Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

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.


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.


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 .


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.


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.


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.

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.

To order prints or reproduce images