Posts Tagged ‘Elephant’

One Year Ago – Sep 20th 2019

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Friday 20 Sep 2019 was a busy day for me, and certainly one without any social distancing. It was the day of the Earth Day Global Climate Strike inspired by Greta Thunberg, and schoolchildren, teachers, parents and supporters from all over London were taking part in several events across the capital, as well as in other towns and cities across the world.

A large rally filled much of Millbank, from outside the Houses of Parliament down almost to Horseferry Road where there were speakers and performers on a lorry, with loudspeakers at intervals along the road to relay the sounds. The crowd was so dense near the bus that I gave up trying to get through and went along sidestreets to make my way to the front.

I made my way out slowly back through the crowd taking pictures, and found that more people were still streaming into Parliament Square as I walked into Westminster station to take the tube to the Elephant.

There was a poster display and short rally outside the University of the Arts there as people gathered to march to join workers at Southwark Council who were also protesting.

Instead I took the tube to Brixton, where teachers had brought children from local schools for a lunchtime rally before going to join the protest in Westminster. I left to avoid the crowd as the rally came to an end and went back to Parliament Square, where as well as the climate protest there were also a group of Kurds protesting about the Turkish invasion of Rojava.

Campaigners, mainly school students, were now also sitting down and blocking Whitehall and police were beginning to make arrests. Eventually the school students decided to march, and turned into Whitehall Court, where police blocked them and they sat down again.

It’s a road the has very little traffic, and I couldn’t understand why police continued to harass them and try to get them to move, as a protest there would inconvenience very few if any. But eventually the students got fed up with the police threats and got up to march again, only to sit back down and block Whitehall again.

Eventually they decided to get up and march back to Parliament Square to join the other protesters there, but I left them to go to Carnaby St, still a Mecca for tourists sixty years on from the so-called ‘Swinging Sixties’. It’s now a rather dull shopping experience with relatively high prices for the same kind of stuff as almost every high street worldwide, including Puma sports shoes.

This afternoon it was a little livelier and noisier than usual, with the Inminds Islamic human rights group which generally includes both Palestinian and Jewish campaigners outside their store after 215 Palestinian sports clubs have asked Puma to respect human rights and end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association which includes clubs from illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land. Inminds provide some loud and enchanting Palestinian music to enjoy as well as the speeches at their peaceful and well-organised protests, many of which I’ve photographed along with many others in London over human rights issues in this country and others around the world.

At a previous protest outside this store, protesters were physically attacked by a small group of Zionists, but this time I saw just one man who came and screamed abuse for a minute or two, while many other people stopped to talk, read the banners and take leaflets, shocked by the facts they displayed. There is little coverage in the mass media but the campaigners say the Israeli government on average imprisons two Palestinian children every day, kills one every 60 hours and destroys one Palestinian home every nine hours.

COVID-19 has dominated our news for months, and recently the media are full of reports of our governments failures to set up effective testing and tracing and possible new restrictions on us. But the issues these protests a year ago remain vital. And unless we take urgent action to cut our impact on the environment through climate change and environmental damage the consequences for human life will be disatrous, threatening us all. This year the Fridays For Future global climate action day is September 25.

You can see more pictures from the various protests on the day last year on My London Diary:
Carnaby St Puma Boycott
Global Climate Strike Protest continues
Elephant & Brixton Global Climate Strike
Global Climate Strike Rally


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.


Lucky 13 – 1986

Friday, June 26th, 2020

I can’t quite work out why my album 1986 London Photographs spreads out its 1370 photographs over 14 pages, as there seem to be roughly 100 pictures on each of the pages I’ve bothered to count, but to my surprise Page 13 isn’t the last. But despite the superstitions about the number 13 it does appear to have a number of pictures I came across by luck as I walked around the streets, mainly in Islington and the City.

Barnsbury Terrace, Islington 86-10o-56_2400
6 and 7 Barnsbury Terrace

This pair of villas were built around 1840 are are locally listed. If you go there now you may find my picture surprising, as the pair are now more or less symmetrical, except for the additional second floor window above the recessed door of the right hand house. But it has gained the pilasters around the main windows on the ground and first floor and that on the second floor now has the three arches mirroring its neighbour.

I assumed when I took this picture that the rather stark appearance of the right hand house was probably due to a repair after bomb damage. There have been some rather more minor changes to the left hand house also.

Stone Frieze, Musgrove Watson, Battishill Street Gardens, Islington86-10p-33_2400
Stone Frieze, Musgrove Watson, Battishill Street Gardens, Islington

I made several pictures of this remarkable stone frieze which was installed here in the new Battishill Street Gardens which were opened by Sir John Betjamin in 1975. The gardens were a pleasant quiet place to eat my sandwiches when I was photographing in the area.

The frieze had been made by Musgrove Watson (1804-1847), best known for his brass reliefs around the base of Nelson’s column for the Hall of Commerce in Threadneedle St set up in 1830 by biscuit-maker and amateur architect Edward Moxhay as a rival to other places acting as exchanges for commercial information and the display of samples including the Royal Exchange, of Lloyd’s, the Baltic, Garraway’s, the Jerusalem, and the North and South American Coffee-houses.

Never as successful as Moxhay and other investors had hoped, the Hall of Commerce was demolished in 1922, but the bas-relief frieze from its frontage was saved at UCL, and presented by Sir Albert Richardson to Islington Council for their new garden in 1974.

Fleet St, Ludgate Hill, St Paul's Cathedral, City 86-11e-54
Fleet St, Ludgate Hill and St Paul’s Cathedral

It was only after the railway bridge across Ludgate Hill of the line leading north from Blackfriars was demolished that I realised that I had never set out to photograph what had been one of the archetypal London views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The line between Ludgate Hill Station and Holborn Viaduct station which the bridge carried opened in 1866. Ludgate Hill station was closed in 1929 but only demolished around the time the line closed to rail traffic in 1969. The bridge remained in place until 1990 when a new line for Thameslink services was tunnelled underground below the old route.

I searched and found a few pictures, including this one, that showed the bridge from Fleet Street a short distance west of Ludgate Circus.

Hatton Place, Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, Camden 86-11g-32
Hatton Place, Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, Camden

Sir Christopher Hatton was  Lord Chancellor of England for Elizabeth I and his London Home was in this areagiving his name to Hatton Garden. Hatton Place is at the side of the Hat & Tun, which probably got its name from a ‘rebus’ for Sir Christopher, and Hatton Place was formerly Hat in Tun (or Hat and Tun) Yard. Back in 1871 it was described as one of the foulest smelling streets in London – and there was plenty of competition. The pub was renamed as Deux Beers Cafe Bar in 2000, but has since reverted to its former name.

I can find no explanation for the elephant head at No 13, which I presume was in some way related to the business then occupying these premises. The ground floor is now a jewellry shop and workshop but the floors above have been converted into flats and there is now a large window in place of the elephant.

Mural, Farringdon Lane, Clerkenwell, Camden 86-11g-54
Mural, Farringdon Lane, Clerkenwell, Camden

Farringdon Lane used to be called Ray Street, and the bridge over the railway here from where I took this picture is still called Ray St Bridge. There is now no trace of the mural on the wall. I think it depicted scenes from the history and industry of the area, including the Clerk’s Well and printing. I tried several times to photograph it in colour but somehow never managed to get the colours right, and prefer this black and white version.

Holborn Viaduct, City Holborn Viaduct, City 86-11i-11
Holborn Viaduct, looking down Farringdon St

Another photograph of the decorative statuary on Holborn Viaduct, looking down Farringdon St and the Fleet valley towards the River Thames.

Page 13, 1986 London Photographs.


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.


Elephant & Brixton Global Climate Strike

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Groups were meeting around London on Earth Day to take part in the Global Climate Strike, and I went to two of them which I could travel to reasonably quickly by tube.

People were gathering outside the London College of Communication, part of the University of the Arts London, where a group had obviously been busy making Climate Strike posters.

A group left to march to Southwark Council offices on Tooley St to join up with workers there and were then planning to go on to join protesters in Westminster. I left the marchers as they went past the tube station to make my way to a rally in Windrush Square, Brixton.

Teachers had brought pupils and parents to a rally in Windrush Square and I arrived in time for the last quarter hour of so, including a short address by one of the local MPs as well as by some of the children and others.

I left as the rally ended and the organisers began to get everyone ready to take the tube to Westminster and join the protests there, making my own way to central London ahead of them.

More pictures at Elephant & Brixton Global Climate Strike.


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.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


Up the Elephant

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

A quick trip on the Bakerloo line took me from elephants in Cavendish Square to the Elephant, where Southwark Notes, Latin Elephant and Up the Elephant were holding their Love the Elephant Street Celebration.

For generations the Elephant & Castle has been a lively South London hub, its nature changing over the years. The country’s first shopping mall was built here in 1955 on the site of a bomb-damaged estate, and while showing its age is still more interesting than most, and one that both reflects and caters for the local community, increasingly Latin-American, as well as largely older bingo-playing local residents.

Shopping malls are generally pretty soulless places, and on going inside you transition from whichever town or city you were into some strange limbo of franchises and chains. The few with a little more character are some of the older ones, usually incorporating market traders and other small local businesses, while the more recent examples have little to offer except the same as every other more recent mall.

Virtually the only reason I ever enter them is to search for the public toilets most offer, which usually involves a long trek following often confusing signage designed to take you past every retail outlet en-route.

Not of course that the Elephant shopping centre is perfect, far from it. It is certainly showing its age and needs improvement, and it has been deliberately run down by its owners to promote the redevelopment.

But campaigners say it should be redeveloped with the local community in mind while the developers Delancey working with Southwark Council and the London College of Communications, seem largely concerned with maximising their profits from the scheme.

Years of campaigning by local community groups has resulted in some minor improvements to the proposals – including more social housing, though it remains to be seen if this will actually happen.

Although the plans were finally approved last December, the campaing goes on, to keep the shopping centre alive until it is demolished and to get fairer treatment of the existing traders. Some have been promised space in the new development, but sometimes only a small fraction of their current area, and the campaign want all to be made offers on a ‘like for like’ basis, with an increase in the relocation fund.

More at Love the Elephant.


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

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

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.