Archive for the ‘LondonPhotos’ Category

London 1980 (5)

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

The fifth set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


River Thames and Millwall from Greenwich Riverside path, Greenwich. 1980
24h-64: river, rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-64.htm

This was I think taken from Ballast Quay or Lovell’s Wharf, and some of the buildings which can be seen across the river are easily identified.

One, a white building is clearly the Great Eastern (though then it was the Watermans Arms) part of the Cubitt Town development built by William Cubitt it opened as the Newcastle Arms. It is a few yards from the Newcastle Draw Dock

It was writer and broadcaster Dan Farson who changed its name to the Watermen’s Arms when he became landlord in 1962 (though he hired a couple who had worked at Streatham Conservative Club to actually run it for him) featuring it in a TV programme about music halls. He did the place up and got a number of well-known entertainers to visit and sing at the place – including Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey – and other celebrities to come and listen and recorded a few episodes of his ITV series ‘The Entertainers’ there, but the audience proved too rowdy and later shows were made in a recreation of the pub in the studio.

Farson’s tenure only lasted a couple of years and after he left the pub quickly began to run down (perhaps partly because of high costs of ‘protection’ for businesses in the area), becoming a venue for striptease and drag artists, though still occasionally being used for TV and films, and it closed in 2011.

New management converted it into a pub and backpacker’s hostel – and renamed it to The Great Eastern. I walked past on a very hot day last year, hoping to take a rest there and have a pint, but as I approached a fight was taking place between two police officers and a man outside the door, and I decided to walk on.

And just to the right you can see the spire of Christ Church sticking up above the spar.


River Thames and Millwall from Greenwich Riverside path, Greenwich. 1980
24h-66: river, ship,rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-66.htm

Another view from the same place shows a similar riverside vista, but this time extending to the tower block on the Samuda estate at the right. Apart from some housing not far from the Watermans Arms the rest of the buildings have I think been replaced by more recent developments.

River Thames and Millwall from Riverside path, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-15: river, rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-15.htm

And a third view, with a longer lens (probably a 50mm standard lens) which shows the buildings on the bank opposite more clearly


Disused wharf and River Thames, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-35: wharf, river, crane

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24i-35.htm

For once I know exactly where this picture was taken, at Bay Wharf, and it is now the premises of a dry dock company, formerly at Pipers Wharf (now part of the site of the Greenwich Wharf development) immediately south of the former Victoria Deep Water Terminal, though I think all the buildings on the site have been demolished.

The man looking into the river had come with me along the riverside walk, and had wandered into the shed while I was taking other pictures.

Bay Wharf appears to have been the site of the Great Breach or Horsehoe Breach of the sea wall at some time before 1622. The area was owned by Morden College and in the mid 19th century Bay Wharf was leased to various industries, including American boat builder Nathan Thompson,and his company, The National Company for Boat Building by Machinery, which went bankrupt more or less immediately and the lease taken over by Maudslay Son and Field in or before 1864, and they used the site to set up a shipbuilding operation, mainly concentrating on screw powered steam ships, and including an experimental ship for Henry Bessemer whose small steel works were at what later became the Victoria Deep Water Terminal.

But they became better known for two iron hulled sailing clippers, Blackadder in 1870 and Halloween in 1871. Blackadder had a very chequered career, leading to a number of court cases, but both boats were record breakers – with Halloween making passage from Shanghai to London in 91 days, knocking 19 days from Cutty Sark’s best. Maudsleay didn’t remain for long as ship builders, but continued to make marine boilers for some years before going bankrupt in 1902.

The site was then leased to Segar Emery, an American mahogany importer, and around 1945 became home to Humphrey & Grey (Lighterage) Ltd, part of Hays Wharf. These derelict buildings were their barge repair slips.

As always much of this information comes from Mary Mill’s encyclopedic Greenwich Peninsula History web site


Disused Wharf and Gas holders, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-11: wharf, gas holders,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-11.htm

Taken from within a few feet of the previous image at Bay Wharf, but with my back to the river, looking towards the gas works.

No 1 gasholder, 180ft tall and 250 ft diameter was the first ever built with four lifts, rather than three and was completed in 1888. It was in use until recently despite some minor damage by the IRA in 1980, It could hold 8.2 million cubic feet. No 2 holder, at left in the picture, wider at 303ft diameter, was built in 1890 and was the ultimate in frame guiding gas holders, with 6 lifts, two of them ‘flying’ above the guide frame and could hold 12 million cubic feet. The two flying lifts were damaged by the 1917 Silvertown explosion and removed, and the whole holder demolished in 1985.

No. 1 gasholder is currently still standing, though currently threatened with demolition. Only a few gasholders around the country were selected for listing and preservation, and presumably despite its novelty when constructed this was not judged of sufficient interest, though it is a decision hard to understand except on commercial grounds.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-12: jetty, sheds, works, wharf

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-12.htm

Another view of Bay Wharf, this time from the south of the breach, with the large shed on the site of the Maudsley shipbuilding works, though the building is much later, built as barge repair slips for Humphrey and Grey. The shed at left is I think a part of the Victoria Deep Water Terminal.

Mary Mills on her Greenwich Peninsula History web site mentions a jetty erected at Morden Wharf in 1859, which she says “it seems likely that this was in fact part of the area described under Bay Wharf” and I think this may be the jetty shown here.

As mentioned in a previous comment, Bay Wharf is now now the premises of a dry dock company, formerly around half a mile upstream, moved to facilitate the exploitation of the riverside there for expensive flats.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-21: wharf, derelict,

A detail inside the derelict shed at Bay Wharf

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-21.htm


The series continues…


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.

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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


London 1980 (4)

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

The fourth set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


Brixton Astoria (Brixton Academy), Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
24g-45: venue, cinema,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24g-45.htm

Brixton Astoria looks in fairly poor shape in this picture, with a notice warning there is a 24 hour dog patrol.

The building opened as a cinema and theatre in 1929, closing in 1972, becoming briefly a rock venue but closing in months. The Rank organisation wanted to demolish it to replace it with a garage and car showroom, but it is Grade II listed. They were using it as a store when I took this picture.

It reopened as a rock venue in 1981, but went bust, was bought for £1 and re-opened it as the Brixton Academy in 1983, becoming a success. Refurbishment in 1995 restored much of its original Art Deco features.


Footpath, Oil storage tanks and gas holders, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24h-31: footpath, fence, storage tank, gas holder

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-31.htm

The riverside footpath leads away from the river here, winding slightly around the oil storage tanks on its way to a bridge across the Blackwall tunnel approach. The northern area of the Greenwich Peninsula was at the time occupied by the Greenwich power station and gas works, as well as several wharves, including the Victoria Deep Water Terminal, where the footpath was marked out by yellow lines under the travelling cranes. You could walk through there by the river before the path led you between buildings to Tunnel Avenue, close to the brick tunnel entrance, always polluted and dusty. There was then no riverside path around the north of the peninsula, and the path only rejoined the river on Bugsby’s Reach having gone past The Pilot on River Way (a few yards south from where Pilot Walk now is.)

Only one of Greenwich’s gasholders remains, and that is currently threatened with demolition. Most of the storage tanks have now also gone. The riverside footpath which has been closed for some time while riverside flats were being built and work carried out on the river wall is now open, and you can now walk all the way from Drawdock Rd near North Greenwich station into Greenwich, as I did with friends a couple of weeks ago. Although the walk lacks much of the interest it had back in 1980, it still makes a pleasant walk – and you might see a seal, though we only saw some good pictures of one taken earlier by one of the building workers.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24h-33: dock, cranes,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-33.htm

The tower block across the river is Kelson House on the Samuda Estate, 25 stories and 87m high and completed in 1967 with 144 flats for the LCC/GLC. Tower Hamlets Council privatised the estate in 2005 to a resident-led housing association which was taken over by One Housing Group in 2007. The estate takes its name from the shipbuilding company which was on the site from 1852 to the 1890s. Owned by Joseph d’Aguilar Samuda, it was the largest London shipbuilder in the 1860s. Later the site was used by various other industries until badly damaged by bombing in 1941. It was then used for storage until purchased by the LCC to build the estate.

I find it hard to identify now exactly where this picture was made on the riverside path, but I think it must have been on Bay Wharf and the cranes right of centre were those on the corner of the Victoria Deep Water Terminal.


Riverside path, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24h-43: works, path, fence,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-43.htm

It was hard to see why there should be three separate fences (or the remains of them) with a narrow stretch of grass and weeds between them at the side of the riverside path. The most serious was at the back, with heavy concrete lengths between the concrete posts, with angled tops to support half a dozen runs of barbed wire. Clearly the lower rusted iron fence posts in front of this once supported something else from the bolts every few inches along the length of the horizontal members, while the foreground structure along the top of the wall must once have supported some chain-link fencing.

The picture was I think taken somewhere along by Morden Wharf or Enderby’s Wharf, but I can’t place it more precisely, though others may recognise the building in the background. Like almost everything else along this stretch of the river it will have been demolished and either already has been or soon will be replaced by expensive flats.


Lovell’s Wharf, Riverside Path, North Greenwich. 1980
24h-52: footpath, wharf,

Though I deliberately cut it down to ‘LOVE’ the writing on this wall was rather longer, reading I think ‘C. SHAW LOVELL’S LTD WHARF, with a second ‘LOVELL’S WHARF’ a few yards upstream. The signs were repainted a few years after I took this picture.

I’ve written earlier about this wharf, so here it is again (with minor corrections):

“The wharf remained in business until the early 1980s, when the increasing size of ships required a deeper berth. Until the 1840s this area of land was ‘The Great Meadow’ and belonged to Morden College. In 1838 they leased the land to William Coles Child who then ran his family’s coal trade business from Belvedere Wharf where the Royal Festival Hall now stands. They brought in coal to Greenwich from the north-east – Newcastle, Blyth, South Shields, Seaham – to the new ‘Greenwich Wharf’ and leased more land from Morden College, setting up coke ovens and a limekiln.

Coles also developed the streets close to the wharf, naming them after colleries in Durham. Pelton Rd got its name from Pelton Main and West Pelton collieries at Chester-le-Street in County Durham.

Greenwich Wharf became run by other companies, changing its name and in the 1920s the lease was bought by Shaw Lovell (now Bristol ICO Ltd) a family business from Bristol dating from 1869 who had been using the wharf since before the First World War. The renamed it Lovell’s Wharf, painting the name in giant letters on the wall beside the riverside path.

The two cranes are actually Scotch derricks. They were removed by Morden College in 2000, one of a number of of controversial aspects over the development of the site into “a contemporary riverside development” by bptw architecture for London and Regional Properties.”

The whole area was renamed by the developers as Greenwich Wharf and the riverside path, once open again, is much wider, but far less enticing.

Mary Mills has written in detail about Lovell’s wharf (and many other aspects of Greenwich’s Industrial History), and most of the information here comes from her Greenwich Industrial History blog.


Gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24h-54: wharf, gravel, fork

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-54.htm

Gravel Wharf was on the riverside just to the north of Lovell’s Wharf, with Piper’s Wharf just to the north of it, extending out over the riverside path. An alley, Cadet Place ran between Lovell’s and Granite Wharf, roughly where River Gardens Walk now is.

Looking at the mast and rigging behind the gravel heaps at left of picture, I think this must have been taken from Cadet Place.

I looked at that small hand form on the huge pile of stones and thought of the Augean stables; this must surely be one of the Labours of Hercules, though I doubt if even he would have cleared the pile in a day.


Riverside path, Greenwich, 1980
24h-63: footpath, scrapyard

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-63.htm

‘WARNING – OVERHEAD CRANE’ says the notice, and although the roof over the path was there to protect you from large chunks of scrap metal falling from the crane it was always wise to wait if it was operating overhead.

Through the arch, the path leads on to the houses still there on Ballast Quay and beyond them the side wall of the Cutty Sark pub (renamed when the Cutty Sark was brought to Greenwich, but a genuinely old pub, formerly called the Union Tavern’. It isn’t a bad place but gets rather crowded with tourists, and if you want to drink beer it is probably worth the short walk down Pelton St to the Pelton Arms, which also at times has live music (which may not be to your taste.)

The former scrap metal yard at Anchor Iron Wharf, Robinson’s Scrap Metal, was developed as luxury flats in 2003, with an area in front which Berkley Homes and Royal Borough of Greenwich agreed would be deemed public land and includes a seating wall and a few trees. However planning applications were made last year which would take part of this back as outdoor restaurant seating.


To be continued…


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.

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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


London 1980 (3)

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

The third set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


Basement religion, Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
23u-41: house, notices, Christian, basement,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23u-41.htm

Taken, again on the Minox, on a family outing to Brixton to an Open Day at the windmill which was then being restored. I didn’t take any black and white pictures of the windmill, but I think I may have taken a camera with colour film and made some family pictures with that, though I can’t at the moment find them.

We’d walked around Brixton in a slightly indirect way to get to the windmill, and on the way home I suggested another diversion, coming out from Blenheim Gardens and going across Brixton Hill to one of the roads opposite, perhaps Josephine Avenue.

A few years later I tried to go back and find this basement, but could not locate any properties in the area with similar short steps from the pavement up to the front door and down to a basement below. It may still be there somewhere, perhaps a little further away than I remember, or it may have been demolished.

I’d hoped to find it again, and perhaps to have stepped over the wall and gone down the steps to the door at the right and rung on the bell and found out more about the person who painstakingly created all of these signs with their curious mis-spelling such as ‘THE OLD WRAGGID CROSS’


Playground, Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
23u-53: children, swings, dog,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23u-53.htm

Playground, Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
23u-54: children, swings, dog,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23u-54.htm

I think this playground was close to Brixton Windmill in Blenheim Gardens. I had come with my family to visit the Windmill. My two young boys were too young to go on these swings even had they not been in used, and the dog didn’t seem too friendly.

It is a typical old-fashioned playground made when kids were made of tougher stuff and minor injuries from falling on tarmac and concrete were taken for granted.


Playground, Stockwell Park, Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
24a-34: children, BMX, track, flats, Stockwell,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24a-34.htm

Playground, Stockwell Park, Brixton, Lambeth. 1980
24g-42: children, BMX, bikes, track, flats,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24g-42.htm

Stockwell Concrete Bowl Skatepark is still there at the corner of Stockwell Rd and Stockwell Park Walk, along with the flats behind on Benedict Rd, Barrett House, part of the Stockwell Park Estate, which was completed in 1976.

The estate got a bad reputation, particularly following the 1981 Brixton riots, though it was one which, despite some crimes which got wide coverage in the scandal sheets, it never really deserved.

These flats were pretty new when I took this and several other pictures, as was the skatepark. The skatepark is now an “Asset of Community Value”, and street art from it was featured on the reverse of a Brixton Pound note commemorating Lenford (Len) Kwesi Garrison (1943 – 2003), co-founder of the Black Cultural Archives. The flats were refurbished in 2014 and considerable attempts have been made to improve the estate, including a very expensive CCTV system and much gardening.


Freedom With Anarchy, Aristotle Rd, Clapham, Lambeth. 1980
24g-14:

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24g-14.htm

Who could resist going to photograph Aristotle Road – and finding there this graffiti ‘Freedom With Anarchy’?

Anarchism has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, “Freedom. Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully” according to US anarchist, writer, labour organiser and IWW founder Lucy E Parsons (1853-1942), a remarkable woman who was probably born a slave, though she claimed only Native American and Mexican descent. Chicago police described her as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters…”

Books have been written about Aristotle’s concept of freedom, and according to the Oxford Handbook of Freedom he thought that “a person is free to the extent that he is able to live a life of politics and philosophy, and a polis is free to the extent that its institutions promote such a life for each and every citizen by removing the impediments to its realization“.

You can still recognise the location, just off Clapham High St, at the rear of Pearl Pharmacy though the balustrade, roof and stained glass have gone, the road name with its old S.W. is still on the wall. The car parked there back in 1980 was a little unusual, and is I think a T-Series Bentley. I thought at the time it looked a suitable motor for gangsters.


Voltaire Motors, Voltaire Rd, Clapham, Lambeth. 1980
24g-21: railway arch, garage,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24g-21.htm

Not far from Aristotle Rd is Voltaire Rd, which runs from Clapham High St alongside the railway line and includes Clapham High Street station. Railway arches used to be cheap business properties including many garages such as Voltaire Motors but times are changing. These arches were refurbished around ten years ago and seem now to be largely Artisan Coffee Bars, bars and eateries. I think the arch which used to house this garage became The Bridge Cafe.

Voltaire Motors actually looked considerably better than any of the small row of businesses that now occupy these arches; although the interiors may have been improved by refurbishment the outside has certainly deteriorated since 1980.


Clapham, Lambeth. 1980
24g-23: houses, terrace, car, military,

From the fairly distinctive decorations above the upper floor windows and doors I think this picture was taken in Lendal Terrace, off Clapham High St, alongside the railway on the other side of road and railway from Voltaire Road.

Experts in military vehicles will probably recognise the vehicle parked here, with a high wheelbase for going off-road. It looks American to me, and vaguely like a Humvee, but I’m almost certainly wrong.


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.

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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


To be continued…

London 1980 (2)

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

More black and white images I made in 1980 and which I posted day by day on Facebook a year or so ago, along with comments and stories


Mural, Vauxhall, Lambeth. 1980
23j-33: mural

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23j-33.htm

The mural announcing the presence of Vauxhall City Farm has I think long gone, and there has been considerable development of the buildings there. It now seems to me obviously to be a picture I should have taken in colour, and possibly I did, though quite likely I had only a single camera with me loaded with black and white film.

This picture was taken on a Minox EL, a tiny 35mm camera hardly large enough to take the film cassette, with plastic case whose front folded down pulling out the lens into position. Said to be the smallest 35mm camera in the world, it had a 35mm f2.8 lens, weighed only 200g and fitted into even a shirt pocket. For over 20 years one of these cameras (I got through 3 or four) went with me more or less everywhere.

They weren’t cheap (they were distributed by Leica in the UK) and were tricky to use, and the auto-exposure was often unreliable – later I found it worked better if you held the camera upside-down. The first one I bought just couldn’t take sharp pictures, and I sent it back to Leica, who wrote a rather snooty letter saying there were no performance specifications for the lens, but did exchange it for one that was tack-sharp. A few years later, that stopped working after it jumped out of my pocket when I was cycling to work and I got it replaced on insurance (and a hefty jump in premiums the following year.) When I had to send that one back to Leitz they said it was beyond economic repair but sold me a replacement at cost.

The Russians liked the Minox 35mm cameras so much they produced their own exact copy, the Kiev 35A, and I expect their spies still carry one on their visits to English cathedrals.


Duck pond, Vauxhall City Farm, Vauxhall, Lambeth. 1980
23j-33: ducks, pond, farm,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23j-46.htm

Rather more buildings along the riverside are now visible across Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens from Tyers St than when I took this picture, but the backs of the houses on Kennington Lane are still recognisable, and the shops along their front have changed only a little to reflect the increasing gentrification of the area – at had at least last time I walked along there from the station to take a camera in to Fixation. The buildings on the green have also been replaced by a newer block along Glyn St.

The area in the distance, where only two blocks of buildings appear has become one of the fastest growing areas in London. I think the block right of centre might be the Nine Elms Cold Store, closed in 1979 but not demolished until the late 1990s, but cannot identify the block at left. There are now high rise buildings covering almost the whole of Nine Elms with more still being built. Along with expensive flats for foreign investors there is also expensive student housing built to lower standards but equally tall.

I think the duck pond with its duck house (presumably less ornate than MPs can afford on their expenses) has also gone, with new building on the City Farm site and an expansion of the farm estate.


Jesus, Mornington Crescent, Camden, 1980
23l-65: graffiti, horse trough,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23l-65.htm

Another picture of the faded message on a horse trough which I wrote about in an earlier post.


Lillieshall Rd, Clapham, Wandsworth. 1980
23q-56: house,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23q-56.htm

The house here was clearly a corner shop in use as an off-licence and it can still be seen on the corner with North St, though now simply housing. The adverts, including that covering the window at right, are long gone.

It was that faded upper sign advertising ‘RADIO REPAIRS’, and under it what I think must have once been the word ‘EXPERTS’ above the blanked out doorway that attracted me to take the picture of what was otherwise a very ordinary Victorian working-class building, typical of the area.

I’m surprised I didn’t take a picture of the whole side of the building, which actually has three such doors in a row, only the central one in use, each with a window above. But probably only the window in my picture was covered by advertising, and I suspect that the lens on my Leica simply did not have a wide enough view to show all three.

I also failed to photograph the now listed former “Tim Bobbin” pub, just down Lillieshall road, named after the Lancastrian schoolmaster, caricaturist and dialect poet who called himself the Lancashire Hogarth, and was a schoolmaster and notorious drinker born in Urmston who lived and died in Milnrow on the edges of Rochdale, where he is buried in St Chad’s Churchyard, his gravestone carrying the epitaph “Jack of all trades…left to lie i’th dark” he wrote for himself minutes before his death.

I don’t know why he should be celebrated by a pub in Clapham (there is one in Burnley too) nor why the owners should have decided around ten years ago to change the name to ‘The Bobbin’ and replace his rather pleasant portrait on the pub sign to a rather less interesting silhouette.


Death to Fascism, Bus Shelter, Battersea, Wandsworth. 1980
23t-32: house, graffiti,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23t-32.htm

I can’t at this remove remember why I was wandering around South London taking pictures with the Minox on a day in April 1980, but I’m fairly sure I had not gone out with the main intention of taking pictures, otherwise I would have picked up the Leica or possibly my Olympus OM-1.

There must have been some other reason for my being there, and obviously having some time to spare. One possibility is that I had gone early and decided to walk from Queen’s Road Battersea to a meeting or exhibition at the Photo Co-op in Webbs Road in Clapham, which had started the previous year, rather than take the shorter walk from Clapham Junction.

As usual at the time I have no record of exactly where I was, and this street is fairly typical of many of the wider streets in the area, with its late Victorian housing. Only the main roads are this wide and have a pavement where I could get back far enough to make a picture like this with the 35mm lens.

I suspect I will have waited some time, not for the bus, but for people at the bus stop to arrange themselves rather better in the frames provided, but with little luck, and I think made this exposure as the bus the bus was about to arrive, knowing they would board.

Obviously it was the graffiti that attracted my attention. The large white letters of ‘DEATH TO FASCISM’ are easy to read in this small image but the smaller black ‘Kill A BLACK TODAY’ is perhaps harder to read.


House, Battersea, Wandsworth. 1980
23t-51: house,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23t-51.htm

This is a section of a terrace somewhere in the Park Town estate in Battersea, around Queenstown Road, built up from the 1860s by James Knowles junior, one of London’s early organised and managed estates. Though well conceived it was not a great financial success, as the middle-classes for whom it was intended rather looked down on the pollution from the adjoining railways to north and east, and the estate was then re-purposed towards more working class artisan tenants.

Probably this property – a ‘six-roomed’ house – with external decoration to make it look rather grander than it was – was built as the three flats the doorbells now indicate, one on each floor. Much has been written about the estate, which led down to the rather grander buildings of Cedars Road and the North Side of Clapham Common.


Broughton St, Battersea, Wandsworth. 1980
23t-53: house, pub, church, hall

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23t-53.htm

This corner of Broughton St and St Philip St, looking towards Queenstown Road is still recognisable, though the Market House pub is now a private house and the RIdley Hall at the right of the picture has been rebuilt as Ridley Hall Evangelical Church, though in a similar design.

I took two frames with the Minox, with a fairly similar composition, but while the other was a little more upright, this is sharper. They were obviously taken within a few seconds, though the film wind on the camera was rather difficult to do at any speed, as neither the two men on the street corner or the group further down the street appear to have moved, but the cars are a few yards further down the road in the other image.

The ladders on the handcart reminded me of my father who often used a similar conveyance to take his ladders, paint, tools and occasionally beehives around Hounslow (and sometimes further afield) until his retirement in the late 1960s. By 1979 this was becoming rather less common, though one still saw window cleaners and others who had not yet acquired vans.


To be continued…

London 1980 (1)

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

It may not have escaped your notice that we are approaching Christmas and the New Year. This is a time when I may not be at a keyboard every day and will be concentrating on other things than writing posts for this site. But also when those of you who read it (and about 4,500 pages are currently read each day) will perhaps want something to entertain you when suffering from an excess of Turkey and mince pies.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that for some time I have been posting an image and its story from my black and white work in the 1970s and 80s each day. But FB is pretty ephemeral, although it keeps a record of everything we post, comment or like to aid its profit-making activites, anything we posted more than a few minutes ago soon becomes hard to find. So as I’ve done previously I’ll post a series of digests here on >Re:PHOTO, where it is always easy to search the archives, and search engines should be able to find content. So here we go with the first set from 1980.


Jesus, Mornington Crescent, Camden, 1980
23i-15 factory, graffiti, horse-trough,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-15.htm

I didn’t see this graffiti until it was faint, though its message was still clear, on the southern corner of Mornington Crescent. The wall is still there, though I can see no trace of ‘JESUS’, and the wall is now kept in better condition, doubtless having been painted several times since – and there is now a gate at its left.

The game ‘Mornington Crescent’ had made its first appearance on ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ in August 1978, around 18 months before I made this picture, and it was doubtless in my mind on my wandering walk from Central London via St Pancras in February 1980 which took me to the street from which the Underground station and the great game were named.

The wall is at the end of the ‘Black Cat factory’, the former Arcadia Works of the Carreras Cigarette Factory, one of the finest remaining Art Deco buldings in London, controversially built between 1926-8 on the communal garden of Mornington Crescent. Designed by M.E and O.H Collins and A.G Porri, the long building (168m) was where Craven ‘A’ cigarettes were made, and the logo of the company, a rather domestic looking black cat, was reflected in two large Egyptian cats on each side of its entrance. High along the frontage, above the Egyptian-style pillars were a row of the trademark-style black whiskered moggies. But back when I made this picture, the factory was in a poor state, the decorations stripped when it had been converted to offices in 1961. The two giant Egyptian cats, representations of the Egyptian cat god Bast had been shipped out when the factory closed in 1959 to stand in front of other Carreras factories in Basildon and Spanish Town Jamaica. Apparently Carreras had originally planned to call the factory after Bast (aka Bastet) but then realised that everyone would refer to it as Bastard House.

Years later I got a shock when sitting on a bus going up the Hampstead Road, and had to rub my eyes and pinch myself to be sure I was not dreaming as I passed the factory restored to its former glory (almost) and with two black cats again guarding its entrance. The factory had been bought by a new company in 1996 who had restored it to an excellent replica of its Art Deco original. And had doubtless painted out any remaining traces of ‘JESUS’.


Fire Engine, Mornington Crescent area, Camden, 1980
23i-21: graffiti,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-21.htm

Situsec seems to be a company which supplied asphalt and similar materials and made road repairs, but I can’t remember exactly where this picture of one of their yards was taken, though earlier in my walk I had been on Phoenix Road in Somers Town and a couple of frames later I was photographing painting on a fence on a corner site on Mornington Place for the Albert St Carnival. This yard was somewhere in my wandering between the two.

The walls are tall and thick, with buttresses; that in the foreground appears to have been built up with a thinner extension, which can also be seen on the rear wall, above which another brick structure, with arches roughly doubles the height to something like 20 ft, suggesting a building on a truly giant scale, which in this area suggests it was a part of some major work connected with the railways, either around St Pancras or Euston.

Clearly the wall on which the fire engine was painted has been fairly crudely breached since it was painted to provide or widen the entrance to the yard, where some cars are parked and notices on the wall read ‘Soft Sand’ and (I think ‘Sharp Sand’, though only a couple of letters of this are visible.)


Is Innocent O.K., Mornington Crescent area, Camden, 1980
23i-22: graffiti, shop,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-22.htm

In 1974 the message ‘G Davis is Innocent, OK’ began to appear on walls, bridges and elsewhere across the country, protesting the innocence of the east London minicab driver jailed for his part in an armed robbery. Police were caught out as having lied to get his conviction, making up a statement he was alleged to have made, fiddling the results of ID parades, deliberately ignoring evidence. His conviction was clearly unsafe, and almost certainly he was innocent of that particular robbery at the London Electricity Board’s offices in Ilford for which the police had fitted him up – and for which he was the only man convicted.

Of course, though innocent of this particular crime, Davis was a villain, and within a couple of years of his release in 1976 by Royal prerogative he was back in jail again, this time admitting his guilt, for an armed robbery at the Bank of Cyprus on the Holloway Rd.

The graffiti in this picture was clearly inspired by this case, though who was innocent I clearly intended to remain anonymous, with only the final ‘OUS’ of the name in frame, next to the former shop at no. 54. Which street this was on is also something of a mystery, and I think the house in question has probably been so altered as to be unrecognisable.


Circus, Mornington Buildings, Camden, 1980
23i-24: graffiti,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-24.htm

Mornington Buildings were on Mornington Place, I think at its corner with Mornington Terrace, and were in process of demolition when I photographed this painted fence. At its left are two posters for the ‘Albert St Carnival’, too small for the details to be clearly read, but which had I think been on the 14th July, probably from the previous year, 1979, and for which I assumed the painting had taken place.

The 2nd Earl of Mornington was the elder brother of the Duke of Wellington and became Governor-General of India, defeating the French there and making it a part of the British Empire. During the Napoleonic wars, by now Marquess Wellesley, he became ambassdor to Spain. By the time this estate was being developed in the 1820s he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

FB comment by Ken Bates: There was 2 separate blocks for Mornington Buildings, the larger block was on Mornington Terrace (now Clarkson Row), this block went right up to the corner with Mornington Place. There was then a gateway into the grass area behind it before the smaller block that was in Mornington Place.


Corner Cafe, Phoenix Rd/Midland Rd, Camden, 1980
23i-32: cafe,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-32.htm

It should be easy to locate an image which contains a street sign and a street number, but although the street sign says Phoenix Road NW1, this is misleading, and this picture was made at the corner of what is now Brill Place and Midland Rd. The 1894 OS map actually calls the road Phoenix St, and shows a railway line crossing it – which I think the arch at extreme left was supporting – leading to the goods yard now the site of the British Library and Francis Crick Institute.

The Brill was the area between Euston Square and Kings Cross Station, getting its name from a tavern there and had a Sunday market where the many navvies in the area would come to buy their boots and clothing. Why the pub was called ‘The Brill’ seems a mystery; perhaps it was from the fish of the same name, or some connection with the Buckinghamshire village (there is a Brill in Cornwall too as well as Den Briel in the Netherlands, and it is also a Dutch family name) or was the word ‘brilliant’ just too long to fit on the inn sign?


Corner Cafe, Phoenix Rd/Midland Rd and gas holders, Camden, 1980
23i-33: cafe, gas holders, traffic light,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-33.htm

A second picture of the Corner Cafe makes its position clear, showing both the gas holders on the corner of Wharf Rd and Cambridge St (now Camley St) and the road under the railway lines from Midland Rd that led to them, though the scene has now changed completely with the rebuilding of St Pancras Station to provide a shopping precinct which makes the walk from the Underground platform to get on a train much longer, something I curse every time I use the station.

The site of the cafe is now a rather neglected piece of land at the edge of the parking area for Neville Close. The gasholders are no longer on their original site and have flats inside them and St Pancras station now extend much further to the north.


Shop fitting, Camden, 1980
23i-52: plastic sheet,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/23i-52.htm

Much of what people think of as central London is a part of the London borough of Camden and I think this shop being fitted out was somewhere in the area roughly between Trafalgar Square and Monmouth St, and the next frame on the contact sheet (not shown on this site) is in Monmouth St, with the name board for ‘Neon’ and the ‘ghost sign’ next door for B Flegg, saddlers. This picture could well also have been in Monmouth St.

I walked around this are fairly often when visiting the Photographers’ Gallery, then on Great Newport St. In 1980 it acquired a second space a couple of doors down from the original premises. As well as showing some great photography (and particularly in later years some rather less great) it also had a cafe where you could sit and look at one of the shows, as well as meeting people.

Somehow it seemed a much friendlier place than the much improved new premises on Ramillies St, and I often met people – staff and other visitors I knew there, and it seemed rather easier to talk with strangers, who were always a part of a wider photographic community.

As well as visiting to see the shows, as entry was always free you could drop in while passing for another look – or just to have a coffee or even just use the toilets – I also used to go with some of my pictures to a ‘young photographers’ group which met regularly there and to which sell-established photographers often dropped in to give their opinions too. Though we learnt much and enjoyed it, these meetings were clearly something the gallery’s education officer, who was responsible for them found an ordeal, with much questioning of some of the gallery’s practices and more. When London Independent Photography came along in 1987 she clutched to them as a lifebelt to end the group.


To be continued…


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.

GLIAS 50

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

I think I joined the Greater London Industrial Archaelogy Society (GLIAS) in around 1979, forty years ago, but it had then been going for 10 years. I’ve not been the most active of members, particularly in recent years when I’ve been too busy with other things, but over the years I’ve been on numerous walks, several outings, attended talks and lectures and even made some tiny contributions. I still enjoy reading the newsletters and occasional publications of the group.

The various walks usually took me back to areas of London I’d already explored when taking photographs, and they often made me much better informed about buildings I had already photographed. I’ve not been on any lately as they almost always take place when I’m now working. But in previous years, the walks were often followed by the publication of small walk leaflets giving the route and pointing out the IA features.

The first of these walk leaflets was for Tower Hill to Rotherhithe and this anniversary event more or less retraced its steps, led by one of the two original authors, Prof David Perrett, now Chairman and Vice-President of GLIAS. It was a walk I’d first taken – without the aid of the leaflet – in the opposite direction back in 1983 (though I’d photographed parts of the area previously) and quite a few pictures from that are now online on my London Photographs site.

This area on Bermondsey Wall has changed considerably since then, though the riverside of Wapping seen at the top of the image still looks much the same. Of course you can’t see it from this same point, which I think is now occupied by expensive flats.

Inspired by these walk leaflets I went on to produce one of my own, a folded A4 sheet printed on thin card by my laser printer, largely as an exercise in Desktop Publishing which I was then teaching a course on.

Over the next few years I made and sold over well over 500 copies, charging I think 20p for each of them, though I never got the cash for some that were sold locally in Bermondsey (it rankled though the money was insignificant.) My best paying customer was a local historian who used them for several years for the guided walks he did on the local area. I think it is now seriously out of date, but ‘West Bermondsey – The Leather Area‘ has for a long time been available as a free download. (PDF)

The first time I put images from the area on line was in a site called ‘London’s Industrial Heritage‘, designed for me by my elder son, and you can see some pictures from this area from the links on the Southwark page.

I haven’t put many of the pictures from the walk on My London Diary, but there are a few more at GLIAS 50th anniversary walk. If you live in or around London and have any interest in industrial archaeology you would find GLIAS worth joining – and it has a very reasonable annual subscription of £14 (£17 for family membership.)


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.

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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


Wapping & the Thames

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

I arrived early for a private celebration of May Day with friends in a Wapping pub and took a short walk along the High St and riverside path, where I sat and ate my lunch sandwiches.

I’d made photographs here in the 1980s, and there were one or two that I’d hoped I would be able to fix the locations more precisely. It wasn’t easy as vitually everything between Wapping High Street and the river has been rebuilt with expensive riverside flats. New Crane Wharf (above) was still recognisable as here the old buildings had been converted.

The Thames sweeps around to the south to go around the Isle of Dogs, and from Wapping you can see Canary Wharf to the North of the River and the gasholder in Rotherhithe to the south – and both appear in photographs to be across the river.

You also see rather too much very pedestrian riverside architecture like the flats above. So little new building on the river bank has any architectural merit, all about maximising profit within the planning restrictions. It’s such a shame that the LDDC didn’t have higher aspirations for its control of the redevelopment of docklands.

Relatively little of the old riverside survives here, and Tunnel Mills and the other buildings at Rotherhithe are one very welcome exception. There are parts of the north bank too where some of the better warehouses have been saved, converted into expensive flats.

It was good also to be able to walk out onto Tunnel Pier, where I met two old friends also taking advantage of the opportunity.

And though the Captain Kidd pub to the left of Phoenix Wharf is relatively modern, dating from the 1880s, like many Sam Smith’s pubs it is a sensitive conversion of an old building, Sun Wharf, which along with Swan Wharf (now renamed Phoenix Wharf) and St John’s F & G Wharf at left were owned or leased by W H J Alexander and Company, who as well as wharfingers dealing in a wide range of goods including coffee, dried fruit, gum and bales of Australian wool, also used these premises to repair their tugs. Swan Wharf I think is the oldest of these buildings, dating from the 1840s and possibly designed by Sidney Smirke.

More pictures at Wapping and the Thames .


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.

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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.



Big School Strike for the Future

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

School students can see clearly the threat that faces the planet – especially with some predictions that human life will be extinct on Earth before they reach middle age. I’ve never expected to be still alive in 2050, though it’s just about possible, but these people clearly should be – but quite likely won’t if we continue “business as usual“.

But its also good to be with them and to feel the energy they have, and the enthusiasm they show. As well as in the actions on the day it comes out too in the many placards. There are some mass produced from the usual culprits, Socialist Worker and the Socialist Party, but even the SWP have produced a decent one for the cause, with a nice Wave and the message ‘System Change Not Climate Change’. But clearly there are many schools where the art department is full of people making their placards.

We clearly are at a point where we need drastic change, and are unfortunately stuck with dinosaurs in charge, fiddling about with Brexit and internal party politics (both Tory and Labour) while the planet almost literally burns.

We won’t of course go on like this. It’s a simple choice, change or die, and one that has become far more critical since I first got up in front of a microphone almost 50 years ago and said we can’t go on like this. We now know much more in detail about what is going on.

Police tried to stop the protesters at the end of the Mall, but while a crowd gathered in front of their line, others coming up behind simply swarmed around the sides and ran across the grass to get to the Victoria Monument in front of Buckingham Palace.

The police gave up and the others came through to gather around the monument, and their were speeches from several of the protesters to a tightly packed crowd – and I managed to squeeze my way through to take photographs. Mostly I was so close that the fisheye became almost essential, though the one at the head of this post was made with the 18-35mm at 18mm.

After the speeches there was something of a lunch break, with people making their way along various routes back towards Parliament Square – I chose the shortest way – where some protests continued. The largest block made its way over Westminster Bridge and then turned to the east; I left them on Stamford St, deciding I’d walked far enough, but they were still going strong.

London Schools Climate Strike


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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – 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


Million Women March

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

I photographed the first of these all-woman Million Women Rise marches in London in 2008, and have covered the event in most or all years since, always on a Saturday close to International Women’s Day. It’s an event that is supported over a hundred human rights and women’s groups around the country and is “led and organised by a majority of black women” and also includes many from other minority ethnic communities.

It’s an organisation that welcomes support from men in various ways, but on the day of the march asks them to “come and stand on the pavement and cheer us on.” And I do, though most of the time I’m too busy taking pictures to actually cheer.

Their web site has a list of ten demands, beginning with:

To acknowledge the continued discrimination faced by all women, the additional discrimination faced by Black women and women from other minority groups, and reflect this in all public policy in the UK and internationally

Million Women Rise web site- http://www.millionwomenrise.com/demands.html

I took pictures in the side road where the march gathered, where the marchers spill over onto the pavement and I could mix a little with the marchers before the march began, but for the march itself I stayed on the side as requested.

One slightly different aspect of this years march was the Pan Indian Dance Group who danced their way along Oxford St at the rear of the march – and I think went on to dance at the rally in Trafalgar Square, but by then I had left the event.

More pictures: Million Women March against male violence


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, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

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

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

To order prints or reproduce images


London 1979 (7)

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

15 Park St is next to the railway bridge.

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

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

‘KRA…..
GRANARIES

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

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

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More to follow shortly

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

Previous post in London 1979 series

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

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

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

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

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

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________