Posts Tagged ‘black and white’

Yet More West End 1987

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
Schomberg House, Pall Mall,St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6b-36-positive_2400

My walks around London’s Westminster and Mayfair continued in June and July 1987 and ranged wider into Notting Hill. The selection of pictures I’ve put on Flickr represents roughly one sixth of the pictures I took, and are those I now find more interesting and feel will interest others more. They include a rather higher proportion of statues and sculpture and rather less of the more workaday buildings and scenes. I was also beginning to become rather freer in my use of film, more often taking two or even three frames of a particular building or view.

June was a busy time of year for me in my teaching, with students taking exams and I was involve in both marking and moderation, both stretching into the early weeks of July until term ended and sometimes beyond. I envied those who were free to go to Arles for the Rencontres, but could only read the accounts in the magazines (the web was yet to come) and by the time I’d left teaching and could have gone had lost the urge to do so.

Schomberg House in Pall Mall is a grand facade, partly from the town house built in 1698 for the Duke of Schomberg. The eastern third of it was demolished in 1850, but when the building behind the facade was demolished and redeveloped into offices in 1956 the missing part of the facade was rebuilt to restore the symmetry of the whole facade. This “Central projecting caryatid porch of painted Coade stone (dated 1791)” was originally the main entrance to the house, but now has no doorway, just a window. The ‘allegory of painting’ above the door possibly reflects that for some years the building was occupied by the artist John Astley (and the rather better known  Thomas Gainsborough lived in part of the house too),  though if it also dates from 1791 the house had passed into the ownership of the Scottish quack James Graham who, according to Wikipedia, set it up as a “Temple of Health and Hymen”, a high class brothel and gambling den which was eventually raided and closed down by the police.

Ship model, Cunard, Pall Mall,St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6b-26-positive_2400

Cunard had an office in Pall Mall when Charles Dickens wrote his Dickens’s Dictionary of London in 1879, and there was still an office there in 1987, although clearly in a more modern building. I’m not sure if this is a part of the rather ugly functional building that is still there on the north side of Pall Mall, but what attracted me was clearly the model ship in the window.

King St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6b-33-positive_2400

This is 54 Pall Mall and the site was for over a hundred years until 1940 occupied, according to The Survey of London on British History Online by
Messrs. Foster, auctioneers. They commissioned this frontage from architects Karslake and Mortimer in 1891, and later in 1931 had the building rebuilt behind it. That architectural practice ended in 1895 when Mortimer died and Karslake retired. This building with its perhaps strange mixing of styles was Grade II listed at the end of 1987. It is now the offices of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

The Golden Lion, King St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6b-34-positive_2400

The Golden Lion in King St was more interesting to me, not just because it was still open as a public house, though I don’t remember having been inside. The first record of a pub on this site, then the Golden Lyon, is in 1732, but the present building dates from 1897-8. The architect is not known, but the Survey of London has a long description which begins rather snootily:

Designed in a grotesque imitation of the Jacobean Baroque, its narrow stone front bulges with projecting windows and carved ornament on a scale quite out of keeping with its size. 

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vols29-30/pt1/pp295-307#h3-0012

I found it an appealing exuberance. This was a time when architecture of the late nineteenth and early 20th century was only really beginning to be widely appreciated, and this building was again Grade II listed at the end of the year.

Burne House,Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-6c-13-positive_2400

You may need to look closely to see that the ‘building’ that occupies most of the lower section of this picture is not a building but simply a painting on a high fence in front of a building site.

The tall block is Burne House, built as a BT Telecommunications Centre in 1977 with 15 floors and around 207ft tall. The hoarding or wall on which the painted scene is is now a plain brick wall separating Peabody housing in Burne St, completed in 1977, from the Marylebone Rd.

Large Spindle Piece, Henry Moore, Sculpture, Spring Gardens, Westminster, 1987 87-6c-35-positive_2400

Henry Moore’s Large Spindle Piece was in Spring Gardens from from 1981 to 1996. Seven copies of this large bronze were cast in 1974 and this was the ‘artist’s cast’, currently on loan to Network Rail and in the square in front of Kings Cross station.

Britannia, Field Marshal Lord Clyde, statue, Baron Carlo Marochetti, Waterloo Place, Westminster, London  87-6c-55-positive_2400

Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde (1792 – 1863) was one of the leading British military figures of his age; born Colin Macliver, he adopted the family name of his uncle in whose care he then was when he enlisted in 1808. He served in the Peninsular War (where his only brother had been killed) and went on to fight in many of our European and colonial wars of the era. There is a lengthy description of his career on Wikipedia.

In 1823 he was aide-de-camp to the governor in Demerara in Barbados, it is not clear if he took part in the brutal reprisals against the slave rebellion there in August 1823, but he was a part of the court martial which sentenced the Reverend John Smith to death. From there he went to Ireland where troops were needed to force the Roman Catholic majority to pay tithes to the Anglican Church of Ireland. In 1842 he led his regiment fighting in the First Opium War in China and later in the year was made commandant of Hong Kong. In 1848-9 he led his brigade in battles in the Second Anglo-Sikh War and afterwards was involved in other operations, though he resigned in disgust when asked to mount an invasion of the Swat Valley.

He is probably best known for his service in the Crimean War, where he commanded the Highland Brigade and was notably photographed by Roger Fenton. He was then made a general and sent to India to command all the British forces there and put an end to the ‘Indian Mutiny’, only returning to England in 1860 when ” all aspects of the revolt had died away”.

He died in 1863, and the statue by Baron Carlo Marochetti was erected in Waterloo Place in 1867. Campbell had obviously been a brave and courageous soldier and had done a great deal for Britannia, ensuring that if not the waves, she ruled the lands of many other peoples and was able to plunder them for profit. Men like him made possible the great wealth of our Victorian elites that we now see. Quite how we regard that now is a matter for debate, and his memorial is obviously in need of a great deal of recontextualisation, but it has more character as a work of art than most statues.


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

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.


Notting Hill Carnival 2000

Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-814-55_2400

Some might think that pictures from 2000 have no place in an album called ‘Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s‘, but the decade really starts with 1991 as when we move to labelling years as ‘anno Domini’ or AD the first year was 1 and not 0. It was only around 1200 that the idea of zero and ‘0’ as a number really came into European thought, though it had existed much earlier in other civilisations in Asia, the Middle East and South America. So while some celebrated the Millenium at the start of 2000, the more educated knew it really had another year to go.

Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-817-45_2400

But its actually just a matter of convenience and the result of a small mistake I made when I was putting together an exhibition of my first ten years at Carnival. For some reason I thought I had first taken pictures there in 1991, so this was to cover the years 1991-2000, but as I worked on the show I found I had also been there in 1990.

Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-819-34_2400

For the moment I’ll end this album at 2000, though probably I’ll come back later and change its name to include all those years I covered the carnival on film rather than digital, though I’m not quite sure when that was.

Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-805-32_2400

I’d also intended the album simply to be black and white pictures, but then I found a couple of years where I had taken few or no black and white pictures. So I’m now busily scanning colour negatives from the other years and adding them. Except for one year where I seem to have mislaid the file containing the negatives – which I’ve spend hours searching for, so far without success.

Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-805-66_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-808-52_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall  Notting Hill Carnival, 2000. Peter Marshall 00-809-36_2400

See more pictures from 2000 on Page 3 of ‘Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s‘.


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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Notting Hill Carnival 1999

Friday, September 11th, 2020

I’ve so far digitised only a small proportion of images that I took of Carnival in 1999, though I think that those I’ve put into the Flickr album Notting Hill Carnival in the 1990s are probably the best of those I took. But I’m sure there are some other pictures worth adding later from the 600 or so black and white pictures I took over the two days – and I also made around 250 in colour.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-807-15_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-808-34_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-808-56_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-810-31_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-817-35_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-817-61_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1999. Peter Marshall 99-821-63_2400

As usual, the pictures display rather small on this site, but clicking on them will take you to a larger version on Flickr. You can see all the pictures from 1999 in the album by clicking on this link to go to the first and then clicking to go to next picture to go through the other 18.


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

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.


More West End 1987

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
Dover St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-35-positive_2400

I can offer little explanation for this rather sad looking bust, odd cup and plates which my contact sheet says I photographed in Dover St. I think the odd cup in the foreground is actually an extremely naff clock, with the lower snake’s head pointing to the hour and the upper head to a disk showing minutes. In the unlikely event it was working I took this picture at around 11.58. What it lacks is a rod coming out of the top with an arm holding a small bird or fly whizzing around for the seconds.

I guess the guy in the background could be Titus or Vespasian; most of the other Emperors had fancier hair, at least in their busts. This one looks around life-size and could well be the sculptor’s grandfather but more likely a copy of an older figure. From the number of similar busts around I have a picture of circles of student sculptors around a bust in a gallery at perhaps the V&A, each chipping away at a block of marble as an exam piece. Whoever did this one would have deserved a decent grade.

Berkeley St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-56-positive_2400

More sculptures with two young stone ladies pretending to hold up a porch in Berkeley St. It looks a rather boring job. But although both seem to be scratching their heads they don’t appear to be putting a great deal of effort into it.

Ukrainian RC Cathedral, Duke St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-24-positive_2400

Whenever I see this building it amazes me that this gaudy and extravagant edifice was built as a Congregational Church, the King’s Weighouse Church, built in 1889-91 to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse, better known for his Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Congregationalists are Puritans, tracing their heritage back to the Brownists and the London Underground Church of the 1560s. Rejecting the ecclesiastical trappings at the centre of the Anglican Church – cathedrals, bishops, vestments, formal liturgies, priests, the sign of the cross and more – they espoused a simple austere faith based on the priesthood of all believers.

Of course over the years there was some back-tracking. But most Congregational church buildings remained suitable austere, often with at least a hint of the Classical – and some did it very finely but without great ornament. Sadly their practices deteriorated to the extent of allowing church choirs, though these consisted of adult members who considered they could sing, and organs. But as someone raised in the tradition (though no longer involved) I still fine the ornate nature of this building surprising.

Perhaps it was becuase the King’s Weighouse came from an older – and Royal tradition, tracing its ancestry back to Queen Matilda’s ‘Free Chapel’ at the Tower of London, founded by her in 1148 and not subject to the rule of any bishop. When the 1662 Act of Uniformity made the Book of Common Prayer and other aspects of Anglican practice compulsory almost the entire congregation left and shortly after began to worship as an independent congregation in an ancient building on Cornhill where foreign goods coming into London were weighed – the King’s Weigh House. They kept the name when they built their own chapel where Monument station now is, and later in other buildings, bringing it to Mayfair where they combined with a congregation already on this site and then built a new church.

Perhaps it was the influence of this building which in the 1920s led the church, then led by Rev Dr W. E. Orchard to moving towards Rome and developing what became known as ‘Free Catholicism’. The church never really recovered from wartime requisition and bomb damage and closed in the 1950s. Since June 1968  it has been the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of he Holy Family of Exile, which seems a far more suitable use for the building. You can read more about it on the Cathedral web site, from which much of the above comes.

Air St, Piccadilly, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-33-positive_2400

In Air Street we could almost be inside a cathedral. The rebuilding of the area around Piccadilly Circus was a subject of various proposals, plans and debates from around 1886 until 1928 which you can read in some detail in British History Online and possibly make more of than me. It involved many of the UK’s leading architects of the era, including Richard Norman Shaw and Sir Reginald Blomfield. I think that this section was built to Blomfield’s designs in 1923-8, but by that point in the text my eyes were fully glazed.

Regent St, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-34-positive_2400

In Regent St I was faced with the problem of photographing something which I find rather bland and boring – like most of the more monumental architecture of that period.

I found another curve to go with the two of the street, but I think it is no longer there – and many other details of the shops etc have changed. Bus Stop C is still there, but no longer served by Routemasters.

Christ Church, Cosway St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-36-positive_2400

Christ Church in Cosway street, Marylebone was no longer a church when I took this picture having been made redundant in 1978 and converted into offices. This Grade II* church was built in 1824-5 by Thomas Hardwick and his son Philip Hardwick, one of the more interesting of the many cut-price Commissioner’s Churches built from 1820-1850 to cope with the rapid expansion of the urban population.

Despite the appearance it is a largely brick building with stone dressing. It was altered in 1887 by Sir A W Blomfield but I think this did not affect the portico or tower, a rather unusual construction, “3-stage tower with square Ionic peristyle with cylindrical core rising into octagonal cupola with volutes.”

More on page 4 of my album 1987 London Photos.


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

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.


Notting Hill 1996

Friday, September 4th, 2020

for sep 4th

Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-823-46-16_2400

For 1996 I was back to working with black and white, and it was a year which produced a few of my favourite images of Carnival. I’d looked at the results from the previous year and found the colour often distracting. It was the people that attracted me, not the colourful costumes.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-89-34_2400

I took around 800 black and white pictures over the two days of carnival in 1996, but cannot find a single colour image. Unlike for some of the earlier years I haven’t recently reviewed the whole set of pictures and there may be a few more to add when I do so.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-814-54-16_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-816-24 (2)_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-817-41s_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1996. Peter Marshall 96-823-14-16_2400

You can see more of the pictures from 1996 (and other years) in my album Notting Hill Carnival in the 1990s. The pictures from 1996 start towards the bottom of page 2.

I’ll post some more from Notting Hill later in the year when I’ve added more pictures to this album.


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

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.


Notting Hill 1993

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

I’ve started, so I might as well finish. Here are a few of my pictures from Notting Hill Carnival in 1993, still in black and white. I did take a few in colour, probably using up a film already in the camera, but I’ve not really looked at them yet. Perhaps in a few days I’ll find time.

In the 1990s I was still working as a full-time teacher in a Sixth Form and Community College, and too often we seemed to start the term the Tuesday after carnival and I would go into work with ears still ringing part-deafened from the previous day. Carnival wasn’t just loud on the ears, the tarmac of the street vibrated with the beat, and so too did your internal organs, your whole body dancing to the music. It took me a few days to recover. Fortunately the first few days of term were mostly taken up with administration and not actual teaching.

It’s now around 20 years since I left full-time teaching to earn a living through writing and photography so even had I been able to go to carnival I wouldn’t be worried about going in to work today.

I seem to have taken rather fewer pictures than usual in 1993, or at least to have scanned rather fewer. I was in Notting Hill on both the Sunday and Monday and made almost 500 exposures, but there are only 17 in the album from that year. Looking at the contact sheets I think there are probably a few more worth adding when I have time.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bl-61_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bm-33_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bp-62_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bf-43_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bg-12_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bj-21-8_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1993. Peter Marshall 93-8bl-53_2400

More in the album Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s


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

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.


May and Mayfair 1987

Monday, August 24th, 2020
The Fountains, Hyde Park, Westminster, 1987 87-5g-41-positive_2400

I’ve tried on several occasions to photograph the Italian Fountains in Kensington Gardens, an ornamental garden said to have been a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria in around 1860, designed by James Pennethorne and incorporating ideas from their holiday home at Osborne House on The Isle of Wight. There are five main designs on the urns there, including the ram’s heads you see a few times in this picture, a swan’s breast, woman’s head, dolphin and oval. Taken in May when I think the trees in the background are at their best, some in leaf and others still showing their structure. The garden has been renovated since I made this picture.

Connaught Place, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-5g-61-positive_2400

There seems to be a gate to the pavement of Connaught Place in Bayswater, probably to keep out the riff-raff like you and me, and I clearly chose to photograph through it as a frame to the formal architecture of the line of grand porches beyond. Although there are extremely expensive properties in a prestigious address, I find them rather dull, these heavy porches uneasy add-ons to the bland five-storey plain brick behind – which I chose not to include in my picture. But despite the porches, these are really the back doors of these building.

Bayswater Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-5g-63-positive_2400

The houses may have their doors in Connaught Place but the clearly face to Hyde Park, where the row has these magnificent balconies. I also photographed them in landscape format, but need to replace that image on Flickr as I find the negative moved at left to give a double image when I was making the digital camera ‘scan’, probably because the negative holder was not fully closed.

87-5h-24-positive_2400

Shepherd Market in Mayfair describes itself as “a charming small square and piazza with a variety of boutique shops, restaurants and impressive Victorian pubs” and ” A hidden gem known for its wonderful relaxed village-like atmosphere.” It gets its name from Edward Shepherd who developed the area in 1735-46 on open ground where the annual May Fair had been held. Wikipedia comments “It was associated with upmarket prostitutes from its building up until at least the 1980s” and they were still in business when I made these pictures in the area. In 1987 it still retained something of the shabby charm from its really run-down times when it was popular with artists and writers 60 years earlier. The area is something of a maze of streets and alleys and I no longer recall exactly where this picture was taken.

Shepherd Market, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5i-35-positive_2400

You can still find Da Corradi’s Italian Restaurant and Ye Grapes in Shepherd Market though I think both have changed somewhat are there are now more tables in the narrow street.

Hertford St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5h-64-positive_2400

Hertford St runs from Park Lane to Shepherd Market and then takes a turn north to Curzon St. This building is still there on the corner with Shepherd St and I think is a part of an expensive and exclusive private member’s club outside which I’ve recently photographed protests calling for kitchen staff to get a living wage and better conditions of service. The club is on five floors and includes a nightclub, four restaurants, four bars, a private dining room, cigar shop, a courtyard and a roof terrace and has a dress code which prohibits ‘sportswear of any kind’, t-shirts, shorts, sandals and dirty trainers. Personally having watched the kind of people who go into it I’m pleased not to be a member.

Hertford St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5h-35-positive_2400

Towering above the western end of Hertford St is the ugly bulk of the London Hilton in Park Lane, the first Hilton to open in the UK in 1963. 331 Feet tall it overlooks Mayfair, Hyde Park and, more controversially at the time of building, Buckingham Palace and its gardens. The hotel is on 28 floors and has 453 rooms and according to Wikipedia is now the 84th equal tallest building in London, though around twenty still under construction will soon edge it out of the top 100, though I think it will remain one of the tallest in the West End – only Centre Point and the Millbank Tower are taller.


Paddington Arm 1987

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020
Paddington Arm, Regents Canal, Westway, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-4a-23-positive_2400
Paddington Arm, Regents Canal, Westway, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

You can just see the canal through the open hatch and across the galley area of the narrow-boat Crystal closest to the camera, but the view struck me as a remarkable interlocking of the boats, roads and buildings, different eras of construction and transport. The Westway here sits on top of the Harrow Road bridge over the canal, the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union which was opened in 1801. (Confusingly there is a separate Harrow Road bridge across the canal a hundred yards northwest and yet another a kilometre further on.) At right we have the concrete architecture built for the road operations of British Rail in 1968-9, around the same time as the Westway which opened in 1970. Its building made very clear the tremendous damage that building urban motorways caused to the city.

Footbridge, Lord Hill's Rd, Westbourne Green, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-12-positive_2400
Footbridge, Lord Hill’s Rd, Westbourne Green, Westminster, 1987

There was just something zany about this view that appealed to me, with the smooth curve of the metal lamp support and the jagged line of the concrete bridge., and the two circular objects, lamp and mirror and that dagger of a church spire with its cross.

Regents Canal, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-23-positive_2400
Regents Canal, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987

A rather more conventional view of the canal and a canal bridge, though I did deliberately include in the foreground those rails and slope leading to nowhere. This is the bridge at the west end of Little Venice, and takes Westbourne Terrace Road across to Blomfield Rd at the right of the picture. Google Maps names this place as the Little Venice ‘Ferry Terminal’.

Footbridge,Blomfield Rd, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-26-positive_2400
Footbridge,Blomfield Rd, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1987

The north end of the footbridge in a picture above, which linked Lord Hills Road and Blomfield Rd. Here I took a simpler approach to its concrete edge, making it a jagged diagonal, emphasized by the handrails. On one side of it the graffiti, to its right the regularity of the houses, probably dating from around 1850, in Blomfield Rd. The footbridge has since been replaced by a rather less interesting metal bridge.

The Blomfields came over with William the Conqueror in 1066, their name deriving from the village of Blonville-sur-Mer in Calvados, Normandy. There were many of them by the 19th century when this road was named, and among them several bishops, well-known architects etc. I suspect it was named after Charles James Blomfield (1786 – 1857)  who was Bishop of London from 1828 until he resigned due to ill health in 1856.

Regents Canal, Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-43-positive_2400
Regents Canal, Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987
Regents Canal, Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-44-positive_2400

This area next to the Westbourne Terrace Road bridge and opposite the Canal Offices used to be home to a strange collection of stone works, but these were removed and for some years this was just an empty patch of grass. It is now a ‘wildlife refuge’, not for big game like those here, but, thanks to Edward Wilson Primary School, is The Bug Hotel, Bloomfield Garden.

Regents Canal, Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-45-positive_2400
Regents Canal, Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, Westminster, 1987
Westway, Regents Canal, Westbourne Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4c-22-positive_2400
Westway, Regents Canal, Westbourne Grove, Westminster, 1987

Finally my young assistant takes a rest (and a photograph) by the canal underneath the Westway.

All pictures were taken in April 1987 and are from my Flickr album 1987 London Photos which now contains over 700 photographs.


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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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Marylebone musings

Sunday, August 9th, 2020
Joseph Bros, Textiles, Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-45-positive_2400
Joseph Bros, Textiles, Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

Joseph Bros (Textiles) Ltd according to Companies House is dissolved, last filing company reports in 2006, though some online directories still list it at an address in Finchley which appears to be a garage. But the building is still there, with its ground floor occupied until recently by an “avant-garde” cosmetics company claiming inspiration from Salvador Dali claiming a “cosmetic artistic approach to stop time and restore youthful appearance.” Seeing what Dali did with clocks in his ‘The Persistence of Memory’ and other works, I don’t think I’d want to entrust my own ‘clock’ to them.

Park Crescent, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-21-positive_2400
Park Crescent, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

John Nash’s Park Crescent, built in 1812-21 for the Prince Regent and still owned by the Crown Estate is of course Grade I listed, although only its facades are orginal, everything behind them having been restored in the 1960s. They had been badly damaged by bombing in 1940.

According to John Summerson‘s classic work ‘Georgian London’ published in 1945 (my copy is of the 1947 reprint though bought a little later) “Nash inaugurated the real stucco age with the building of Park Crescent in Parker’s Roman Cement in 1812“. He also comments that “the simple appropriateness of Park Crescent with its Ionic colonnades is beyond criticism“.

All Saints Church, Margaret St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-02-positive_2400
All Saints Church, Margaret St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

All Saints Church in a kind of fantasy gothic called for a very different treatment. It was designed by William Butterfield in 1850 and completed in 1859. Another Grade I listed structure it has been described by Simon Jenkins as “architecturally England’s most celebrated Victorian church” and was pioneering in its use of brick rather than the traditional gothic stone. It set a style that would be much copied for the next 20 years though largely less flamboyantly.

I’ve always felt it would be a good location for a horror film, but is actually a leading centre for Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England.

West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-52-positive_2400
West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Quite in contrast is the West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, opened in 1870. The congregation had split away from the Sephardi and Ashkenazi synagogues to worship as “British Jews”, adopting a practice based on the “written Torah”. In 1940 they becamae a part of mainstream Reform Judaism.

The architectural style of the building, by Henry David Davis (1838/9-1915) and Barrow Emanuel (1841-1904), is described as Neo-Byzantine, and is certainly unlike their other works I’ve been able to identify. As well as some artisanal blocks of flats for the East End Dwellings Company they also designed the City of London School for Boys still on Victoria Embankment. The synagogue seems to me a slightly odd amalgam of a fortress and a triumphal gateway.

Off-licence, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-51-positive_2400
Off-licence, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

I was amused by the shop sign and not at all sure that I understood it when I took this photograph of what appears to be a rather up-market off-licence. I’m still not sure about it, with a star, arrow and what seemed to me half a lyre with the text ‘E du V’. Doubtless there is some obvious cultural reference which is lost on me, and hopefully someone will point out my ignorance in response to this post.

The reflection in the window clearly indicates it was on a corner of Upper Berkeley St, though I’m not sure on which corner, possibly of Seymour St. It is surely long gone.

St Mary's Church, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987
St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s School, Wyndham Place, Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

The church, listed Grade I, was designed by Robert Smirke and built in 1823-4. There is a very full description of the church in ‘A Topographical and Historical Account of the Parish of St. Mary Le Bone’ by Thomas Smith, printed and published in 1833 by John Smith and available at the Internet Archive. The descirption ends on p105-6 with these comments:

It would have been desirable, if possible, to have procured a site for this church in a more central part of the District than that which has been assigned to it. In short, it should almost seem as if the greatest possible pains had been taken to select a site, in all respects the most inconvenient for the majority of the congregation ; it being surrounded by streets of worse than a second rate description.

If it be said, that the accommodation of the poor has been principally consulted the answer is the poor are always sure to fill the free seats allotted to them wherever the service of the Church of England is decently and impressively performed. The tower and cupola of this church form a tolerably picturesque termination to the view from Cumberland Gate, Hyde Park.

Internet Archive
Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-21-positive_2400
Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987
St Mary's School, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987  87-3d-11-positive_2400
St Mary’s School, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Marylebone Doors

Friday, August 7th, 2020
Duchess St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-65-positive_2400
Duchess St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

This gem of a building is just around a corner from the BBC on a few yards down Duchess St, on the opposite side of Portland Place was built to the plans of Robert Adam in 1769-71 as the stable-coach house to Chandos House, Queen Anne Street, and was altered – according to its Grade II listing text “quite sympathetically” around 1924 by Arthur Bolton. The text states it is now part of the British Medical Association.

The lean of the lamp post emphasises the rectangular formality and symmetry of the building as does the man walking past. I’m not sure if I would have preferred not to have a taxi speeding into the picture. The 35mm shift lens enabled me to keep the verticals upright and get the whole building in frame from the opposite side of a fairly narrow street.

Mansfield St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-56-positive_2400
Mansfield St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Just around the corner from the previous picture is this magnificent fence with its baskets of flowers. I felt the out of focus bush made a suitable contrast between natural vegetation and its representation.

I think this is the garden screen mentioned in the listing text and probably like the house behind dates from 1914.

Hinde St,  Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-22-positive_2400
Hinde St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Doorways are one of the most important architectural features of buildings, and this one very clearly gives an impression of the luxury of the flats inside Hinde House.

Hinde St,  Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-21-positive_2400
Hinde St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

A similar doorway next door (London streets sometime number in odd ways) is a little plainer, perhaps suggesting that inside are flats for less important people. Though it is certainly not a ‘poor door’ leading to any social housing in the block.

The Royal Society of Medicine, Henrietta Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-52-positive_2400
The Royal Society of Medicine, Henrietta Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

My theme of doors continues with the grand entrance for The Royal Society of Medicine in Henrietta Place.

Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-42-positive_2400

And another door is a prominent feature in this building with its series of semi-circles on Marylebone Lane. It’s a building with the window at the centre of the picture set a little lower, so it seems to be winking at us.

Again a taxi has crept in. There are far too many of them, often simply cruising around empty in the centre of London, a significant cause of both pollution and congestion. They are slowly changing from diesel to electric which will help with the pollution, but wont ease the congestion. Ridiculously they are exempted from the congestion charge while minicabs have to pay it. We don’t need ‘ply for hire’ when cabs can be summoned by smartphone and its time for change.

Rimmel, Wigmore St, Marylebone,, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-25-positive_2400
Rimmel, Wigmore St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

There are a few more pictures of doors in the area in this section of my 1987 London Photos, but this at Bessborough House on the corner of Cavendish Square is perhaps the most impressive. According to the Grade II listing the house dates from 1770s with c.1800 and early C20 alterations. About this entrance it states “Blind return to Wigmore Street has neo-Adam style pilaster treatment to ground floor with shallow relief modelled “graces” between pairs of pilasters under entablature – all in stucco.”

When I took this picture it had the circular message at left that it was the premises of Rimmel, the cosmetics house founded in 1834 by French-born perfume chemist Eugène Rimmel and often known as Rimmel London. He put on sale a product for darkening eyelashes using the newly invented petroleum jelly and black pigment, marketed under the name mascara which was hugely successful both in the UK and internationally – and mascara is still called ‘Rimmel’ in a number of languages.

More pictures on page 3 of 1987 London Photos.


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

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.