Posts Tagged ‘Flickr’

My London Diary Returns

Sunday, May 29th, 2022

I stopped putting new photographs on my ‘MY LONDON DIARY’ web site at the start of Covid, because there was little of much interest to add. But also for technical reasons, as I was getting rather close to the limit of number of files for the site of 262, 144 which is a restriction imposed by Linux.

Black Livew Matter, Staines, June 2006

I was ill in March 2020, and although my symptoms didn’t match those then listed on the NHS site they did accord with some accounts by confirmed Covid victims. Fortunately they were not too serious, though I felt pretty poor for a week or so, and months later was still having problems going up hills. As a journalist I could have continued working during the lockdown, but since both my age and diabetes both increased my risks and I decided to keep away from London, crowds of any kind and meeting people indoors.

I didn’t just stay indoors, but took advantage during the lockdown to explore the area around where I live, taking bike rides of around 10 miles most mornings at a moderate speed. It was great for the first few months when there was little traffic, and our area was unusually quiet with few drivers on the three motorways and few jets taking off and landing at Heathrow. I spent a lot of time walking and cycling along the course of one of our smaller local rivers, finding places where I could photograph it. And I wore out the chainwheel of my vintage bicycle – for which I’ve only yesterday found a replacement in rather less used condition. And I’ve also put around 20,000 of my older images, mainly of London, onto Flickr.

National Demonstration for Palestine, May 2021

Later came vaccinations, and a few weeks after my second jab decided I could stay home no longer, and I resumed work, though at a limited level on May Day 2021. But I still had not solved the problem about the file limit, so while I continued to upload pictures to the agency, I shared them with friends on Facebook rather than My London Diary.

Hiroshima Day, August 2021

I had another problem too. I had been writing My London Diary on a Windows 7 computer and had now moved to Windows 10. I’d been using the same version of Dreamweaver for around 20 years for writing this and other sites, as it worked for what I needed. But to get a new version for Windows 10 would mean doubling my Adobe subscription – and giving me something far more complex than I need. I hunted for the setup disks thinking I might be able to get the old software working on my new computer, but couldn’t find them – then realised I had installed it from floppy disks which would have been thrown away when I no longer had a drive to read them.

Trans+ Pride March, June 2021

I woke up in the middle of the night a few months ago and realised a part solution to my problems. Which was to make My London Diary a front end for those albums which I had posted on Facebook but which then rapidly disappear into its extensive bowels and are seldom if ever seen again. When I’m writing pieces for >Re:PHOTO I make many searches on Google, and pictures I’ve put on Flickr (with captions and keywords) often turn up, but I don’t recall ever having seen one from FB. But I can find them by scrolling down my many albums and they do have a URL. One advantage is that the images are much larger before, though you will only see this if you right-click on them and open them in a separate tab or downlad them.

Reclaim Pride, July 2021

So far I’ve only put a few month’s work on line, and it still isn’t fully integrated with the rest of My London Diary. Here’s the page for June 2020, and then for when I restarted in May 2021. The free (and open source) web editor BlueGriffon is a little clunky compared to my ancient Dreamweaver and lacks its library elements so I can no longer automatically update elements in a large number of files. I’m also having problems finding the images for some events – and had to make new albums for a few events for a year ago.

Remembering Paris

Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Paris Photo 2006

For some years around this time of year I would be in Paris, visiting one of my favourite cities in November because of the huge ferment of photography across the city around the huge trade show of Paris Photo.

Paris 1984

I first visited Paris in 1965 for a week in July staying at a student hostel on the outskirts with my future wife, and since then we returned every few years for a week or two in the summer, usually in August when most Parisians are on holiday away from the city. Two of my books on Blurb came out of these visits, In Search Of Atget and Photo Paris, with black and white images from 1984 and colour work from 1988 respectively.

Paris 1984

You can see more of the work from Paris in several albums on Flickr – where there are a couple of albums from 1984 and another from 1988 as well as another small set from 2007. But you can see more on my own Paris Photos web site.

Paris November 2006

I think the first time I went to Paris Photo in November was in 2006, and you can see a set of pictures from my visit on line, but the accounts I wrote for a commercial web site of my visit and the shows I saw there is no longer available.

In 2007 I wrote about my visit for Paris Photo on My London Diary. It was the first time I had been in Paris on my own, though I did meet up with a few people, including my brother-in-law and quite a few photographers also there for Paris Photo. I arrived on the 13th November, just in time for the start of a transport strike, and my first full day there was November 14th 2007.

Paris was a little more difficult on my own, as my O Level French is more than rusty, but I did manage to buy myself breakfast at a café close to my hotel and read a newspaper, which told me there was a trade union protest by the transport workers taking place that afternoon.

I spent the morning walking around Paris before having a lunch at a self-service salad bar and then walking to Montparnasse where the protest was starting. It was a little different from protests in London as I commented in My London Diary, and there were times when my poor French made things difficult. The Leica M8 I was then using was not a great camera, and in particular had problems with colour because Leica had failed to realise its extreme infrared sensitivity needed cutting with a suitable filter on the sensor. Some of the images suffer from this and my failure to process them as well as I now could.

I left the protest as it appeared to be about to march off, and made my way to the opening session of Paris Photo, then at the Carrousel du Louvre, a venue “in the bowels of the earth under the Louvre.” As I commented, “It’s hard to contemplate a more depressing location, although relatively spacious outside the show. It would make a good location for some nasty shoot-em-up video game, sort of half-way between underground car park and shopping mall, a slightly cooler version of hell.”

There was much in the show I found unexciting – or worse, but as I commented, “Its a great opportunity to see almost the whole history of photography in a few days, a collection with much more depth than even the richest of museums – although with some great gaps, as many photographers produced very few prints and their work seldom comes up for sale.”

I went back in the following two days to visit Paris Photo again to see the whole of the show, but after a couple of hours there on the opening day, went with some photographer friends for a meal before walking back to my hotel. You can read more about the rest of my visit on My London Diary.

Paris Photo 2012

Elsewhere on My London Diary you can read a more lengthy account of my visit to Paris for Paris Photo in November 2008, November 2010 and November 2012. I’d chosen those even-numbered years because there were more photographic events happening in Paris outside the trade show on alternate years.

Paris 2008 – in the steps of Willy Ronis

Looking back I’d astonished by the energy I appear to have had – and I think in one of them I went to see 87 other shows outside of Photo Paris in the few days I was there. But I was getting increasingly unhappy about Photo Paris itself, partly because so many of the dealers were showing much the same photographs every year and there seemed less and less new work of interest.

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

Around Kensal Green, 1988

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Tropical Palace, Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988 88-3c-13-positive_2400
Tropical Palace, Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988

The Tropical Palace Theatre in Chamberlayne Road, close to the junction with Kilburn Lane was in the 1980s a major reggae venue. It had begun as The Acme Picture Theatre in October 1913, but with a change of management became Kings Picture Palace three months later. In 1931 a new company greatly enlarged and remodelled the building in an Art Deco style with architects John Stanley Beard and A. Douglas Clare and decorative work by by W.R. Bennett to seat 1600 – over 5 times its original capacity – with the old theatre forming the foyer of the renamed ‘New Palace Theatre’, and the rear of the building stretched to Kilburn Lane. Taken over by ABC in 1935 it became simply the Palace Theatre, and in 1970 it became the ABC and was converted into a bingo hall in 1974, but closed soon after to become a nightclub. It was completely demolished and replaced by housing shortly after I made this picture. The building on the left has also been replaced, but Chamberlayne Mansions at right are still there

Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-21-positive_2400
Advert, Shop, Felixstowe Rd, Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

The distinctive frontages of the shops at the extreme right of this picture enable me to positively identify this washing machine advert as being on the side of the shop on the corner of Felixstowe Rd and Harrow Road in College Park at the west of Kensal Green, close to St Mary’s Cemetery.

Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-22-positive_2400
Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

Kensal Green Cemetery, which is immediately to the east of St Mary’s Cemetery is rather better known and is worth visiting for some of its fine Victorian monuments. There are plenty to choose from, with over 65,000 burials there since the cemetery was opened in 1833 by the The General Cemetery Company, who were inspired by Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery. The Grade I listed cemetery is still in use and well worth a visit and there are often guided tours – and on another occasion I visited the catacombs

Gate, Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Rd, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3c-23-positive_2400
Gate, Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Rd, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Three London Boroughs meet around here, and Kensal Green Cemetery and its gates are in Kensington & Chelsea, while the opposite side of the road is in Brent, and the neighbouring Roman Catholic St Mary’s is in Hammersmith & Fulham. Kensal Green. Kensal Green was the first of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ private cemeteries around the city’s then outskirts and was, as Wikipedia points out, ‘immortalised in the lines of G. K. Chesterton’s poem “The Rolling English Road” from his book The Flying Inn: “For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.” ‘Paradise by way of Kensal Green’ is now the name of a pub on Kilburn Lane.

J S Farley, Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-25-positive_2400
J S Farley, Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

I don’t know what proportion of the monuments in Kensal Green Cemetery were produced in these works opposite the entrance gates, and set up in the same year, but they works now been demolished and replaced. There is still another monumental masons just a short walk away.

Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-3c-31-positive_2400
Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Further west along the Harrow Rd just before Scrubs Lane was a small industrial area in Waldo Rd and Trenmar Gardens. Rather to my surprise this small industrial building and its similar neighbour at Waldo Works have survived, though I think some of the area behind is now housing.

Trenmar Gardens, Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-3c-46-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The large garage at the left of the picture has been demolished and replaced by housing.

Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 v88-3c-33-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 v88-3c-34-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

All of these pictures (and a few more) are from my Flickr album 1988 London Photos and were taken in March 1988. Clicking on any of the images will open a larger version in the album from where you can browse forwards or backward 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 Around the City

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987 87-11c-16-positive_2400
Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987

There is still a section of the pedestrian route above traffic level here, leading from the yard behind the Guildhall and to a bridge across London Wall, though the bridge is now a more recent construction a little further west and crossing at an angle and leading on to the high walks that were built into the Barbican Estate. This area next to City Tower looks rather different now. Britannic House, one of the original six towers built along the new London Wall was refurbished in 1990 and renamed City Tower.

Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987 87-11c-21-positive_2400
Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987

Looking down Moor Lane with the Barbican at the right on a section of the high walk that has now gone, but which used to lead from close to Moorgate station. I think this gateway was roughly above the junction with Silk St. Empty when I took this picture (possibly on a Sunday) it was sometimes quite crowded during the rush hours with office workers making their way to the tube. The high walks were useful routes, avoiding the often dangerous traffic on the streets and also providing good vantage points for photographers, and I’m saddened at their loss. But I think they took up space that could be sold expensively as offices.

Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987 87-11c-31-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987, City

This building on Ropemaker St was one of my favourite examples of modern office architecture when it was built, and I photographed it on several occasions. I suppose it doesn’t quite belong in this post as it was on the north side of the road and thus in Islington rather than the City, where I was standing on a section of high walk to take the picture.

Ropemaker Place, a 60m high block was completed in 1987 shortly before I made this picture. It didn’t last long and was demolished only 18 years later in 2005.

Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987 87-11c-51-positive_2400
Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987

Holland House in Bury St has lasted rather longer and is protected by its Grade II* listing. The only London building by leading Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage it was built in 1916 for the Dutch company Wm H Müller & Co, complete with a granite prow by Dutch sculptor J. Mendes da Costa.

More recently when I’ve photographed here I’ve stepped a little to the left to bring the ‘Gherkin’ into view – but construction of 30 St Mary Axe only began in 2001.

Cutler St area, City, 1987 87-11c-53-positive_2400
Cutler St area, City, 1987

I think this is a part of Devonshire Square, a private area of the City which was developed by the East India Company, then sold to St Katharine’s Dock and bought in 1909 by the Port of London Authority. The warehouses here were used to store the more valuable commodities imported from across the empire. The site was acquired by Standard Life Assurance together with Greycoat Estates Ltd in 1978 and became offices, but still remained something of a private enclave, if no longer used for the secure storage of “Ostrich feathers, chinaware, oriental carpets, cigars, tortoiseshell, silks, mother of pearl, clocks, watches, cameras, drugs, spices, musical instruments, perfumes, tea and other prized artefacts.”

Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987 87-11c-63-positive_2400
Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987

The Provisional IRA left a van packed with explosives outside the Baltic Exchange in St Mary Axe shortly before 9pm on 10 April 1992, and then made a call to the police warning them that a bomb was about to explode at the Stock Exchange – 370 metres away in direct line, but about half a mile by road. The bomb wrecked this facade and caused a total of £800 million worth of damage to this and surrounding buildings.

Perhaps the bombers were confused and looking for the old Stock Exchange building in Capel Court, off Bartholomew Lane, just to the east of the Bank of England, while the Stock Exchange had moved in 1972 to a new tower on Old Broad St.

21 New St,, Cock Hill, City, 1987 87-11c-55-positive_2400
21 New St, Cock Hill, City, 1987

This listed archway with a Merino Ram was built in 1863 for Cooper’s Wool Warehouse. By the 1900s the wool storage business had largely moved further east closer to London Docks and in 1907 the warehouse was sold and used for other storage. It was converted into offices in 1981.

Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987 87-11d-01-positive_2400
Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987

Some newspapers were still being printed in ‘Fleet Street’ and the picture shows a lorry delivering newsprint to one of the printing works on Bouverie St.

The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-11d-41-positive_2400
The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

This sculpture stands in front of one of London’s bleaker Brutalist buildings, and for once its hard to disagree with Pevsner over a modern building, when he describes this a “acutely depressing.” But it does include a section of high-level pedestrian walkway with seating and this rather fine sculpture based on ‘As You Like It’. And it’s a pleasant enough place to sit and read a newspaper with a view of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, the last city church rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.

All from Page 7 of my 1987 London Photos.

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.

1987 – Around Fleet St

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-66-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

Dorset Rise runs up from Tudor St towards Fleet Street, changing its name further up to Salisbury Court and lies at what was the heart of the newspaper industry in ‘Fleet St’. This building at 1-2 Dorset Rise dates from the 1930s and was reclad around 1985. In 2012-3 it was converted into a Premier Inn hotel.

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-56-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

3 Dorset Rise is a high quality 10 storey office building, sometimes said to have been built in 1985 but probably dating from the 1930s and like the hotel at 1-2 given a new shiny pink brown granite facing in that year. I am unsure if the deco touches at the top of these blocks date from the 1930s or were added in 1985.

Kingscote St, City, 1987 87-10m-44-positive_2400
Kingscote St, City, 1987

I had forgotten where Kingscote St is and had to look for it on Google Maps. Its a short street, around 50 metres long, between Watergate and Tudor St, a short distance west of New Bridge St. One side is occupied by a hotel and the other by a large shared office building. I think this doorway, now slightly altered was at the rear of 100 Victoria Embankment, better known as Unilever House, where Watergate meets Kingscote but if so the sculpture I photographed has gone.

Blackfriars House, New Bridge St,  City, 1987 87-10m-33-positive_2400
Blackfriars House, New Bridge St, City, 1987

Blackfriars House on New Bridge St is a rather dull building with some fine detail and perhaps surprisingly is Grade II listed, the text beginning “1913-16 by F. W. Troup. Steel-framed commercial building with white majolica facing. 7 storeys, the rectilinear structural grid expressed in the facade which is, however, divided in a classically-derived manner.” My picture I think makes it look a far more interesting building than it really is. It is now a hotel.

The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-10m-31-positive_2400
The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

The Blackfriar is a fine pub built around 1875 on the corner of Queen Victoria St, part of the site of a former friary. But it only got the decoration which gave rise to its Grade II* listing in the early years of the twentieth century, beginning in 1905, with work by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark and sculptors Frederick T. Callcott & Henry Poole. Sir John Betjeman led a campaign to save it from demolition in the 1960s and CAMRA has published a couple of books about historic pub interiors which feature it.

I think the huge and extremely boring block of the Bank of New York Mellon at 160 Queen Victoria St now blocks this view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It might be possible, but difficult to design a building of less architectural merit.

City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987 87-10m-25-positive_2400
City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987

I don’t think any golf was ever played at the City Golf Club and there were never any balls on the fairway in its left-hand window. The two people standing talking in its doorway are I think clearly employees rather than golfers. The Golf Club in Bride Lane a few yards from Fleet St was a members only drinking club much frequented by journalists at a time when pubs closed in the afternoons.

Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-13-positive_2400
Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987

Perhaps surprisingly the Daily Telegraph building dates from only 4 years before its near neighbour at the Daily Express. The Telegraph building has some Art Deco touches with Egyptian decorations which accord with its date of 1928, designed by Elcock C Sutcliffe with Thomas Tait, but seems rather old-fashioned and staid, with a monumental colonnade perhaps in keeping with its assumed gravitas, but seems to me despite its decorations a decidedly Edwardian building. Pevsner gave it a one of his more scathing reviews, “neo-Greco-Egyptian imitation has turned modernist, with much fluting, fancy iron-work and little to recommend it”. It was Grade II listed in 1983.

Probably my reason for photographing this building was that the Daily Telegraph had just moved out to offices in Victoria – and you can see the boards up in front of its ground floor as it was being made ready for occupation by investment bankers Goldman Sachs on lease until 2021. They moved to Plumtree Court in nearby Shoe Lane and the property, now owned by Qatar, is being again revamped.

Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-11-positive_2400
Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987

The Daily Express had moved to their new building designed by Ellis and Clarke with Sir Owen Williams, very much in the modern movement of the age in 1931. It was the first London building where the outer wall was a non-structural ‘curtain wall’ and was Grade II* listed in 1972. Like its similar offices in Manchester it was known as the Black Lubyanka. When I made this picture in 1987 the newspaper was still produced here, moving out two years later in 1989 across the Thames to Blackfriars Rd. It came back to the City in Lower Thames St in 2004.

These pictures are from Page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.

Hull Colour – 6

Friday, July 17th, 2020
Barges on River Hull and Croda works, Hull 81-04-Hull-030_2400
Barges on River Hull and Croda works, Hull 1981

A busy scene on the River Hull, probably taken in 1981, though the dates on these images come from the album they are filed in and are sometimes not the exact year, and this could possibly have been made earlier.

The slide mount crops the image slightly and I’m sure that the actual transparency will have included the top of the water tank on the Croda silo at the Isis Oil Mills, but it would have greatly slowed down the photographing of this and the other slides to have removed the slides from their mounts – and would have made handling them much more tricky. And the macro lens and bellows combination I was using with the older Nikon slide holder was fine for mounted slides but could not give proper coverage of the full 24x36mm.

Perhaps because of the problem of slide mounts, many SLR cameras, though marketing on the benefits of actually viewing through the taking lens rather than the separate optics of the rangefinder Leica or twin-lens Rolleiflex had viewfinders that cropped the images and were actually less accurate in their framing than the Leica. Though even the Leica white line frames never quite exactly represented the area that would appear on film (though some lenses came very close) making something of a nonsense the insistence of many photographers of printing the edges of the negative to give a black frame because this represented how they had seen the picture when they pressed the button. It was always more an aesthetic decision.

The silo was still there last time I walked along Bankside, but the location from where I took this picture was behind a locked gate and the buildings to the right of the silo had gone and there was only one vessel, Cargill’s edible oil tanker Swinderby, moored along this reach of the river.

Works, River Hull 81-04-Hull-032_2400
Works, River Hull 1981

I can’t remember now where I took this picture of a wharf across the RIver Hull, somewhere in Hull. But I do remember being attracted by what appears to have been built as an incredibly tall doorway, though it does now appear to have been blocked by a pipe that emerges through it at a little under half its height.

Was it, I mused, made for giraffes?

542 Hessle Rd and phone box, Hull 81-04-Hull-034_2400
542 Hessle Rd and phone box, Hull 1981

Hull Corporation was one of 55 local authorities to bid for a licence to provide telephone services in their local area in 1902 and opened its first telephone exchange in a former public baths two years later. While other local authorities who had been granted licences soon abandoned or failed, Hull continued its service after the Postmaster General had gained a monopoly elsewhere across the country.

And when in 1936 the Post Office launched a new red phone box designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and decided that all phone boxes across the country should be red, Hull decided while adopting the new design to keep their traditional colour of cream and green, eventually moving to all cream. Hull City Telephone Department continued to innovate – and introduced a message from Santa in 1952. The council hived off the service into a fully owned separate company, Kingston Communications (HULL) PLC in 1987, which was floated on the Stock Exchange in 1999. In 2007 Hull Council sold its remaining stake in the business which changed its name to KCOM Group PLC.

The scene on Hessle Rd is still recognisable, but the shop has changed and no longer has the colour scheme and awning that attracted my attention, and although there is still a phone box I think it may have moved a few feet.

Lincoln Castle, Hessle Forshore, Hessle 81-04-Hull-039_2400
Lincoln Castle, Hessle Forshore, Hessle 1981

The paddle steamer Lincoln Castle was now beached on the Humber foreshore at Hessle, close to the Humber Bridge, and was now a restaurant where we went for afternoon tea. I made it into a rather strange landscape of distant jagged hills in this picture.

Humber Bridge, from Barton on Humber82hull135_2400
Humber Bridge, from Barton on Humber 1982

And of course we went across the Humber Bridge which took us to Barton-on-Humber. Where we walked around a bit and found there wasn’t a great deal there. I took a few photographs, mainly of the Humber Bridge, and I rather like this almost monochrome view.

More pictures on Flickr in Hull Colour 1972-85.

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.

Page 5: Micawber St

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
Micawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-66_2400

The Merriam-Webster dictionary lists Micawber as a word meaning “one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune“, derived of course from the clerk in Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield famous for his belief that “something will turn up” and the principle he expounds:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Macawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-51_2400

Wilkins Micawber is said to have been based on Dicken’s father who also spent time in a debtors prison. In the novel Micawber gives his address as Windsor Terrace, City Road, and in the 1930s this street is in Hoxton, close to the Islington border in north London which runs across the north end of Windsor Terrace, previously Edward St was renamed after him.

Micawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-52_2400

It seemed a suitable location for a bookie’s shop, (and there is a pub opposite) but it had clearly gone out of business. The building is still standing though rather altered, at the end of a row of Victorian housing but the area has changed considerably. As well as modern developments since I took this picture, parts had already been rebuilt after the Blitz with what was left of Windsor Terrace being redeveloped in the 1950s, and the Wenlock Brewery on Micawber St, site of a terrible wartime tragedy when bombing caused a leak of ammonia gas into its basement which was used as a local air raid shelter was demolished shortly after. That site is now the home of the Child Poverty Action Group.

Wenlock Basin, Regent's Canal, Hackney 86-7g-64_2400

Micawber St runs across the south end of the Wenlock Basin on the Regent’s Canal, but I don’t think there is anywhere where the basin is visible from the street.

St Luke's Vestry, 1896, Wenlock Rd or Wharf Rd, Islington 86-7g-34_2400

Another nearby building, erected in 1896 by St Luke’s Vestry. You can see these and other pictures on Page 5 of my Flickr album 1986 London Photographs.

Richmond Ave, Islington 86-2d-42_2400
1986 London Photographs. To go to page 5 use this link instead

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 from the Loire

Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Mill, Montreuil-sur-Maine l19B73loire
Mill, Montreuil-sur-Maine

We started our ride with a couple of excursions from Angers, including one to the north where we rode back alongside the Mayenne. Watermills were a feature at many points of our rides, particularly along the tributaries of the Loire.

Coutures x34loire

There were a number of similar roadside crosses at junctions along some of the minor roads we cycled along, but I think this was the only one I stopped to photograph. Despite the place names on the road signs it was difficult to find the location as none of those names appears on maps or on Google and I only eventually located it by ‘riding’ on Streetview. I think it is actually a little north from where the caption on Flickr indicates.

Horse-drawn cart in Vineyard, Loire Valley x24loire

Many of the roads we cycled along were departmental roads or routes communales and both were often little more than farm tracks, though most were metalled. We met little traffic, sometimes cycling for an hour or more without seeing a car or tractor. Farmers were still working with horses on a number of fields, mainly vineyards that we passed.

A main road, Indre-et-Loire d30loire

Many of the departmental routes pass through small villages and the street above was wider than many (I think it is somewhere east of Orleans, but let me know if you recognise it.) Often there were children walking out into the street who would shout encouragement to the two mad cyclists passing through. The Tour de France had just ended and cycle-mania was at its peak. Sometimes kids on bikes would try to race us, puffing noisily as they struggled past before turning off and stopping while we continued at a steady pace for perhaps another 30 or 40 miles.

There were also other cyclists, without luggage and dressed for the Tour on lightweight racing bikes (which mine had once been before I replaced its narrow tubular tires with sturdier versions on wheels with wider rims and twice the weight.) Struggling up a hill well behind me, Linda suddenly felt pedalling much easier and she began to accelerate, and at the summit a rider let go of her saddle and waved a cheery ‘au revoir’. Much less welcome were the dogs who chased us through some farms, and a couple of times I had to pull the aluminium cycle pump from the frame to beat them away.

River Thouet Montreuil-Bellay k29loire

Some of the chateaux were remarkably out of some Gothic fairly tale, such as Montreuil-Bellay above the River Thouet, where I expected to see knights on horses with lances or perhaps even unicorns, but was disappointed.

Loire Valley x26loire
Near Angers – but let me know if you know exactly where it is.

And should you feel moved to emulate us after seeing these pictures, one small road safety tip. It really is better to ride on the right (as having pressed the shutter I raced to tell Linda), though with roads as empty as this one it wasn’t a real problem.

More on Flickr at 1975 Loire Valley Bike Tour.

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.

Page 3

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

I hope it will not disappoint anyone that this is only a post about the third page of my pictures from 1986 on Flickr! Though rather more than usual for me at that time do include people, I think all of them are fully dressed.

All of the pictures on this page are from the East End – Bethnal Green, Stepney, Globe Town, Mile End, Whitechapel, Old Ford, and I think a few in Hackney, though when walking the streets it isn’t always clear which area or even which borough you are in, though the street signs often tell you this. Nearly all of these pictures were taken in Tower Hamlets in June 1986.

104 Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 104 Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets86-6b-52_2400

I stopped to talk to this man fairly early on a Sunday morning, when he was sitting quite happily on the steps of a house, which I think was empty and derelict, though it did have an empty milk bottle on it, as well as his larger bottle of what I think was cider. He had taken his shoes off and it was a pleasantly warm morning and we had a short chat before I asked if he minded if I took his picture. I think he was actually quite pleased to be photographed, and I was pleased to take his picture, though I would have photographed the house without him.

Sima Tandoori, Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 86-6b-34_2400

I was photographing this shopfront too when these two young men came out from inside to be in the picture too – and they do improve it, adding a little asymmetry. I think I may have gone back a few weeks later and posted a copy of the picture through the door, as I often did when I’d photographed people, but I’m not sure. If not, perhaps they will see it now on Flickr.

Globe International Autos, Cephas St, Globe Town, Tower Hamlets 86-6e-63_2400

Another business I photographed on several occasions was ‘Globe International Autos!’, whose frontage had some extensive painting, and again I was asked to take their picture by two men working there. There are four pictures of the business on this page, two at times when it was closed.

Print workers march to Wapping, Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 86-6b-63_2400

Back in the 1980s I wasn’t photographing protests, or at least only those which I was taking part in against racism, South African apartheid and nuclear weapons. I didn’t go to Wapping to photograph the year long “Wapping dispute” by print workers after Murdoch moved printing from Fleet St to a new factory there, ending ‘hot-metal’ printing and replacing it by new computer-based offset litho. Murdoch sacked around 6000 printers after the union refused to accept redundancy for 90% of the workers with flexible working, a no-strike clause, the adoption of new technology and the end of the closed shop.

Although Murdoch had been both devious and brutal, I’d known some in the print and something of the “Spanish Practices” that were apparently widespread in Fleet St. While as a trade unionist (and at the time a trade union rep) I supported the workers who had been extremely badly treated it was clear that change was inevitable.

Bishops Way, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6g-66_2400

A rather more upbeat picture was I think of workers enjoying a lunch-break kick-about in an alley just off the Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green.

"Woman and Fish", Frank Dobson, Cambridge Heath Road, Globe Town, Tower Hamlets 86-6e-43_2400

And the closest I came to a ‘Page 3’ picture were a couple of images of Frank Dobson’s “Woman and Fish” on the Cambridge Heath Road in Globe Town. The sculpture had been placed in Frank Dobson Square at the junction with Cephas St on the edge of the Cleveland Estate. Dobson (1886 – 1963) was born and worked extensively in London and the square to commemorate him was made by the London County Council the year he died, with the sculpture at its centre, one of several versions he made in 1951 (another rather uglier one is in Delapre Gardens, Northampton.)

Originally it was a fountain, with water emerging from the moth of the fish, but it was vandalised in 1977 and restored without water. It was restored again after various further vandalisations in 1979 and 1983 and had to be removed completely when restoration was impossible in 2002. A bronze replica by Antonio Lopez Reche in 2006 is now in Millwall Park, Isle of Dogs.

Unfortunately much of Dobson’s work remaining in his studio at the time of his death was destroyed by his widow because of its erotic content, but one of his finest works, London Pride is outside the National Theatre in London.