Archive for the ‘LondonPhotos’ Category

London 1978 (3)

Monday, September 3rd, 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.
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London 1978 (3)


Barrows, Borough Market, Southwark, 1978
14s11: southwark, market, borough, cobbles, barrow

I plead guilty to nostalgia in this image, though I also saw it as an exercise in framing (and a slight hint of homage to one of the truly great photographers whose work I admire.) It should really not be seen in isolation but as a part of my wider work on this area around Borough Market and the nearby wharves, some of which I posted here earlier.

Hand carts such as these barrows were of course much more common when I was young, and many trades made use of them, including as I’ve mentioned before, jobbing tradesmen like my father who used one to carry his tools, ladders and materials.

My paternal grandfather had owned several small and not very profitable businesses and I suspect the hand cart that my father used was one that he had made himself in his younger days. Dad’s large work shed, inherited from his father, was a real museum, and still had all the tools needed to build some quite fancy horse-drawn vehicles, including a small bellows furnace with a large drum of coke which was used to heat the iron rims to put on wheels such as this, and once or twice when very young I was employed as an unpaid bellows boy. Next door in a smaller shed was a treadle-powered wood-working lathe which we often used to play with when small, though fortunately we were never allowed to play with the band saw, a large and rather fiendish device and I made to adulthood with a full set of limbs. My father also worked in his youth for other companies, including Dennis, where he built wooden fire engines before they decided metal was a better idea.

For more complex iron work, a few streets away was the ‘power forge’, owned when I was small by my father’s brother, with much belt-driven machinery and a steam hammer, but at its centre a coke fire with an electrically driven air supply on which metal ingots would be heated to the required colour before being removed with long tongs and hammered on an anvil before being worked on the other machines.


The Cross Keys and barrows, Covent Garden, Camden, 1978
14c11: camden, pub, barrows

The market at Covent Garden closed in November 1974 and moved to Nine Elms, but there were still some traces in the area.

The Cross Keys is still there, a small pub with an extravagant facade, built with the rest of Endell St in the 1848-9 and Grade II listed. As well as the two cherubs holding St Peter’s Keys who I rudely cut off at the top of the frame, the interior walls are incredibly cluttered, thanks to the owner being addicted to the collection of largely Victorian bric-a-brac, abetted until recently by the presence of Bonhams nearby. It’s also now soemtimes hard to see the pub through a collection of hanging baskets, tubs, shrubs and flowers, which together with the putti and keys make it one of London’s most photographed facades by tourists. Better news is that it is now no longer a Watney’s pub.

The barrows outside when I photographed them were I suspect kept there by the landlord to add a little character. More recently the whole area is paved and there are a couple of large barrels, and in summer at least outside seating for the pub.


Building site, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14b62: westminster, pub, building site, poster

The fences around building sites were seldom officially decorated back in the seventies, but those in areas like Covent Garden soon attracted extensive flyposting for events and record releases. Across the building site here is the Shelton St frontage of the Crown and Anchor pub in Neal St, and I think this picture and that below were probably taken in Endell St.


Building site, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14b63: westminster, pub, building site, poster


4-wheel barrow, Covent Garden,Westminster, 1978
14b53: westminster, market, stall

Blitz was a weekly club-night in Covent Garden, London in 1979-80, much frequented by art students, where the New Romantic subcultural movement is said to have begun. People would spend the week preparing their outfits for it hoping they would look interesting enough to pass Steve Strange on the door, who famously turned away Mick Jagger. I’m not sure where this was taken, but Blitz was certainly not far away.

The text on the wall lacks much artistry, but the four-wheeled barrow in front of it was one which could be used to wheel goods into a market pitch and sell from.


Ellen Keeley barrow makers and barrows, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14c31: westminster, pub, barrows

Ellen Keeley’s shop at 33 Neal St, opened in 1900 closed around 1982. The Keeley family came from Ireland at the time of the potato famine in 1830 and began business in London then. James Keeley is said to have invented the costermonger’s barrow and the company also made donkey barrows as well as simple wheelbarrows like those in the photograph.  Often barrows were hired rather than sold, and the company Keeley Hire now hires these and many other things to film and TV companies.


Ellen Keeley barrow makers and barrows, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14c41: westminster, barrows

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

________________________________________________________

London 1978 (2)

Sunday, September 2nd, 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.
__________________________________________

London 1978 (2)


Rosings’ Wharf (once part of West Kent Warehouses) and St Mary Overy’s Wharf, Southwark, 1978
14v61: Southwark, wharves, Victorian

This time I am sure where the picture was taken, as the background building has a name on it, which is St Mary Overy’s Wharf and in front of it is the wall at the end of the dock. The building at left is Rosing’s Wharf, and at the right is a part of the sign on West Kent Warehouses. The next frame makes this even clearer, taken from a similar position but with a wider lens it shows the whole sign, AD 1858 James Hartley & Compy. Messrs. Rosing Brothers & Co., coffee cleaners and merchants took over the building and renamed West Kent Mill in 1891.

Rosing’s Wharf has the name Michael Wooley Ltd, and a sign on the wall gives the safe working limit for the hoist to the upper floors of 15 cwts – 15 hundredweights or three-quarters of a ton. Wooley was a wine importer and the building was still in use until 1979, the year after I photographed it. Rosings took over this building in 1890. It had been built around 50 years earlier and used for storage of various foodstuffs and for feathers, and, from 1872 for Danish bacon, butter and cheese.

The premises were taken over by the Proprietors of Hay’s Wharf in 1921 and used by them until 1964. Michael Wooley Ltd moved in, putting in new offices and toilets in 1967 and the building was demolished in 1983.

Although called wharves, buildings such as Rosing’s Wharf had no direct river access. Goods would be landed from lighters at nearby wharves or docks – such at the St Mary Overy Dock a few yards away – and then brought by cart or lorry for storage.


Rosings’ Wharf and West Kent Warehouses, Southwark, 1978
14v62: Southwark, wharves, Victorian


Rosings’ Wharf (once part of West Kent Warehouses) and St Mary Overie Wharf, Southwark, 1978
14v65: Southwark, wharves, Victorian

The concrete wall visible here in the foreground (and further back in the above images) is the dock wall for the dock which now holds the replica Golden Hind. Like other walls along this part of the Thames it was raised at this time to help prevent flooding.


Pickford’s Wharf, Southwark, 1978
14v53: Southwark, wharves, Victorian

There was an area of small alleys and streets close to Southwark Cathedral which I wandered around, and it is hard to know precisely where this photograph was taken. There were overhead bridges between a number of the warehouses in this area, including Rosings’ Wharf and Stave Wharf, Stave Wharf and West Kent Wharf and West Kent Wharf and Hibernia Wharf, as well as between the buildings of Hibernia Wharf on either side of Montague Close.

Hibernia Wharf was a large complex of buildings in Montague Close, between West Kent Wharf which was on the east side of St Mary Overy’s Wharf and the ‘new’ London Bridge. These buildings in the Pool of London were all latterly owned by the Proprietors of Hay’s Wharf, further downstream. Only St Mary Overy’s Wharf had direct water access with lighters coming into the dock which is still there, and goods were taken to the various nearby warehouses either along the narrow streets or by bridges between buildings such as these. Most of the goods handled here were foodstuffs and other low value items.

West Kent Warehouses were rebuilt by the wharfingers J. Hartley & Co in 1858. Hibernia (or New Hibernia) Wharf, immediately to the north of Southwark Cathedral was originally built in 1836, most was destroyed by fire in 1851, but the rebuilding was to the plans of William Cubitt. At the east end of the site on London Bridge and Montague Close you can see the facades of a part of this building but the interior was gutted in 1970 and interior walls replaced by concrete, though parts of the original undercroft were retained.

These wharves handled goods on a small scale, using hydraulic cranes and other machinery, and largely went out of use in the 1960s as bulk handling of cargoes, decasualisation of dock labour and containerisation moved the traffic to large docks downstream. Some buildings continued to be in use for storage of goods until around 1980, but were demolished shortly after.

Looking carefully at the picture again I think it may actually be looking west along Pickfords Lane, with the building on the right being Pickford’s Wharf, which had further buildings to the south across the lane. I think you can see a little of Winchester Palace and Clink St in the distance.


West Kent or Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1978
14v54: Southwark, wharves, Victorian


West Kent Warehouses, St Mary Overy’s Wharf, Southwark, 1978
14v51: Southwark, works, derelict,


Clink St, Southwark, 1978
14v55: Southwark, wharves, Victorian, posters,


Clink St, Southwark, 1978
14v56: Southwark, wharves, Victorian, posters,

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

________________________________________________________

London 1978 (1)

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

The first in a series of posts 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.
__________________________________________

London 1978 (1)


Clink Wharf, Clink St, Southwark, 1978
14s21: Southwark, warehouses, bridge,

1978 was really the year I came of age as a photographer, having met and been challenged, inspired and encouraged by one of the UK’s greatest photographers and teachers through a series of workshops. Raymond Moore made me think seriously about producing bodies of work that led to my projects on Hull and on London. I was still desperately short of time, working well over 60 hours a week during term-time in my teaching job (and even shorter of sleep after my second son was born.) Among the first fruits of this were a series of images on the former docklands in Southwark, and this was one of the earliest images.


Wharf, Clink St, Southwark, 1978
14s23: Southwark, warehouses,


New British Wharf, Clink St, Southwark, 1978
14s24: Southwark, warehouses,


Sennet Bros, Castle Yard Factory, Holland St, Southwark, 1978
14t11: Southwark, factory, Hatters, Furriers, Skin Merchants

Sennett Brothers who had the Castle Yard Factory off Holland St were a reminder of some of the earlier industries of Southwark, Hatters, Furriers and Skin Merchants. The official address of the company, liquidated in 1963 was in Hopton St.


Renny’s Dining Rooms, Southwark, 1978
14t22 Southwark, cafe, restaurant,

Renny’s Dining Rooms seem to have disappeared with no other trace on the Internet, and while it had been clearly at No 41, I can’t recall exactly where it stood. But I think from the name it was probably on Rennie St, just a little to the west of the Blackfriars Rd, possibly close to its start on Upper Ground, but no trace of it remains. But the whole area had a strong connection to the Rennie family

The street will have got its name from the engineers John Rennie the Elder and John Rennie the Younger who had their engineering works in nearby Holland St, but lived at 27 Stamford St, a few yards from where Rennie St crosses. They were the best-known civil engineers of their era, with the elder responsible for many canals and other great schemes, including many bridges. The old Waterloo Bridge was perhaps the best known by the father, while his son built London Bridge, which was sold in 1967 and some of its stones used to build a replica in Arizona. There was also Rennies Wharf nearby.


Porn & Dunwoody, Bear Gardens, Southwark, 1978
14u22: southwark, works, yard,


OXO advert, Parker Horwell and Kirk Ltd, Southwark, 1978
14u24: Southwark, factory, engravers, die stampers, Victorian, Edwardian

Parker Horwell and Kirk Ltd were engravers, and the Southwark Borough Commercial & Industrial Guide gives their address as 14 Southwark Bridge Rd, SE1, where it bridges over Park St. There are now 2 large blocks on each side of Park St, Rose Court at 2 and City Gate House at 22, and nothing between. I think this building was on Park St with an entrance on Southwark Bridge Road, with the large OXO advert facing the main road.

There is of course a far better known OXO advert around a kilometre to the east on the OXO Tower, built into the architecture of the Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company’s factory to get around a ban on advertising on the South Bank. Presumably there was no such ban away from the river.


Grey & Martin’s City Lead Mills, Southwark Bridge Road, Southwark, 1978
14u25: Southwark, factory, lead mills, Victorian

Just across the Southwark Bridge Rd from Parker Horwell and Kirk, where now the FT building stands were the City Lead Mills of Grey & Marten Ltd (my London’s Industrial Heritage site puts them on the wrong bridge) whose address was City Lead Works, Southwark Bridge, London, S.E1. To the right in the distance you can see Cannon St railway bridge and Adelaide House, on the north bank of the Thames next to London Bridge.

The company was established in 1863 and was apparently still in business in the 1960s and among other things sold leaded windows from an address in Little Park St as well as making lead containers and protective lead sheeting for medical X-ray and radioactive equipment.

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

________________________________________________________

London 1977 (2)

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Continuing my series of posts of my pictures from 1977 with my comments. All of the pictures (and more) are in my London Pictures web site, and eventually I hope to add the comments there too, but that is considerably more time-consuming and will have to wait for some time.

There are also some earlier pictures  on the web site that I’ve not written about – and if you have any questions about those or any of the other of my London pictures feel free to ask them here.
__________________________________________

London 1977 (2)

Click on any image to go to the web page with a slightly larger picture.


High St and Town Meadow, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e34: Hounslow, Middx, street, advertising

Town Meadow is a small street off Brentford High St, and the only trace of anything rural was in the advertising poster on the corner. The shops on the High St are long gone, replaced by some fairly characterless flats, though there are now trees opposite.

This picture, along with another taken the same day a short distance away and a picture from Staines made a double-page spread in the final Creative Camera album, Creative Camera Collection 5, which greatly pleased me. It was only a small publication, but the volume included work by John Benton-Harris, Fay Godwin, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Otto Steinart, Martin Parr, Chris Killip, David Goldblatt, Raymond Moore, Bruce Gilden, Marketa Luskacova and other well-known photographers.


Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e36: Hounslow, Middx, river, boat

Another picture from Brentford. Behind the High St were a number of backwaters as well as the canal and the River Brent which in part shared its course.


Hollows Cafe, 408 High St, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e42: Hounslow, Middx, cafe, flats,

This scene has changed relatively little, though the Hollows Cafe is now Kew House, offering Chinese Cuisine. I don’t know what the building at the left of the image was back in 1977, but it is now an Irish pub. The flats in the background of this and yesterday’s picture are still there on Green Dragon Lane.


Music Nightly, Red Lion, High St, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e43: Hounslow, Middx, pub, gate,

Another from Brentford. There was something odd about this gate fixed on a very solid wall that promised nightly music.

The Red Lion it was on the side of was a well-known rock venue which was demolished in the 1990s to make room for a McDonald’s. It was relatively small and intimate, but attracted some great musicians, including Bo Diddley who did at least a couple of gigs there, Dr Feelgood and Ben E King.

It had been built in 1964-5 as a replacement for an earlier pub of the same name on the opposite side of the High St, demolished as a part of a road widening scheme when the gas works was being demolished, and which destroyed most of what then remained of Old Brentford (a few shop fronts went to the Museum of London.) Fortunately the road scheme stopped a couple of hundred yards to the west and was never completed, possibly because of local government re-organisation in which Brentford became a part of the LB Hounslow.


River Thames, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e44: Hounslow, Middx,

Lighters moored alongside the former gas works site on Brentford High St. The gas works was demolished around 1964 and the area became public open space, Watermans Park. Hounslow Council had for some years been attempting to evict the 25 boats moored there – some since the 1960s – to build a £5.4 million marina to gentrify the area and won their legal case last November, with the eight remaining boat owners having to pay over £300,000 in legal costs and given 21 days to move.

The Thames Steam Tug and Lighterage Company was taken established in 1856 it set up a yard on Lots Ait a few yards upstream from here in 1904 which repaired and built barges and tugs for use on the Thames. At that time the company owned 340 barges and five tugs. At its peak the Lots Ait yard employed around 150 men and 2 women.

In 1961 although business was beginning to fall the company still employed over 400 lightermen when it was taken over by the Transport Development Group, and later amalgamated with he General Lighterage Company in the 1960s to form the Thames and General Lighterage Company. Around 1979 this was bought by William Cory Ltd, who moved away from coal and oil transport to waste disposal.

Lighters like this were made from 10mm thick steel, and slowly rust both from the outside and often from the inside, eventually becoming unusable as the steel remaining gets too thin. But there are still quite a few around as this may take a couple of hundred years – and small areas that get too thin can be repaired.

Brentford was where traffic on the canals met the river Thames, with goods being transhipped between large barges like these and narrow boats. The company operated Brentford Dock together with the Great Western Railway, with a line from the main line at Southall which brought Welsh coal, and for some time also had a passenger service with a station on the London Road in New Brentford where you can still see the remains of the bridge which took the line across, and a part of the line further south is now Augustus Close, leading to the private Brentford Dock housing estate with its notices ‘Private Property Residents Only No Public Right of Way’.

As with the railways, it was Dr Beeching, a man deeply in thrall to the road lobby, that did for the river traffic and canals, and in 1963 he recommended that waterborne traffic be moved to the roads; the the Lots Ait yard closed in 1980.

In 2005 the Ait was sold to investors and a retired solicitor, John Watson, decided he could open a new yard there. A new footbridge to the island was built and John’s Boat Works opened there in 2012. Occasionally the island is opened for conducted tours, though I’ve never managed to go on one.

Brentford was another place we sometimes took photography students, and if the tide was right many of them would wade onto the mud bank opposite Lots Ait and sometimes most of the way across. I don’t recall seeing any great pictures that they took, but they seemed to enjoy getting covered in mud.


Daltons Weekly, South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, 1977
13f56: printers, works, newspaper, Victorian

According to Wikipedia:

Established during the late 1860s by Herbert Dalton, Daltons Weekly was initially a single broadsheet listing ‘Accommodation for Gentleman’ in the then fashionable middle class suburbs around Vauxhall in South London. The paper proved very successful, but within two years of starting the paper, Dalton died, leaving it to his brother, who was a butcher and had no interest in publishing. The brother sold the paper to two brothers by the name of ‘Hebert’, for £100. For the next 102 years, Daltons Weekly remained a family business owned by the Heberts.

In 1972 the company was sold and the new owners concentrated on using it to market holidays, properties and businesses. I suspect that it was then it moved out of these premises in Vauxhall which I photographed in a rather casual snap (I think taken with tiny Minox 35mm camera I carried in my pocket) on my way to Vauxhall station.

Rather to my surprise the building which was derelict when I took this picture is still there, though rather difficult to spot as its 1930s facade that interested me has been stripped off and the doorway completely removed in a remarkably convincing ‘reconstruction’.


Green Park, Westminster, 1977
13j22: park, people

Back in 1977 I wasn’t using zoom lenses and I think this picture was probably taken with a relatively short telephoto, a 105mm, but would probably have been better with something a a little longer. Though perhaps the out-of focus foreground does add something to isolate these two people in a world of their own in Green Park.

There are more on the London Photographs site from 1977, but I’ve not written comments on them. This series of posts will continue with pictures from 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 1977 (1)

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Some time last year I started putting up a few of the pictures I had taken in London in 1976-8 on Facebook in occasional posts, and now I’m doing the same with pictures taken in 1979. But Facebook posts seem to disappear without trace – and many of my friends don’t see most of them in any case.

So I’ve decided to post some digests of these posts, perhaps half a dozen images at a time, along with the comments I wrote about them on FB. All of the pictures (and more) are in my London Pictures web site, and eventually I hope to add the comments there too, but that is considerably more time-consuming and will have to wait for some time.

There are also some earlier pictures  on the web site that I’ve not written about – and if you have any questions about those or any of the other of my London pictures feel free to ask them here.

__________________________________________

London 1977 (1)

Click on any image to go to the web page with a slightly larger picture.


Ionic Temple, lake and obelisk, Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, 1977
10c103: Hounslow, garden, urn, lake, pond, temple, obelisk, pre-Victorian

Chiswick House Gardens is one of London’s less well known parks, but one of the most interesting. I went there occasionally with my family, and we used to take photography classes there, at least until we lost a student. Actually we usually lost students on photography trips, at least in later years when they would decide to go clubbing rather than travel back with us. But this was one of the first times, and we did get rather worried, and later made a complaint to the police who had grabbed him for running across the park when he realised he was late and was trying to catch up with us, and kept him locked in the police station without allowing him to contact anyone. Apparently he kept telling them they could check with the college but they didn’t.

As usual on such outings I took a few pictures myself, as well as dispensing advice to those who sought it and some who didn’t. The one drawback of Chiswick House Gardens was that it was too far to the nearest pub, where on some such occasions my colleague and I would retire at lunch.

If you don’t know the park it is worth a visit. Bill Brandt took a couple of memorable pictures there and Grade I listed Chiswick House is one of the finest examples of Neo-Palladian architecture in the country and the gardens were created by William Kent. I’ve never made a really good picture there!


Kew Bridge Engines, Brentford, 1977
I10d201: Hounslow, pump, engine, waterworks, steam, Victorian

Although I’d been through Brentford many times as a child, usually on the top deck of a bus crawling through the High St, often on the way for a family outing to Kew Gardens (when it was still a penny to get in) I don’t remember the pumping station – we would have sat if possible on the other side of the bus to view the much more interesting gas works, and be getting ready to get off at Kew Bridge by the time we passed Green Dragon Lane, though I’m sure the name would have greatly appealed to us.

A few years before my visit the site had been taken over from the Metropolitan Water Board by a museum trust, and they had completed the restoration of one of the giant steam engines only a couple of years before I went there on a family visit (I doubt if our son, then around 9 months, appreciated it greatly, though he did our later visits.) The Boulton and Watt engine, the oldest working waterworks beam engine in the world, was the baby on the site, with a cylinder diameter of only 64 inches (161 cm) but impressive in steam, while its two larger companions at 90 and 100 inches were more photogenic – and allowed almost unfettered access.

It was on this trip that I first came across the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS) which had been formed a few years earlier, picking up a leaflet and joining – and I’m still a member. Later in 1977 I returned to the pumping station to take part in a photographic competition, and a few years later we had a birthday party there for one of my sons.

It’s now a few years since I last visited the London Museum of Water and Steam, and by then it was a much more professional museum rather than the enthusiasts paradise of those early visits, but still remarkably impressive, and if rather more expensive than in the old days still seemed excellent value.


Kew Bridge Engines, Brentford, 1977
10d704: Hounslow, pump, engine, waterworks, steam, Victorian

Another picture from the museum at Kew.

Pictures from this museum are the largest single group in what became my most successful early web site, written for me around 20 years later by the small baby in a buggy who we took there in 1977,  London’s Industrial Heritage.


Chiswick House, Chiswick, 1977
10e404: Hounslow, house, gate, Palladian, pre-Victorian

I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a slight lean in my pictures which somehow have never looked right in the viewfinder if things are objectively level or vertical. This picture of Chiswick House takes it a little further than usual, and I would probably have corrected the lean to the right in the darkroom when making a print.

Making such corrections – and those of converging or diverging verticals is of course much easier with digital images, and I often do so. But working with these digital files from my old negatives I’ve almost always presented them with the exact framing as taken, as close to the full frame as possible. Perhaps because it would otherwise be something of a slippery slope.

But the slight tilt here could have been intentional, my reaction against the perfection of the building. Certainly the decision to put it off-centre, with one of the entrance pillars breaking the symmetry of the frontage was very deliberate.


Syon House, Isleworth, 1977
10g61: Hounslow, house, park, pre-Victorian

The lane from Isleworth to Brentford is a public footpath and a useful short-cut for cyclists. It runs past Syon House, where I photographed a man taking a dog for a walk.


Grand Union Canal, covered bay, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13d52: Hounslow, Middx, canal, boat, sheds, cranes

This dock and shed on the west side of the Grand Union is I think the only part of the canal docks that were on the north side of the High St that still remains; though it has now lost its cladding and roof and become an art project it remains recognisable.


Grand Union Canal, Brentford, Middx, 1977
13e12: Hounslow, Middx, canal, barge, sheds

Commercial traffic on the canal had more or less ended when I took this picture.These canal-side sheds (in a rather dark image) have now been replaced by blocks of flats – and you can buy a 2-bed flat here for around £700,000

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

________________________________________________________

London 1976

Monday, August 13th, 2012

© 1976, Peter Marshall
The Reading Room at the British Library (British Museum)

1976 was another lean year for my pictures of London, partly because I was still busy on house and garden. But there were other family reasons too, with my first son arriving within hours of my finishing work for the summer holiday in July. He began to make his presence felt as midnight approached, and an ambulance, blue lights flashing, sped us the couple of miles to the maternity unit at Ashford. But after a couple of hours they sent me home, deciding there would be nothing happening until the morning, and it was late the next day when I noticed some unusual activity on the monitor and called the nurse into the room and things really got moving. Soon I was banished as things started to get clinical, and a fainting husband would only have complicated matters.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
The stacks where the books were stored

But before that we’d made a few trips, including a visit to Hull and a week in Amsterdam. In London, one was on Linda’s last day working at the British Museum, and I went up at lunchtime for a quick tour of the place -including that famous Reading Room, still in use and sneaked a couple of pictures in there, and in the stacks where the books were kept. The 35mm f2.8 Minox was a nicely inconspicuous little camera, though the results were a little variable, even after I’d persuaded Leitz (it took some persistence and a trip to Luton) to swap my initial purchase for one with a properly assembled lens. I was doubtless in breach of the Official Secrets Act, but I think these can now be shown.

Linda’s boss at the museum had invited us to go out to lunch, and we walked to a rather expensive Greek restaurant in Fitzrovia. The lunch was pleasant and we got through several bottles of wine too, before Linda and her boss had to go back to put in a token appearance at work. I strolled down to Trafalgar Square and spent half an hour or so taking candid pictures of the tourists with the Minox, which, with a few jokey captions and a bit of a story made a nice article in Amateur Photographer.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
I always travel by tube

Looking at the contact sheet, the wine certainly shows, with some very odd horizons, though there were some pictures where I was ‘shooting from the hip’ to work close and unseen to the subjects.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
I still make it only 15 Brown Owl, and I don’t like the smile on that lion’s face…

Going to anywhere in London away from the centre or the tube was not so easy back in the 1970s, before the advent of the Travelcard. Even on the Tube things were trickier than now as tickets were simply from place A to place B (either single or return) and bus fares depended on how far you were going. Some journeys I might need to buy 3 or 4 separate tickets for, and it was hard to plan journeys. Bus, train and tube route plans or timetables were not widely available (although the tube plan was at least in street atlases) and there were no web sites on which to look things up. But about the only way to get any information about buses was to look on their route boards, ask the conductor or go along to the enquiries office at the bus garage.

Piper’s Companion Guide to London has one of its longer sections on transport in London, much of it now rather like the misleading advice to tourists on ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue’.

Using a bike was one way round this, but again in some ways it was much harder. You could put a bike on some trains, but had to rush along the platform to find the guard and the luggage area where they were allowed – if there were space.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
Our route took us to the Thames at Rotherhithe

© 1976, Peter Marshall
Crops were growing on the dockland at Rotherhithe

We lived a little too far out of London for it to be easy to ride in, though one weekend we made our way from Staines to a green event in the Surrey Docks, at the Surrey Docks Farm which had started the previous year on a 1.5 acre site of derelict dockland between the entrance to Greenland Dock and the River Thames (it moved a short distance from there to a slightly larger site in 1986.)  It was a ride of around 25 miles each way across South London.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
Surrey Docks City Farm was at the entrance to the former South Dock

I think I took a total of 35 frames on the ride and at the farm, with one hopelessly underexposed. Film was still a rather expensive luxury for a young man with a large mortgage expecting soon to become a father.

© 1976, Peter Marshall
Our route back took us along County Way past the waterworks at Hanworth

It was the hottest summer on record, and by the beginning of July we – and particularly a heavily pregnant Linda – were finding it rather a strain, so we didn’t get out a great deal. I had a day out looking at exhibitions in London, taking some rather random street photography, and we enjoyed a trip out to Chiswick House, but I took few pictures. And I’d found a new interest in Family Pictures.

London 1975

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Although I kept reading David Piper’s Companion Guide to London (see My First London Pictures), it was a while before I got the chance to take another walk from it, not until the following year, 1975. Of course I was doing a demanding full-time job – around 70 hours a week with preparation and marking – as Head of Dept in a large (2000+ students) comprehensive, but I’d also bought a house that was almost a hundred years old and wasn’t in the best of condition.

It had been condemned around 20 years earlier, but then they’d built on a bathroom extension (breeze block and asbestos) and given it a reprieve. And at some point it had gas put in, then rather later electricity. The gas light fittings had been pulled off, leaving bare pipes sticking out of the walls, and the electric didn’t include any light fittings on the first floor – the previous occupiers had relied on the street lamp outside.

The decoration was interesting, with a few nastily ‘modern’ features imposed on top of the old. And of course back around 1880 there were no such thing as cavity walls, and the builders had dug a hole in the back garden for the sand, leaving some rather large stones in the render which made drilling holes in the wall interesting.

I’ve never been a great fan of DIY, but spent most of the next year – when I wasn’t busy excavating the garden – stripping doors, putting battens, glass fibre and plasterboard on external walls, stripping off layer upon layer of wallpaper and then the rather nasty distemper underneath, painting or wallpapering etc. It put me off moving ever again, and we are still in the same house 38 years later.

The garden was in an interesting condition too. Carefully planted with lots of border plants to attract buyers near the house twenty yards down it was a bed of nettles. A foot lower under them was a partly broken layer of concrete, a yard around which there had once been pig sties. It took rather a lot of clearing that sent me to the doctor with back problems.


The Barbican gets a brief mention in Chapter 26

So my photo files for the next year or so are very thin, with most of the pictures being taken when I was away from home, as I made a start on the work that in 1983 became ‘Still Occupied – A View of Hull‘, and London got almost left out of the picture.

© 1975, Peter Marshall
Ely Court off Ely Place also in Chapter 26

Finally I did manage a few more of the walks from the book, around St Paul’s, Bank, the Barbican and Piccadilly Circus, but the pictures were nothing special. It was only when I took a brief walk to follow up from my pictures the previous year in Wapping that things began to get just a little more interesting.

© 1975, Peter Marshall
Wapping High St just gets a mention in a final ‘Points of Interest Beyond’

© 1975, Peter Marshall
Scandrett St,Wapping

© 1975, Peter Marshall
Pierhead, Wapping

© 1975, Peter Marshall
Downriver view from St Katherine’s Dock entrance

Piper’s book was a good introduction, full of sometimes interesting anecodote, and the walks in it helped to get me to see London, but as a photographer I needed something different. Perhaps a map of the Berlin Underground would have helped, but I didn’t have one, but what I really needed to do was to simply follow my own path, wandering where things looked interesting. Books – and the Piper was the first of what is now a large collection – were often useful after the event to tell me what some of the buildings I had photographed were, but were not going to tell me what was worth me photographing.

© 1975, Peter Marshall
A new arrival at Key House, Vauxhall

Piper’s book is still worth reading, in part as a reminder of so much that has been lost. The photographs in it are generally workmanlike, but some have a little more to them, and I wasn’t surprised on turning to the credits to find quite a few by Edwin Smith and Eric de Maré, two of the better British photographers of the era in which it was written. I’ve written about both of them in the past, but those features are no longer available on-line.