Posts Tagged ‘Fitzroy Square’

7 Years Ago in London

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Seven years ago on Saturday 22 November 2014 I photographed four very different events.

Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court

Occupy Democracy activists had camped out overnight in front of the Supreme Court, watched by police who had fenced in almost all of the grassed areas in Parliament Square to prevent them being occupied. The activists were hoping to hold two days of workshops there, but things had not started when I left after taking pictures.

Justice for Shahzad & Shama

Pakistani Christians and others were protesting opposite Downing St calling for justice for the brutal murder in Pakistan of Shahzad Masih and Shahzad Masih , bonded labourers at a brick kiln, who were falsely accused of burning pages of the Quran, attacked by a Muslim mob, tortured and burnt alive.

There are around 4 million Christians in Pakistan, a little under 2% of the population and they face extreme persecution, with those who have converted from Islam at greatest danger. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against in employment, where they largely do the lowest status jobs, and girls are at risk of abduction and rape, sometimes being forced to convert to Islam and marry their attackers. Christians are often accused of blasphemy, as in this case to settle civil disputes, with those accused being attacked or killed by Islamic extremist groups, whose criminal acts are largely ignored by the authorities.

Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax

Class War went to the £7m Fitzroy Square home of Griff Rhys Jones who said he would leave the country if Labour levied a mansion tax, telling him to “f**k off now”, offering to pay the fare. Class War’s manifesto for the 2015 general election includes a 50% mansion tax.

No one came to answer the door when they put their leaflet through and after a few minutes making their presence felt outside, the walked around to the south side of the square to protest outside the outside the home of Guy Ritchie, another millionaire objector to a mansion tax. They put a few stickers on other places around the square, including the Magistrates Association and the gates to the private garden in the centre of the square, returned for another short protest outside Griff Rhys Jones’s house before retiring to the pub. Unfortunately I couldn’t join them as I had another event to photograph in Brixton.

Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop

Ricky Bishop, a fit young black man, died from unexplained injuries hours after being taken to Brixton Police Station on 22 Nov 2001. Family and supporters call it a modern day lynching and march annually to remember him and call for justice.

The marchers met up at Windrush Square and then marched slowly through the centre of Brixton to the police station, where a tree outside has been adopted as a remembrance tree for Ricky Bishop and the others killed there by police.

At the tree there were speeches, including a detailed and forceful presentation by Marcia Rigg of the battle she and others faced to get any proper investigation into the death there of her brother Sean Rigg in August 2008.

These two are not the only young black men to have died at the hands of Brixton police, but so far there has been no police officer bought to justice from the crimes they committed. The only real action by the police has been to remove all of the photographs and momentos placed by some of the families from the tree in front of the police station.

More on all of these on My London Diary:

Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop
Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax
Justice for Shahzad & Shama
Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court

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London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

1987 Fitzrovia and around

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, Camden, 1987 87-2q-24-positive_2400
Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, Camden, 1987

I think I had an appointment to see a man who worked for a well-known architect’s firm with plush offices in Fitzroy Square. It was such a different atmosphere from my own workplace, at the time in a sixth-form college. I was offered coffee and a secretary brought it, filter coffee in a cup with a saucer on a tray with biscuits, cream and tinted sugar crystals. When I had visitors at work they got instant served by me from a kettle in the corner of a dingy shared office and if they wanted milk it was powdered granules. Sugar would come in a screwed up bag and if they were lucky I’d find a spoon to stir it, otherwise they might be offered a cleanish spatula or even a pencil. We had a BBC computer with a small green screen in one corner, there I walked past more computers, large graphics tablets and oversize screens than I’ve ever seen in the same building before. It was the first time I’d really seen how things were where the real money was.

The coffee was good, the talk interesting, but I don’t think I sold any of my photographs.

Fish Stall, Goodge Place, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-2r-65-positive_2400
Fish Stall, Goodge Place, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

It was only a fairly short meeting, and I had time to walk around the area before and after – and to cut my costs I’d got a train to Charing Cross and walked from there rather than use the Underground. So there are some pictures from Covent Garden and St Giles as well as Fitzrovia.

There are still stalls in Goodge Place, but not I think any dealing in basic foods such as fish, but all selling fast food for lunches for those who work in the area.

H Wolfin, Textiles, Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-2r-46-positive_2400
H Wolfin, Textiles, Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

This shop is still there, but rather than selling fabrics in large rolls to the trade now sells children’s clothes and baby presents to tourists and others, with delivery around the world. H Wolfin is still in business but elsewhere in Greater London, now was Wolfin Textiles in Hatch End, Pinner, and their web site states:

Originally known as Wolfin and Levy, Wolfin Textiles has been established for over 100 years and began in 1900 as an independent family-owned textiles shop in London’s Old Street. Specialising in fabrics for the theatre, film, interior and fashion industries, Wolfin and Levy moved to London’s West End in 1972, before finally relocating to Greater London in 1999 as Wolfin Textiles. Today we continue to hold onto the family ethos of offering the finest quality fabrics and real customer service. We pride ourselves on being able to offer wholesale prices for everyone, with no minimum order.
St Charles Borromeo, Church, Ogle St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-2r-24-positive_2400
St Charles Borromeo, Church, Ogle St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

St Charles Borromeo in Ogle St is one of London’s stranger church buildings, a small Grade II listed Roman Catholic Church in what is described as a simple but “muscular” Gothic. Charles Borromeo was a 16th century Italian cardinal who took an active role in the counter-Reformation and is best known to Protestants for his ruthless suppression in the Swiss valleys; during a pastoral visit to one of them in 1583 he arrested 150 people including the provost, who, along with 11 women was condemned to be burnt alive for witchcraft.

According to Wikipedia, one biographer described him as “an austere, dedicated, humorless and uncompromising personality” and his uncompromising implementation of reforms “brought him into conflict with secular leaders, priests, and even the Pope.” After his death in 1584 he was rapidly venerated, particularly in Milan where he had been archbishop since 1564, and was made a saint in 1610.

Centre Point, St Giles, Camden, 1987 87-2q-66-positive_2400
Centre Point, St Giles, Camden, 1987

The building of Centre Point, designed by architect Richard Seifert, began in 1963 at the start of ‘Swinging London’ and the building, described as London’s first ‘Pop Art Buildings’ has always been controversial – as was its listing in 1995. Completed in 1966 it was then one of London’s tallest buildings and still dominates the area, its 34 floors reaching to 385 ft (117m).

Centre Point stood empty, apart from a brief occupation by squatters to draw attention to its being deliberately left empty during a housing crisis in London in 1974, for nine years until 1975. In 2015-8 the building was converted to residential use with 82 apartments, their interiors designed by  Conran & Partners. The cheapest was on sale in 2017 for £1,825,000 but the owners apparently denied that these were luxury flats.

More on page 3 of my 1987 London Photos.