Archive for the ‘My Own Work’ Category

Twickenham 1979

Monday, April 23rd, 2018


18s-63: River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

I’ve often enjoyed the walk along the River Thames in Twickenham, walking from the station and down Water Lane to the Embankment opposite Eel Pie Island and then into along Riverside, often going into York House Gardens, past the Naked Ladies and over the bridge. Back in the old days I would pause to admire the urinal from the inside before exiting the park and returning along Sion Rd to Riverside, past the White Swan and on to the Orleans Gallery, or perhaps the swings beyond, where I would release a child from a push chair to play.

We might then resume our walk, continuing along the towpath to Richmond, or, on a rare occasion taking Hammerton’s ferry across the river to Ham House, continuing later along the Surrey bank to Richmond and the train home. And always of course I would have a camera with me, though I didn’t always take any pictures. Often my mind was on other things and there seemed no time or reason to do so.

On one day in January 1979 things were rather different.  I had just got back my Leica M2 from an expensive service following a shutter fault which had given uneven exposure across the frame and I was keen to make sure it was working properly, particularly in cold weather where the fault had first shown up.

It was also rather different because of the weather and the tide. It was a bright winter day with was snow lying on the ground. So I took what for me at the time was a lot of pictures, virtually a whole 36 exposure cassette of Tri-X.  Here are a few of those pictures that I’ve posted to Facebook recently, along with the comments I wrote to accompany them. They are all on my London Photographs site, and clicking on any image should take you to a version shown slightly larger there.

18r-14: River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

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

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

Another picture of this with a woman walking her dog.


18r-15: River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979


18s-35: Cyclists in snow, Marble Hill House, Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

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

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

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

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

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


18s-51: Figure on gate, Orleans House, Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

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

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


18s-54: River Thames, Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

Another picture from the same walk in Twickenham, with branches and their reflections combining to form a screen through which we appear to see the river and the moored boats at the top of the picture. Its an image which plays with space in a way that interested me, and which I still find difficult to resolve.

Hammerton’s ferry across the Thames to Ham still runs from a jetty not far from where I made this picture in Orleans Gardens.


18s-65: Twickenham Ferry, River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

There have been several ferries at Twickenham, the subject over the years of great rivalry and court cases. The oldest record is of Dysart’s Ferry, licensed by the family which owned Ham House, known to have been in existence in 1652 when it was prohibited from running after sunset by the Privy Council, but thought to be much older, dating from the reign of King John

The Dysart family managed to close down rivals which opened up until 1908, when the Earl of Dysart lost a court case against Hammertons ferry, in a case that went the whole way up to the House of Lords. Victory for the ‘The Ferry to Fairyland‘ was commemorated in song, one of a number written about Twickenham’s ferries†.

The rivals continued in operation until around 1970 when the old ferry, which had been sold to a private operator when the National Trust took over Ham House ceased operation, again at least in part over a long legal battle, this time over its use of the slipway. There was a long legal battle and the owners of the property at left put up the signs on their fence ‘This Slipway Is Private Property’. I don’t know what the outcome of the court cases was, though I think the public (and ferry) had used the slipway for many years, but of course the appropriation of the commons for private use has always been one of the basic aims of our legal system.

The old Twickenham ferry (it’s song is better known) was the one I went across as a child to visit Ham House, rowed I am fairly sure by the man who appears in a fine photograph on the Historic England site, and it ran from this slipway close to the White Swan.

Hammertons ferry, which runs from a jetty around a quarter mile downstream still operates during the summer and at winter weekends, and has an active Facebook page which includes interesting posts, pictures and videos about the river and the tides, which still trap many careless drivers parking in the area. This ferry is still a good way to visit Ham House though now a little closer to St Margarets than Twickenham station and with a few yards to walk on the opposite bank.


18s-66: Twickenham Ferry, River Thames flooding at Twickenham, Richmond, 1979

London Photographs by Peter Marshall
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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

________________________________________________________

Free Education

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Students marched through London calling for an end to all tuition fees, for living grants for all and an end to the increasing marketisation of the education system that is resulting in cuts across university campuses and a dramatic reduction in further education provision.

They say that the Teaching Excellence Framework which was supposed to ‘drive up standards in teaching’ is intensifying the exploitation and casualisation of university staff as a part of the marketisation agenda.

The march was organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. Shakira Martin, NUS President, was elected on a manifesto which included her promise to “Fight for a Minimum Living income for all students and securing the return of Grants” but somehow that didn’t include supporting this march. And although she was criticised by the other candidates for her failure to actually get involved in the fees campaign, she was easily re-elected for her second term this year.

As usual now for student and some other protests, the march was accompanied by liberal pyrotechnics, as show in quite a few images on My London Diary. The one at the top of the page is a little unusual, but only in its aspect ratio. For some reason the RAW file produced by the Nikon D750 is only 6016×3376 pixels rather than the normal 6016×4016 pixels, corresponding to 16:9 ratio rather than 1.5:1. I didn’t know the camera could do this.

Looking at the D750 manual it would appear that this is possible when taking pictures with the camera in Movie Live View, if Custom Setting g4 is set to ‘Take pictures’, and pictures use whatever Image Quality setting has been made in the photo shooting menu.

So my mistake was having the Live View selector on the camera back in Movie rather than Still mode and putting the camera into Live View. It works in much the same way on the D810 as well.

I find that Live View is often a problem for still images in any case unless you use manual focus, as managing to get focus is sometimes a major problem, with some lenses momentarily giving a green rectangle to show focus, then going off to whirr away again. It’s one aspect where Fuji – where the view is always live – really does so much better. Perhaps there is something wrong with they way I press the shutter?

Many more pictures at: Students march for free education

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Armistice Day

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

I can still remember when the whole country seemed to come to a standstill, traffic stopping on the roads for the two minute silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Still remember too standing in my Wolf Cub shorts, legs freezing, at the parades which took place on the nearest Sunday. At least the cubs had thick jumpers unlike the Boy Scouts we would become, standing whatever the weather in their shorts and shirt sleeves.

Things were different then. All of the adults present remembered the war, at least the Second World War, and many had fought in in, and some – like my father – in what many still called The Great War (or The Kaiser’s War.) Though it is something of an exaggeration to say my father fought, though he was in the Royal Flying Corps (and later the RAF) in France and Germany, the greatest risks he faced were probably from his own side.

But people then knew the realities of war. A few years ago I photographed the annual Remembrance Day Parade in the town where I live, and it was still a solemn occasion, but nationally – and particularly in the media – it seems sadly to have become an occasion for militaristic and ‘patriotic’ posturing, with a hounding of anyone who dares to appear in public in the previous month without a red poppy on their coat. While of course we should remember the sacrifice of many, we should remember too that they were fighting for peace and for the war to end. That Great War was supposed to be the “war to end all wars“, a war against German militarism.

Thanks to a late-running train, I was coming up out of Charing Cross Station onto Trafalgar Square as the Underground announcer was informing people that it was about to be 11am and that some might wish to observe the two-minute silence. I walked up the side of the square, and there were several buses pulled in to the side of the road, and a few people obviously standing at attention, though where they could cars and lorries kept moving and the tourists mainly ambled on oblivious.

A small group of people stood in silence in front of the National Gallery, mainly Quakers, wearing white poppies. This was the start of their 45 minute silent remembrance peace vigil. The white poppies, now made by the Peace Pledge Union, are in memory of “all those killed in war, all those wounded in body or mind, the millions who have been made sick or homeless by war and the families and communities torn apart. We also remember those killed or imprisoned for refusing to fight and for resisting war. ”  In modern wars, over 90% of those killed are civilians.

The white poppies were introduced in 1933 by the Co-operative Women’s Guild  who felt that the message of the original Remembrance Days, of  “no more war“, was increasingly being lost as these became more militaristic celebrations. It seems to me to be even more important now – and more and more people seem to agree.

Silent Remembrance Peace Vigil

Later in the day I was outside the rather Orwellian-named ‘Ministry of Defence’ (opposite is the Old War Office, from an age where they called a spade a spade) with Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, who had organised a commemoration of the many refugees who had died fleeing  their war-torn countries, with many drowning as they made their way across the Mediterranean.

They had made large orange wreaths to resemble lifebelts, remembering the many who died on the crossing because of inadequate boats and life-saving equipment, though that they should feel no alternative but to make such a risky journey is a sad reflection of the failure of wealthier and less stressed countries such as our own to properly respond to the crisis.

Among those taking part in the procession and wreath-laying were a number of people who have managed to come to the country as refugees as well as some of those who have gone as volunteers to the Greek Islands and elsewhere to assist refugees on their horrendous journeys.

The wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph, and as well as several large wreaths there were 17 smaller ones – for the 17 people who have died on average on migration every day so far in 2017.

Remember Refugees on Armistice Day

I hadn’t come intending to photograph the annual Remembrance Day parade in central London by the London City District No 63 and the Houses of Parliament Lodge and visiting lodges, but they came along the road just as the previous event was finishing.

Orange Lodges Remembrance Day parade

Islington in the Dark

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Another cyclist dies, killed on a main road on his way to work when a van drove into him on a mandatory cycle lane.  Roads like the Pentonville Rd need protected cycle paths, and Islington has not built a single protected cycle route in over 20 years.

Vigil for Islington cyclist killed by HGV

It really is time to get moving on better facilities for cyclists, which would not only stop deaths like this, but also encourage more people to get on their bikes for some healthy exercise, at the same time helping to reduce London’s terrible levels of air pollution and reduce congestion.  Everybody wins from getting more people to cycle safely on our roads – even those black cab drivers who lobby against it.

And of course long past time when vehicles designed with highly restricted driver vision were allowed to be built and to drive on our roads. Better mirrors and, where necessary built-in CCTV, would prevent these deaths.  It wouldn’t be difficult to improve vehicle design and not very expensive to make them safe.

But we continue to suffer from years of a failure to invest properly in facilities for cyclists – and we all suffer, whether pedestrians, cyclists or motorists. Stop Killing Cyclists are doing a great job in bringing the issues to greater attention through events such as these, and through the detailed studies that they and others associated with them make to lobby the London Mayor, Transport for London and others.

As usual there were a series of speeches followed by a die-in, with police holding up traffic to allow this short protest to take place. Police do seem to have developed a greater appreciation of the problems faced by cyclists now that a number of them patrol on push bikes.

I’d like to see our driving tests have a cycling proficiency test as a prerequisite – with those medically certified as unable to ride a bicycle or tricycle being allowed to qualify in some kind of virtual reality.  Back many years when I rode in France, driver behaviour towards cyclists seemed so much better, perhaps because many more French drivers had cycling experience.  Not only might it improve attitudes towards cyclists, but I think would be a safer and cheaper way of learning how to use our roads sensibly. But this is probably one of those common sense ideas that is totally impracticable.

The protest took place outside Islington Town Hall, not far from where the death occurred.  I don’t think it is sensible to call any of these deaths accidents when there are so many reasons why they happen.

It’s surprising how dark it can be just a few yards from a major road in London. I struggled with light levels  as you can see in the pictures. For some I used the LED light, but most relied on whatever ambient there was, with just a couple where flash seemed the only possibility. Particularly when photographing candle-lit vigils like this it’s important to try and retain the feeling of the lighting, but candles seldom really give quite enough light, especially if there is any movement.

Candle flames are also pretty bright in themselves, and an exposure which retains detail in them often is just too underexposed over most of the frame. The D750 and D810 do a pretty good job, but it isn’t always possible or entirely predictable, and the preview on the camera back doesn’t work quite well enough to let you know which highlights can be recovered in Lightroom.

Colour temperature is also a problem, and I should have remembered to use the amber filter on the LED, which is roughly daylight balanced, to bring it closer to the candles. It doesn’t matter too much what white balance you set the camera to when working in RAW files, as this can be adjusted later. I think I had the D810 set on Auto WB and the D750 on ‘Tungsten’  and can see no real difference in the adjusted images.

Vigil for Islington cyclist killed by HGV

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On my way back to the station I stopped to talk with a friend outside the squatted bank and was invited in and took a few pictures.

Groups like this are important both in bringing attention to homelessness when we have so many empty buildings, and also providing at least short term shelter to a few of the homeless. It would make sense to change laws on empty properties to persuade their owners bring them back into use, or allow councils to compulsory purchase them.

ORAL Squat empty NatWest Bank

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

LSE Homophobic Abuse

Monday, April 16th, 2018

During the successful campaign to get the LSE cleaners the London Living wage, another problem affecting one of the cleaners emerged and was taken up by his union, the United Voices of the World.

The UVW made complaints about to both the LSE where the cleaners work and the direct employer, Noonan, about the continual harassment suffered at work by Daniel Gichia, the first Kenyan man to marry another man, because of his homosexuality.

Noonan who claim to be one of the market leaders in cleaning services in Ireland and the UK, “carried out by our own, well trained and highly motivated, people. Our cleaning teams work under the management and supervision of professional managers with deep industry expertise.”

Apparently part of the deep industry expertise is in allowing what the UVW describe as “vile, homophobic harassment” and they say both Noonan and the LSE have always stubbornly and callously refused to take any action against Daniel’s harassers, despite admitting that some of his compliants were true.

The UVW took his case against Noonan to an employment tribunal, but the harassment was continuing. The protest took place at the time when the LSE as hosting as hosting a talk, “LGBT Rights: what next?”, which the protesters felt was hypocritical when the LSE was refusing to take action – or pressure its contractor to act – over a clear case of discrimination on grounds of homosexuality taking place in its institution.

A few days before this post was published, the employment tribunal eventuually published its decision, finding Daniel was harassed on multiple occasions at the LSE merely for being homosexual, finding that he was told that “homosexuals were not human”, and that he should “sleep with women to cure his problem”.

As well as this personal victory for Daniel, the tribunal also found that that there existed at the LSE a culture whereby it was acceptable to make such comments, and that Daniel was called “a woman” for having raised his grievance in the first place. Clearly the LSE management now has to take seriously the standards the institution has long stood for and used in its own promotion and apply them in its own practices.

More at: LSE against Homophobia

Photographically the main problem was lighting.  The area around the back of the building where the protest began was very badly lit.  For most of the pictures there I used the cheap LED light source, the Neewer CN-216. It doesn’t have a huge light output, and, run from 6 AA cells the output falls off fairly rapidly after a few minutes of use. It’s best to keep switching it of after taking a picture, but that slows you down as you have to put it back on for the next.

I’m only gradually becoming used to using very high ISO on such occasions, and while it would have been better to have taken most of these pictures at ISO 12,800 there are quite a few at much lower ISO.  And a few at 12,800 were still seriously underexposed, which isn’t a good idea. Almost every image was made with lenses wide open, and shutter speeds varying from around 1/30s to 1/100s, sometimes not fast enough when people were moving.

I did make a few using flash. There was more light at the front of the old main building where people posed with banners in the lowest of the pictures, but it fell off leaving those furthest from the camera in deep shadow.  The SB800 flash without a diffuser doesn’t cover the whole field at 18mm and by swivelling a little towards the right gave little illumination to the already brightly lit steps while adding enough to the more distant protesters. It did need a little dodging and burning in Lightroom to even out the coverage.  The flash also is considerably warmer than the ambient light and I quite like the effect here (again in some areas with a little help from Lightroom.)

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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

________________________________________________________

More from Hull

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Another six pictures from 1985 for my Hull web site. They include pictures from Beverley Rd, Selby St and Springbank. ‘Still Occupied – a view of Hull‘ now has over 530 black and white images I made in the city from 1973 to 1985. I am gradually adding the texts I have written about most of the pictures. Please feel free to comment here with any further information or corrections about these images.
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85-10n-44: 46 Beverley Rd, 1985 – Beverley

Back in 1892, 46 Beverley Rd was the home of dentist Zachariah Charles Blyth L.D.S.,R.C.S. Later he had a son, Joseph Charles, killed in 1917 in the Great War, and three daughters, Hilda, Violet, and Dora.

Presumably this house and No 44 were once a part of Kingston College, built 1836-7, , where a pair of similar gate-piers (which have lost the decorative top) still stand on Beverley Rd, flanking a path leading the the Kingston Youth Centre, which is set back a short distance from the road. It was perhaps built at the same time as the former College lodge at No 44 next door had its upper storey added.


85-10n-46: Bridge across site of Cottingham Drain, Bridlington Ave area, 1985 – Beverley

Much of Hull is below the level of the highest tides, and fairly large areas below sea level. The whole of the Hull basin had been subject to extensive drainage schemes since the early middle ages, with drainage ditches (known as drains or dykes) discharging water from low-lying areas into the River Hull at low tides. One of the older which came through to the Hull at High Flags was Setting Dyke, and after the Cottingham Drain was dug following an Act of Parliament around 1770 it joined to Setting Dyke between Ella Street and Victoria Avenue near the southern end of Newland Avenue. The combined drain, now known as the Cottingham Drain then continued east past Beverley Road before turneing south parallet with Beverley Rd to go under Norfolk St and then turn east again to meet the River Hull at High Flags.

There was still water in the Cottingham Drain when I first came to Hull in the 1960s, but shortly after these drains were filled in, the water going into the sewage system, Setting Dyke flowing into the sewer on National Avenue and
Cottingham Drain into the sewer on Cottingham Road. The filled in drains were grassed over, with much of their length becoming foot and cycle paths, and you can still follow most of their course on satellite imagery.

This bridge was left in place, in parkland somewhere near Bridlington Avenue. I looked for it briefly last year but couldn’t find it, but it may well still be there.


85-10n-52: St George’s Hotel, Selby St, 1985 – Hessle Rd

In the background of this image, on the side of one of the more recent houses you can see the image of a game of rugby league in the brickwork. You see this if you look out to the right as your train nears Hull, in Farnella Close off of Selby St. The picture was taken on Selby St and the pub on the corner of St George’s Rd is the nineteenth century St George’s Hotel.

The nearer house has been demolished and the area became part of the pub garden. The pub became noted for its drag acts when the landlord was female impersonater Bobby Mandrell, “Hull’s Most Glamorous Landlady”. It closed in 2013, but was reopened in 2016 and shortly after changed its name to the Loud Mouth Count Hotel.


85-10n-53: Footbridge across railway line, Selby St, 1985 – Hessle Rd

There is still a footbridge across the railway leading from Selby St to Walliker St, though both houses in the foreground and those on the far side corner of Arthur St have been demolished. That on the near side corner is still standing as are the lower houses further down Walliker St. THe large roofs in the distance were those of the now closed Charleston Club (a redevelopment opportunity) close to Anlaby Rd and other buildings on Anlaby Rd.

Samuel Walliker (1821–92), born in Bury St Edmunds, was postmaster in Hull from 1863 until 1881 and lived at Ashburnham House on Anlaby Rd not far away. Walliker Street was laid out in 1881.

Walliker, who had begun his career in London under Sir Rowland Hill, was also noted as a philanthropist. He moved to become Postmaster of Birmingham in 1881 (until he retired in 1891) and the following year set up The Society for Promoting Country Trips and Garden Parties for Poor Old People in around 1882, and was President of the Kyrle Society (Window Gardening Section), an organisation founded in 1878 to provide window boxes for slum dwellers.

He had a song composed about him around 1871, ‘The Hull Postmaster’ published as sheet music celebrating the opening of a money order office and savings bank in Wellington St, to the tune ‘The Arethusa’, also known as ‘The Saucy Arethusa’, a well known folk tune dating from around 1700. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find the words of ‘The Hull Postmaster’.


85-10n-54: Walliker Street from the footbridge, 1985 – Hessle Rd

The house at left of the picture has been demolished and this is now an area of green space with a footpath. The nearer houses on Arther St are still standing, but those beyond have been demolished and recently replace by a new block of what looks like sheltered housing.


85-10n-56; Shakespeare TV Sales and Service, Springbank, 1985 – Springbank

Shakespeare TV was at 177 Spring Bank, now the Adonai Food Store, next door to the Swedenborgian Church, built in 1875 as the New Jerusalem Church or Swedenborgian (New Jerusalem) Chapel, which was for some years after its closure as a church 9in 1948 a second-hand furniture showroom, Bargain Centre & Removals but is now the ICF Church, and the red brick visible at the right of the picture has been painted cream.
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Clicking on any of the above images should take you to a slightly larger image on ‘Still Occupied – a view of Hull’.
______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Quaker St 1978

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Two more of my pictures from London in 1978.


17h25 Quaker St, Shoreditch, London 1978

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

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

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

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


17h32: Grey Eagle St, Shoreditch, London 1978

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

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

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

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

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

[Thanks To Martyn Cornell’s Zythophile beer blog for much of the brewery information in a highly detailed article about the Truman Black Eagle Brewery. He gives a great deal more information, particularly about the beers and changes in types of beer over the ages. Trumans grew on porter, then switched to pale ales as tastes changed.]

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These pictures are on my London Photographs site, and the post is based on one made on Facebook when I posted links to these two pictures. You can view the 1978 index page for almost a hundred selected pictures of London taken that year and click on any of the thumbnails to get a larger image.

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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

________________________________________________________

Class War Return to the Ripper

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Class War and London 4th Wave Feminists protested again outside the Jack the Ripper tourist attraction in East London, calling for it to close. They say the so-called ‘museum’ exploits violence against women, making money from images of sexually mutilated women, and encourages attitudes that lead to violent sexual assaults.

One of the women taking part in the protest had recently called the police after finding a 17-year old woman collapsed at her doorstop who had been raped several times on the streets.  Tower Hamlets council has found the shop in breach of planning applications over its shutters and signage but has failed to enforce its decisions.

It was a difficult protest to photograph because the pavement outside the shop is narrow and a car was parked in front restricting access. Police were trying to keep a clear way through past the shop, and, together with the two female security staff specially brought in by the shop, trying to make it easy for customers to enter and leave the premises.

As can be seen from the picture at the top of the post, there was a considerable amount of pushing by the security staff at times, and also some angry reactions from a few customers. Considering it was a Saturday afternoon there seemed to be very few of them, and I think some stopped and listened to the protest and turned away. Most tried to avoid the eyes of protesters as police and security took them in or out.

There were several short speeches about the reason for the protest, the failure of the local authority, the lives of the victims and the attacks on women which still take place in this area as everywhere else. Violence against women is a problem across the world, and the protesters pointed out to the police that they were failing in their duty to protect women from it while coming to protect tourist attractions which promote and allow people to come and take a prurient, unhealthy interest in it.

There were some heated arguments with the police, and Patrick, playing the part of ‘Father Brannigan’ continued to call out the demons with the aid of a rather makeshift cross.

After an hour or so of protest, the group retired to a nearby pub, and I was about to leave when the police raided the place, coming in to arrest a trans-gender woman alleged to have assaulted an anti-trans activist during a protest at Hyde Park in September.  She has pleaded not guilty and her trial opens shortly.

I was obstructed by a member of the bar staff who showed me her warrant card as a special constable while attempting to follow the police as they left and she later tried to stop me taking pictures on the pavement outside. I’m pleased to say that the police officer in charge told her to stop, telling her that I was quite entitled to photograph what was happening.  I decided at the time I would not post these pictures until after the case had ended or been dropped.

More pictures at: Class War back at the Ripper

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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

________________________________________________________

Budgies Revolt!

Thursday, April 12th, 2018


17h42Sclater St, Spitalfields, London 1978

Although the Singing Canaries and Pet Budgies didn’t revolt, others did on their behalf, and the open air market in this area, known collectively as Club Row disappeared a few years after I took this picture in 1978. Within a few seconds I took another picture which makes the location clear.


17h36: Sclater St, Spitalfields, London 1978

As well as the modern street name, The plaque on the wall above and to the left of it states “This is Sclater St 1798”. To the right are the shops of Brick Lane.

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

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

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

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These pictures are on my London Photographs site, and the post is based on one made on Facebook when I posted links to these two pictures. You can view the 1978 index page for almost a hundred selected pictures of London taken that year and click on any of the thumbnails to get a larger image.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Justice for Palestine

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

A protest took place during the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration, a letter written on November 2nd, 1917 and signed by the
United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.

The protest which marched from a rally outside the US Embassy, then still in Grosvenor Square, was to point out that although the state of Israel had been established, the second half of the declaration had sadly never been taken seriously, and both the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine have virtually entirely neglected.

Equal Rights & Justice for Palestine

Back when I first became aware of politics in the 1950s, attending Labour and Cooperative party youth events (mainly for the girls and the free cigarettes) I think we all regarded Israel in a very positive light, a country which was providing a new home for many survivors of the holocaust and had shaken off the colonial yoke. Several people I knew went to work on a kibbutz, which were seen as the forerunners of a new society, a socialist utopia “dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education; the fulfillment of the idea “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs“.

Things have changed since then. Both in Israel and here, and now almost all of those on the left, both Jewish and non-Jews feel the need to support the rights of Palestinians against the actions of the Israeli state. That in no way implies we are being anti-Semitic, though does mean we will be accused of being so.

I was born shortly before the state of Israel and still remember people talking about  terrorists, who then were mainly Israeli,  with the Irgun led by Menachem Begin, notable for blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91 people of various nationalities, with one of their members also dying. There was also Haganah, but it was the Stern Gang who made the greatest impression on us kids, probably because of their name. Dissolved in 1948-9 they are often said to be the last terrorist group to proudly describe themselves as “terrorists”. To many of us they seemed heroes.

We now know rather more about their exploits following the release of various classified documents over the years, some of which are discussed in an article on Haaretz last December (though you may need to subscribe to read it.) One of the favoured devices of both Irgun and the Stern Gang was the sending of letter bombs, one of which Sir Anthony Eden carried around all day in his briefcase but, fortunately for him, was retrieved by security before he opened it. Other targets included Winston Churchill, and most other senior British politicians and cabinet members including Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Chancellor of the Exchequer Stafford, Cripps.

Stern also attempted to blow up Dover House, the headquarters of the Colonial Office in Whitehall, London, managing to successfully plant a powerful bomb with 10 sticks of explosives.  Had it gone off there might have been an even larger death toll than at the King David Hotel, but the fuse was incorrectly fitted and it failed to explode.

The Stern Gang got its name from Avraham (“Yair”) Stern, its founder in 1940, though it was officially named Lehi. In 1941, as the Jerusalem Post controversially reminded its readers, Stern “with the Final Solution already under way in all but name, sought out German cooperation in the setting up here of a Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis.” It twice offered the Nazis an alliance to oppose British rule in Palestine in exchange for the release of Jews from Nazi hands. The Germans turned them down.

Stern continued after Stern’s death under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir, who around 40 years later became Prime Minister of Israel, to move closer to Stalinist Russia, a move which lost them many followers. (See Wikipedia and The Los Angeles Times archive.)

History is history – and the sources of this history are incontrovertible. It isn’t because what Ken Livingstone said was false that got him attacked, but because it was at least largely true.  I cite this history not to be thrown out of the Labour Party – I don’t belong – but simply to expand a little on my own very mixed feelings about the state of Israel and the Balfour declaration.  But whatever you think about Israel, it seems blindingly obvious that today Palestinians are being treated abysmally by the Israeli state and its army, and that the international community should be actively trying to improve their situation.

My problems at the embassy rally were rather different. The weather with the odd bit of rain didn’t help, but the real problem was red light. Most of the light falling on the speakers was coming through the red roof under which they were speaking, producing a red cast on their faces that seemed beyond correction.

I should perhaps have used flash, but it would still have been a problem, and though I could perhaps have turned up the flash to overwhelm the red light, the results would have had a  brutal flattening.  So I stuck with the red, hoping I would be able to make it acceptable in post-processing, by tinting the faces with some blue and green.

This did help a bit, but was time-consuming and doesn’t quite work as shadow and highlight areas were more or less affected by the red. In the end I gave up and as you see converted them to black and white.

I don’t like doing this. I take things now almost exclusively in colour and work for colour, and things taken in colour and converted seldom look quite right to me. It often annoys me greatly when others convert their digital images to black and white, thinking it somehow makes them look more ‘authentic’ or more documentary. Though of course if they really think in black and white I wouldn’t notice.

Equal Rights & Justice for Palestine
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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

________________________________________________________