Lost London

One show just opened in London that I intend to see is Lost London, on show at Kenwood House in Hampstead  until 5 April 2010. Hampstead is an area of London I seldom visit, though it’s not a long journey, just that there are seldom things that happen there I want to go to.

The show, put on by English Heritage, is of phtoographs that came to them from the former London County Council, who got photographers to document the areas that were about to be demolished.

Years ago I used to make frequent visits to the Saville Row offices of the National Building record (long moved to Swindon) and often had some time to wait for my appointment which I spent in their picture library. There I used to take down the files of pictures from the various London boroughs and leaf through them. A very large proportion of the pictures were of churches, apparently because most of the work on record had been donated by keen amateur photographers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and many of these were clergymen who, having preached their sermons on a Sunday were not frightfully busy the rest of the week.

But these pictures, which cover the years from 1870-1945, are rather different and with a hundred pictures illustrating the themes ‘Work, Poverty, Wealth and Change‘ it promises to be an interesting show.

You can see some more recent pictures of London on my site ‘The Buildings of London‘ and in particular the section of tha, a now antique web site, London Buildings.

© Peter Marshall

This one – the Hoover Building in  Perivale – is preserved, but quite a few of those that I photographed in the 1970s and 1980s, here and on London’s Industrial Heritage have been demolished or radically refurbished.

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