Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

Limehouse, Horses, Graffiti & Canal

Thursday, January 13th, 2022
Commercial Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7n-23-positive_2400
Commercial Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7n-23

Limehouse, Horses, Graffiti & Canal

This terrace at 582-588 is still there, considerably restored, with the wrought iron railings now continuing in front of 588, but the two storey building beyond the traffic lights for Branch Road, here with a sign GEC Mowlem Railway Group and on its roof the former occupants, scrap metal firm 600 Group has been replaced by a tall I think 12 storey block, the Zenith building, one of the new buildings on Commercial Road with views over Limehouse Basin. Mowlem had presumably been there for the conversion of the old railway line along the viaduct next to the basin into the recently opened Docklands Light Railway.

Clemence St,  Limehouse,Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7n-11-positive_2400
Clemence St, Limehouse,Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7n-11

My notes say that this slender detached house with doorway and detailing that could have graced a rather grander residence was on Clemence Street, and I’ve no particular reason to doubt them, but it may have been in a neighbouring street. I didn’t hear any neighing from the two horses heads in the picture.

G Fawkes Is Innocent, Turners Rd, Limehouse,Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7n-12-positive_2400
G Fawkes Is Innocent, Turners Rd, Limehouse,Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7n-12

‘G.FAWKES IS. INNOCENT’ is I think a play on the iconic East End graffiti about George Davis, who was framed by Det Sgt Mathews for an armed robbery at the London Electricity Board’s offices in Ilford, Essex in 1974, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Eventually in 2011 he won his appeal against that verdict. He was imprisoned for other crimes, but never protested his innocence after being convicted. Guy Fawkes, often said to be the only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions was tortured terribly and fell from the scaffold on which he was to be hanged, breaking his neck and thus avoiding being hung, drawn and quartered but is celebrated by being burnt on bonfires every 5th November in an anti-Catholic celebration.

Rhodeswell Rd, Turners Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-61-positive_2400
Rhodeswell Rd, Turners Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-61

The same building as the picture above but showing its Rhodeswell Rd side and terraced houses down Turners Road. The terrace has surviced, but the building at the left and the empty site at right have both been replaced by new housing.

Turners Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7o-62-positive_2400
Turners Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-62

All of the houses on the north side of Turners Road here have been demolished and replaced by new housing. The terraced houses have equally small but much neater front gardens. No 43 here has the house name ‘City View’.

Copenhagen Place, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7o-56-positive_2400
Copenhagen Place, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-56

One of several small alleys leading off from Copenhagen Place which I think have disappeared, although there is a short cobbled section leading off to Carmine Wharf, and another yard – clearly not this one – at the rear of properties on Pixley St. But most of the area has been completely redeveloped since I made this picture.

Limehouse Cut, Burdett Rd, LImehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7o-41-positive_2400
Limehouse Cut, Burdett Rd, LImehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-41

The Limehouse Cut is the oldest canal in London, first dug in 1770 but widened a few years later to allow barges to pass each other and travel in both directions. Later it was widened to the current width. It provided a route from the Lea Navigation to the River Thames avoiding the convoluted meandering of the tidal Bow Creek and initially had its own basin and entrance lock to the Thames in Limehouse, although the canal was still tidal, at the level of Bow Locks. In 1854 the basin was linked to the nearby Regents Canal Dock but after a legal dispute because bargees didn’t like the Regents Canal terms this was filled in a few years later and only restored in 1968, after which the lock and short length of the cut leader to the Thames were filled in.

Last's Wharf, Burdett Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-42-positive_2400
Last’s Wharf, Burdett Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7o-42

310 Burdett Road is now the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Docklands, on the large site of Last’s Wharf leading down to the Limehouse Cut. The picture of the Cut from the Burdett Road Bridge above is looking roughly west, and the different constructions of the bank of the canal remains recognisable but nothing else in the picture from 1988 remains.

My walk will continue in a later post.


Clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the other pictures, though in a different order to this post which has them in the order I made them.


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


Sculptors, Homes, Graffiti and Blaises, 1988

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36-positive_2400
Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36

Dora House at 108-10 Old Brompton Road was originally built in 1820 by builder William Blake as 7 & 8 Gloucester Terrace, but they were considerably adapted and the frontage here and in the next picture dates from 1885-86, when the house became the studios of portrait photographers Elliot and Fry of Baker St. The firm employed a number of photographers and as well as Baker St (which they left in 1919) had several other studios and a printing works in Barnet. Many of their early negatives were destroyed by bombing in the second World War, and the rest are now held by the National Portrait Gallery. They photographed many of the leading personalities of the Victorian era.

Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36-positive_2400
Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36

Stonework on the new frontage was carved by John McCulloch, wrought iron by Alfred A. Newman and the architect was William Flockhart. The building is Grade II listed. The house was leased and later bought by sculptor Cecil Walter Thomas in 1919 and later he set up the Dora Charitable Trust, named after his late wife, to make the house available to the Royal British Society of Sculptors after his death. They have occupied it as a studio museum since 1979, opening it to the public with family activities and temporary exhibitions.

Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-22a-positive_2400
Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-22

Clareville St, off the Gloucester Rd and the Old Brompton Road, was developed after 1820 when the landowner, Catherine Lee let the ground to William Blake of Pear Tree Lodge, Little Chelsea, a builder and bricklayer, on a 99 year lease to build houses that at least met the London Building Act of 1774 for ‘fourth-rate’ houses.

Along the two main roads, Blake built rather larger houses – including what is now Dora House, but in the two back streets there were smaller houses to varied designs, including detached villas and terraces. As the Survey of London says, these “gave the estate a distinctly intimate character which it still retains, despite much subsequent rebuilding and infilling.”

Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-23-positive_2400
Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-23

When built the streets here were named Gloucester Grove, Gloucester Grove East and Gloucester Grove West, but were later renamed Clareville Grove and Clareville Street after Clareville Cottage which was a short distance further west outside this estate.

Imperial Hotel, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-24-positive_2400
Imperial Hotel, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-24

If you go to see the Imperial Hotel on the corner of Harrington Road now all you will find is an empty plot surrounded by fences and used as a car park. The demolition of the hotel was completed in 1992 after the borough of Kensington & Chelsea had granted planing permission for this use “pending redevelopment.” Permission for the redevelopmentof this listed building, I think a part of the Harrington estate and dating from the 1860s, had been granted by the GLC in 1975 for the provision of a new cultural centre for the Islamic Republic of Iran and twenty self-contained flats but with the development to be behind the existing facade. I don’t know whether later planning permission allowed full demolition or whether this was carried out illegally.

No development has taken place on this very expensive piece of land since, and I wonder if it is still owned by Iran but sanctions against that country have prevented any building. The hotel was better known in earlier years for its basement club Blaises, a music venue where among others The Byrds, John Lee Hooker, Ike & Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Bo Diddley, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Captain Beefhear and The Pretty Things played.

St Augustine's Church, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-26-positive_2400
St Augustine’s Church, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-26

The demolition of the Imperial Hotel next door to St Augustine’s Church means we can now see the north side of the church; when I made this picture only its frontage was visible from Queen’s Gate. This II* listed building is said to be the second-best surviving church by William Butterfield; it opened for worship in 1871, but was only completed in 1876. The listing text is brief, probably because it was listed in 1949, but mentions its yellow brick with red and black bricks and stone as well as the Gothic western bellcote with flanking pinnacles.

The building replaced an earlier temporary iron church built in the garden of its priest in Gloucester Road in 1865, where services were said to be “Popery itself under the thinnest guise of the Protestant name” (Wikipedia.) Plans to build a larger replacement were blocked for some years by the Bishop of London, probably because of this extreme Anglo-Catholicism, but also because there were already plenty of churches in the area already, and the building could only begin after he moved away to become Archibishop of Canterbury. The listing text and some other sources wrongly give the date of the church as 1865.

Roland Gardens,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-53-positive_2400
Roland Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-53

In the 1890s this house at 43 Roland Gardents was the home of Mrs Ada Freeman Gell, (aka Mrs Newman Gell, Miss Ada Evershed) (1849-1929) a solicitor’s daughter from Brighton who became an artist who apparently exhibited both sculpture and paintings from around 1888-1898. Several of her sculptures are in the Brighton Art Gallery though I think not on public display.

The development of the site was diverted in the 1970s by the craze for roller-skating and an open-air rink was opened on a large site here in 1876 and soon covered over to enable all-weather skating. In 1889 the site was sold to the firm of Aldin and Plater who had developed other houses in the road. They obtained a licence from the London County Council to build “private Studios for Painters” and sold the site on to a local builder who completed Nos 43 and 45 in 1891-2.

Graffiti, art, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-62a-positive_2400
Graffiti, art, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-62

This graffiti was on a large and rather dirty stone-faced wall, on Cranley Mews, on the section of the street leading down from Cranley Gardens to the main mews street behind the houses. The wall on the side of 54 Cranley Gardens was repainted in 2014 and the cracks no longer show, but there was no trace of the graffiti remaining before that. The rather utilitarian light fitting was replace some years earlier by a more ornate lantern on a fancy iron bracket. But no, I didn’t think it was art, though I have seen some even sillier things that were accepted as such.

Click on any of the images to go to the album where you can see large images and browse others on-line in 1988 London Photos.

Notting Hill – Notting Dale – 1988

Monday, May 10th, 2021
Nottingwood House, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-62-positive_2400
Nottingwood House, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Notting Hill – and the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea – is very much a place of two halves and these two pictures illustrate this, with the large block of council housing built on the site of the Notting Hill brewery and other industrial buildings shortly before the war.

Houses, Blenheim Crescent, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-61-positive_2400
Houses, Blenheim Crescent, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

This picture was taken from roughly the same place as the previous picture, but from the opposite side of the road. Houses in Blenheim Crescent are currently on sale for £4 million. Of course many of the social housing tenants in Nottingwood House took advantage of Thatcher’s social housing giveaway ‘Right to Buy’, though quite a few then found themselves needing to sell these properties, with many becoming ‘buy to let’ properties – now at perhaps £2000 a month, and other flats on sale for perhaps £800,000, so the difference here is rather less real than when I made this picture.

Bramley Arms, Bramley Rd, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-53-positive_2400
Bramley Arms, Bramley Rd, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

I think the pub had closed shortly before I took this picture. The building is still there but is now offices with flats on the upper floor. The pub has appeared in at least five major films including Sid and Nancy (1986), Quadrophenia (1979) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) as well as TV series.

This area was cut off on two sides by the construction of the Westway and the West Cross Route in the 1960s and became very run down and what had been the southerns section of Latimer Rd was renamed Freston Road. Oddly, Latimer Road station (on Bramley Rd) was not renamed, though it is no longer close to Latimer Road. In 1977 squatters occupied houses and flats the GLC planned to demolish in Freston Road and declared the Republic of Frestonia. The GLC granted them temporary leave to remain and the area was developed more sensitively by the Bramley Housing Co-operative from 1985. You can see the ‘Underground’ bridges in the distance on both streets in this photograph.

Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-52-positive_2400

This neat and unpretentious factory building is still present on the corner of Freston Rd and Evesham Rd, but now surrounded by a large redevelopment and painted a dull grey.

Mural, Harrow Club, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-45-positive_2400
Mural, Harrow Club, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Although the area around and under the Westway was fairly desolate in 1988, attempts had been made to brighten the area with a number of well painted murals. The Harrow club was set up by former pupils of Harrow School in 1883 as The Harrow Mission Church “to improve the quality of life for local people, aiding harmony and promoting opportunity” for the people of Notting Dale and continues to do so.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-44-positive_2400

More graffiti.

Freston Rd,, Stable Way, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-35-positive_2400

The caravans are around Stable Way. The car is coming down a link road from the Westway which runs across the top of the picture to the West Cross Route. This is the edge of a BMX cycle circuit at the north end of Freston Rd.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-32-positive_2400

Another picture from the BMX track beyond the end of Freston Road, close to the Westway junction with the West Cross Route.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-31-positive_2400

This picture gives a more informative view of the location, though I can find no trace of this oval now, but it was I think a part of the BMX circuit at the north end of Freston Rd.

Freston Rd,, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-23-positive_2400

The landscaped area here is at the end of Freston Rd, with the Harrow Club at left.

Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-14-positive_2400

Underneath the Westway and the links from the West Cross Route.

Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-13-positive_2400

Various sports facilities underneath the motorway junction. Opened in 1970 as the A40(M) its status was downgraded in 2000 to an all-purpose road. There were plans to include a separated cycleway on parts of it announced in 2013 but these were scrapped in 2017. However Kensington & Chelsea Council have opposed all protected cycle routes on their streets, and even scrapped a temporary route which was implemented during the Covid lockdown.

More from the other half of Notting Hill in another post.


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 West London: 1987

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020
Horse, Craven Hill, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-55-positive_2400
Horse, Craven Hill, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

One of William the Conquerers companions in his 1066 invasion was Ralph Baynard, and among the rewards for his services was an area of land in Paddington. Bayswater was in the 14th century Baynard’s Watering Place, where the River Westbourne or Bayswater rivulet passed under the Uxbridge Rd and horses could drink from it.

Lord Craven bought Upton Farm close to here in 1733 and soon after called the area Craven Hill. The Westbourne rises in Kilburn but springs on Craven Hill added to its flow. Large houses – like this one largely Grade II listed – were developed on Craven Hill and the surrounding area in the early 19th century and in the 1830s it became fashionable as a place of residence, particularly for the literary and artistic. The grand town houses here date mainly from the 1830s to 50s. The horse is an appropriate decoration for the area, but I can tell you nothing more about it or when it disappeared.

Devonshire Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-63-positive_2400
Chilworth St, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

This ornate doorway is in Chilworth St, and not as the note on my contact sheet suggested in Devonshire Terrace, which is just around the corner. There is more carved brickwork on the frontage of this building, which is rather grudgingly Grade II listed for its ‘group value’.

Westbourne St, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-21-positive_2400
Westbourne St, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

This area of London has been home to many ethnicities and nationalities at least since the Victorian era.

The Fountains, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-35-positive_2400
The Fountains, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

The River Westbourne used to emerge into the open in Hyde Park, and Queen Caroline had a dam built to make the Serpentine Lake in 1730. By the 1830s, with Bayswater being developed the river had become a sewer, and water was instead pumped from the Thames – and is now from deep boreholes into the chalk below the park. One borehole is in the Italian Gardens, which were built in the 1860s when Prince Albert decided it would be nice to have something here like those which he had made at Osborne House. The pavilion which held a pump for the fountains was designed by Sir Charles Barry and the gardens by James Pennethorne with sculpture by John Thomas.

Bayswater Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-46-positive_2400
Bayswater Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

This rather ugly truncated column on the corner of Lancaster Gate marks the service road in front of the building at left (now the Columbia Hotel) as a private road, running parallel to the Bayswater Rd. Planned in 1856-7, this was one of the grandest developments in London and took around ten years to complete. The architect for the two long terraces facing Hyde Park was Sancton Wood (1815–1886) who worked for his cousins Robert and Sydney Smirke and also designed many railway stations.

All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7j-25-positive_2400
All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

‘DOC ALIMANTADO SAY FREE SOUTH AFRICA’. Dr Alimantado, born in Kingston Jamaica in 1952 as Winston Thompson and also known as ‘The Ital Surgeon’ is a Jamaican reggae singer, DJ and record producer, best known in the UK for his ‘Born For A Purpose’, made after he was knocked down and injured by a bus and for his 1978 album Best Dressed Chicken in Town. He gained success for his ‘toasting’ over the work other singers and his own recordings as a vocalist were less successful.

All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7j-26-positive_2400
All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

‘REMAIN CAREFUL OF YOUR TRUE CONDUCT, DIGNITY, STEER AWAY FROM TRASHY INTEGRATION, BE WORTHY OF THE BEST’

This graffiti on one of Notting Hill’s best-known streets was based on advice given given to the young Dr Martin Luther King:
Remain careful of your conduct. Steer away from ‘trashy’ preachers. Be worthy of the best.”

More on page 5 of my album 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.


1986 Complete – Page 2

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
Varden St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets 86-5d-11_2400

Images in this post are embedded from Flickr where you can view them at a large size by clicking on the image. You will need to use your browser back button to return to this post. Or you can right-click and select ‘Open link in new tab’.

My album 1986 London Photographs is now complete on Flickr, and this is the second of a short series of posts pointing out a few of my favourite images from the year.

Fashion St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets 86-4r-16_2400

Several things come out strongly to me as I look through these pictures, mostly taken around Brick Lane and other areas of Whitechapel. One of the major themes that has run through much of my photography is the writing on the wall, whether graffiti or signs and posters. Language is such an important aspect of our social interactions and its inclusion in these images makes them into a record of how people lived and thought.

Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets 86-5a-01_2400

In 1984 London was rapidly becoming the multicultural city we now know, though of course it had been so on a lesser scale for many years if not centuries. Spitalfields where some of these pictures were made had long been a home for new communities moving to London and there was still abundant evidence of its Jewish population as well as the Bangladeshis who had by then largely replaced them.

Commercial Rd, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets 86-5c-64_2400

Housing, then as now, was an important issue in London in particular, and some of these pictures reflect this and other issues such as racism. Although I think some of these pictures are well-composed and even attractive compositionally, I’ve always considered the formal aspects – line, shape, tone, texture, form etc to be the means to communicate a message rather than an end in themselves. I aimed to make photography that had something to say and said it well rather than to produce well composed, attractive or even striking or popular images.

Limehouse, Tower Hamlets 86-5h-66_2400

There are another 95 pictures on the second page of the album, all with a location, taken from the usually rather incomplete information I recorded on the contact sheets. I’ve tried to check these before posting, but corrections and other comments are always welcome. I’m happy for these pictures – with suitable attribution – to be shared on social media, but they remain copyright and any commercial or editorial use requires a licence from me.


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.


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Old Street New Photos

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

I live just a couple of miles outside the Greater London boundary, two miles that cost me around £1500 a year in travel costs, though I might be saving a little in council tax. I live in the only area of what used to be Middlesex which wasn’t included in Greater London when the boundaries were established in the 1960s, though the town I live in is fairly typical of outer London. But the posh Tories down the road who ran the local council at the time rose up against becoming a part of the London Borough of Hounslow and opted the whole area to become part of Surrey with their wealthy chums across the river.

So while Londoners of my age got a Freedom Pass, now valid at all times on London Underground, London Overground, Bus, Tram, and Docklands Light Railway services in Greater London as well as rail services between 9.30am and 11.30pm, instead I got a national bus pass, giving free rides only on the buses. And where practicable my normal mode of travel around London is by bus.

When time is limited or bus journeys far to slow I do use the Underground (or Overground or Rail) to get around London and pay. And on days where the traffic is paralysed by large-scale protests or sporting events I’ll take the tube as well, either using a London-wide Travelcard or using a contactless card.

Other than cost, and for some journeys speed (though it can be quicker to use the bus or walk) there are some advantages to bus travel. Thanks to most London routes being served by double-deckers you are treated to some splendid views of the capital from viewpoints that would otherwise be impossible. It’s a poor man’s cherry-picker, and these pictures of the Old Street roundabout and some nearby locations show this well.

The Old Street roundabout was constructed at the height of brutalist architecture in the 60s, with some very odd concrete shapes at its core on top of Old Street Tube station, some underground shops and a public toilet in an area known as St Agnes Well. It’s an area I’ve often visited for convenience and travel, and sometimes for photography over the years.

Work has been going on for some time to replace the roundabout by a smoother two-way traffic flow with improved cycling and pedestrian routes and a new public open space and is due for completion later this year. The area around the roundabout has also changed in recent years with new large blocks on the south side as well as a gigantic suspended advertising block. A cluster of software houses in some of these new buildings have led to a new name, Silicon Roundabout.

I was able to photograph from the bus going through the now ex-roundabout both west to east and in the reverse direction along Old St after photographing a protest not far away. And with various traffic lights and queues in operation the bus stopped several times at convenient locations for my pictures.

More pictures at Clerkenwell Road & Old St.


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.


London life

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

Possibly the only real weather pictures I took in 2019 were a couple during a short but torrential downpour in central London. I was travelling between protests and had stopped to change buses, and was fortunately standing under a bus shelter when what had been the occasional drop of rain suddenly went rogue. When a woman walked past under a pink umbrella I saw there was a picture and manged a couple of frames with a short telephoto before she walked out of frame and, more or less at the same time my bus arrived.

By the time the bus had gone along most of the Strand the rain had stopped and the pavements were beginning to dry. I looked down from the top deck of the bus and saw this group of three men sheltering in front of a print shop with bedding and belongings beside them. It’s a sight that is unfortunately far too common in London now, though virtually unknown in my younger days when I started taking pictures.

Under both New Labour, Tory Lib-Dem coalition and Tory governments we have seen increasing inequalities and a change in government policies, increasingly moving away from an attitude of care for the welfare of the poorest and towards a criminalisation of poverty, with councils bringing in bylaws that regard people living on the streets simply as an incovenient eyesore, fining people who feed those on the streets and also those sleeping rough. We used to say that Britain was a Christian country, but it’s hard to see that in practice now.

I was in Brixton for a protest against the continuing persecution of Windrush family members and other migrants and the increasing levels of hate crime encouraged by government policies and actions. Places like this are suffering from the Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’ and immigration removal squads. But I’m always impressed by the colour and vibrancy of the place – and so are all those wealthy young people who are moving in and leading its gentrification.

One of those things that you obviously see when travelling by bus – at least if you have the energy to climb the stairs to the upper deck of London’s many double-deckers is the roofs of the cars. I’m always rather disappointed if the bus I’m taking turns out only to be a single decker, as the views from the top deck are so much more interesting.

This month the various traffic jams around Trafalgar Square gave me plenty of time to contemplate the reflections in car roofs and to photogrpah a few of them. It’s rather tricky angling the camera down at an angle and often the glass is too dirty to make it worthwhile; reflections also often spoil the images, though I use my arms and coat to try to cut them out. I do have the solution to this in a giant floppy lens hood, but that sits protecting a little dust on my desk at home whenever I need it.

The line of hexagons at the bottom of this image rather adds to it, and is on the window of the bus. I think this is the full frame as I made the picture and would perhaps benefit from a slight crop at top and right. Although the sun was out, you can see a sky pretty full of clouds reflected in the roof.

See more pictures from my September travels around London on My London Diary at London 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.

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.


Regents Canal – Bethnal Green

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

More panoramic images from the Regents Canal and nearby areas in Bethnal Green.

The Oval
From Corbridge Crescent
Corbridge Cresecent
Corbdige Crescent and Grove Passage

This is an area I photographed for the first time around 1980 and that I’ve returned to occasionally over the years. On My London Diary you can see more of these cylindrical perspective panoramic views – each around 147 degrees horizontal field of view, as well as some more normal rectilinear lens views at Regent’s Canal.

I’m hoping to use some pictures from the canal in a small show next year – more later.


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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.

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