Archive for the ‘LondonPhotos’ Category

London 1979 (7)

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Continuing the series of posts showing work taken in London in 1979 as posted to Facebook with comments an image at a time in the first half of 2018.

Previous post in London 1979 series
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London Photographs 1979 – Peter Marshall

This set of pictures is a little unusual in that they are all in portrait format and I think I must have set myself a small challenge. Almost all cameras  (except those that use a square format) have always been designed so that the natural way to use them is in landscape format.  Of course it isn’t hard to turn a camera through 90 degrees, but it can foten be rather tricky to find a good way to hold it steady and release the shutter smoothly.


Blackfriars Railway Bridges and pier Blackfriars Bridge, City, 1979
19j-24: river thames, pier, bridge, railway,

There were then still two rail bridges at Blackriars, with the nearer one at left being the Alexandra Railway Bridge built by engineer Joseph Cubitt (1811-1872) for the London, Chatham & Dover Railway around 1864. The river piers were groups of three cast-iron cylinders clad in stone and filled with concrete and some can still be seen, but the track and bridge girders on top of them were removed in 1985. The bridge led from the original Blackfriars Bridge station on the south bank to Ludgate Hill station which was closed in 1929. The track continued north on a bridge across Ludgate Hill which was removed in 1990 and replaced at a lower level by a tunnel leading into City Thameslink station.

Blackfriars Railway Bridge, also known as St Paul’s Bridge was completed in 1886 to lead to St Paul’s station, now known as Blackfriars. It is still in use and now has an impressive array of solar panels on top of it. There is now an entrance on the south bank too.

Although the Alexandra bridge pillars remain, not all are visible. They were in sets of three, one on each side and one in the centre of the bridge. Only the upstream two of each triplet remain visible with the third encased in a new concrete coating and used to support a widened Blackfriars rail bridge.

The pillar at right is of the Blackfriars Road Bridge, another built to a design by Joseph Cubitt. Opened in 1869 it replaced an earlier bridge of 1769, the third bridge across the Thames, after London Bridge and Westminster Bridge. To enable navigation the three Blackfirars bridges were required to be built with their piers aligned. The piers carry stone carvings by by sculptor John Birnie Philip showing birds, with those on the seaward side here showing marine life and seabirds.

Blackfriars Bridge was often said to be the point where the freshwater Thames met the saline tidal river, though of course the river is tidal for some miles further upstream – now to Teddington lock, though without this the tides would flow further.

But in earlier years the tide was restricted by the narrow arches of the old London Bridge, and before there was any real human intervention and the Thames spread more widely probably only travelled as far as Vauxhall.


St Paul’s Cathedral from Bankside, Southwark, 1979
19j-42: wall, church,

This wall was on Bankside, but and was a temporary flood defence, before the Thames Barrier was completed in 1982. These temporary barriers were later replaced by permanent ones which are I think rather less high.

One of the sillier pages on the BBC web site tries to answer the question ‘Why was the Thames Barrier built’ with the answer “In 1953 a very bad flood covered 160,000 acres on Canvey Island and killed 300 people in Essex. That forced the UK government to appoint a committee to look at flooding. The solution was the Thames Barrier, built at a place called Woolwich Reach.”

Which was not in any way going to help Canvey Island, miles further downstream, but has so far done a good job in preventing flooding upstream of Woolwich.


Temporary river wall, Bankside, Southwark, 1979
19j-43: river thames, foreshore, wall, Randall Webb, photographer

Another view of the wall makes clear that it was a flood barrier, as well as showing the late Randall Web, once a friend of mine, struggling with his camera. We were both members of something called Group 6, a small group of photographers from the Richmond and Twickenham Photographic Society who came to an evening meeting once a week to talk photography and arranged monthly outings on Sundays to take photographs – on one of which these pictures were taken. In 1982 we arranged our first group exhibition, later breaking away from the RTPS as Framework and producing a number of shows.

Randall myself and Terry King had been sitting together in a row in a meeting of the Richmond & Twickenham Photographic Society when an elderly former advertising photographer. a Mr Steinbock from Maidenhead delivered a lecture, showing us one of the small prints (“little gems”) that he had for many years exhibited in the annual Royal Photographic Society shows.

Though I didn’t much care for the picture, the idea of making non-silver prints like his gum bichromates intrigued us all as he described in some detail how he made them. I was teaching chemistry, and the store where I worked had an embarrassingly large stock of potassium dichromate, and I liberated a couple of surplus jars, one for my own experiments and the other as a gift to Terry.

Terry went on to became one of the best-known people in alternative processes, making prints, running workshops and organising conferences, while around 20 years later Randall Webb was co-author with Martin Reed of ‘Spirits of Salts: A Working Guide to Old Photographic Processes’.

I made one or two gum prints, and rather more with other alternative processes – cyanotype, kallitype, platinum, salted paper and more – before deciding that I was rather more interested in photography than alternative printmaking.


Wall, Bankside, Southwark,1979
19j-45: wall,

I can’t recall what the substantial wall at the right had been built around, but by this time it was a derelict site. The horizontal planks filling a doorway were I think highly coloured and probably around the site on which the modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, opened in 1997, thanks largely to the efforts of Sam Wanamaker and the Shakespeare Globe Trust he founded.


Clown on Wall, Bankside, Southwark,1979
19j-46: wall, drawing, graffiti

Another wall close to the future site of the replica of Shakespeare’ Globe Theatre, with a picture of a clown. There was also another theatre in the area.


Lee Brothers, Borough Market, Southwark,1979
19j-62: railway arch, potato merchant, market

Although this sign has apparently been photographed and put on the web by every living photographer or tourist strolling through Borough Market with a phone or digital camera, not one of the links on Google gives any more information about Lee Brothers. Although the sign is still there they are not to be found in the list of traders, which moves from L’Ubriaco Drunk Cheese to Le Marché du Quartier without them.

I can add very little. Lee Brothers (Borough Market) Limited was only incorporated as a private limited company with share capital in 1987, some years after I made this picture and it is now dissolved. The stall below their sign in Bedale St has for some years been part of the fruit and veg wholesaler and retailer ‘Turnips’ run by Fred and Caroline Foster.

At the time I was probably more interested in the shaft of sunlight and the shadow on the road. I made two virtually identical frames with the same slight lean to the right, which suggests it was deliberate, though I can’t see why


Park St, Southwark,1979
19j-65: granary, store, warehouse, bridge,

15 Park St is next to the railway bridge.

There are faint residues of text about the right hand door, two lines which appear to end ..N.’ but I can make out nothing more. Later it read ‘Perot Export[ateur]’ which I suspect was probably added above the low door for a film made using this building. There are also faint traces of text at the right of this door, where later was the text, attributed to Banksy, ‘This is not a photo opportunity’, now also long gone, probably worn off my the number of times it was photographed. I think I resisted the opportunity.

Slightly more legible when I took this picture in 1979 was the ‘ghost image’ above the window at left which reads

‘KRA…..
GRANARIES

but I can’t tell you how the upper word, presumably a name, ends.

The building has appeared in a number of films but is probably best known from the hilarious film ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels‘ (1998) which centred around it. By then it had been considerably renovated.

______________________________________________________
More to follow shortly

Continuing the series of posts showing work taken in London in 1979 as posted to Facebook with comments an image at a time in the first half of 2018.

Previous post in London 1979 series

______________________________________________________

The pictures in this series of posts are exactly those on London Photographs, where landscape format images display slightly larger. Clicking on any picture will go to the page with it on the web site.

I have included the file number and some keywords in the captions; you can order a print of any picture on this site using the file number.
Order details and prices

______________________________________________________

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 1979 (6)

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Continuing the series of posts showing work taken in London in 1979 as posted to Facebook with comments an image at a time in the first half of 2018.

Previous post in London 1979 series
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London Photographs 1979 – Peter Marshall


Jubilee Walk marker post, Southwark, 1979
19i-23: warehouse,St Paul’s Cathedral, bridge, wharf

The drunken marker post was a little to the north of Southwark Cathedral, just north of Montague Place, where there is still an open area on the riverside with a river view, though from where I took this picture now blocked by the modern office building which replaced West Kent Wharf and a part of Hibernia Wharves which had recently been demolished when I made this picture.

At top left you can see the riverside corner of St Mary Overy Wharf, with its decorative balustrade, and in giant letters the name of its occupiers from 1890 for the rest of its working life as a wharf, Cole & Carey.

Beyond the Cannon St rail bridge you can see some of the buildings of London, including of course St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Silver Jubilee Walkway, opened by the Queen in 1977 was renamed the Jubilee Walkway and refurbished in 2002. The 15 mile walk is now marked by plaques in the pavement and I think few if any of these original marker posts remain. It has been divided into five shorter lengths suitable for tourists.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-33: rubble, St Paul’s Cathedral, bridge, wharf, Hibernia, West Kent

Hibernia Wharf, built in 1838 was greatly extended 1858-61. It later became part of the property of The Proprietors of Hay’s Wharf who used it as a cold store until around 1968. A small part of the facade on London Bridge was retained and built into a company hall for the Worshipful Companies of Launderers, Glaziers and Scientific Instrument Makers, a late replacement for their Glaziers Hall burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666.

This was I think one of a number of pictures of the area (including some others already posted here) in a small one-person show on Southwark’s riverside I had in the Barge House, behind the OXO tower, no great distance from where the picture was taken. Although the show was small, the pictures were large, printed A0, and worked surprisingly well for 35mm at that size. Later I took some of those prints, along with other smaller prints I had made from elsewhere for a show of London’s Industrial History.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-41: rubble, Cannon St, bridge, wharf, Hibernia,

A huge pile of timbers from the wharves was burning on the demolition site. At left through a little smoke is St Mary Overy Wharf and across the river you can see Cannon St Station and Mondial House, then Europe’s largest international telecommunications complex. Planned in 1970 to open in 1972, it was years late in completion. Built with upper storeys stepped back to ensure it didn’t obstruct views of St Paul’s Cathedral and with a maximum height of 46m it had 4 floors below ground in addition to the 8 above.

In 2006 UBS was granted permission to demolish Mondial House to build its huge Watermark Place project with 545 000 sq ft of office and retail space. 1 Angel Lane is now occupied by Japanese investment bank Nomura International.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-46: rubble, Cannon St, bridge, wharf, Hibernia,

Another image from the demolition of West Kent & Hibernia Wharf. The building still standing behind the smoke at right is St Mary Overy Wharf.


Demolition of Hibernia Wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-54: rubble,St Mary Overy, bridge, wharf, office, crane,

Further east on the demolition site, with London Bridge and Adelaide house visible through the smoke. Near the centre is the NatWest tower, constructed for the National Westminster Bank and occupied by them between 1980 and 1993, Richard Seifert managed to change the London building guidelines to erect the first extremely tall building in the City, 183m high and 47 floors, it was the tallest building in London until 1 Canada Square was built in 1990, and the tallest in the city until the Heron tower in 2009.

It was only actually completed almost ten years late after NatWest moved out; and its design from the air was supposed to resemble the NatWest logo. In 1993 it was severely damaged by IRA bomb and needed to be externally re-clad and internally refurbished, costing £75 million. NatWest decided not to move back in and sold it to UK property company Greycoat, who renamed it Tower 42 in 1995, the name a reference to the 42 upper stories which are cantilevered out from the base.


Demolition at Hibernia wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-55: rubble,St Mary Overy, bridge, wharf, office, crane,

Another picture from a similar viewpoint


St Mary Overy wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-65:wharf, office, crane,

Still standing in 1979, St Mary Overy Wharf was soon to be demolished and replaced by some rather dull buildings of roughly similar mass but with little detailing or individuality. It seems a shame that at least this facade was not retained.


St Mary Overy dock and River Thames, Southwark, 1979
19i-66:wharf, dock, river, offices, monument

There is still a dock here, now with a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde, built in Appeldore and launched in 1973, since when she has been sailed around the world and on various other voyages before ending up- here as a tourist attraction.

I’m not sure the dock is in exactly the same place, and I think the mouth at least is rather narrower. The wharf on the left has now also gone, with its replacement set further back to provide a pedestrianised area and a beer garden at the riverside.

______________________________________________________
More to follow shortly

Previous post in London 1979 series

______________________________________________________

The pictures in this series of posts are exactly those on London Photographs, where landscape format images display slightly larger. Clicking on any picture will go to the page with it on the web site.

I have included the file number and some keywords in the captions; you can order a print of any picture on this site using the file number.
Order details and prices

______________________________________________________

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 1979 (4)

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Continuing the series of posts showing work taken in London in 1979 as posted to Facebook with comments an image at a time in the first half of 2018.

Previous post in London 1979 series
______________________________________________________

London Photographs 1979 – Peter Marshall


Wembley Stadium, Brent, 1979
19g-46: tree, sign, railing

Although I went to Wembley Stadium in 1979, I found little or nothing the the actual stadium area that interested me, making a few pictures of steps, shadows, sheds and signs, but really nothing of the actual stadium. I suspect I felt too many pictures had already been taken of it.


Palaces of Industry, British Empire Exhibition site, Wembley, Brent, 1979
19g-52: building, concrete, reinforced, derelict

I had come to Wembley to try photograph these derelict buildings which were built in 1922 and 1923 for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 -25, probably because some of them were about to be demolished shortly I’m not quite sure exactly which buildings I photographed, and although some were demolished in 1980, the last only went in 2013.

Although they had been built for the temporary exhibition, their reinforced concrete made them difficult to demolish, and they had only remained there so long because it would have been expensive to get rid of them. I think this is one of the buildings that was still standing and being renovated when I returned three years later and took some more pictures on Engineers Way.

The Empire exhibition was important in accelerating the development of the surrounding areas of north-west London, much of which soon became covered with suburban housing in the years up to the second war.

The area is I think totally unrecognisable now, with about the only remaining building being the 1934 Empire Pool (now Wembley Arena), which I think I photographed a few years later.


Palaces of Industry, British Empire Exhibition site, Wembley, Brent, 1979
19g-64: building, concrete, reinforced, derelict,

A second picture of the derelict concrete buildings, apparently left standing after the exhibition as it was too expensive to demolish them.

I think I probably took rather more than the handful of pictures in the area during this visit than have survived, and suspect that one of the films that I took may have been ruined by a camera or cassette fault or in processing. Although it is possible to lose digital images though card or hard disk problems – and to delete them by human error, digital is in many ways more reliable than film, not least because you can see some or your mistakes on the back of the camera.

In the 70s and 80s I was always short of cash, and loaded almost all the film I used into cassettes from bulk 100 ft lengths. I used a ‘daylight loader’ which mean that a short length at the end of each film was exposed in attaching it to the cassette spool, though later I learnt to do this part of the procedure in total darkness to avoid this. Re-using cassettes led to occasional problems with light leaks. Sometimes I used plastic bodied cassettes made for reloading – and these had caps which were quite easy to twist off – sometimes too easy. The metal bodies used by Ilford and most other films had ends which popped off when you squeezed the cassettes and could be re-used but could get too easy to remove with repeated use. (Kodak’s were crimped on and needed a can opener to remove and were not re-usable.)

All normal cassettes used felt light-traps on the opening where film emerged and films might be ruined by scratches if grit was caught in these from loading the camera in a dusty place, and we had to try hard to keep them clean when reloading them. Those fabric light traps were not intended for repeated use and this sometimes led to leaks. Leica used to have their own metal re-usable cassette which worked without a light trap, the with a slot opening up inside the camera, but it was hardly practical.

Processing too had its traps. Developers not stored in air-tight containers could react with oxygen in the air and become less active or even entirely useless (though normally they went brown to show this.) Some were meant to be re-used, and careful counting of the number of films developed was necessary to avoid them becoming too weak. As mentioned in a previous post I had to abandon some developers as simply too unpredictable.

One of my late friends, a professional photographer who did a number of jobs for a leading oil company magazine, was flown out by helicopter by them to photograph their North Sea Oil rigs. It was an extremely long and tiring day, and on reaching home she loaded the films into a multiple tank to develop them. After she poured the first chemical into the tank she realised she had poured in the fixer rather than developer. (Fixer is the chemical used to dissolve the undeveloped silver halides from films after development as most photographers will know.) The films were ruined, and she had to go in the next day and confess to her client. Fortunately for her, she had worked for them on many previous assignments and they appreciated her work, and they arranged another helicopter to take her out and make the pictures again. That time she made sure she got the processing right.


22 St Agnes’s Place, Kennington, Lambeth, 1979
19h-22: house, decoration,

Friends of mine lived in a council flat a few minutes walk across Kennington Park from St Agnes Place. Lambeth Council had wanted to demolish the street to extend the already large park in 1969, but the properties were squatted and the demolition stopped. The council again tried to demolish them in 1977 but the residents resisted. There was considerable national publicity and a High Court injunction stopped the demolition, and the fight led to the defeat of the Conservative Lambeth Council and the resignation of its leader.

Some properties had been demolished, but the core of the street remained, with many of the houses having been renovated by the squatters. The area had become well known for its Rastafarian community and Bob Marley stayed there several times in the 1970s. Despite some local rumours, spread by some councillors, it always seemed a safe place when I was there, and a haven for many homeless and was a lively cultural centre, though I never attended any of the many free parties there or photographed other activities. It housed a Rastafarian temple and at least in later years it was the home of pirate radio stations Wireless FM and Rasta FM.

The residents formed a housing cooperative and paid their utility bills but Lambeth Council continued to try to evict them, obtaining a possession order in 2003 but failing to enforce it when the residents put up barricades. Two years later the council came back with a High Court order, which meant they could bring in the riot police; this time the residents who had decided only to put up a token show of resistance left peacefully. Most of the street was demolished, with just one property, the Rastafarian temple, remaining for a couple of years until police raided it for drugs and the occupiers were evicted. The council had said they would come to some kind of agreement with the temple occupiers, but reneged on that promise and the demolition was completed in July 2007. The drugs trial collapsed with all defendants being found not guilty.

Just two of the original 3-storey and basement terrace houses remain on the street, still joined to four smaller terraced properties of a similar age on one side,. Further down the street where the properties I photographed were are some newer properties, with more building still taking place. The site of the Rastafarian temple was at one time marked by some decorative paint on the railings, but I think these have now been painted over by the council, but the street no longer runs along quite the same route as it did.


The 12 Tribes of Israel, St Agnes’s Place, Kennington, Lambeth, 1979
19h-23: house, decoration,

The houses at 28-34 St Agnes Place were occupied by different groups from the Rastafari community for over 30 years. A thriving hub for the Rastafari community it became recognised as the Rasta International Headquarters.

First squatted in 1969, the remaining premises were closed after a police drugs raid in 2007, where the police made several arrests, but all were found not guilty as the case against them collapsed in court. Some people said that the drugs raid came after a dispute between residents that led to some giving false stories that crack cocaine dealing was taking place. Cannabis use plays an important role in Ratafarian religious ceremonies, used to enhance spirituality and promote unity. They interpret various Biblical references to the ‘herb of the field’, the ‘herb of the land’ and ‘The tree of life’ as meaning ganja (marijuana) and regard the prohibition of its use as an attempt by Babylon to impose an improper restriction on people’s religious freedom. Not all Rastas use ganja, and many condemn its irresponsible use simply to get high.

For those of you who don’t have your Bible at your side, Genesis 49 is where Jacob brings together his sons before his death and blesses them, giving instructions for his funeral, and in verse 28 in the King James version reads:

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.


Symbols, St Agnes’s Place, Kennington, Lambeth, 1979
19h-24: house, decoration,

It’s a shame that this photograph was not taken in colour, and much as I loved black and white photography and its ability to abstract, to render light and shade, express through form and line with a clarity that usually evades colour photographs, I often think that black and white was something of an aberration, an artifact resulting from the scientific basis of photography. If the efforts of Talbot and Daguerre had resulted in colour images, would anyone ever have bothered to invent black and white photography?

There were people in the 1840s who claimed to produce colour images – and did, but any relationship between the colours in their images and those of the subject was purely accidental, the colours being random freaks of chemistry and physics. Since all early photographic processes were only sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum, producing realistic colour was impossible. Though prints could be and were made in almost every colour though were seldom if ever black and white. Hand-colouring too dates back to the early years of photography, and particularly with the aid of computer technology can look very realistic, but is never authentic.

You can of course convert colour images to black and white, and there have been a few occasions when I have done so, realising at the time of taking or afterwards that a particular image would be stronger in b/w. Back in the darkroom days there was even special panchromatic printing paper made for the purpose, as normal black and white photographic paper is only sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum; printing from colour negatives on it needed lengthy exposures and gave rather odd tonal results.

Once we could scan negatives or transparencies it became much easier, and various software emerged, often as Photoshop plugins, which could make the conversion to black and white resemble more closely the tonalities of b/w film. With digital cameras it became simpler still, and with my Fuji cameras I can now – should I want to – actually view the world in black and white as I take pictures, with the Acros film simulation providing me with a truly filmic view and enabling me to digitally apply yellow, red or green filters.

Under extreme low light conditions or when my finger twiddling has led accidentally to seven stops of underexposure I’ve occasionally had to convert to b/w to get usable images, but otherwise it’s not a feature I’ve yet taken advantage of. And I find it intensely annoying when some younger photographers who have never learnt to use b/w convert their colour images in the hope that it somehow makes them more seriously documentary.

The Star of David would I think almost certainly have looked better in colour, and also those stripes and the door frame.


Writing by window, St Agnes’s Place, Kennington, Lambeth, 1979
19h-25: house, decoration, writing,

There was a great deal of writing on the walls here, and much of it – as in this picture – is misogynistic. It’s perhaps best that you can read only a little in this small reproduction, though enough is legible to get the general drift and of course it is clear on the larger original.

One of the more polite texts about women reads ‘Blessed is the man who can terrorise a woman with a look’, but there are also other subjects. One that rather appeals to me states ‘If there was anything in the world worth having – I would not want it’.


Doorway, St Agnes’s Place, Kennington, Lambeth, 1979
19h-34: house, decoration, writing, Rastafarian,

A wider view of the doorway to 28 St Agnes’s Place, the Rastafarian temple and Rasta International Headquarters (which included three houses, 24-28.)

As so often I ask myself why I did not take more pictures of the street, which I often walked through.

______________________________________________________
More to follow shortly

Previous post in London 1979 series

______________________________________________________

The pictures in this series of posts are exactly those on London Photographs, where landscape format images display slightly larger. Clicking on any picture will go to the page with it on the web site.

I have included the file number and some keywords in the captions; you can order a print of any picture on this site using the file number.
Order details and prices

______________________________________________________

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 1979 (3)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Continuing the series of posts showing work taken in London in 1979 as posted to Facebook with comments an image at a time in the first half of 2018.

Previous post in London 1979 series
______________________________________________________

London Photographs 1979 – Peter Marshall


Vauxhall City Farm, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1979
18u-64: house, city farm, fence,

This was the original entrance in St Oswald’s Place and was replaced by a new building in 2015. I think the street was fairly narrow and for once the tilt of the camera was deliberate.


Hymn and goat, Vauxhall City Farm, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1979
18u-65: house, city farm, fence,

The farm had been tidied up since my visit ten months earlier – even the goat looks better groomed. The ‘HYMN’ was still there on the wall.

The contact sheet tells me that I took this and the previous image on 27th January, working with my Olympus OM1 and even details the development (D76 diluted 1:1 9 mins) which seems fairly short. The film was Kodak Safety film 5063 better known as Kodak TRI-X Pan Film.

Many photographers, particularly amateur photographers, using film spent long years experimenting with different developers, times and dilutions and exposure ratings, particularly those who got caught up in worshipping Ansel Adams and his Zone System. I dabbled a little, though you could only be a true aficionado if you used sheet film and exposed and developed each exposure separately depending on the lighting conditions. But using 35mm there were some compromises, particularly if a film was exposed under different lighting conditions and perhaps over several days or weeks. But many of us learnt to base exposures on shadow detail (using spot metering when time allowed) and tried to develop for the highlights. When the Olympus OM4 came out in 1983 it’s metering system made placing the shadows rather easier.

Different developers had different effects on film too, and different dilutions altered these. Some gave finer grain by dissolving some of the image, while others gave increased sharpness by edge effects (acutance.) Some enabled you to increase developing times while increasing the density of the darker areas of the negative less than others, enabling you to ‘push’ films, exposing them at higher film speed settings on camera or meter.

Developers varied from the bog-standard neat D76 favoured in the deep tanks in many professional darkrooms and regularly replenished as film after film went through to esoteric magic formulae sold in ampoules opened and diluted immediately before single use. Over the years I used quite a range of them, making some up myself from the ‘raw chemicals’, and publications such as the British Journal of Photography Annual used to have a selection of photographic formulae in their end pages.

My various experiments taught me several things, particularly that some developers were more reliable than others. One I used for some time enabled me to rate Tri-X at ASA2000, under-exposing over two stops, and produce prints from 35mm that led one club judge to comment that “it’s good to see that some ‘workers’ are still using medium format”. But I gave it up as sometimes films would come out with densities too low to be printable for no apparent reason. D76 was dependable, diluting it with equal amounts of water for single use solved any problems of deterioration with infrequent use, and also gave a slight increase in sharpness by reducing its solvent effect, and bought in bulk it was cheap.

Later I more or less standardised development, and much of my later black and white photography was in any case using chromogenic films developed in the standard C41 developer.


Regent Lion Filling Station, Coptic St, Camden, 1979
19c-16: house, petrol, filling station, Islington

Rising at the top of the picture is the unmistakable tower of St George’s Bloomsbury, but I had long forgotten the exact location of the Regent Lion Filling Station. I took it as the first of four frames before getting to St Chad’s St in the area to the south of King’s Cross, and I had long thought this picture must have been near there.

But I had walked some distance with the Leica M2 around my neck, and that this picture was taken on Coptic St, just to the south of the British Museum. Though the petrol pumps and the building above them have long gone, the building at the right edge of the picture is still recognisable on the corner of Museum St and Bloomsbury Way.

The company was incorporated in 1955 and appears to have been dissolved some time in the 1990s. The Regent trademark had a long history in petrol outlets, beginning with Burt Boulton & Haywood, a small independent distributor who had a wharf and chemical works at Prince Regent’s Wharf which is now the Thames Barrier Park. They were bought up by Trinidad Leaseholds in 1930, and post war they merged with Texaco and later Caltex, reverting to Texaco in 1967, who discontinued the use of the brand name for most of the outlets, though it was revived for special uses in 2004. The Regent Oil Company were also on Canvey Island and the site changed its name to Texaco at some point but is now closed.

Regent were one of several companies who sold road maps under their name from the 1930s to the mid 1960s, though later these were sold as Texaco or Chevron (another Texaco brand).


Hotel, St Chad’s St, Kings Cross, Camden, 1979
19d-15: house, hotel, cars

Little visibly has changed from when I took the picture, though parking is now more restricted and there are cycle lanes along St Chad’s St. The hotels have gone up a little in the world (and rather more in price) and look rather better cared for. The hotel sign is still there, but repainted with different text.

At the time this was London’s most celebrated red-light district, and a short walk away is Holy Cross, Cromer St, occupied by the English Collective of Prostitutes for 12 days in 1982 in a protest against intimidation and false arrests of prostitutes on the streets of the area by police under the 1959 Street Offences Act. Police were reported to be demanding free sex, demanding money, assaulting or beating up women and colluding with pimps to extract more money from the women.

The area – the Battle Bridge estate – went down in the world quickly after it was developed in the 1820s and 30s, with drunkenness and vagrancy common by the 1840s. When Kings Cross, Euston and St Pancras Station were built they brought in more people and more vice, both customers and prostitutes, some of whom were alleged in later years to commute to the area on ‘Have It Away Day’ tickets.

It was the arrival of drugs that really brought the area down, adding syringes to the local street detritus and fuelling both prostitution and petty crime by those desperate to feed their habits. Fast food too began to litter the streets, and in the 70s the area was probably at its lowest.

There were also huge development plans for the areas around Kings Cross, and later I became involved for several years with the King’s Cross Railway Lands Group, an independent community organisation that campaigned for 25 years until 2013 to “make sure that the people who live, work or study in the King’s Cross area are involved and benefit from its re-development.”


The White Shop, Whidborne St, Kings Cross, Camden, 1979
19d-21: shop, school, mural,


The White Shop, Whidborne St, Kings Cross, Camden, 1979
19d-24: workshop,

Whidborne St is a small street which links Argyle St which was part of the Battle Bridge estate of the 1830s to Cromer St in the area just south of St Pancras and Kings Cross stations, and this end of it north of Argyle Walk is something of a relic from the mid-nineteenth century, left when the slums of the Cromer St area were redeveloped by the East End Dwellings Company in the 1890s, some of whose tenements are at the left of the frame. The street it thought to have got its name from one of the directors of this company.

The White Shop at 6 Whidborne St is said to have been at one time the house of the headmistress of the Argyle Primary School which is at the right of the picture, though its small size and plain design makes it look more like a caretaker’s house. Two school entrances (not now in use) at the left of the shop are still present. The school was built as Manchester Street School (this part of Argyle St was known as Manchester St until some time in the early 20th century) in 1880 and later had links with Mary Ward and the 1897 Passmore Edwards Settlement in Tavistock Place which provided after-school activities for poor children until their parents left work.

The White Shop became a butcher’s shop “belonging to a Mr William Johnson” and when I photographed it in 1979 was still selling frozen foods and ‘Quality Meat’. It was converted into 2 flats in the 1990s, but later reverted to a single dwelling and plans for a rear extension and a mansard roof extension were passed in 2014. The conversion looks neat but the roof is rather out of character with the plain stock brick Victorian original.

Opposite, behind me as I took this picture was the Duke of Wellington public house, its address originally 33 Manchester St which became 5 Whidborne Street WC1. It has now become the Irish themed McGlynn’s.


Whidborne St, Kings Cross, Camden, 1979
19d-22: workshop,

A man in a white shirt stands leaning his back against the first floor window of a small block-shaped building on Whidborne St, one of two similar blocks (the other is wider) with a narrow yard behind the brick wall between them. Both have wide doors to the street, either to admit a hand cart or on the other block a horse-drawn vehicle.

I think these were all premises of C E Norris & Sons, and across the top of the building at the south end of the yard (which I think I may have photographed in colour, but can’t currently find the slide) was the slightly misleading text:

C.E. NORRIS & SONS LTD
OFFICES – 73/5 KENTON ST. W.C.1
PHONE – TER. 4577

Kenton St is a short walk away, off Tavistock Place on the other side of Judd St, and the offices were separate from this complex which I assume was the builder’s yard for the private registered company, incorporated in 1932. Members of the Norris family appear to have resigned from the business in 1991 and it applied for and was granted voluntary striking off in 2001, but was restored in 2013 though it does not seem to have submitted returns or accounts to Companies House.

The properties are probably late Victorian and today seem little changed except in use. The street sign is Whidborne St, WC, and thus comes from before the introduction of sub-districts as a wartime measure to increase efficiency in 1917.


River Thames and Westminster Bridge, Westminster from temporary Hungerford Bridge, Westminster, 1979
19f-13: river, bridge, houses of parliament, offices,

This view is now one that we can see any day, but back in 1979 it was unusual, usually only glimpsed between the girders of Hungerford Bridge as your train rolled in or out of Charing Cross station. The Hungerford footbridge was only on the downstream side of the railway bridge, but in 1979 repairs were needed and it was closed and a temporary bridge built hanging to its upstream edge.

London’s skyline has changed considerably since 1979, particularly with new tall blocks along the riverside, but most of the buildings here are still present, though the cold store at Nine Elms has been replaced by other, even taller buildings.


River Thames and Westminster Bridge, Westminster from temporary Hungerford Bridge, Westminster, 1979
19f-14: river, bridge, houses of parliament, offices,

A second picture, taken closer to the South Bank, shows the Embankment well before the London Eye. County Hall, then still occupied by the GLC, faced the Houses of Parliament across the river, a few years before Margaret Thatcher’s fit of pique put London’s government into disarray which the city has still not quite recovered from.

The boats moored in the river include the Chay Blyth, named after the first person to sail single-handed, non-stop westwards around the world in 1971, and now described as “one of the more traditional passenger boats operating on the Thames” but then relatively new, having been built in 1972 by Thomas W Hughan & Co Ltd at Point Wharf Greenwich, part of Delta Wharf just to the north of Victoria Deep Water Wharf. They built quite a few small vessels over the years, including many barges and apparently also the replica 1890’s Mississippi stern-wheeled Paddle Steamer Elizabethan. The company was dissolved in 1985.

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More to follow shortly

Previous post in London 1979 series

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The pictures in this series of posts are exactly those on London Photographs, where landscape format images display slightly larger. Clicking on any picture will go to the page with it on the web site.

I have included the file number and some keywords in the captions; you can order a print of any picture on this site using the file number.
Order details and prices

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

By Tower Bridge

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

I first photographed Shad Thames in 1980, though I’d looked down from Tower Bridge a few years earlier. It was a time when I was discovering so many new areas of London to photograph, and also when a very stressful teaching job was taking up far too much of my time – and having two young sons also took up a fair amount of my time. But in April 1980 I moved from an 2000+ comprehensive to a sixth-form and community college, considerably cutting my stress and also reducing my journey times by over an hour a day. It meant a small drop in salary as I was no longer in charge of a department, but gave me more time to spend with my family and on photography.

The area was then largely empty. The last working warehouse had closed in 1972, and some of the buildings had become artists studios, with many also moving in an sleeping there strictly against the law. Some were evicted in 1978, and others after a disastrous fire the following year, leaving the area deserted. The redevelopment only really got into gear in 1984.

It looks better now at night than during the day, when the loss of atmosphere is much more marked. I hadn’t gone to photograph the area, but had arrived early for a protest at Southwark Council offices in Tooley St, so took a walk a little further on. I’d wanted to take a look at St Saviour’s Dock just to the east, but the riverside path was fenced off for the footbridge added there in 1995 to be refurbished so that it can be opened again to allow large boats up the dock.

The footbridge which took the Thames Path across the mouth of the dock was one of the few wholly positive aspects of the redevelopment of the area, saving a diversion to Dockhead and back to the river and should be reopened in the Spring. Here’s what the dock looked like back in 1980.

The colour pictures in 2019 were made with a Nikon D750 with the Nikon 18-35mm  f/3.5-4.5G ED zoom wide open with shutter speeds from 1/15 to 1/40th s at ISO 6400. All were handheld.  Back when I was taking the black and white images I used various films, the fastest of which was Tri-X, nominally rated at ISO 400, and the slowest was Kodak Technical Pan, sometimes rated as low as IS0 5. Then I often carried a tripod, but it’s now years since I did, as most things I photograph have people moving in the frame.

More pictures from 1980 on London Photographs.

More from 2019 at Tower Bridge & Shad Thames.
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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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London 1979 (1)

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

In the first six months or so of 2018, I posted around 180 pictures which I had taken in London in to my London Photographs web site, and along with them made a daily post on my Facebook page with some details and comments on a newly added picture. But those comments are now hard to find, and I’ve begun to add them to the web pages. I’ll now also publish the pictures and the comments here on >Re:PHOTO, where they will remain easy to find in a series of posts with around 7 images at a time. On Facebook now, I’m publishing pictures I took in 1981 in the same way.

The pictures in this series of posts are exactly those on London Photographs, where they display slightly larger. Clicking on any picture will go to the page it is on on that web site. I have included the file number and some keywords in the caption; you can order a print of any picture on this site using the file number. Order details and prices


London Photographs 1979 – Peter Marshall

 


St Paul’s from Waterloo Bridge,Lambeth, 1979
18k-62: Lambeth, theatre, church, offices, National Theatre

London’s skyline is rather less clear now, and a picture from the same viewpoint would be dominated by The Shard, I think between the two tall blocks at right.

 


National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge, Lambeth, 1979
18p-26: Lambeth, theatre, night, National Theatre,

I’m not sure why I was wandering around the South Bank at night, but probably after an opening, perhaps at the Hayward or National Theatre, and of course I had a camera with me.

I suspect it was the Leica M2, which is a purely mechanical camera and has no exposure metering. I had an accessory meter for it which slotted in and coupled with the shutter dial, the Leicameter MR, a curious battery-free CDS meter which was generally about as accurate as holding up a wet finger, but failed to give an reading at all in low light, and this, or perhaps a few glasses of white wine, accounts for the considerable underexposure.

Although my caption states ‘National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge’, I think this is taken from the walkway at a lower level.

A second image taken around the same time shows part of the South Bank complex


Southbank, Lambeth, 1979
18p-53: lambeth, concert hall, hall, theatre

 


River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979
18r-14: richmond, river thames, flood, pub, pub sign, White Swan

The Beer Garden of the White Swan is a pleasant place to sit with a beer or two in Summer, but in January we had both snow and a little flooding. It isn’t unusual for the Thames to overflow its banks at high Spring tides onto Twickenham Riverside. The boats at right are moored by the downstream end of Eel Pie Island, with a rowing eight just making its way along the main stream beyond.

Across the river at left is the road leading to Ham Street Car Park by the river, which helpfully has a notice warning motorists that it is liable to flooding, though not everyone bothers to read it – or to consult their tide tables.


River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979
18r-15: richmond, river thames, flood, pub, pub sign, White Swan, dog

Another picture of the flooded beer garden with a woman walking her dog.

Cyclists in snow, Marble Hill House, Twickenham, Richmond, 1979
18s-35: richmond, snow, mansion, house, snow, boys, bicycles

We  had a lot of snow in December 1978 and January 1979, enough on at least one day, together with icy roads to stop me getting to work, and some days when I and my colleague did struggle in it was to find few pupils had struggled into school with the day starting later than usual and finishing earlier to enable them to journey home while it was still light.

I had extra time on my hands an spent quite a lot of it photographing snow, mainly in walking distance from where I lived, but also up in Derbyshire around Paul Hill’s Bradbourne Photographers’ Place and on a trip from there to Alton Towers. Unfortunately when I got home and developed those films I found my Leica M2 had developed a shutter fault, sticking slightly three quarters of the way across the frame, probably brought on by the cold weather, ruining most of my pictures and making a large hole in my pocket for the expensive repair needed. Though to be fair, it hasn’t needed another repair since I got it back later in January 1979.

Fortunately I was also taking some pictures on my Olympus OM-1, which were fine. It wasn’t a weather-sealed camera, but didn’t seem to mind getting cold or wet, and on at least one occasion I’d removed the lens after being out in driving rain and literally (and I do mean literally) poured the water out.

But I’ve never found snow appealing as a photographic subject. It covers everything with its overall gloop, removing subtlety. This is one of the few snow pictures I’ve ever shown or sold, taken on a walk from Twickenham to Richmond along the riverside. The snow forms as useful rather blank background for the three boys on bikes, who I’d stopped to photograph. In the first frame they were together in a group and there was another riding away near the right edge of the frame; it wasn’t a bad picture, but my second frame caught them just as the three were moving apart, those on each side of the group in opposite directions, their six wheel just still linked.

This was made with the revived Leica, which is perhaps why I’ve never cropped the image though I think it would improve it to do so a little, though there is something attractive about the huge expanse of white nothing with that small group in near-silhouette at its centre.

 


Figure on gate, Orleans House, Twickenham, Richmond, 1979
18s-51: richmond, mansion, house, graffiti, drawing

Taken on the same walk, this is a figure I photographed on several occasions, of which I think this is the best. Crudely drawn, something between a ghost and a human, it appeared to me as someone’s scary phobia emerging from this locked gate.

Behind is the elegance of Orleans House, where I helped organise and took part in several exhibitions of our small photographic group.

1979 continues in a later post

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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

________________________________________________________

A Day out in London 1974

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

In 1974 I moved back from Bracknell, where I had been working since 1971 to the outskirts of London, buying a small Victorian house, built as agricultural worker’s house, in Staines, one of a row of 6 properties split by narrow passages into three semi-detached houses. Staines is inside the M25, probably the best definition of Greater London, but our area is the only part of Middlesex not to be included in a London borough in 1965.

Thanks to the objections of local Conservatives, particularly from the posher parts of the area we were delivered out of the London Borough of Hounslow, where Staines had been placed and obviously belonged and handed over to Surrey, across the River Thames, with whom Staines had very little in common and which still hasn’t quite accepted us, becoming the borough of Spelthorne. It was a decision based more on a snobbish disdain than political nous, as had the area been included, Hounslow would almost certainly have become a Conservative majority borough.

We moved to be closer to London, not for the benefit of my photography, but because my wife was then working at the British Library, then inside the British Museum. We needed still to be on the Reading line for me to travel to work in Bracknell, and had found nothing in Twickenham or Richmond we could afford, and the next station on the service at that time was Staines.

We moved in some time in August. After the move I was kept busy, painting walls and making small repairs and improvements inside the house, as well as digging up the extensive remains of the concrete floor of the former piggery a few inches below the large nettle patch in the garden. But I suspect I may have taken a day off during the October for the walk.

The pictures are something of a tourist view of London – and rather more so including some of the pictures I’ve not thought worth putting on-line, but obviously from a long walk carefully planned – at least in outline – before the event.

I wrote a short text to go with the pictures when I first put these online a few years ago, and here is most of it (with a few minor corrections.) You can see the other pictures not included here on my London Photographs site.

The Golden Hinde II seen moored in some images was launched in Appledore in April 1973, and came to London from Devon before her ‘maiden voyage’ in late 1974 – with a crowd here queuing to visit her.  I think the ship arrived at Tower Pier in London in September and left the following month to sail to San Francisco, making a number of trips to various countries before becoming a tourist attraction on the opposite bank of the river in St Mary Overie Dock. They were probably made using a Zenith B, for which I had the standard 58mm f2 lens along with a Russian telephoto, though I also owned an Olympus 35SP, possibly the best fixed lens rangefinder camera ever made, with a superb 42mm f1.7 lens.

I can recall little of that day even with the aid of the contact sheets, but I appear to have started taking pictures from London Bridge (probably having taken a train to the station there from Waterloo East) before making my way along the south bank to Tower Bridge, then crossing that to St Katharine’s Dock beofre wandering back through the city along the north bank to St Pauls Cathedral and on along Fleet St to Trafalgar Square, then going back to the Thames and the Albert Embankment, probably on my way back to Waterloo Station.

I took remarkably few pictures – 49 in all, on two Tri-X 36 exposure rolls. About half are shown here; a few of the images – of St Paul’s and in Trafalgar Square hold little or no interest, but most of the rest have at least some details.

It’s surprising to look at some and remember how much has changed. There were then no walkways beside the river on either bank in the City or opposite in Southwark, with only short lengths accessible. Many of the former industrial buildings have now been replaced by large office blocks, and in one image, smoke emerges from the towering chimney of the Bankside Power Station. Of least interest are the more touristic pictures – such as those of the Tower of London.

London Photographs site.

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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 (11)

Wednesday, 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.
______________________________________________________

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)

Tuesday, 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.
__________________________________________

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.

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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)

Monday, 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

________________________________________________________