Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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.


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