorway on the ground floor is now Cycle Surgery.

Brody Trims began their family business here in 1938 and is still very much in existence, making high quality British sequins and sequin trimming, embellished trimmings, elasticated trimmings and other haberdashery and craft goods, mainly for the fashion trade, the only company in the whole of Europe that still provides this service. They only got into the sequin business in the 1960s.

Clearly, sequins were still being made when I took this picture, with steam coming out of the building. And perhaps the long ladder suggests that some much-needed work on the surface of the building was about to be attended to. But the ladder attracted me to think of two famous images in photography, very different from this, W H F Talbot’s ‘The Ladder‘ at Lacock Abbey, though sadly for this picture there were no manservants I could pose around it, and his ‘The Haystack‘.

Not far from here also in Bell Lane Tracey Emin wanted to knock down a listed 1927 social housing block built by Stepney Borough Council to extend her studio, but planning permission was refused in 2016 and she decided to move to Kent. She had bought the block for over £3m, with planning permission to develop it but which required keeping the two street facades.


Whitechapel, 1978
17g66: shop, Tower Hamlets

Whitechapel was then full of small, mainly wholesale, clothing shops such as this one – and quite a few remain. I was attracted both by the odd tableaux in the window and the figures in the doorway, one headless. It was a hot August day and there were two women seated inside, watching me, though I think I had failed to notice the one of them largely hidden by a hanging dress.

This was the second frame I made, the first an immediate response with camera slightly tilted, this more carefully framed, but with a woman at right walking into the picture as I took it.

Taken not long after the picture of Brody House on Bell Lane, this could have been in any of several streets in the area to the north of Whitechapel High St, perhaps Goulston St, Wentworth St or on the High St itself.


Quaker St, Shoreditch, 1978
17h25: shop, Tower Hamlets

This view is on Quaker St, with the woman about to step onto Sheba street, beyond which you can see the openings of Wilkes St and Grey Eagle St. Beyond that is a long building with 7 bays, which, unlike the rest of this is still standing.

The bakers on the corner with its HOVIS sign was clearly closed and derelict and this whole area due for demolition.

Quaker St (originally called Westbury St) is crossed by Wheeler Street, and one of the earliest Quaker Meeting Houses was here in the 17th century. The building which replaced it, Bedford House, is now Grade II listed.

The only building in the picture still partly standing is that distant long building, Silwex House at 1-9 Quaker Street. It was built in 1888 as stables for the Great Eastern Railway and has a similar long brick appearance with 7 gables at the rear facing the railway line out of Liverpool St, where the Braithwaite viaduct, build 1839-42 is a listed building. Silwex house later became a part of the nearby Truman Brewery. Planning permission was granted to convert it into a 250 room hotel, which included a 3 storey roof extension, with the original front and back walls being retained.


Shoreditch, 1978
17h32: housing, Tower Hamlets

Taken somewhere near Brick Lane, this is a short stretch of road ending at the railway line into Liverpool St. It no longer exists but I am fairly sure that this was the section of Grey Eagle St to the north of Quaker St, where there is now a gate leading to Eagle Works. The buildings on both sides of the street have now gone.

It was a pity that my black and white pictures did not include the two buildings on the corners of Quaker St and Grey Eagle St, the Grey Eagle Pub and Leons, though I think I photographed one or both in colour. But in 1978 I was still working on colour transparency and never managed to develop a reliable filing system.

As well as Grey Eagle St there is also a Black Eagle St (now Dray Walk) not far away. At the end of the 16th century the area belonged to a goldsmith, Richard Hanbury, who leased part to brickmaker Edward Hemmynge, perhaps the source of Brick Lane, though there were other later brickworks in the area. Quaker St was laid out around 1656 by William Browne who had leased three acres of pasture. Hanbury’s daughter married Sir Richard Wheler (hence Wheler St) whose family retained much of the area, leasing parts out. Both Grey Eagle St and Black Eagle St were developed by one of the lessees, John Stott, a mariner from Stepney around 1661-70, and in 1666 the Black Eagle Brewery was built, possibly by London entrepreneur William Bucknall on land leased from Stott. Some sources say the Brewery name came from the strret name, but its origin is unclear.

Around 1679 the brewery with its eagle trademark was acquired by Joseph Truman who had learnt the trade there (though the family records say a family member, William Truman, a brewer, attacked the Lord Mayor of London during Wat Tylers 1381 revolt) and slowly began to grow into a huge concern. Under one of his younger sons, Benjamin Truman, it became the third biggest brewery in London. In 1789 the young Quaker businessman Sampson Hanbury purchased a share in the brewery and gradually bought more, taking over the running of what with the company becoming Truman and Hanbury. Some years after Hanbury’s nephew Thomas Fowell Buxton became a partner the company became Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Company. Buxton was a partner with William Wilberforce in the Anti-Slavery Society founded in 1823.

Another brewer, Thomas Pryor joined the company in 1816, and the business was run by the three brewing families, Hanbury, Buxton and Pryor until the 1950s, becoming the largest brewery in London, outproducing Barclay Perkins, around 1850. The company was the subject of a bitter takeover battle between Watney’s and Grand Met in 1971. Grand Met won and the following year rubbed salt into the wound by taking over Watney’s. In 1989 Grand Met, who had failed to keep up with the changes in beer consumption towards real ales, realised that the London property boom made the site more valuable than a not too profitable brewery and closed it. But the property bubble burst, and in 1995 the 10 acre site was sold to the Zeloof partnership, who reopened Black Eagle St as Dray Walk and The Old Truman Brewery as a venue for events of various kinds.

[Thanks To Martyn Cornell’s Zythophile beer blog for much of the brewery information in a highly detailed article about the Truman Black Eagle Brewery.]


Sclater St, Spitalfields, 1978
17h36: shop, Tower Hamlets

The street name clearly shows where this was taken, on the corner where Sclater St meets Brick Lane. The plaque on the wall above and to the left of the modern street sign states “This is Sclater St 1798”.

Sclater Street had long been famous for having a bird market every Sunday, but during the rest of the week there were just a few shops, such as this, still operating. Trowers with its ‘Singing Canaries & Pet Budgies’ had a different name on the shop front, part obscured by a basket. It is now a shop selling women’s fashion.

It wasn’t just birds that were sold here, at least in earlier days, but a wide range of wild animals. The whole area – which crossed over the Bethnal Green Road into a street called Club Row – was known as Club Row Market and back in the 1950s you could buy puppies, cats, snakes, gerbils, monkeys and more – even the occasional lion cub. Pressure by animals rights groups and bodies such as the RSPCA eventually led to the end of live animal sales, finally banned on the streets by Tower Hamlets Council in 1983.

The house has been done up a bit since, the signage removed and a new door added with the window shuttered, while the first floor now has windows and curtains and appears occupied, and, like most surfaces around Brick Lane is now covered with graffiti. Back then there was relatively little graffiti, and the word ‘REVOLT’ really stood out, though the second word, which appears to be AGAIL4 is incomprehensible to me. Further to the right is a reminder that this area was close to Bethnal Green Road where the National Front used to come to sell their racist news sheets – and were sometimes involved in scuffles with anti-racists.


Sclater St, Spitalfields, 1978
17h42: shop, Tower Hamlets

A closer view of a part of the wall, apparently inciting Canaries and Pet Budgies to revolt.


Albert Embankment, River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral, 1978
17y32: Southwark, City, river, trees

A surprisingly grainy view of a man, the only man on the Albert Embankment, contemplating the view on a slightly foggy day in London town.

Through the November haze is the London skyline with St Paul’s Cathedral. The trees are now noticeably larger, but this section of the skyline is still remarkably similar, with the Barbican towers at left and just one new tall building until close to the right hand edge where a number of new tall blocks have been built.

More to follow….
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sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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London 1978 (10)

Continuing my series of posts of some of my pictures of London from 1977 re-posted with the comments I made on Facehook. All pictures (and more) are on my London Photos web site.

London 1978 (9)

September 10th, 2018

Continuing my series of posts of my pictures from 1978 which will eventually include all of the selected photographs I took in London in 1978 and posted recently on Facebook with comments, and a few related images. All of these pictures (and more) are in my London Pictures web site, and eventually I intend to add the comments there too.

Click on any image to go to the web page – with a slightly larger picture for landscape format images.
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London 1978 (9)


Crouch End, Hornsey, Haringey, 1978
16s41: shop, reflection, Haringey

Like many images using reflections this one is a little difficult to sort out and recognise, especially as most of the businesses shown have gone out of business since 1978 and some buildings have been altered significantly. It was taken looking into the window of a junk shop opposite the junction of Park Rd and Middle Lane, roughly at the start of The Broadway.

Two buildings have the names of companies; Thames Tyre Co Ltd and Westerns. Thames Tyre have I think sunk without trace, but Westerns was a laundry company with several shops around North London and their laundry was a few years ago converted into an expensive restaurant in Drayton Park near Arsenal’s ground. Westerns Laundries Ltd was founded during the first few years of the 20th century and by the 1960s was a part of the Sunlight group. The shops remained open until the 1980s. A faded sign can still be seen on the wall at the side of this branch, now Black Katz Lettings & Property Management, in Middle Lane. The Thames Tyre Co Ltd is now ‘Monkey Nuts’, a wine bar and steak house.

I was particularly interested in the mirror at the left with its birdcage – I think there are two other mirrors in the image, as well as a further reflection in the Tyre company window. There are five peope in this picture: I’m visible at the left of the picture (and blocking the reflection in the shop window make the mirror and birdcage and a long-haired man stand out. The mirror close to the centre of the picture brings in a woman standing on the pavement to my right; in front of the Tyre company is a woman adjusting the blankets in a pram and at the extreme right above the third mirror another face comes into the frame.

Film was expensive then, and I took only two frames, both with myself, the birdcage in the mirror and the woman and pram and the buildings in almost identical position.


North Middlesex Cricket, Lawn Tennis & Bowls Club, Crouch End, 1978
16s66: playing field, Haringey

These fields to the west of Park Road are still the home of the North Middlesex Cricket Club, and still have their view of Queens Wood behind them, though the sign in this picture is long gone (and there is now no mention of Lawn Tennis & Bowls on its replacement.) The house at right has been extended beyond recognition and the area is much tidier than when I took my picture. The North Middlesex Cricket Club was founded in 1875 and is still going strong.

Back in 1959 in the early days of the anti-Apartheid movement, the North Middlesex Cricket Club was the meeting-place for the ‘Neo-Labour’ group which included a number of anti-Apartheid South Africans, among them Dimitri Tsafendas who spent around a year in London.

Seven years later in 1966, when working as a temporary uniformed parliamentary messenger in the Cape Town parliament, Tsafendas assassinated Prime Minister Dr Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd during a session of the parliament in Cape Town, stabbing him in the neck and chest four times before being dragged off and arrested. He was judged not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and imprisoned indefinitely until his death from pneumonia aged 81 in 1999.


Regents Canal from York Way, 1978
16t64: canal, reflection, works, Islington

The Bartlett works with their tall square chimney with Bartlett in large letters above each other dominated a stretch of the canal to the east of York Way and can be seen upside down and blurred in the reflection at the top left of this image.

This view was I think taken from the bridge over the canal at York Way; the curve at bottom left is the canal widening after the narrow passage under the canal bridge and the slight gap in the bank at right is Battlebridge Basin. The building at near right has since been replaced by Kings Place, and the Bartlett works which was at the end of New Wharf Road is now Ice Wharf Company Ltd, three blocks with 94 appartments in a highly regulated private development with 24 hour concierge service and a private, gated underground parking space where a 2 bed flat overlooking the canal could be yours for only £1,195,000. Battlebridge Basin now appears to be known as Battlebridge Marina.


John Jackson, pub mirrors, location unknown, 1978
17b24: shop, caravan

The address on the caravan is Carshalton, and the telephone number matches this on the old Wallington exchange, but I don’t recall ever going there in 1978, and assume that this was simply parked outside another shop selling pub mirrors, whose name appears to end in T, and probably given the large rodent at first floor level, almost certainly …RAT. The letters before that, of which only the extreme tips are visible seem likely to be ICK.

The name John Jackson is too common to be of much help in locating the building, and it isn’t clear what his business might have been.

Later frames on the same film are somewhere near the British Museum and I think it most likely that this picture was taken somewhere in Camden. There aren’t all that many streets in central London where the numbers go up to 338.


Richmond, 1978
17e52: house, Richmond

This has the look of a former shop converted into a home, with a slightly curious collection of curtains and other fabrics in different styles. The space at the front, apparently open to the street has been colonised by plants, some in pots, with one of these on the doorstep preventing entry, perhaps suggesting that this property has been combined with a neighbour.

Something with a patterned cloth over it occupies the area immediately in front of the window, where perhaps goods for sale would have been displayed, and there are two teapots on the shelf going across higher at the back of the display area. Further back inside are a hanging lamp shade and a mirror inside a large rectangular frame, but we see only darkly, perhaps because of reflections from trees behind the camera.

For me the dimly lit shapes partly glimpse, and another peeping partly out through the curtains gave the building a certain mystery.

My contact sheet simply states Richmond, but the previous frames were taken along Vineyard Passage, which runs from Paradise Road to The Vineyard and this may have been somewhere in that area.


Samuel Stores, Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, 1978
17g46: house, shop, Tower Hamlets

Samuel Stores was one of the remainders of the Jewish East End that I returned to and photographed several times over the years, both in black and white and in colour.

Although in this 1978 picture its shutters are up, the ice cream and cigarette adverts suggested that it was still in business, and only closed because I took this picture on a Saturday.

Many shops in the area still closed on Saturdays, but were open on Sundays. Until 1994, shops were generally not allowed to open on Sundays, but Jewish businesses were allowed to do so if they remained closed for the Sabbath, from sunset on Friday until Saturday evening. Businesses can still apply to the local authorities to declare as Jewish and trade outside the restricted hours allowed by the 1994 Sunday Trading Act so long as they close on the Sabbath. Smaller stores such as this were then and are now allowed longer opening hours.

The shop is still there at 41 Artillery Lane, on the corner of Gun St, now very much smartened up. For a while it was an estate agency and is now a Hair Salon & Barbers.
More to follow….
______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no
sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________