Archive for the ‘LondonPhotos’ Category

London 1978 (6)

Thursday, September 6th, 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 (6)


Mural and Morganite works, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l42: wandsworth, battersea, works, mural

The Morgan Crucible Works between Church Road and the River Thames began with a company bought by William Morgan in 1850; he was joined by his five brothers in 1855 and in 1856 they bought the small crucible factory of E. Falcke & Sons, founded by Wilhelm Falcke around 1823, at Garden Wharf halfway between Battersea Bridge and St Mary’s Church. The Morgans had been selling a crucible made in the USA which used graphite mixed into the clay and decided to make these themselves, setting up the Patent Plumbago Crucible Company (plumbago being a now archaic name for graphite.) In 1872 they bought up the surrounding houses and built a new factory with a 100ft clock tower, designed by Charles
Henry Cooke.

They continued to expand and buy up neighbouring wharves, eventually owning an around 1,000 ft stretch of the riverside, erecting more buildings on the expanded site. The building in my picture is I think their large factory building from 1934-7. By the 1960s the business had run out of space for further expansion and moved production to sites in Worcestershire and Swansea. The Battersea Works closed in 1970 and building of a housing estate on the site, Morgan’s Walk by Wates Ltd, began shortly after I took this picture and was completed in 1984.

‘The Battersea Mural: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ on ‘Morgan’s Wall’ was designed by Brian Barnes in 1976 and painted with permission from Morgans by him and 60 local residents from the Battersea Redevelopment Action Group, taking nearly 2 years to complete. Scandalously an application to make the retention of the wall a condition of planning permission for demolition of the site was turned down and the 276-foot wide mural between 12 and 18 ft high was demolished when the Morgan Crucible Company brought in heavy plant at dead of night on 6th June 1979. The artist and six others were arrested at the site later in the day. Fortunately the mural, a vision of the future of the area, had been well recorded in photographs and on film, which you can see on YouTube.


Mural and Morganite works, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l43: wandsworth, battersea, works, mural

A portrait format image showing the full height of the chimney.


Morganite works, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l45: wandsworth, battersea, works

A long section of the wall along Church St to the west of the mural. At the end is a building with a notice stating it is Morganite Special Carbons Limited.

Morgan Advanced Materials plc is now a global engineering company with its HQ in Windsor and operating in 50 countries, manufacturing at around 85 plants in over 30 countries and selling to customers in more than a hundred. It describes itself as “a world-leader in advanced materials science and engineering of ceramics, carbon and composites”, making “insulating fibres, electrical carbon systems, seals and bearings, ceramic cores, crucibles for metals processing and high technology composites” as well as specialist materials “to perform critical duties in harsh or demanding environments” in “healthcare, petrochemicals, transport, electronics, energy, security and industrial” markets.


Hovis, River Thames, Battersea Rail Bridge & Fulham Power Station, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l52: wandsworth, battersea, works, bakery, bridge, river, thames, power station, boat,

The view upstream shows an industrial scene that has now disappeared.

At left is Rank’s Hovis Battersea Flourmill. The first mill on this site, built by Thomas Fowler in 1788 was apparently a rather curious horizontal windmill to a design by a former naval captain, Stephen Hooper. Fowler used it for grinding linseed to give linseed oil, but it was soon taken over and used to grind corn and a Boulton & Watt steam engine bought to replace or augment the wind.

The mill was replaced by a new mill using steel rollers rather than millstones by Mayhew & Sons in 1887, and the business was acquired by Joseph Rank, Hull’s great miller, in 1914. He kept the Mayhew name and put his son Rowland in charge to try out new ideas in milling. Rowland’s first move was to bring in the architects of Hull’s greatest mills, Sir Alfred Gelder and Llewellyn Kitchen to provide modern mill buildings including some on land reclaimed from the river. They made various later additions to the site, fighting to build silos taller than were allowed under the London building regulations so that a whole barge of grain could be unloaded without stopping. After Rowland died in 1939, the mill became part of Rank’s who became Rank Hovis McDougall Ltd in 1962. The mill closed in 1992 and was demolished in 1997. The tall triangle of Richard Rogers’ Montevetro (‘glass mountain’) now occupies the site.

On the other side of the river, which is crossed by the Battersea Rail Bridge, is Fulham power station, with its 4 chimneys in line. Built for Fulham Borough COuncil and opened in 1936, it was the largest municipal power station in the country and had its own fleet of colliers to bring coal from the Tyne. It was also one of the first power stations to have flue-gas desulphurisation equipment, although this was removed around 1940. Nationalised in 1948 the power station was decommissioned in 1978 and demolished in the 1980s.


Park Lane Subway, Mayfair, Westminster, 1978
14o42: westminster, mayfair, subway, shadow

Another preoccupation at the time was my interest in shadows, such as this one apparently descending the Hyde Park corner subway at the lower end of Park Lane. Like my interest in reflections, this was at least in part inspired by my interest in the work of Lee Friedlander, whose work I had been introduced to by Creative Camera magazine.

I ordered a copy of his self-published book ‘Photographs’ (the second from his Haywire Press after his 1970 Self Portrait) when it came out at about the time I took this picture, though it took some time for the Creative Camera bookshop to actually get a copy for me. Self Portrait had been full of shadows, perhaps the earliest and most inventive book of ‘selfies’, but seemed then (and later when I got a review copy of the 1998 second edition) to rather stretch a single idea too far. ‘Photographs’ a few years later was a early career retrospective and still in my opinion contains his best work.


Bus, Piccadilly, Mayfair, Westminster, 1978
14o52: westminster, mayfair, bus, reflection,

Another Friedlandereque exploration of the complex visual landscape provided by reflections. Looking at it now I find it a mystery, but feel it doesn’t quite succeed as a picture. It is a single exposure and is printed the right way round
and I think involves two reflecting glass surfaces, one possibly a bus shelter. The trees are presumably in Green Park and I think this must have been made somewhere on the north side of Piccadilly between Half Moon St and Bolton St.


Carrington Mews, Mayfair, Westminster, 1978
14o56: westminster, mayfair, flats

‘Carrington Mews Dwellings’ were, as it says above the door, ‘Erected A.D. 1877 by the Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes’. Carrington Mews is now simply the part of Shepherd St west of Hertford St and this building was demolished soon after I took this picture. Its place is I think now occupied by May Fayre House, some kind of hotel apartments.

MAIDIC was “a well-intentioned philanthropic organisation” which had developed into “a major provider of housing” by the time this block was built. It was the first of its kind, founded in 1841 to provide to provide affordable housing for the working classes on a privately run basis, with a financial return for investors based on the ‘five percent philanthropy’ model (for MAIDIC this was specified as a minimum return.) It gained a Royal Charter on 30th June 1845 and was incorporated as a Royal Charter Company as The Metropolitan Property Association in 1981. It has no connection with the similarly named Metropolitan Housing Association.

The setting up of the association followed the work of Edwin Chadwick whose ‘Report on The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain’ was begun in 1839 and published in 1842 and predated the publication of Engels’ ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’ in 1844.

Companies such as MAIDIC (and there were around 28 of them in 1875) increasingly found it difficult to make a sufficient financial return, and were largely superceded by organisations with a more charitable basis and the growth of large-scale municipal housing from the start of the 20th century.

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 (5)

Wednesday, September 5th, 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 (5)


Salem Baptist Church, The Green, Richmond, 1978
14j44: richmond, church, disused, doorway

My first thoughts on seeing the doorway of the then disused Salem Baptist Church on Richmond Green were undoubtedly about the Salem Witch trials in Massachusetts in 1692/3 which were the subject of Arthur Miller’s powerful play The Crucible.

It gave Salem, which in the Old Testament was the home of Melchizedek king of Salem who was the priest of the most high God and provided bread and wine to bless Abraham after his victory against the kings, a bad name. Salem was the name of the god who was worshipped in that city and comes from the same Hebrew root as ‘shalom’ which means peace and wholeness, and the city of Salem became better known as Jerusalem, the added ‘yeru’ meaning a foundation stone.

Salem became a popular name for Christian, particularly puritan churches who were averse to naming their churches after saints, and there are many Salem churches and related organisations, particularly in the USA, and there was even a Battle of Salem Church in Virginia during the US Civil War.

The congregation that worshipped in Richmond, Surrey’s Salem Baptist church was founded in 1861 and after over a hundred years moved out some time before I took this picture to smaller but more modern premises a mile or so away in Kew, where they continue under their new name of Kew Baptist Church.


Kristine Hair Fashions reflected in window, Pimlico, Westminster, 1978
14k55: westminster, pimlico, reflection, hair salon

One of several images from a walk through Pimlico, few of which I am able to locate precisely. But I think that this shop, which I had my back to was possibly in Denbigh Place, where a short row of houses, now all with smart black front doors, shares this rather unusual fenestration, though there are some differences, and it could be another block by the same builder/architect. The houses, like that I was photographing the window of have been rather done up and with some alterations, including metal fences to make those wide shelves under the upper windows into false balconies. The area was originally laid out by Thomas Cubitt for Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster from around 1825, and some parts of the area when I walked through it were distinctly down-at-heel, with large houses in multiple occupation. Many were like these were being given a face-lift in the 1970s and 80s, and property prices around here are now of course astronomical.

I had for some years been intrigued by reflections and taken many photographs with them, perhaps encouraged in particular by a number of pictures by Lee Friedlander. Few of them hold a great deal of interest for me now, though sometimes others seem to like them. Here the white-washed cross and tick form a separate layer on top of what seems at first glance simply a not very clear view of the front of a house.


Iglesia Ni Cristo, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l22: wandsworth, battersea, church, house

The Iglesia Ni Cristo was on a main road in Battersea and close to a railway bridge, probably on Latchmere Rd, but there seems to be no trace of this building now and I think it has been demolished.

The Iglesia Ni Cristo formed its first European congregation in a house – not I think this one – on the Latchmere Rd in 1975 and now has a large modern building not far away in Parkgate Rd. The church was founded in the Phillipines in 1914 by Felix Y Manalo and claims to be the one true church, recreating the original vision of the church founded by Jesus. It is a unitarian church, believing in the one true God and rejecting the divinity of Jesus, who it believes is the ‘Son of God’ and God’s highest creation.

I connected the addition to the billboard’s ‘Switch to Michelin poster’, ‘No, switch to Bicycles for Longer Life!’ not just with that poster but also with the Church of Christ and its promise of life everlasting.


Three young girls, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l25: wandsworth, battersea, girls

These three girls saw me with my cameras taking pictures – somewhere in Battersea, perhaps at Latchmere House, a small block of council flats at the corner of Abercombie St and demanded that I take their picture. But they were hyperactive and although I took two frames, at least one is moving on both.

I’m not too good at guessing ages, but I think they would now be around 50. I often wondered when I took pictures like this – it was usually easier to do so than to refuse – why they wanted me to take their pictures when they would never get to see them. Often they thought I was ‘from the papers’ and they wanted their small piece of fame, though I always denied being a press photographer. I think this is probably the first time that I’ve published this picture and I wonder if any of the three will see it.


Council flats, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1978
14l36: wandsworth, battersea, girls

Latchmere House on the corner of Abercrombie Street was a small block of eighteen flats built by Battersea Borough Council in 1927.

This was an age where local councils were proud to build houses for local people, and realising that many lived in poor quality and over crowded privately rented properties they built homes to a good standard for the time, both large housing estates mainly on the edges of their boroughs for those who could afford slightly higher rents and the cost of travel to work, and also blocks of flats such as this in the middle of their boroughs for those who could not afford council house rents and travel costs.

Things are rather different now, with councils long constrained by government from serious building programmes, and looking at their estates not as housing but as development opportunities, assets to be realised by working with private developers (including some housing associations that appear to have lost track of why they were created) to build homes for the wealthy, often just as investments rather than places to live, forcing former residents to move out of London.

This was a small block of less than 20 flats and was demolished some years ago.


River Thames & Chelsea from Battersea Bridge, Battersea, Wandworth, 1978
14l41: wandsworth, river, thames, battersea, tug, barges, power station, works, flats

In this view from Battersea Bridge looking upstream two towers of the World’s End Estate and the chimneys of Lots Road Power station, then supplying power for the Underground, are clearly visible. THis site is now being redeveloped to plans by Terry Farrell as Chelsea Waterfront. The lighter building to the right of the chimneys is the Chelsea Flour Mill, parts of which has been demolished thou some warehouses hardly visible in this image beyond remain as a part of Chelsea Wharf, a mixed development on Lots Rd.

To the left of the power station there is a view of a gasholder at Sands End. None of the other buildings remain and the area around Chelsea Basin is now Chelsea Harbour, with the reduced size basin becoming a marina for the owners of the luxury flats and hotel residents around it. Planning permission for the ‘millionaires’ Toytown’ was granted and work began there in 1986 and it provided a memorable locale for J G Ballard’s 2003 novel ‘Millennium People’.

The design for the World’s End tower blocks was commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea from Eric Lyons in 1963, but work only began, then under the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in 1969 with the first residents only moving into the blocks in 1972, and the estate was only completed the year before I made this picture. The design of this ‘village style living in the heart of London’ was for a density of 250 people per acre, almost double the LCC’s limit; the council argued this was needed to rehouse those who would be moved out of the 11 acre site of closely packed Victorian housing, and their appeal was allowed.

The 7 towers are linked by low rise blocks with walkways in a plan of two rectangles with towers at all but one corner, which links to the corner of a second rectangle by a low block; the towers and low rise links contain a roughly equal number of the 750 homes.

Slated by critics when built, World’s End has become one of the more successful council estates and a desirable place to live. Over three quarters of the homes are still council-owned and flats seldom come on the market with 2-bed flats selling for around £500,000

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 1978 (4)

Tuesday, September 4th, 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 (4)


Shopfront and reflection, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14c25: westminster


Shop Window with woman, Covent Garden, Westminster, 1978
14c32: westminster, shop, art, art dealer, gallery, woman


J Evans, Diary, Warren St, Camden, 1978
14d35: camden, shop, diary, shop window

The only one of my grandparents I remember was a small elderly woman dressed in black with very strict rules, particularly on Sundays, when we were not allowed to play but had to read improving books. She sat in the corner by the fire, where a smoke-blackened kettle always stood. She didn’t say much and didn’t like children to make much noise either.

At Christmas we would all get together for a family meal around a large table in the front room, seldom used for the rest of the year, where all except me would eat goose, sent up from the family farm by train to Paddington where one of my uncles would go to collect it the day before. I found goose far to greasy and instead gorged on the chipolatas and bacon from the local butcher.

My grandmother had been born Eliza Ann Davies in Llansaintfread in mid-Wales on Boxing Day in 1865, so the Christmas meal was a joint celebration. She had met my grandfather who came from Essex but moved to London to work when she, like many young Welsh girls had also come up to work in London, perhaps in a shop like this, perhaps the family dairy shop, somewhere long gone on the Gray’s Inn Road. London dairies would sell produce sent from Wales by train, but also might have a cow or two kept in the back yard. Not far away there is still the London Welsh Centre (“The world’s only Welsh cultural centre”, though it only opened there in 1937) and the 1854 Welsh Tabernacle (Eglwys y Tabernaacl) Grade II listed and still standing, though now Ethiopian rather than Welsh.

The shop in the picture, J Evans, on the corner of Conway St and Warren St is Grade II listed and was built around 1793, though the shop front dates from around 1916, when J Evans, dairyman, is recorded as having arrived here, presumably with a cow or two. It was more a small general store when I took this picture (along with others, mainly in colour which show up the beautiful blue of the tiles and surrounding the gold lettering) and is now the Old Diary coffee shop.


Washing on balcony, Key House, Lambeth, 1978
14i43: lambeth, vauxhall, council flat, flat, balcony, washing

Key House on Bowling Green St, not far from the Oval was where friends we often visited lived in a shared flat. It was one of Lambeth Council’s hard to let properties that were advertised and eligible local residents and workers could queue to get, an overnight vigil to be near enough to the front of the queue.

Built around 1930, when both the London County Council and the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth where building large blocks in the area to provide low cost accommodation for the working class poor. The rent for their 3-bed flat would probably have been around 12 shillings (60p) a week. The flats were built to relatively high standards, providing some of those moving into them when new for the first time with a scullery, bathroom and toilet in their home. The rooms too were rather larger than in many of the ‘luxury’ flats now being built, and similar flats in this block have sold recently for over £400,000.

Some things were of course not up to modern standards, particularly the single-glazed draughty windows, and central heating was at that time unknown. Living rooms had a coal fire and bedrooms were usually unheated, though they might have had fireplaces. But the flats they were solidly built, with brick walls that provided better insulation than many postwar system built flats.

What let them down over the years was maintenance and the cleaning of the communal areas – the balconies, laundry rooms, stair cases, rubbish chutes and courtyards. The council made some attempt to improve them in the 80s and 90s, fitting doors at the entrance to the stairs, but many residents found these a nuisance and some locks were broken and other doors wedged permanently open in the years until all our friends moved out. If one stair was locked you could usually find another open and walk around on the balcony.

There were still communal laundry rooms, and still a mangle in the one next to our friend’s flat, but most people by then had some kind of washing machine in their own flats, but they still hung their washing out along the balconies.

Everything coming into the flats had to come in up the stairs, and there were five floors; fortunately my friends were only on the second but helping to get a piano up the two flights to store in the laundry room left me with painful back for several weeks.


Writing on Wall, Vauxhall City Farm, Lambeth, 1978
14i34: lambeth, vauxhall, city farm, farm, poem, hymn

The building at the City farm was some kind of former school at the back of St Peter’s Church which included the 1861 Lambeth School of Art. We organised some meeting in this building to which almost nobody came and there was no heating on a desperately cold winter day and we froze even in our outside coats.

The church, Grade II* listed and consecrated in 1864 though its tower was never built, and the city farm are both on the site of Vauxhall Gardens, a notorious Georgian pleasure ground where great festivals took place, along with many amorous encounters in the darker wooded corners; the church itself was on the site which once had a Moorish tower built as a firework platform in 1823 which burnt down 14 years later and a dimly lit ‘Lovers Walk’, and the art school on St Oswald’s Place on the site of the Vauxhall Garden’s famous Neptune Fountain, his marine chariot drawn by five horses from whose nostrils water, steam and even flames would emerge.

Once I went to a service in the church, whose magnificent interior is well worth a visit and there are regular concerts there. We went to a service there, a small group of people on chairs in the middle of a large building, led by a young priest in black leathers.

Make what you can of the writing on the wall, part-hidden by the stacked wood – and I think left from an earlier event. I think it reads:

HYMN

LAUGHING MAN
MEGALITH
—-
BEATING DANCE
CANDLE
—-
FIRE
AWAKENING
MAKING OF TALISMAN
DISPLAY OF TALISMAN-ARK
GROWTH
TOKEN
FOOD
SPACE
PROCESSION
MIND
RELEASE


Vauxhall City Farm, Lambeth, 1978
14i31: lambeth, vauxhall, city farm, farm, chickens, people

Another picture from Vauxhall City Farm, this time a chicken’s eye view of my wife and son looking at them.

Good to have the houses and flats in the background which shows clearly this is a city farm.

This was not long after the farm was founded in 1976 as Jubilee City Farm by a group who were squatting in St Ostwald’s Place. The farm is still going in Tyers Place, but unrecognisable from those early days when it was run on a shoe-string by a few local enthusiasts and volunteers.


Vauxhall City Farm, Lambeth, 1978
14i21: lambeth, vauxhall, city farm, farm, goats, people

A group of our friends lived in a council flat in Key House in Kennington and we went with them to Vauxhall City Farm, which one of them was very involved in, and I’ve put several pictures from the visit on-line.

Usually I like – other things being equal – to work from a normal eye level, it fitting in with my ideas about a naturalistic approach to the medium. Its the viewpoint from which we mainly see things. And these days if I climb up on anything I’m likely to get the shakes, while if I get low down its sometimes rather an effort to get up. I suspect I took this picture from a ladder rather like the one in the picture, presumable there to allow those looking after the goats to easily access their enclosure. Though there isn’t one on the other side to allow them to get out, perhaps because the goats might take advantage of it.

At bottom left you can see the head of my wife and our then two-year old son in a buggy looking at the goats, and the two women were I think both among our visiting party. The fence wasn’t quite dividing the sheep from the goats, but this did come into my mind and still does whenever I see this picture.

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 (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.
__________________________________________

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.
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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.