Posts Tagged ‘Deptford Creek’

South of the River – 1987

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-45-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Many of my favourite London walks were by the River Thames, back in 1987 still lined with industry, most now replaced by luxury flats, and rather less interesting. Walking along Creek Road from Deptford to Greenwich took me past a power station, scrap metal yards, sand and gravel works and a former gas works with the creek flowing past them.

Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-44-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

The final section of Deptford power station had been decommissioned in 1983, but most of of it was still standing, though I think some demolition was taking place around it. And a smaller chimney, I think on the opposite bank of the creek, was still belching out smoke, and there were piles of sand and gravel on the opposite bank as well as the scrap metal at left where the creek went under Creek Road.

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-32-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Both banks of Deptford Creek here are in the London Borough of Greenwich, something I often forgot when captioning images, expecting the creek to be the boundary. The creek is of course still there, and more conveniently for walkers there is now a footbridge across it a few yards from where it enters the Thames. A path now runs beside the Thames too, where both the power station and gas works once stood, in some ways a gain, but there is now so much less of interest to see.

Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-43-positive_2400
Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987

I don’t remember going inside the Art Gallery at Wood Wharf, and I think it was probably now open when I took this picture. Wood Wharf is now tall residential blocks – with a riverside walkway, restaurants and a pub.

The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-35-positive_2400
The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987

The Loyal Briton at 62 Thames Street went through a variety of names over the many years since it was built, probably around the middle of the 19th Century, possibly as a fire station, though it was selling beer by the 1850s.Its renaming as The Lone Sailor was probably after Francis Chichester’s single-handed voyage around the world in 1966-7 when his yacht Gypsy Moth was put on display not far from the Cutty Sark in 1968, remaining there until 2004, when she was restored and put back into sail. The pub closed in the 1990s, later becoming the SE10 restuarant. It had a brief time as a Chinese takeaway and gambling den, and in October 2013 reopened as a pub, The Old Loyal Britons. But the lease was only for a year, and it closed permanently in October 2014 to be replaced in 2018 by a large block of 1,2 & 3 bedroom appartments.

Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987 87-10l-65-positive_2400
Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987

A workhouse was built in 1871 in Renfrew Rd to house 820 inmates and five years later the Lambeth Infirmary was built on an adjoining site, with the two being combined as Lambeth Hospital in 1922. It was taken over by the LCC in 1930 and by 1939 was one of London’s larger municipal hospitals. It continued in use under the NHS until 1976 when a new wing was opened at At Thomas’ Hospital. Parts still remain – including this building which since 1998 has housed the Cinema Museum.

Trade Counter, Westminster Bridge Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

This is now a part of the Peabody Head Office building, Minster Court.

Royal Eye Hospital, St George's Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-51-positive_2400
Royal Eye Hospital, St George’s Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The South London Opthalmic Hospital opened with two beds in a house near here in 1857, but after some growth and several name changes it moved to this larger block on the NW corner of St George’s Circus as the Royal Eye Hospital in 1892. Badly damaged in the war it reopened in 1944, becoming part of the NHS in 1948. In 1976 patients were transferred to St Thomas’s Hospital with out-patient clinics ending in 1980. It was demolished in the 1990s and a student hall of residence, McLaren House, built on the site.

Temporary Housing, London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-33-positive_2400
Temporary Housing & London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The London Park Hotel was built in 1897 as the Newington Butts Rowton House, the third of its kind under Lord Rowton’s recently introduced scheme of hostels for down-and-out or low-paid working men in London. They had communal facilities including a dining hall, lounge, reading room, washrooms, barbers, cobblers and tailors shops, shoe cleaning rooms and parcel rooms for storage on the lower floors and on the upper floors were private cubicles each with a bed, chair, shelf and chamber pot, all for 6d a day. Lodgers were not allowed into the cubicles during the day. They could either eat in the dining room or cook there own food (more at having 805 beds, a new wing added in 1903 increased that to 1017. It was renamed Parkview House and in 1972 re-opened as the London Park Hotel. It closed in the 1990s but was for a while used to house refugees and asylum seekers. It was demolished in December 2007.

More pictures on page 7 of my 1987 London Photos on Flickr.

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.

Train windows and London’s best view

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Back in the old days of British Rail (and at times after privatisation) I often used to enjoy taking pictures out of train windows. Then many carriages on suburban routes had doors between every pair of seats, and the doors had windows that you could slide down to around waist level and so take pictures unobstructed, though it might make it rather draughty for your fellow passengers. There were stern warnings about not leaning out of windows, and unless you braced yourself against the door frame it might have been possible to fall out, but you could photograph in any direction.

Some of the older rolling stock you needed to open the window to actually open the door at stations, as the doors only had handles on the outside, a useful safety precuation which made the carriages childproof and avoided any accidental opening, but sometimes meant infrequent travellers were trapped inside, unable to work out how to open them. Older readers too may remember the thick leather straps with holes to fit around a pin to hold the windows open at various levels.

Slightly more recent carriages came with a stiff handle you had to move sideways, protected by a raised surround, which only trapped mainly elderly ladies whose hands were no longer strong enough to move them and relied on other passengers to allow them to alight.

Now we have automatic opening doors and fixed windows with air conditioning on almost all services (though some still have narrow windows that don’t open enough to be useful) and can be sweat boxes when the air conditioning fails in summer or chill you if it can’t be switched off in winter. But more importantly for photographers, they have windows that are often scratched inside by bored travellers and almost always filthy outside. I have at times travelled with a cloth so when joining a train at the start of its journey I could select my seat and then step off the train to clean the window I was going to sit at so as to get a clearer view.

But either the train I joined at Charing Cross was new (and it did have that toxic smell of plasticiser) or had been recently cleaned, and for once I had a clear view. I hadn’t got onto the train to take pictures, just to get me to Blackheath, but it seemed to be too good a chance to miss, so I made a number of exposures.

The problem with photographing through glass is of course reflections. You can cut these down by removing any lens hood that would interfere and holding the front of the lens (or lens filter) directly against the glass. However this can cause vibration, so a small gap is a good idea, particularly while the train is in motion. Modern train windows are double glazed and while this close approach can avoid reflections from the pane you are in contact with, you still get them from the outer pane.

It also only works when the edge of the lens is in contact with the window all around, meaning you are restricted to views directly opposite the window and cannot aim the camera to left or right.

There is a solution to these problems, and it is in the form of a giant floppy lens hood with a hole at the centre which stretches to fit on the body of any lens. It’s called ‘The Ultimate Lens Hood‘ and is around 25cm across, and I have one sitting on my desk. The main problem with it (apart from looking rather eccentric) is that although it is a silicone rubbery thing that can squeeze down considerably, it is still too large to easily fit in my normal camera bag, at least without leaving out something essential like my sandwiches. So it was sitting there on my desk while I made these pictures 25 miles away. Slightly smaller versions are available and I think I might get one. Even a normal cheap rubber hood as I’ve used in the past can help a lot.

I was on my way to Blackheath to photograph an event that ended at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and my final pictures in this set were taken without benefit of any windows of the incredible view from the terrace in Greenwich Park north across the River Thames. It’s a view I first saw and photographed many years ago, and though rather changed since the building of Canary Wharf remains London’s most splendid.

I did try to take more pictures from the train on my return from Maze Hill to Waterloo, but the windows were not so clean, and only a few were usable – and then required considerable retouching.

More pictures at Charing Cross to Greenwich

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.