Posts Tagged ‘children’

More Around the Roman

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-64-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-64

It’s doubtful if the Romans ever marched or walked along Roman Road, although some Roman remains have been found in the area. But most will have gone along Old Ford Rd which runs parallel a short distance to the north, it’s ford taking them across the River Lea from Londinium to the Iceni capital Venta Icenorum around 5 miles south of modern Norwich.

Most of Roman Road was only built when the sewer system was extended by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 to allow further development in the area around, extending what was then Green St to the east, beyond Grove Road into Old Ford to an end a little short of the Lea. The western section from the Cambridge Bridge Road was only renamed to be part of Roman Road when London street names were rationalised in the 1930s – there were far too many Green Streets. It makes consulting old sources of information about shops and houses on the road difficult as all the street numbers then changed. The market in Roman Road was set up in the late 1860s.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-65-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-65

The whole area was a stronghold for the suffragettes, particularly after the formation of the East London Federation of the Women’s Social and Political Union by Dr Richard Pankhurst and his wife Emmeline Pankhurst, founder members of the Independent Labour Party in the same year, 1893. This was unusual in welcoming men as members and also having a democratic organisation. Their daughter Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation were expelled from the WSPU in 2014 and set up the East London Federation of Suffragettes (ELFS) and set up a newspaper, The Woman’s Dreadnought, published from Roman Road. In 1917 its title was changed to Workers’ Dreadnought, with the slogan ‘Socialism, Internationalism, Votes for All’ and it continued in publication until 1924.

The East End was a very political area, but not only for its suffragettes and socialists and in the 1930s became of the the areas of strongest support for Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. Their support came mainly from the middle classes in the area, shopkeepers and other traders and business owners rather than the working class, but it was strong enough for the area to have two BUF branches until it was proscribed under Defence Regulation 18B of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-66-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-66

Bethnal Green was badly affected by bombing in World War II and the Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green carried out extensive building of council housing in the 1950s and 60s, with some outstanding architecture close to Roman Road. In 1965 Bethnal Green merged with Stepney and Poplar to become the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area has in more recent years become considerably gentrified, a process which was beginning to be clear when I took these pictures in 1988.

Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-52-Edit_2400
Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-52

South of Roman Road and roughly parallel to it is Tredegar Road, built up in the 1850s and 60s. Star Auto Electrics fortunately informs us it was at 123A Tredegar Rd. This is now the site of a large block of flats.

Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-54-Edit_2400
Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-54
Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-56-Edit_2400
Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-56

This neat late nineteenth century terrace is still there on Tredegar Rd. The street – like the rather better known (and roughly four times as expensive) Tredegar Square close by south of the railway line gets its name from Lord Tredegar, Sir Charles Morgan (1760-1846) who made a large fortune promoting agriculture in south Wales and in 1824 was granted a private act of parliament by King George IV to develop a large area of Mile End and Bow. Although several of the streets are named after places in Wales, they have not inherited a Welsh pronunciation.

Tredegar Rd, Coburn Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-41-Edit_2400
Tredegar Rd, Coburn Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-41

This picture was made at the junction of Tredegar Road at its west end with Coborn Road, though nothing in the picture remains. A few yards away around the corner in Coborn Road there are some older buildings and the site of the former railway station, opened as Old Ford in 1865, later renamed as Coborn Road and then Coborn Road for Old Ford which was permanently closed and largely demolished in 1946.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-45-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-45

My walk ended on Roman Road, where I joined a queue at a bus stop waiting for the bus to take me back into the City and from there by Underground and British Rail back home.


Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album.


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


Focus E15 Mums at City Hall 2014

Monday, February 21st, 2022

Focus E15 Mums at City Hall 2014. Focus E15 mothers and children, threatened with eviction from the Mother and Baby Unit at the Focus E15 hostel in Stratford came on a decorated bus to City Hall, holding a party outside and trying to hand in a petition and card to then city Mayor Boris Johnson.

I’d met the Focus E15 Mums the previous month when they partied inside the Stratford offices of East Thames Housing Association who run the hostel, but the eviction notices had come in October 2013 because Newham Council had decided to cut the funding for the hostel.

Newham was then at the centre of a post-Olympic housing boom, with both private developers and East Thames building large blocks of flats around the area. But the great majority of these are for sale or rent at market prices, and many were being bought not to live in but by overseas investors keen to cash in on the steeply rising prices of housing in London. Even housing associations build mainly for those on good salaries who can afford shared ownership schemes, with minimal homes at council-level rents.

Newham Council Mayor Robin Wales told the mothers there were no properties available in the area at council rents. He made it clear than if you are poor, Newham doesn’t want you, and they were offered rented accommodation far outside of London, in Birmingham, Manchester, Hastings and even Wales – “expensive, sometimes poor quality, insecure one year private rents” – with the threat that anyone who turned down the offers would be regarded as having made themselves intentionally homeless and get no help from the council.

The mothers in the hostel decided to stand together and fight the council, demanding they be placed within suitable socially rented accommodation in Newham. Among other areas they point out that there is good quality council-owned housing on the Carpenters Estate, a short walk from their hostel, which Newham council have left empty, in some cases for ten years, as they try to sell off the area for development – despite having the highest waiting list for social housing in London.

As I wrote in 2014, London Mayor Boris Johnson Boris Johnson “has made it clear that he is opposed to the gentrification of London, stating: ‘The last thing we want to have in our city is a situation such as Paris where the less well-off are pushed out to the suburbs’ and promising ‘I’ll emphatically resist any attempt to recreate a London where the rich and poor cannot live together…’ But these turned out to be typically Johnsonian empty words and during his time as London Mayor he did nothing to help those in housing need and stop those cleared from council estates having to move miles further out.

The card Boris Johnson wouldn’t accept

On the day of the protest the mothers tried to deliver a card to him, but his office simply refused to take it. The assistant director of the affordable homes programme in London, Jamie Ratcliff did come down to meet them and took their petition, but had little to say to them, giving them his card and telling them to email him.

Mothers go in to deliver the card but no-one would accept it

More on the event on My London Diary at Focus E15 Mums at City Hall.

The Focus E15 Campaign eventually got all or most of the mothers and children rehoused locally, and they continue to compaign in Newham for Fair Housing For All, holding a street stall despite harassment from council and police every Saturday on Stratford Broadway, helping homeless families get proper treatment from the council, protesting for those in terrible conditions in temporary accomodation and stopping evictions, and taking part in protests and campaigns for social housing in London and elsewhere.


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


Fathers 4 Justice

Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Fathers 4 Justice was a group begun in 2001 by marketing consultant Matt O’Connor to “champion the causes of equal parenting, family law reform, and equal contact for divorced parents with children.” The pictures here come from their protest in London’s West End on 18th December 2004

Between 2002 and 2008 members carried out a number of high-profile stunts which hit national headlines to promote their cause, the first of which saw a small group led by O’Connor storming the Lord Chancellor’s Office dressed as Father Christmas in December 2002. They went on to climb cranes and buildings including Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace dressed as superheroes, to carry out a ‘citizens arrest’ on the Minister for Children, throw bags of purple flour at Tony Blair in the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Questions and more.

Although protests continued after 2008, there was a split in the group with O’Connor officially closing the group and others setting up New Fathers For Justice. And although both groups continued to carry out publicity stunts, these have gained less and less publicity.

The activities of these groups perhaps have had some effect, with increasing attention being turned on the activities of our secretive Family Courts, and some small and continuing moves toward transparency.

However the 2014 Children and Families Bill which it was hoped would improve the situation was watered down by a Lord’s amendment removing a legal presumption of automatic shared contact still failed to prevent obstructive parents who had been granted custody of childen preventing children from any meaningful relationship with absent parents.

Although they were called Fathers 4 Justice, there are also mothers who were separated unjustly from contact with their children. But overwhelming custody of children in the Family Courts goes to the mothers, some of whom make it impossible for fathers to have the access to their children which the court has specified, but fails to enforce.

The protest on 18th December 2004 involved several hundred men, women and children dressed in santa gear (and a couple of individualists, including a young spiderman), a band, and a large and unwieldy balloon and hundreds of smaller ones parading peacefully around the West End. Their placards read ‘Put the Father Back Into Xmas’.

In 2005 I photographed two further protests by the group. In October Wakey Wakey Mr Blair, a ‘pyjama protest’ with those taking part asked to wear their jim jams, slippers and dressing gown, bring their hot water bottles, teddy bears and even their beds calling for overnight stays for children with their dads after separation and then in December 2005 24 Days of Christmas Chaos, when again Santas came to London to protest, this time at the Church of England Offices, Department of Education & Skills and Downing St on their way to the Royal Courts of Justice.

COP23 & Calais – 24th October 2017

Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Guardians of the Forest

Four years ago today we were waiting for the start of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, though for various reasons it didn’t get the same publicity as COP26 coming up shortly in Glasgow. There were certainly fewer hopes of anything positive emerging as it was the first such meeting since Donald Trump had stated he was going to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.

Those talks were unusual in that although held in Germany (who did most of the organising) they were actually the first hosted by a small-island developing state, with Fiji taking the Presidency.

As usual at such events, not a lot was achieved, with the US decision dominating much of the business in various ways. Syria announced that it would sign up to Paris during the event, leaving the US as the only country in the world saying it would not honour the agreement. And the US withdrawal made China a rather more important player.

Britain actually took part in the one major positive outcome, coming together with Canada to launch the ‘Powering Past Coal Alliance’, calling for the phasing out of coal in OEC and EU countries by 2030 and in the rest of the world before 2050. Unfortunately none of the major coal producing countries signed the pledge.

The Guardians of the Forest, indigenous leaders from Latin America, Indonesia and Africa, had stopped off in London on their way to Bonn and held a rally in Parliament Square to commemorate those who have lost their lives defending the forests against mining, the cutting down of forests for palm oil production and other crops and other threats to the forests and those who live in them.

Many companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are among those responsible for damage to the forests and the murder of indigenous people in search of profits, with whole tribes forcibly removed from their homes and their rights to the land they have lived in for many generations ignored.

Increasingly we are becoming aware of the importance of forests as sources of oxygen and in removing carbon dioxide and so combating global heating and the need for proper stewardship of these huge natural resources – rather than their destruction for short-term profit. Indigenous people have maintained them for hundreds or thousands of years in a renewable manner and their knowledge and continuing maintenance has a vital part to play in the fight against climate change.

Safe Passage

Earlier I’d photographed a rally by Safe Passage on the anniversary of the destruction of the Calais Jungle. Although around 750 child refugees had been brought here from France, they urged the government to provide safe and legal routes for the hundreds of refugees still living in Calais, many sleeping rough in terrible conditions.

Lord Alf Dubs

In particular they called on them to fill the remaining 280 places allocated under the Dubs law to children but not yet filled 18 months after Parliament passed the law. Many of those still in France are entitled to come here to be reunited with their family and they called on the Home Office to have an official in France to aid their transfers.

More at:
Guardians of the Forest – COP23
Safe Passage for the Children of Calais

Notting Hill in colour – 1997 Part 2

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Here are a few more from Ladbroke Grove in 1997, I think all from the first day of the event, the Children’s Day on the Sunday.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-040_2400

I think all of these pictures were taken with a 28mm or 35mm lens, probably on a Minolta CLE (the improved successor to the Leica CL) using Fuji Super G 400 colour negative film.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-047_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-056_2400

I did take more photographs of the children, but while the costumes may be cute and sometimes very colourful (though not in this example) they generally lack the exhuberance of older revellers and I found them of less interest. There are more of the children in the album on Flickr.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-058_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-066_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-072_2400

I took several pictures of this young woman holding a child as she danced beside one of the floats pumping out fairly deafening music, and this one I think shows her and the child both enjoying the moment.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-073_2400

But the second frame puts her better into the whole siuation, part of the crowd moving down the street with the lorry.

All these pictures were taken within a few minutes of each other, and I made many more during the two days of carnival – and will post more another day. As usual you can see any of them larger in the album by clicking on them – and can then continue to view more if you wish.


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 in colour – 1997

Thursday, October 29th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-003_2400

I find it hard to believe I took no colour pictures at Notting Hill Carnival in 1996, but if I did I cannot find the negatives, though it is possible that they are somewhere in my loft, still in the envelope with the prints as they came back from the processing lab. I did go to carnival, and made some black and white images, but probably I had come to a decision not to work in colour.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-005_2400

The following year, 1997, I’ve found no very few black and white negatives, perhaps just when I was finishing off a couple of films still in the cameras, and nothing of any real interest, but a note on the contact sheet tells me that I worked in colour that year. So here are some of the results.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-008_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-015_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-019_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-024_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-028_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-030_2400

I’ll post another set from 1997 shortly, but you can see them all in my album Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s which has around 80 more pictures from that year. As usual, clicking on the images in this post will take you to the image in the album – much larger for the landscape format 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.


Notting Hill Colour – 1993

Saturday, October 17th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-007-positive_2400

Although almost all the pictures I took at Notting Hill Carnival in 1993 were in black and white, I did make a few colour images, and here are a small selection.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-008-positive_2400

Almost all of them were of the procession, and I think taken in a fairly short period of time, mainly on Ladbroke Grove.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-019-positive_2400

I tried to cut my equipment to a minimum for carnival, partly to make it easier to move through the crowds, but also because I was just a little worried about taking what looked like camera bags full of expensive equipment to the event. And I wanted to be able to dance as I took pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-022-positive_2400

Instead of a normal camera bag, I took a small khaki canvas ex-army shoulder bag which I still use today when I want to travel light, issued in 1942 possibly for a gas mask, large enough to take a camera, one or two spare lenses, a decent supply of film, notebook, water bottle and a few oddments, which back in those days would usually include a Mars Bar for when my energy lagged, and sometimes a sandwich or two.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-027-positive_2400

Probably when I saw some particularly attractive and colourful costumes and had finished a black and white film I picked a colour one to reload the camera – probably my Minolta CLE, a rather superior second version of the Leica CL which for some obscure reason Leitz decided not to put their name on, ending their collaboration with Minolta. I then took pictures quickly to finish the film so I could get back to my real work using black and white. I think that happened a couple of times on Children’s Day, but on the Monday I concentrated on more serious black and white work.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-034-positive_2400

In crowds I always made sure to put the shoulder strap over my head and on one shoulder and hold the bag on my stomach so as not to get caught up behind me. I always kept the camera on a strap around my neck too. But generally the crowds were good-natured and in high spirits and I had no trouble taking pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-031-positive_2400

Just once, in the centre of a heaving crowd of dancers in front of a sound system I suddenly realised that someone had put their hand into my left trouser pocket. I grabbed it and held it there protesting, and slowly pulled it out to reveal it holding a wallet. But it wasn’t mine (I’d left that at home) and of course it had no money in it. I’m not sure why he was planting it on me, but pushed it back into the hand I was still firmly holding and told the guy to eff off and he ran off pushing through the crowd. It didn’t seem the place to investigate further.

More pictures on page 6 of my Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s on 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.


Carnival 1991 in colour

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

In 1991 I photographed Carnival in both black and white and in colour. I went on both days, but I think it was only on Sunday, the Children’s Day, that I took any colour pictures. Nearly all were taken on Ladbroke Grove as the floats and groups went down, often stopping for quite long periods.

I’ll post a few pictures here, but there are quite a few in the album, Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s, starting at this one if you want to see more.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-036-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-070-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-073-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-083-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-099-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-120-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London, 1991 91c8-nh-152-positive_2400

The picture above is the last colour image from 1991 in the album.


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 Carnival 1990

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

A few more colour pictures from Notting Hill Carnival in 1990 – there are more on page 5 of the Flickr album.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-31-positive_2400

This was the first year I went to Carnival, and set a pattern I followed in most years, taking the train from Hammersmith to Westbourne Park station, arriving around the middle of the day, before things really got going then walking along to All Saints Rd and photographing around there and Talbot Rd and the surrounding streets.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990  90c8-04-11-positive_2400

Later I’d walk up Portobello Rd and under the Westway and take pictures in the north of the area where the streets were less busy and I could still move around. I found the procession route in the south of the area very crowded and impossible for my kind of photography.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-14-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-25-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-2-positive_2400

I think all these colour pictures were taken on the Sunday – Children’s Day, and that on Monday I worked only in black and white. Most of the pictures I made of the actual procession were on Ladbroke Grove.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-3-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-5-positive_2400

If you want to look at more, and at those from later years you can go to page 5 of Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s. Clicking on any of the pictures above will also take you to a larger version in this Flickr album.


Notting Hill 1998

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

1997 I again photographed Notting Hill in colour, and I have yet to digitise any of the roughly 600 frames I took over the two days. I also have some more colour work from previous years I have yet to add to my Flickr album, and I will share some of those also at a later date.

On the way to Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-817-46_2400
En route to carnival, 1988 Peter Marshall

But in 1988 I was busy with both black and white and colour – and again there are very few of the colour images I have yet printed or digitised, including some more colour panoramic work. I have so far only scanned or digitised around 15 of the several hundreds of black and white pictures I took, some of which have appeared in the several publications and exhibitions of my carnival pictures, including the ‘The English Carnival‘ exhibition in 2008. I’ve uploaded these to the Flickr album, Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s, but I think there are probably quite a few more pictures worth digitising when I find time

Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-822-24_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-822-12_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-818-642_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-815-63_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-812-54_2400

More on page 3 of my Notting Hill album.


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.