Right to Return

May 10th, 2019

This Saturday I’ll be attending the National Demonstration for Palestine taking place in London, one of many demonstrations over Palestine I’ve attended over the years.

Unlike protesters in Palestine, those of us taking part in the London protest will not face live fire by Israeli Defence Force snipers, who as well as protesters, incluidng women and children, have also killed clearly identified journalists and medical staff, though there will probably be the usual small group of Zionists coming to shout messages of hate.

The pictures here come from the first year that I worked at a protest about Palestine using only digital cameras rather than film, in 2004. That year the protest highlighted the wall being built along the border.

Back in Palestine, the situation has got much worse since 2004, with much of Gaza having been destroyed, and a seige in place which prevents vital supplies coming in. Only last weekend hostilities erupted again, with rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli air raids resulting in the deaths of at least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis. Among those killed in Gaza were a four-month old baby girl, two pregnant women and a 12 year-old boy.

Taking photographs of protests in London is of course a fairly safe occupation, but many photographers risk their lives to cover events such as the protests in Gaza.

Mustafa Hassona is a freelance photographer from the Gaza Strip, working with Anadolu Agency has been covering the weekly ‘Right to Return’ protests which have been taking place since May 30th 2018. You can see his remarkable work on Lensculture.


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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.

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Cold spell – no heating

May 9th, 2019

Southwark are perhaps the worst of London’s councils so far as their housing policies are concerned, though they face stiff opposition from others. But their demolition of the Heygate estate next to the Elephant & Castle is hard to beat for its combination of lies, total disregard for residents, loss of social housing, veniality and sheer incompetence and has been well-recorded on local blogs. It is a truly sad story for any local council, and particularly for a council dominated – as most of London’s councils are – by the Labour party, which currently holds 49 or the 63 seats with the only opposition being the 14 Lib Dems.

The Aylesbury estate is more or less immediately south of the former Heygate in Walworth, and is said to be the largest public housing estate in Europe, with 2700 homes built between 1963 and 1977. It contains a mixture of huge blocks like those in the picture below and much smaller and lower ones. Residents turned down a plan to pass the estate over to a housing association in 1999 and in a later ballot turned down Southwark’s plans for demolition, calling instead for the much cheaper minor works needed to refurbish each property up to modern standards.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Southwark Council had failed to carry out much necessary maintenance, and although the varied properties were generally well designed and built, the estate was allowed to deteriorate. Like the Heygate it was also used to house people with various problems including mental health and drug use and gained a notorious reputation, very much exaggerated by its use for filming a number of TV crime series.

The lack of proper maintenance has continued into this century, and residents feel it has worsened since the council made the decision to demolish the estate, parts of which have already been emptied and destroyed, to be replaced by properties at expensive market rents or the unaffordable ‘affordable’ rents at around 80% of market rates. Few of the Aylesbury residents can afford to take up any of the new properties, and are forced to move to the outer areas of London.

The Aylesbury was built with a central boiler house to run an energy-efficient district heating scheme. Because of the council’s failure to properly maintain this, there are repeated breakdowns in cold periods of winter such as that we had just been suffering. Residents either freeze or rely on expensive electric heating. One of those who spoke told how she had put £20 into her prepayment meter only for it to run out a day later; another told of having reported the heaters in her flat for six months without the council coming to maintain them.

Residents are convinced that Southwark council have been purposefully neglecting their well built homes to justify the demolition of the estate and bully the residents out against a ballot result which called for refurbishment rather than demolition. They protested outside the local housing office for over an hour, calling for someone from the council to come out and speak to them. No one came out and security men prevented the protesters from going inside.

Southwark Council claimed in a statement to a regional TV programme which covered the protest that they were doing their best to keep the heating going, but no-one on the Aylesbury believes them.

More at Aylesbury residents protest lack of heating


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Black Day

May 8th, 2019

Tamils have little to celebrate on Sri Lankan Independence Day following their catastrophic defeat in the civil war, brought to an end after 26 years of fighting with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

As a placard states, this is a ‘Black Day for Tamils’. Sri Lanka got its independence from British rule as Ceylon on 4th February 1948, with a government including prominent Tamil leaders. But in 1956 S W R D Bandaranaike became prime minister declaring himself “defender of the besieged Sinhalese culture” and made Sinhalese the only official language of the government greatly heightening the tension between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities, whose language and culture was under threat. When Bandaranaike tried to soften his approach to avoid the conflict, he was assassinated by an extremist Buddhist monk in 1959.

Increasing conflict between the two ethnic groups led to the formation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1976, calling for an independent Tamil state, Tamil Eelam, in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Intermittent clashes developed into a full-scale civil war in 1983. The LTTE as well as conventional fighting also carried out suicide bombings and assassinations and was designated as a terrorist group by many countries, including the UK, where it remains a proscribed organisation.

Since the end of the war efforts at peace and reconciliation appear to have been rather half-hearted, and attempts to bring war criminals to justice have been prevented by the Sri-Lankan government.

The LTTE adopted a flag showing a tiger jumping through a circle of bullets, with crossed black bayonets on a red background, with their name on it, and in 1990 a version of this without the English and Tamil text was adopted as the national flag of Tamil Eelam. Though banned in Sri Lanka it is widely used by Tamils at protests abroad, and though some feel its association with the LTTE makes it illegal in the UK, the police seem to be decided against attempting to take action which would probably fail in the courts.

It was a dull and damp morning in London, and I only stayed around an hour at the protest outside the Embassy in a Bayswater backstreet before leaving for another event in South London.



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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.

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Yellow Conspiracists

May 7th, 2019

While the gilets jaunes continue their protests in France, though little reported in our media, it’s perhaps surprising that there has been no real comparable movement here in the UK. What started out as an angry defiance against rises in fuel duties which would have severely hurt rural communities across France has morphed into a wider social movement against inequality, demanding reforms to the democratic system, an increase in the minimum wage, a wealth tax and higher corporate taxes. The movement has also tried hard to distance itself from both the organised extreme right and the extreme left.

Here in the UK virtually the only groups to have associated themselves with the yellow vests have been small groups of extreme right Brexiteers, particularly a group in London who have been coming to shout insults at the permanent pro-Europe protesters opposite parliament, aggressively questioning MPs as they go into and out of parliament, and wandering the streets of Westminster on Saturdays holding up traffic and being watched and occasionally harassed by a large number of police. Of course many of us agree with them that our mass media, controlled by a handfull of billionaires, fails to give us unbiased reporting, and that the BBC, at least in its reporting on the UK and in particular on political matters, has wandered from its charter to become too often the voice of the political establishment.

As well as Brexit they have also taken up a number of right-wing conspiracy theories. Of course some things which are derided as conspiracy theories turn out many years later to have been true. There are some very shady things that go on particularly in the name of national security here and in other countries and are only revealed when documents become available perhaps 30 or a hundred years later. And behind many of them there is perhaps some small nugget of fact.

So family courts do make some very strange decisions in their secret deliberations, some of which arise from middle-class failures to appreciate the lives of the working class. Children do sometimes get taken away from parents and grandparents who love them and would look after them because their lifestyles don’t match middle-class expectations. But to suggest it is some kind of organised process for forcible adoptions rather than well-meaning people making well-meaning mistakes is simply conspiracy theory.

There are people on the extreme right – including of course Tommy Robinson – who are happy to exploit situations for their own ends, including many allegations made by fantasists with mental health problems. Of course child abuse exists, and paedophilia, and there have been numerous convictions for such offences; of course there has been a great deal of corruption in many police forces, some exposed, but none of the causes espoused on the back of the protesters yellow vests stands up to any investigation.

One failure to which some of them do point is actually much wider than they suggest; an almost complete failure of our government, police and legal system to deal with fraud and tax evasion. While a little of this may at one time have involved companies registered at a particular address on Finchley Road it is much more deeply embedded in our political and financial systems, something which has made London the money-laundering capital of the world.

This group have taken on the high-viz vests, but not the ideas and aims of the gilet jaunes, nor the French approach to violence. While I’ve encountered a little suspicion when photographing them, there has been none of the threats and physical violence against journalists that have been a feature of the EDL and ‘Free Tommy’ protests.

Venezuela at the BBC

May 5th, 2019

It was a protest at the BBC, so important to show this in some way. So there are several pictures which include the ‘BBC’ sign. I did try also to take some pictures in which Broadcasting House, a very recognisable building, was in the background, but people just were not in the right place. I could have asked some people to turn around, but I don’t pose people when covering news stories. The two other pictures with a BBC sign also had someone holding a Palestinian flag as well as the banner about Venezuela, which I htink is rather confusing. I support Palestine, but the flag was out of place.

A rather clear statement of a point of view very relevant to the protest, and a rather nice graphic. The expression I think suits the picture, as do the dark glasses.

A lively looking speaker and a couple of Venezuelan flags with a fairly plain background.  I took several of her speaking and I think this was the best.

Another poster with a clear and colourful message  – which doubly incorporates the Venezuelan flag, which is also repeated three times at the right of the frame. It doesn’t worry me that there are some rather random figures in the backgroun  – and of course they were not under my control when I took the picture. The man’s head just above the poster is a little odd – and it does looks as if he could be holding the poster.

What would have been again a little confusing is that the woman with the poster is actually holding not a Venezuelan flag but an Ecuadorian flag (and is I think Ecuadorian.) The three flags of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela are all similar, and in this picture there is no way of knowing which this one is. Other pictures clearly show the difference, with the wider band of yellow and the coat of arms in the centre.  The three countries gained independence in 1822 as a confederation, Gran Colombia, and although they later separated, retain flags based on the tri-colour of  Venezuelan military leader and revolutionary Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816).

Miranda spent some time in London, where he was welcome as he was plotting to end the Spanish domination of South America, and there is a striking statue of him not far away from where this protest was taking place, in Fitzroy St. Miranda’s life story is an remarkable one, too far-fetched to be fiction, including involvement in the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution as well as in South America.

More at Hands Off Venezuela.
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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

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London 1979 (7)

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

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Venezuela

May 2nd, 2019

Events in Venezuela appear to be reaching a critical point now, with a botched coup attempt by Juan Guaidó apparently easily defeated on Tuesday. Both sides called for mass rallies on May Day, but press photos appear to show a relatively small crowd of a few thousands coming out to support Guaidó while news reports suggest President Nicolás Maduro was considerably more succesful in bringing people to Caracas. But heavy security prevented the opposition holding a rally in the city centre and Guaidó was unable to get to the main rally that did take place.

Of course it is hard to know exactly what is going on in Venezuela, with most if not all of the West’s mass media rallying in support of Guaidó, or at least reflecting the views of an urban middle-class Venezuelan community rather than the great mass of people across the country who have benefitted greatly from the Bolivarian revolution initiated by Hugo Chavez and continued despite crippling US sanctions by Maduro.

And certainly the US are heating up the rhetoric and almost certainly its practical support for the opposition, though much of this is covert. President Trump’s national security advisor has labelled Venezuela, together with its allies Cuba and Nicuaragua as “the troika of tyranny” and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said “military action is possible – if that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”
President Trump has also clearly been on the warpath.

Back at the end of January, supporters of Maduro, including a number of Venezuelans came to Downing St to demand that the UK should not recognise Juan Guaidó as president, rather than the choice of the people of the country in last year’s elections in which he got 67.8% of the vote, with his nearest rival Henri Falcón at only 20.9%, a thumping mandate that it seems impossible to beleive could have been prejudiced by the relatively minor irregularities his opponents allege – and that one of them called for the election to be re-held without Maduro seems a clear admission that he would be impossible to beat even in the most scrupulously fair of elections.

They also called for an end to the unfair sanctions against the country and in particular for the Bank of England to immediately hand back the 14 tonnes of Venezuelan gold it is withholding form the Venezuelan authorities as a part of these.

More pictures at No imperialist coup in Venezuela

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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

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Long Live May Day

May 1st, 2019


1st May 2009

Today I’ll be out photographing May Day in London. There is a march every year to celebrate International Workers’ Day, organised by the London May Day Organising Committee,  and there has apparently been some kind of socialist celebration on May Day in London since the 1880s, although it was apparently only in 1904 that the Sixth Conference of the Second International in Amsterdam called for “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” (thanks to Wikpedia for the quotation.)


1st May 2013

And while we may generally have the 8-hour day (or something even shorter) there is certainly a long way to go on the demands of the working class and universal peace.  The socialists of course took over May Day from its general celebration as a Spring festival, which had earlier in the 19th century become promoted as a traditional festival with the coronation of May Queens, something else I’ve also photographed.But until I gave up teaching, I was seldom able to celebrate May Day unless it happened to fall at a weekend. May Day this Wednesday is for most workers a normal working day, and we have instead a rather silly Bank Holiday on the first Monday in May.


1st May 2000

Possibly the first May Day celebrations I photographed (or at least the earliest I’ve shared online) were on May 1st 2000, which was a Monday, and the events in Parliament Square and elsewhere were an anti-capitalist event rather than the rather more staid trade union and socialist march.


1st May 2000

Later in the day things turned rather nasty and police charged the protesters, a small number of whom had broken the windows of a McDonalds on Whitehall.


1st May 2003

It was not until 2003 that I first posted pictures from the official May Day March in London, though it wasn’t the first time I had been there, rather the first time I’d photographed it digitally. As usual I was very struck by the various socialist groups from London’s ethnic communities that were taking part.  There is a long list of supporting groups on the May Day Committee‘s site which as well as other trade union and community groups includes ” organisations representing Turkish, Kurdish, Chilean, Colombian, Peruvian, Brazilian, Portuguese, West Indian, Sri Lankan, Indian, Pakistani, Bangla Deshi, Kashmiri, Cypriot, Tamil, Iraqi, Iranian, Irish, South African, Nigerian migrant workers & communities”.

But even then, once I’d photographed that march, I went on to photograph anti-capitalists also celebrating May Day in their own way, and this May Day I’ll also be with friends celebrating it rather than listening to the speeches in Trafalgar Square, though I may manage to cover some other protests later in the day.

My London Diary has pictures from May Day for every year since 2003 and I’ll have more to add after today’s events. Long Live May Day!

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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

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Angry Drivers

April 30th, 2019

Private hire drivers are angry and I think they have every reason to feel aggreived. Transport for London are going to make them pay the congestion charge in Central London while licencensed taxis will remain exempt.

TfL claim that the reason they are making the drivers pay is to reduce air pollution in the city, which is certainly something that needs doing. But those licenced taxis – black cabs – are actually a much larger source of pollution, both from their own exhausts, tires and brakes, but also because of the huge effect they have on congestion on city streets, resulting in extra pollution from other vehicles.

Minicabs drive to pick up customers at a particular location, then drive to their destination.  Taxis drive around where they think they will be hailed by customers, cruising for trade, and it is this that increases their road mileage, pollution and their share of the almost 10,000 early deaths per year of Londoners from air pollution. Plying for hire made sense in the old days, but hardly does now in the age of the smart phone, and apps which can summon a cab (or minicab) on demand.

Black cab drivers through their trade organisations are a powerful lobby, and it is hard to see this differential treatment as not being a consequence of this. Most Londoners can only afford to use them on rare occasions – I can only recall a handful of taxi journeys I’ve made in London, when escorting aged and frail relatives and a few times when wealthy friends who were paying dragged me into one with them – and at least one of those journeys would have been much quicker by tube and DLR.

Of course there are problems with minicabs too, particularly with cowboy anti-union outfits such as Uber who are trying to evade their responsibilities as employers – and appealing court decisions without success. The UPHD (United Private Hire Drivers), a part of the IWGB International Workers Great Britain trade union which organised this protest is also organising drivers to get them fair treatment from employers like Uber.

I left the protest early to go on to cover another event, and things apparently got rather livelier after I had gone. It’s always difficult to know when to leave lengthy protests, and often things seem to warm up soon after I’ve left.  At times there is a connection, though not I think in this case. Often protests get more intense because of police actions, and the protesters objections to being ordered around, assaulted or arrested, all things which sometimes seem to happen once press reporters and photographers have left. But on this occasion, although I’d left there were plenty of others who stayed on.

End TfL Discrimination against private hire

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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

________________________________________________________

London 1979 (6)

April 29th, 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


Jubilee Walk marker post, Southwark, 1979
19i-23: warehouse,St Paul’s Cathedral, bridge, wharf

The drunken marker post was a little to the north of Southwark Cathedral, just north of Montague Place, where there is still an open area on the riverside with a river view, though from where I took this picture now blocked by the modern office building which replaced West Kent Wharf and a part of Hibernia Wharves which had recently been demolished when I made this picture.

At top left you can see the riverside corner of St Mary Overy Wharf, with its decorative balustrade, and in giant letters the name of its occupiers from 1890 for the rest of its working life as a wharf, Cole & Carey.

Beyond the Cannon St rail bridge you can see some of the buildings of London, including of course St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Silver Jubilee Walkway, opened by the Queen in 1977 was renamed the Jubilee Walkway and refurbished in 2002. The 15 mile walk is now marked by plaques in the pavement and I think few if any of these original marker posts remain. It has been divided into five shorter lengths suitable for tourists.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-33: rubble, St Paul’s Cathedral, bridge, wharf, Hibernia, West Kent

Hibernia Wharf, built in 1838 was greatly extended 1858-61. It later became part of the property of The Proprietors of Hay’s Wharf who used it as a cold store until around 1968. A small part of the facade on London Bridge was retained and built into a company hall for the Worshipful Companies of Launderers, Glaziers and Scientific Instrument Makers, a late replacement for their Glaziers Hall burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666.

This was I think one of a number of pictures of the area (including some others already posted here) in a small one-person show on Southwark’s riverside I had in the Barge House, behind the OXO tower, no great distance from where the picture was taken. Although the show was small, the pictures were large, printed A0, and worked surprisingly well for 35mm at that size. Later I took some of those prints, along with other smaller prints I had made from elsewhere for a show of London’s Industrial History.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-41: rubble, Cannon St, bridge, wharf, Hibernia,

A huge pile of timbers from the wharves was burning on the demolition site. At left through a little smoke is St Mary Overy Wharf and across the river you can see Cannon St Station and Mondial House, then Europe’s largest international telecommunications complex. Planned in 1970 to open in 1972, it was years late in completion. Built with upper storeys stepped back to ensure it didn’t obstruct views of St Paul’s Cathedral and with a maximum height of 46m it had 4 floors below ground in addition to the 8 above.

In 2006 UBS was granted permission to demolish Mondial House to build its huge Watermark Place project with 545 000 sq ft of office and retail space. 1 Angel Lane is now occupied by Japanese investment bank Nomura International.


Demolition West Kent & Hibernia Wharves, Southwark, 1979
19i-46: rubble, Cannon St, bridge, wharf, Hibernia,

Another image from the demolition of West Kent & Hibernia Wharf. The building still standing behind the smoke at right is St Mary Overy Wharf.


Demolition of Hibernia Wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-54: rubble,St Mary Overy, bridge, wharf, office, crane,

Further east on the demolition site, with London Bridge and Adelaide house visible through the smoke. Near the centre is the NatWest tower, constructed for the National Westminster Bank and occupied by them between 1980 and 1993, Richard Seifert managed to change the London building guidelines to erect the first extremely tall building in the City, 183m high and 47 floors, it was the tallest building in London until 1 Canada Square was built in 1990, and the tallest in the city until the Heron tower in 2009.

It was only actually completed almost ten years late after NatWest moved out; and its design from the air was supposed to resemble the NatWest logo. In 1993 it was severely damaged by IRA bomb and needed to be externally re-clad and internally refurbished, costing £75 million. NatWest decided not to move back in and sold it to UK property company Greycoat, who renamed it Tower 42 in 1995, the name a reference to the 42 upper stories which are cantilevered out from the base.


Demolition at Hibernia wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-55: rubble,St Mary Overy, bridge, wharf, office, crane,

Another picture from a similar viewpoint


St Mary Overy wharf, Southwark, 1979
19i-65:wharf, office, crane,

Still standing in 1979, St Mary Overy Wharf was soon to be demolished and replaced by some rather dull buildings of roughly similar mass but with little detailing or individuality. It seems a shame that at least this facade was not retained.


St Mary Overy dock and River Thames, Southwark, 1979
19i-66:wharf, dock, river, offices, monument

There is still a dock here, now with a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde, built in Appeldore and launched in 1973, since when she has been sailed around the world and on various other voyages before ending up- here as a tourist attraction.

I’m not sure the dock is in exactly the same place, and I think the mouth at least is rather narrower. The wharf on the left has now also gone, with its replacement set further back to provide a pedestrianised area and a beer garden at the riverside.

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

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