Posts Tagged ‘black and white’

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn – Saturday 2nd March 2002 saw a huge protest against Britain becoming involved in the US plans to invade Iraq and depose Sadam Hussein.

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

It’s hard to know how many marched that day, though I think there may have been around half a million of us on the streets of London,but it was certainly a very large march though not quite on the scale of that on 16th February 2003. Unfortunately I had to miss that one as I had only come out of hospital the previous day and could only walk a few yards.

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

George Galloway, then Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin, has come back into the news recently by winning the Rochdale by-election. He along with Tony Benn and others was one of the founders of Stop The War following the US invasion of Afghanisatan and the coalition organised this and other protests against the invasions of Iraq then being prepared by the US Miitary. Galloway was and still is a flamboyant figure and a powerful speaker, though I was rather more attracted to others in the movement such as Tony Benn, who appears in more of my pictures.

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

But then as now, I wasn’t at the protest to photograph celebrities, but to tell the story of the event, mainly through photographs of the ordinary people taking part. Of course my pictures concentrate on those who caught my attention, sometimes by their expressions and actions, but more often through their banners and placards which link them to the cause they were marching for.

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

Although I’d been photographing protests for some years – occasionally since the 1970s and more intensively since the 1990s, my pictures had simply gone into picture libraries and a few exhibitions and few had been used in the mass media.

Hands Off Iraq, George Galloway & Tony Benn

Shortly after Indymedia, a global network of independent news media was set up in 1999 I began publishing work on the UK site – and some of it may be still be available on the now archived site. This was of course entirely non-commercial, and had a very limited readership on the left, among anarchists and the security services.

But I also set up a new web site of my own, My London Diary, which is still available online, though its now several years since I have added new work. Although I have unlimited web space there is a limit to the number of files my web server can handle, and I was very close to this. Covid also played its part in various ways.

In the early years of My London Diary I was still working with film and only had a black and white flatbed scanner. So the pictures for Hands Off Iraq online were all in black and white, though I will also have taken some in colour, but so far I’ve digitised few colour images from these years. The 24 black and white images on My London Diary will have been made from 8×10″ black and white press prints submitted to a picture library and scanned on a flatbed scanner. In 2002 although many magazines were printed in colour the main sales for news images were still black and white, though things were rapidly changing, and I was soon to begin moving to working mainly in digital colour.

Here, with a few corrections is the text I put on line back in 2022 with these pictures:

The Stop the War, Hands off Iraq demonstration on 2 march was a large sign of public opinion. people were still leaving Hyde Park at the start of the march when Trafalgar Square was full to overflowing two and a half hours later.

Police estimates of the number were risible as usual – and can only reflect an attempt to marginalise the significant body of opinion opposed to the war or a complete mathematical inability on behalf of the police.

Tony Benn told me and other photographers it wasn’t worth taking his picture – “it won’t get in the papers unless I go and kick a policeman” but he didn’t and he was quite right.

More pictures on My London Diary

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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.

German Indications – The Web of Life

Monday, October 2nd, 2023

German Indications – The Web of Life: Back in the 1980s I still had aspirations to be a writer as well as a photographer, and later I did write many articles about photography and get paid for doing so – something I now continue on this site and elsewhere for free, largely because I like to share my own photography and some of my political views.

German Indications - The Web of Life

But way back my writing, or at least attempts at writing were rather different, and I combined them with images in a rather different way. Mostly those old attempts are lost and best forgotten, but in 2016 I republished some of them in my book ‘German Indications‘ still available on Blurb both in print and PDF format.

German Indications - The Web of Life

You can also see some of the pictures and read all ten stories on the web on a site which I wrote in 1997 on my Buildings of London web site. The web site has an introduction:

“THIS story began more than thirty five years ago with the words ‘Dear Linda and ‘Liebe Christel’ as two schoolgirls, one in England, the other in Germany became pen-friends. (It also begins further into the mists of cultural history in a fairy-tale wood, and in many other places.)”

“Later there two girls met, and after a while their husbands and children met also. It was this relationship which provided my opportunities to live and work in the home of a working-class German family in a small town in the north of Germany.”

German Indications

I made prints for the exhibition of this work in 1986 printing the colour slides on outdated and discontinued Agfa direct positive paper to give a particular effect, something I tried to emulate when making the digital versions for the book. And so both come with a disclaimer, “photography and writing are necessarily fiction-creating enterprises – Any resemblances in this work to actual people places or events
are simply resemblances

German Indications - The Web of Life

The stories were exhibited with the pictures in the show, and recently I was reminded of one of the pieces I’d written and performed it to some friends. Here it is in full.


WE were in a floating restaurant in Hamburg. Appropriately it was a fish restaurant. Since I don’t care for fish – eating them that is – you may ask what I was doing having lunch there.

Well, there are times when a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do in the service of peace, quiet and marital bliss, although currently the quiet was under heavy attack from some excessively leaden oom-pa-pa Muzak.

German Indications - The Web of Life

On my plate a spicy aromatic sauce was struggling hopelessly to overpower the nauseating amine overtones of an oily coelacanth.

You’ll understand how I felt if you’ve ever travelled overnight via Harwich for the continent, ten hours bouncing on a North Sea storm to arrive at a bleary Hook to find that the Boat Train has just this minute left because the ship was so late, so you all have to squeeze together in a very smart but very small blue and yellow local stopping everywhere service along the side of the estuary to Rotterdam.

The line passes an unnaturally neat chemical plant, so neat that you can imagine you are travelling on a model railway layout, but the whole neighbourhood is enveloped in a perpetual miasma, a synthetic putrefaction now resembling rotten fruit, now decomposing carcasses, which invades to produce a tautness and throbbing between your temples.

Edging the site are rows of model Dutch houses lived in by model Dutch people, their faculties no doubt cauterised by constant exposure, every pore and organ saturated with the oily stench. Here too was surely the water from which this fish had been plucked, for the olfactory danger signal reaching me from it was distinctly in the same register. Fortunately -what happened next absolved me from any obligation to eat it.

We were suddenly surrounded by a troop of senior citizens in full gear – hats, lederhosen, dirndls, the lot (the complete compulsory dress for almost any German TV show) and obviously all set for a great day out.

Soon their tables were head high with steins and great steaming plates and tureens, waitresses at the double to the repeated cry “more potatoes, more potatoes!” & cutlery and reserve were abandoned in a furious stampede of eating and drinking.

We quickly paid our bill and ran for the door, making dry land just in time as the weight of the meal capsized and sank the restaurant. Linda reached for her hanky; there was nothing else we could do. A few handbags and hats floated to the surface among the bubbles and debris as nature red in tooth and fin got down to feeding in their turn of the food chain.

A simple illustration of one of nature’s many cycles.

More stories and pictures online in the web site and in the book preview.

St Patrick’s Day Celebrations in London

Friday, March 17th, 2023

St Patrick's Day Celebrations in London

It’s now 21 years since St Patrick’s Day was first celebrated on a large scale in London, thanks to then London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who had long been a supporter of Irish republicanism, and MP for Brent East, from 1987 to 2001. His constituency included areas around Kilburn – Brent is the London Borough with the largest Irish population.

St Patrick's Day Celebrations in London

Until forced to drop its policies because of Tory cuts, Brent had a great record of supporting celebrations of a number of festivals for its different communities, and and last year I posted here about the various years I photographed the Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade.

St Patrick's Day Celebrations in London

In 2002, London had its first St Patrick’s Day Parade, from the Catholic Westminster Cathedral to Trafalgar Square, where there were a range of Irish performances and a great deal of singing and drinking to celebrate the event.

Unlike the Brent celebrations which were on the day itself, the official London celebrations which have continued annually since then happen on the day itself. In 2002 St Patrick’s Day was on a Sunday (and in 2013 and 2019) and the parade took place on the day, but in other years it has been celebrated on the nearest Sunday.

I did go back in 2003 to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, when the parade began from Hyde Park, but found it rather less interesting. Somehow I never got around to uploading any of the pictures I took to My London Diary, so these colour images are on-line for the first time.

Irish Piper, 2003
Parade Steward, 2003

These pictures were taken on my first digital camera capable of professional results, a Nikon D100, which was capable of making high quality digital images, although its 6.1Mp now seems meagre. Its small, dim viewfinder was also rather primitive and at the time I only owned a single lens to fit it, a 24-80mm zoom, which on its DX sensor gave the equivalent of a 36-120mm on 35mm film.

I was also working with two film cameras, one with black and white film and the other with colour negative, both I think using wider lenses. The pictures might be better, but I’ve only ever got around to printing one of them. It was coverage of events like these that really made me appreciate the huge advantage of digital, that the results were immediately available. I’ve still not digitised any of the colour pictures from 2002 or 2003.

It was this that really made possible ‘My London Diary’, though I had begun it a little earlier – and there is some earlier colour work taken with consumer-level digital cameras on it among the mainly black and white images which then were scanned from the 8×10″ RC prints I made to give to a picture library.

My London Diary has taken something of a rest recently, though I may go back to it at some later date. The reasons for this are mixed. The pandemic meant there was nothing much to add for rather a long time, just a lot of pictures taken on local walks and bike rides. the software I used to write it doesn’t work on my more recent computer, and I’ve almost reached the limit of the number of files that my web server allows. If I’d kept uploading files I could not have continued with >Re:PHOTO.

Peter Marshall’s Paris

Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Peter Marshall’s Paris. Bastille Day seems a suitable time to write a little again about my photographs of Paris, a city in and around which I’ve spent some time over the years, though always as a visitor rather than a resident.

I first went there in 1966, going to spend a week in a student hostel with a young woman from Hull who I was madly in love with, so definitely seeing the city through rose-tinted lenses, though a little of the shine was taken off by dropping my camera in the lake where we went rowing at Versailles. The camera never really worked properly again, though I couldn’t afford to replace it for another six years.

I think that was probably the only time I’ve been in France for Bastille Day, and we spent the evening at the celebrations in a town square a few miles south of the city centre where our hostel was located. It was very definitely full accordion and dancing and entirely French, but although I remember taking a few pictures there, its probably fortunate that no trace of them remains. People like Doisneau did it so much better.

It was not until 1973 that I returned, with the same woman who was now my wife and with a couple of cheap Russian cameras, A Zenit (Zenith) B SLR, heavy and clunky and a smaller Russian rangefinder camera, I think a Zorki 4. This time we stayed at a student hostel in the Rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau in the 1st Arrondisement, which had a grand staircase up to the first floor and a rather less grand one to our room on an upper story, up which we dragged ourselves after spending days walking around the city, often following the walking routes in the Michelin Green Guide.

Fortunately Linda was a fluent French speaker as the guide, then rather more encyclopedic than more recent editions was then only available in French and my O Level was often a little tested. And she could pass as French though often people she talked to took her as being rather simple-minded as she asked about things to which anyone French would know the answer. Most of my visits to Paris have been in her company, though many of the walks I made on later visits were on my own, especially when we had children with us who she took to parks and other children’s activities.

We were no longer students, though still fairly broke, and we still had valid student cards which let us stay in the hostel – in a room so poorly lit by a single bulb run on a lower voltage than it was made for that it was hardly possible to do anything but go to bed when we arrived back – and also to get free or much reduced admission to all the museums. On later visits I found my NUT card as a teacher also got me into many too.

I think I had three lenses for the Zenith B, the standard 58mm f2, along with a short telephoto and a 35mm wide angle. It was noisy in operation and sometimes required considerable force to wind on – and it was easy to rip the film when doing so. The viewfinder showed around 90% of the image. You had to focus at full aperture on the ground glass screen, then stop the lens down to the taking aperture.

The Zorki 4 was smaller and lighter and I’d bought it with the 50mm f2 which was a decent lens. The viewfinder had a split image area for focusing which seemed fairly accurate, but what you saw at the edges depended on where you put you eye to it. The film wound on smoothly and the shutter, having no mirror was considerably less intrusive if not quite to Leica standards.

Neither camera needed a battery. There was no exposure metering or autofocus and it was up to the user to set the appropriate aperture and shutter speed. On a thin cord around my neck I had a Weston Master V, and in my camera bag its Invercone which enabled it to measure incident rather than reflected light when possible. Again this was battery-free, using a large light cell which generated a current, though this limited its sensibility. Weston meters had an outstanding reputation among photographers and film-makers but in later years I replaced it by a more sensitive meter that could measure much lower light levels and even flash.

Despite the rather primitive equipment and my own lack of experience, the 1973 Paris work resulted in my first portfolio published in a photographic magazine the following year which included several of the pictures in this post, all of which come from that trip.

By the time I returned to Paris I had more modern equipment, mainly working with Olympus OM Cameras, at first the OM1, later the OM2 and OM4. On some trips I also took a Leica M2 a range-finder with a much better viewfinder than the Zorki. More recently I’ve photographed in Paris with various Nikon DSLRs and a Leica M8.

One of my earliest attempts at a book was made from the pictures I took in 1973, with the image above on the cover, but it only ever got as far as a single dummy, made by stitching together images printed on 8×10 resin coated paper.

In 1984 I took a couple of weeks working on the project ‘In Search of Atget‘, inspired by the pictures I’d first come across in Paris museums during that 1973 visit. I later showed this work and in 2012 self-published the book which is still available in softcover or as a PDF on Blurb. A second book, of colour pictures, ‘Photo Paris‘ taken in 1988 is also still available on Blurb.

My web site Paris Photos includes pictures from visits to Paris in 1973 and 1984 mentioned above, as well as several later visits. Albums on Flickr have larger versions of many of these pictures.
In Search of Atget – Paris 1984
1984 Paris Colour
Around Paris 1988
Around Noisy-le-Grand and Paris – 1990
Paris – November 2007

There are also some accounts of my visits to Paris mainly for Paris Photo since 2006 on My London Diary. It’s now been some years since our last visit, though every year we promise ourselves a visit and one day it may happen.

Paris, August 1988

Friday, April 8th, 2022

Paris, August 1988. Most of August 1988 I spent in Paris with my family, although I rather deserted them at times to go out in long walks through the city on my own. But some of them do appear on quite a few of the roughly 1500 pictures I took.

La France, Paris, 2e, 2nd, 1988 88-8u-21-Edit_2400
La France, Paris, 2e, 1988 88-8u-21

Back in November 2020 I posted here Montreuil, Paris which told a little about our stay in a flat in Montreuil on the east edge of the city, and where “Most days I went out for a walk before breakfast to buy bread and sometimes croissants, often with one of my sons, and always with a camera. Many of the bakers were closed for August and others took it in turns to be open for a week, making some of these walks a little longer, and I often diverted down streets that looked interesting.”

Montmartre, Paris 1988 88-8m-22-Edit_2400

As I also mentioned there, almost the first thing we did after arriving was to get photographs of our two sons at a photobooth so we could get their ‘Carte Orange’ and then buy weekly tickets for the Metro system – as I commented at ” little more than the cost of a day travelcard in London.” We made good use of those tickets, travelling around Paris and its outskirts as you can see from the album Around Paris 1988.

Saint-Denis,  Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, 1988 88-8x-32a-Edit_2400
Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, 1988 88-8x-32

The final sentence of my post in 2020 ended by saying I would feature more of the pictures in some later posts, but I don’t think I’ve ever got around to it. Nor have I put together a book from these images taken in 1988, though I there is one of the colour images I made, Photo Paris 1988. As usual with Blurb, the price of a hardcopy is ridiculous, but there is a much more reasonable PDF version. And you can view a good selection of the images for free on the preview. I haven’t yet put an album of these colour images on Flickr, but perhaps I will.

Here is the description of the book:

An evocative look at a Paris much of which was disappearing as the photographer walked the streets and took these pictures in 1988.

Peter Marshall’s pictures show a city and its fringes beyond the tourist circuit, capturing some of the flavour of the real Paris, but it is also very much a Paris of the imagination.

It’s time took a good look again at the black and white images from 1988 and made a book of them – and perhaps that will happen some time. A few have been published elsewhere, including a few I printed by alternative printing processes which I was dabbling with around this time, such as salt prints, kallitype and cyanotype. But I soon came back to more normal photographic printing.

Fauborg St Antoine, 11e, 11th, Paris, 1988 88-8y-61-Edit_2400
Fauborg St Antoine, 11e, 11th, Paris, 1988 88-8y-61
Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, Paris 1988
Paris, 10e, 10th, 1988 88-8w-34-Edit_2400
Self-portrait, Paris, 10e, 1988 88-8w-34

There are 366 images online in the album Around Paris 1988 and the selection here has just a few of my favourites, all uncropped. It would be difficult to make a selection but I think it could make a good book.

Around Chelsea Embankment: 1988

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Dawliffe Hall,  Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5e-24-positive_2400
Dawliffe Hall, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-24

Dawliffe Hall is a Grade II listed building probably built between 1881 and 1885. It became known as Rayleigh House in the 1890s when it was bought by the third son of the Second Baron Rayleigh who engaged architect Georg Campbell Sherrin, better known for his various Metropolitan Railway and other stations and Spitalfields Market, to make external and internal alterations. Sherrin’s plans for a new porch ran into planning problems, but eventually more limited modifications to the existing porch shown here were allowed.

I don’t know when at what date 2 Chelsea Embankment became Dawliffe Hall but in 1967-8 it was bought by the Catholic organisation Opus Dei and converted into a women’s hostel, and now continues its work as a part of the Dawliffe Hall Educational Foundation.

Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-25-positive_2400
Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-25

Although the picture shows Embankment Gardens, this building has the address 1 Chelsea Embankment and is usually known as Shelley House. A house on this site was built for the son of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Sheely in 1878, and he lived there for around six years before leasing to various wealthy individuals, including Sir Arthur Charles, the judge for Oscar Wilde’s first trial.

In 1912 the house was bought and demolished by Charles Harold St John Hornby, who was a director of W H Smith & Son. In 1894 he had founded the Ashendene Press, a small private press inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press which produced high quality editions with no expense spared, using type-faces by Emery Walker and Sir Sydney Cockerell, particularly the Subiaco font, based on 15th century examples. Hornby had the house demolished, and a new house built. Its architect was Edward Prioleau Warren, well known to Hornby as a prominent member of the Art Worker’s Guild.

It was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1939 for living quarters for the WRNS and when they relinquished it in 1953 (doubtless by then realising the war had ended) it was leased by W H Smiths as a staff training centre and hospital. After they left in 1974 it was empty and was damaged by squatters, before being purchased and used as a Catholic educational centre. For a couple of years from 2019 it became The Laurels School, a Catholic independent girls school, but since that has moved out to Upper Norwood is now offices. Much of the information here comes from the school web site.

Carabiniers' Memorial, Chelsea Embankment, 6th Dragoon Guards, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-26-positive_2400
Carabiniers’ Memorial, Chelsea Embankment, 6th Dragoon Guards, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-26

The Carabineers (Les Carabiniers) released in 1963 remains one of my favourite Godard films, as a satire on war, but the spirit which led to this memorial being erected by public subscription organised by the 6th Dragoon Guards in 2005 was very different.

Carabiniers (there are various spellings) were soldiers, usually cavalry, who carried carbines, short barrelled muskets (later rifles) which were lighter and easier to use on horseback than full length guns. This memorial to the men of the 6th Dragoon Guards killed in South Africa and China, designed by Adrian Jones, was erected in 1906. The regiment had its beginnings in 1685 when Richard Lumley raised a troop of horse riders to oppose the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion, though it went through many name changes before becoming the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) in 1826.

The regiment was sent to South Africa for the Second Boer War in 1899 and remained there until the war ended in 1902. Two plaques record the names of those who died there, one of around 30 killed in action and another slightly longer one those who died of wounds or disease.

Dilke St, Swan Walk,  Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-32-positive_2400
Dilke St, Swan Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-32

Dilke Street is a short street running parallel to Chelsea Embankment around 50 yards to its north between Swan Walk and Tite St. This house is part of a block on the north corner with Swan Walk and at its right is the entrance to Clover Mews, and its address is I think 9 Swan Walk.

Swan Walk overlooks the Chelsea Physic Garden and properties here are said to have an average value of £9m, though I think some are now divided into flats. The street gets its name from the Swan Inn, which gets a mention in Pepys diaries and was the finishing post of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race. Although the race still takes place, the inn here was demolished around 1780 and it now finishes at Cadogan Pier.

Another riverside inn around 150 yards further west on the other side of the Physic Garden was rebuilt as an inn and brewery at around the same time and confusingly renamed The Old Swan. This was demolished as a part of the site for a run of 18 houses built in the late 1870s, designed by some of the leading architects of the day including Norman Shaw. One of his houses is now called Swan House, and has been describe as London’s finest Queen Anne Revival domestic buildings and it was on sale in 2007 for £32m.

31 Tite St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5e-33-positive_2400
Tite St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-33

31 Tite St was designed by Robert William Edis (1839-1927), another of the architects who moved from Gothic to Queen Anne revival buildings such as this late 19th century artist’s studio and home. As well as being an architect he became the commanding officer of the Artist’s Rifles in 1883, becoming its honorary colonel in 1909.

The house and studio at 31-33 was built in 1877 for John Abbott McNeill Whistler, and he later persuaded fellow American Sir John Singer Sargent to move into No 31, where he lived until his death in 1925. The plaque above the circular window beside the door, too small to read in this picture, records “JOHN S. SARGEANT, R.A. WHO WAS BORN IN FLORENCE JAN . 12. MDCCCLVI, LIVED AND WORKED 24 YEARS IN THIS HOUSE AND DIED HERE APRIL 15. MCMXXV”.

Swan Walk,Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-46-positive_2400
Swan Walk,Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-46

I think I took this largely for the mysterious circular plaque on the brickwork of the post, which seems to be almost exactly the same side as the ball on the top of the post. It is very hard to make out the lettering on it, which seems to include some symbols not in the alphabet but from around the 8 o’clock to 5 o’clock position appears to have the letters ZOVID, possibly followed by an O.

I can find nothing out about this – so perhaps someone will enlighten me? Otherwise I will go on thinking it was placed there by visiting aliens. It could have some connection with the Chelsea Physic Garden whose curator around 1750, Philip Miller, probably lived here.

The houses in the background are I think part of 68 Royal Hospital Rd, since 1998 the home of Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. This part of the street was once called Paradise Row.

Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5g-13-positive_2400
Thomas Carlyle, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5g-13

Fortunately the story of the statue of Thomas Carlyle, erected in 1882 is more clearly stated in its inscriptions. On the front of the red granite plinth it states:

B DEC 4 1795
D FEB 5 1881

and on its right it records the name of the artist involved in the phrase ‘J.E. BOEHM. FECIT’ though as is says on the read, it was not actually made by Sir Edgar Boehm, sculptor, but cast at ‘H. YOUNG & CO. FOUNDERS. PIMLICO’.

Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-14-positive_2400
Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-14

Carlyle sits there facing the Thames and you can just make out Chelsea Bridge through the trees of the Embankment Gardens. Behind him is Cheyne Row where he moved in 1834, living there for the rest of his life.

Click on any of the images above to go to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse through many of my black and white images of London made that year.

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.

Knightsbridge – Around Hyde Park

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Rutland Gate, Westminster, 198888-4c-55-positive_2400
Rutland Gate, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-55

The Rutland Gate to Hyde Park from Knightsbridge is just to the west of Hyde Park Barracks, and Rutland Gate is a rather strange double square with bits that extends south from there. These houses are at its south-west extremity, and that in the right is called Clock House, though I think you have to imagine the clock in the circular window above the door. It does have a statue on its roof, or possibly on that of an adjoining building, which appears to be some kind of classical figure. The frontage dates from its conversion to a ‘bijou residence’ between the wars, and the statuary arrived in the 1960s when Austin Blomfield remodelled the house for a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Henry Aylwen.

Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02-positive_2400
Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02

Down the road at the Albert Memorial there is no shortage of sculptures, although I’m unsure why this rather large and half-dressed woman seated on an elephant should have been chosen to represent Asia. I suspect she more represents the fantasies of the sculptor than anything else.

Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12-positive_2400
Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12

Albert is also remembered in Albert Mews, through the archway on this picture of Victoria Grove. Victoria Grove runs from Gloucester Road to Victoria Road.

Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16-positive_2400
Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16

Kensington Court Gardens is a large mansion block built on the site of the Kensington Lawn Tennis Club in 1887-9 which was bought by Albert Barker. The block was designed by Henry Peck and built by Frederick Moir of Moir, Wallis and Company who moved into a flat there. The street, then Charles St, was renamed to Kensington Court Place in 1908. Flats then were advertised at between £195-£250 per year – equivalent allowing for inflation to £25,000 to £33,000. Some are quite large – one recent advertised had 4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a large study, large kitchen/breakfast room and 3 bathrooms.

The flats have a blue plaque for T S Elliot who moved to flat 3 after his secret marriage to his secretary and editor Valerie in 1957 when he was 68 and she was 30. He died in 1965 but she continued to live her until her death in 2012

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21

The blue plaque to sculptor Jacob Epstein is on a tall house at 18 Hyde Park Gate where he lived from 1929 until his death in 1959. Almost opposite is another blue plaque for novelist and playwright Enid Bagnold, and a little further down the road one for Winston Churchill who bought the house as his London base after his election defeat in 1945. Widely regarded as a hero for leading the country through the war, he is also vilified for his attacks on miners in Tonypandy, the deaths of millions of Indians in the Bengal famine, his approval of area bombing of German cities – surely a war crime – and many other actions.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22

The flag outside 45 Hyde Park Gate is the Australian flag as this is the Australian High Commissioners official residence. The house has been greatly altered and enlarged since it was built in 1838 as Stoke Lodge by Robert Thew, a major in the East India Company’s artillery.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31

Hyde Park Gate also includes sections running along the south side of Kensington Road as well as a road leading south. These modern flats are on the north east corner I think date from around 1972 when I think the houses on both sides of the entrance to the street were demolished.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4d-32-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-32

Reading the list of well-known people who have lived in Hyde Park Gate in the Survey of London and on Wikipedia it seems almost every house could have a blue plaque. This one is for Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, DL though there isn’t room for all that on the plaque at 9 Hyde Park Gate, which simply records “Robert Baden-Powell 1857-1941 Chief Scout of the World lived here”.

All pictures are from my album 1988 London Photos. Clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger versinon in the album from where you can navigate forward or backward through all the images.

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.

Around Pont St, 1988

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-01-positive_2400
Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-01

Back in 1988 I seem to have sentenced myself to wander extensively along Pont St, in earlier days one of London’s most fashionable streets and still one of its more expensive, linking Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-55-positive_2400
Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-55

Pont Street gets its name from the bridge over the river Westbourne, probably close to where Cadogan Lane now crosses the street close to its east end. Knightsbridge too was named for its bridge over this river, which flows down from Hampstead Heath to the Thames in Chelsea, passing across Sloane Square Underground Station in a very visible 19th century iron aqueduct. The bridge is still marked on maps from 1830 when the east section of Pont St was first developed but by 1840 the river had disappeared underground.

Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-56-positive_2400
Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-56

Pont Street originally was developed to the east of Sloane St and was only developed to the west in the late 1870s, with building continued in the following decade. Cadogan Square was built between 1877 and 1888.

Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3j-65-positive_2400
Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3j-65

‘Pont St’ became a synonym for the snobbish posh, and the architectural style of most the area around Pont St west of Sloane St was called by Osbert Lancaster ‘Pont St Dutch’. In Pevsner and Cherry’s London 3 North West, published in 1991 it is described as “tall sparingly decorated red brick mansions for very wealthy occupants, in the semi-Dutch, semi-Queen Anne manner of Shaw or George & Peto”. It is very handy for both Harrods and Sloane Square.

Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-64-positive_2400
Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-64

A welcome departure from this incredible rash of red-brick is St Columba’s Church, designed by Sir Edward Maule for the Church of Scotland. Completed in 1955 it replaced the orginal 1884 St Columba’s Church on the same site which had been destroyed by bombing in 1941. I think it altogether a more attractive building than Maule’s Guildford Cathedral.

St Columba's Church Of Scotland, church, Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3j-62-positive_2400
St Columba’s Church Of Scotland, church, Pont St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3j-62

Pont Street has had some famous residents, including Lillie Langtry who lived for five years at No 21. This became a part of the Cadogan Hotel, where famously Oscar Wilde was arrested in 1985.

Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-66-positive_2400
Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3i-66

All pictures (and more) in my album 1988 London Photos – and you can see a larger version of the images and browse through the album by clicking on any of them.

Kensington 1987

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Kensington Square,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-65-positive_2400
Kensington Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Kensington often seemed to me to be more a film set than a real place.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-55-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And it was certainly in places ‘HyperHyper’; this designer collective was launched in 1982 at 26-40 Kensington High St with stalls selling the latest and often looniest fashions from young designers. The caryatids were a hangover from the store’s previous incarnation as the Antiques Hypermarket. They are now long gone, and the site is now a rather down-market clothing store.

Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-02-positive_2400
Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building is still there, though under a different name and has lost its urns. Victoria Road is one of a number of streets that have at least once been named as the most expensive streets in the United Kingdom, though the hotel seems rather reasonably priced for the area.

Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-56-positive_2400
Kensington Gardens, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Mainly I went to Kensington Gardens to sit and eat my sandwich lunch when I was in the area, but I did take the odd picture.

Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-01-positive_2400
Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And another, of the sunken garden, set out in 1908. In 2017 it was named the Princess Diana Memorial Garden, but this picture was taken around ten years before she was killed.

Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-42-positive_2400
Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens, Westminster, 1987

Parts of the gardens, including the Round Pond, are in the London Borough of Westminster. The Round Pond is not remotely round, closer to an oval, but more a rectangle with very rounded corners.

Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-23-positive_2400
Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building with its magnificent winged lions is still there, and still a hotel, but with a different name, and a different entrance and railings.

De Vere Mews, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-14-positive_2400
De Vere Cottages, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

As the out of focus area at right indicates, I took this picture of a private courtyard through a gate from the street. It was originally built as Laconia Mews in 1877-8, with rooms for coaches at ground level, a steeply curved ramp leading to stables on the first floor with living accomodation for the carriage drivers and grooms on the second floor. It was converted into cottages shortly after the First World War and most has been considerably rebuilt since then, and a ‘cottage’ here now sells for £2-3 million.

Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10d-62-positive_2400
Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This row of shops remains, although all the names are different. Then they were mainly antique dealers and galleries, now slightly more varied.

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.

Missing Paris

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

I’m missing Paris. My first visit there was in 1966, when I spent a week or two in a Protestant student hostel a few miles south of the centre with my future wife – though in separate double rooms, each with another of the same sex – and students from around the mainly Francophone world. After breakfast each day we took the train for the short journey to the Left Bank and spent the day as tourists in the city and nearby attractions, though mainly just walking around the city as we were both still penniless students.

Paris 2008

We lunched outdoors in parks and squares, buying baguettes and stuffing them with chocolate or pate as we couldn’t afford cafes or bars, eating cheap fruit for afters. We went out of Paris to Versailles, where I managed to drop my camera in the lake as we climbed into a boat to row around the lake. The boatman fished it out and handed it back to me as we got out of the boat, rather obviously expecting a reward, but all I could afford was my thanks. The camera never worked reliably after that, and it was five years before I could afford to replace it.

We returned to the hostel for an evening meal, which introduced me to some very strange dishes – and I think one evening as a special treat we were given a kind of horsemeat stew; it tasted fine, but I’ve never sought to repeat the experience. After dinner we crowded into a room with the rest of the inhabitants to watch the games of the World Cup, though I’d gone home before the final.

Quai de Jemappes / Rue Bichat, 10e, Paris, 1984

It was some years before we could afford another foreign holiday – we’d spent our honeymoon in Manchester with a day trip to the Lake District, a visit to Lyme Park and some walks around Glossop. But in 1973 we were back for a couple of weeks in Paris, this time at a hostel in the centre and sharing a room. We took with us the Michelin Guide (in French) and I think followed every walk in the book, which took us to places most tourists never reach – it was then much more thorough than the later English versions.

Monmartre, 1973

In 1973 I had two cameras with me. A large and clunky Russian Zenith B with its 58mm f/2 Helios lens and a short telephoto, probably the 85mm f2 Jupiter 9, but also the more advanced fixed lens rangefinder Olympus SP, with its superb 42mm f1.7 lens, a simple auto exposure system as well as full manual controls. I needed my Weston Master V exposure meter to work with the Zenith. You can see more of the photographs I took on my Paris Photos web site. Some of these pictures were in my first published magazine portfoliolater in 1973.

It was a while before we returned to Paris, though we went through it by train on our way to Aix-en-Provence and on bicycles from between stations on our way to the Loire Valley in the following couple of years. Then came two children, and it was 1984 before we returned to the city with them when I came to photograph my ‘Paris Revisited‘ a homage to one of the great photographers of Paris, Eugene Atget, which you can see in the Blurb Book and its preview as well as on my Paris Web site.

Placement libre-atelier galerie, Paris 2012

We returned to the city several times later in the 1980s and 1990s, and more regularly after 2000, when I went in several Novembers for a week, usually with my wife, to visit the large Paris Photo exhibition as well as many other shows which took place both as a part of the official event and its fringe. One week there I went to over 80 exhibitions, including quite a few openings.

La Villette, Canal St Martin, 19e, Paris 1984-paris285

But the last time I was in Paris was in November 2012. Partly because Paris Photo changed and there seemed to be less happening around it in the wider city than in previous years. We’d planned to go in 2015 but were put off by Charlie Hebdo shooting and later the November terrorist attack. More attacks in 2018 also put us off visiting France, but we’d promised ourselves a visit to Paris in 2020 – and then came the virus.


While I’ve been stuck at home since March, I have been visting France virtually, going back to my slides taken in 1974 in the South of France, of our ride up the Loire Valley in 1975 and of Paris in 1984, all of which are now on Flickr. Most recently I’ve returned to Paris in 1988, with over 300 black and white pictures from Paris and some of its suburbs.

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.