Posts Tagged ‘Greenwich’

More Deptford And A Little Greenwich

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

My walk continued along Stowage where my previous post ended to St Nicholas, Deptord Green, and then south through Deptford.

Church Gate, Skull, St Nicholas, Deptord Green, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-54-Edit_2400
Church Gate, Skull, St Nicholas, Deptord Green, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-54

Playwright and spy Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was apparently killed in a house in Deptford on 30th May 1593 and buried in an unmarked grave in this churchyard at St. Nicholas’s Church. A web page, Death In Deptord gives the known facts and also various conspiracy theories. He had been arrested a week earlier on a charge of atheism, then a serious crime for which those found guilty could be burnt at the stake. Surprisingly he was granted bail.

He came to Deptford to escape the plague which was raging through London and was at a meeting in a private house there which is thought to have been a safe house used by government agents, and was dining there with three other spies, all connected with the secret service set up by Marlowe’s patron, Sir Francis Walsingham, to protect Queen Elizabeth from Catholic assassination plots.,

Surprisingly the lengthy Coroners Report by the Queen’s Coroner kept secret at the time was only rediscovered and published in 1925. It describes the killing as a result of a dispute over the bill and names his murderer – who was given a royal pardon 28 days later. Many have thought the inquest was a cover-up and that either the death was a planned assassination by the security services or that Marlowe was not killed but smuggled out of the country to escape his prosecution and possible burning for heresy.

Deptford High St, Douglas Way, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-45-Edit_2400
Deptford High St, Douglas Way, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-45

This shop on the corner of Douglas Way is still a Halal Butcher. There was a barbers until around 2016 in the shop on Douglas Way still with the perhaps unfortunate name of H Nicks, but that and the two further shops have changed hands and are now rather more colourful, with barbers Tuttii Fruitii, Divine Beauty Hair Salon and Good Friends Chinese Restaurant and Takeaway reflecting the vibrant multicultural mix of Deptford.

Deptford High St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-34-Edit_2400
Deptford High St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-34

The shop on the left, closed in 1988 is now Omed Uk Ltd, African Textile & Novelty, and Richard Stone Mans Store is now DAGE, Deptford Action Group For The Elderly but that on the right, though with a new sign is still in much the same business as Deptford Cobbler. The buildings appear to have changed little. Most times when I’ve walked along here since the street has been busy with market stalls, but these pictures were made on a Sunday morning when there was then no market.

Deptford High St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-35-Edit_2400
Deptford High St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-35

There was a pub here in 1788, though the street was then called Butt Lane. It was part rebuilt in the late 19th century with the frontage rebuilt at some time between 1868 and 1894. Originally called the Red Lion and Wheatsheaf it became The Distillery in the 1890s and at other times in the early twentieth century simply as the Red Lion. It reverted to its original name around 1930 and closed as a pub in 1961-2.

The Wenlock Brewery in Wenlock Road Hoxton owned a large number of pubs across London and was bought up by Worthington – part of Bass – in 1953 and closed in 1962.

Mumford's Mill, Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-22-Edit_2400
Mumford’s Mill, Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-22

I walked across Deptford Bridge and a short distance up Greenwich High Road to photograph Mumford’s Mill which is on the east bank of Deptford Creek. The Grade II listed silo with the date 1790 was a later addition to the site, added in 1897 and built in an elaborate Italianate style by one of the leading architects of the day, Sir Aston Webb, along with his partner Edward Ingress Bell who got his unusual second name from being born in Ingress Park a few miles down the river at Greenhithe.

The 1790 mill was possibly a tide-mill – and there is a tidemill site here on the west side of the Creek, for some years a neighbourhood park but now after a fight by local residents failed to save it being redeveloped for housing. The early mill was soon replaced by two early 19th century three storey stone grinding flour mills.

But by 1897 this was a state of the art flour mill, with roller mills powered by steam. In the 1930s it was bought by the Rank Group, founded in Hull by Joseph Rank who had set up the first modern flour milling business in the UK there in 1875 and milling was soon ended. Parts of the premises were used by various companies, but much was apparently empty for several decades until converted to residential use early this century.

Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-23-Edit_2400
Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-23

I continued up the Greenwich High Road to these two adjacent contrasting doorways just off the road in Burrgos Grove. Wellington House is 2 Burgos Grove while the property at right, in 1988 shared between Joule Electrical Ltd and the Inner London Probation Service is numbered as 34 Greenwich High Rd. Probably both properties date from the mid-19th century. No 34 was extensively rebuilt in 2012 but the doorway and facade were retained.

Deptford Broadway, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-24-Edit_2400
Deptford Broadway, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10f-24

I walked back to Deptford Bridge and west to Deptford Broadway. Now this would mean going under the Lewisham extension of the Docklands Light Railway, opened in 1999. Should you be here it is worth going up to the platforms of Deptford Bridge Station which gives some of the better views of Mumford’s Mill and other parts of the area, and taking the train north to Greenwich to see more of Deptford Creek.

The north side of the Broadway has a remarkable variety of architectural styles and includes a group of five houses at the right of this picture Grade II listed as a group at 17-21 consecutive, thought to be all of late C17 origin, though all much altered later. Next is Broadway House, dated 1927, followed at 13-14 by what is probably a late-Victorian property and then a fine piece of 1930 Art-Deco – in my picture ‘Antique Warehouse’ but built for ‘Montague Burton, The Tailor of Taste’. Unfortunately I was just a few months too late to photograph the Deptford Odeon, designed by George Coles in 1938, but demolished earlier in the year – and the billboard at extreme right was in front of its empty site.

To be continued in a later post.


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Stowage, Deptford

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Stowage, Deptford – Stowage is the place were things were stored and Stowage was from 1600 until 1782 a storage area for the East India Company who also built ships here. The name was not just for the street but for a wider area including the site of Deptford Power Station, the world’s first commercial-scale high voltage power station by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti in 1889.

The Hoy, Deptford Power Station, Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-34-Edit_2400
The Hoy, Deptford Power Station, Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-34

The Hoy pub was open on the corner of Stowage at 193 Creek Road at least by 1840 but closed in 2008, becoming a café. Some reports say it lost its licence because of a large number of reports of drug use. It looked closed and unoccupied when I walked past a few months ago. Until the 1920s there were two pubs actually in Stowage, the Old George and the Fishing Smack, both open in the 1820s.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-35-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-36

The General Steam navigation Co Ltd established its shipyard on Stowage at the mouth of Deptford Creek in 1825, using it to build and maintain its paddle steamers. The site became part of Deptford Power Station for the Deptford East HP station which opened in 1953.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-26-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-26

The area has a long and interesting history. Stowage was the first base of Trinity House, who were close to St Nicholas’s Church at the west end of Stowage from 1511-1660 before moving to the City of London, and this was the location of the first Trinity House Almshouses. According to the entry in Pepys Diary for Friday 8 April 1664 he went with Sir William Batten, then the Master of Trinity House to see the new almshouses which were being built at Deptford. They were demolished around 1877.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-11-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-11

The walk District 45 created by the Royal Geographical Society is a fine introduction to the area and one I recently followed (with a few of my own additions) with a couple of friends. It is based on Charles Booth’s walk around the area with the local police in 1899 and you can read Booth’s notebooks on the LSE’s Charles Booth’s London web site (his handwriting is occasionally a little difficult) which provide some further notes to those in the RGS walk.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-13-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-13

In his notes, Booth described Stowage as “A stinking unpaved lane with wharves on north side until the bend is passed … occupied by a low rough waterside population. ” He went on to say “Most people living here work at one of the factories along the Creek. Besides the chemical works there are numerous business places employing a large number of ‘hands’. The Steam Navigation Company has a large yard in the Stowage.

All these works are busy and work is plentiful so that no man need be unemployed. Women work
in woodyard and laundry, girls in the tin factory or as ‘gut girls’ in the meat market cleaning the entrails of the slaughtered beasts
. “

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-12-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-12

I walked along the short street on various occasions in the 1980s and 90s, and it seems to me that relatively little had changed, except there were rather fewer houses and people living on the streets. It was a street were there were often small groups of men who looked shifty and where I didn’t always feel able to stop and take photographs and where much that went on was perhaps on the edge of the law. Often there were fires burning and foul smoke, perhaps getting rid of rubber and plastic from various scrap metal objects.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-64-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-64

I wrote “It was also an area where anyone with a camera aroused suspicion, if not outright hostility. If you were lucky people just asked accusingly “You from the council?”, but there were others who made rather more direct threats. it was an area where there were dodgy deals, stolen cars and other things going on that it wasn’t healthy to poke your nose into. Most of the time I kept my Olympus OM1 under my jacket as I walked along.”

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-65-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-65

Other photographers were less timid than me – and had rather different interests in the area. One I knew slightly was Jim Rice, and for his Deptford Creek project he got to know many of those in the area and made some striking portraits.

Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-51-Edit_2400
Stowage, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10f-51

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Greenwich and Deptford Creek October 1988

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Caesars American Restaurant, Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, 1988 88-10e-55-Edit_2400
Caesars American Restaurant, Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, 1988 88-10e-55

I had spent several days wandering around Hackney in the previous months and decided it was time to go back south of the river and picked on Deptford for my next walk. I’d decided to get a train from Waterloo East to Greenwich as my starting point, but arrived in to Waterloo with some time to spare and walked briefly along Waterloo Road. You won’t find Caesars there now, its place taken by a vape shop and Tesco Express.

Norman Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-56-Edit_2400
Norman Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-56

I took the train to Greenwich Station and came out onto Norman Road which is on the east side of Deptford Creek. There are still some industrial sites here but the area to the north shown in my photograph now has tall blocks of flats both on the creek side (to the left of my picture) and on the right. There was no access to the Creek here.

Posters, Norman Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-41-Edit_2400
Posters, Norman Rd, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-41

The area around Deptford Creek now has many artists studios, but back in 1988 I wasn’t expecting to see this kind of display in the area, and it wasn’t at all clear whether this was a result of fly-posting followed by vandalism or art, though I inclined to the latter. It certainly had become art by the time I photographed it.

Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-44-Edit_2400
Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-44

Finally on Creek Road I was able to see the creek itself, looking across to Deptford from the Greenwich end of the bridge. In the distance is the spire of St Paul’s Deptford. Tall blocks built around 2017 on Copperas Street now block that view.

Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-45-Edit_2400
Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-45

Walking across the bridge gave me this view of the Deptford side. Creek Road Bridge is a lifting bridge and in 1988 often caused severe traffic delays in the area when lifted at high tides to allow vessels to pass. I think bridge lifts are now rare, though at least until recent years they were still occasionally needed to allow vessels carrying aggregate to berth at Brewery Wharf just below the bridge on the Greenwich side.

In the distance you can see the Deptford Creek Railway Bridge which was also a lifting bridge, though of very different design. I understand this is now welded in place and incapable of lifting.

Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-46-Edit_2400
Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-46

Although Deptford Creek forms the boundary between Deptford (in the London Borough of Lewisham) and Greenwich for much of its length, the area around its mouth from a little south of Creek Road as far west as Watergate Street in Deptford is in the London Borough of Greenwich, including the whole now former site of Deptford Power Station. Both sides of the Creek were industrial in 1988, though the last of the three power stations had ceased operation in 1983, and it was spectacularly demolished in 1992. The first station, designed by Sebastian de Ferranti and opened in 1889 was the world’s first ‘central’ power station, operating at high voltage and on an unprecedented scale and closed in the 1960s.

Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-32-Edit_2400
Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-32

Much of the Deptford side of the Creek north of Creek Road was occupied by scrap metal dealers and in 1988 this brick building at Crown Wharf was the offices of London Iron & Steel Limited.

Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-33-Edit_2400
Deptford Creek, Creek Rd, Deptford, Greenwich, 1988 88-10e-33

The Creek turns west after going under Creek Road, then around to the north to enter the RIver Thames. There is a large pile of scrap on the wharf in front of the disused power station and Turbulence, a general cargo vessel, 1426 tons gross built in Selby, Yorkshire in 1983 is moored there. Large heaps of sand and gravel are at an aggregate works on the Greenwich bank, though previously there had been a gas works here.

Today the scene is entirely different, with large residential developments on both sides of the Creek, at Millennium Quay on the west and New Capital Quay on the east. A new footbridge joining the two across the mouth of the Creek was opened in 2015. This is a swing bridge which also occasionally has to be opened to let vessels pass at high tide.

My walk continues in a later post.


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A Threatened Hospital, Riverside Walk, Syria & Mali

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

A Threatened Hospital, Riverside Walk, Syria & Mali – pictures from nine years ago on February 15th 2013.

Fight to Save Lewisham Hospital Continues

My work began at a lunchtime rally opposite Lewisham Hospital where the whole local community is fighting to save their hospital with both a legal challenge and further mass demonstrations including a ‘Born in Lewisham Hospital’ protest a few weeks later. Parts of the hospital across the main road are in the picture.

People were appalled by then Health Minister Jeremy Hunt’s decision to accept the proposals for closure, and to ignore the mass protests by local residents. Not only are the proposals medically unsound and will lead to patient deaths, but they also represent short-term thinking that will result in a huge waste of public funds.

Lewisham was a sucessful and financially sound hospital and had received sensible public investment to provide up to date services, and the services to be cut will have to be set up again at other hospitals. Closing Lewisham would not only incur high costs, but would waste the previous investment in its facilities.

Closure was only considered because of huge debts inherited when it was merged into a group which had earlier made a disastrous PFI (private finance initiative) agreement to build a new hospital a few miles away. Both the hospital group and Jeremy Hunt had been shown to be telling lies about the scope and cost of the replacement A&E and maternity facilities which would be needed if Lewisham were closed.

The well-attended protest was organised by the Save the Lewisham Hospital campaign which was raising funds for a legal challenge as well as a new poster and leaflet campaign and the forthcoming mass demonstration. But this was not just a campaign for Lewisham, but one that is vital for the whole of the NHS. Behind the speakers was a banner for the South-East London ‘Save Our Local NHS Hospitals’ campaign quoting Nye Bevan: ‘The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.‘ They certainly had the faith in Lewisham.

Fight to Save Lewisham Hospital Continues


Thames Path Greenwich Partly Open

Here’s what I wrote back in 2013:

I had some time to spare between protests and it was a nice day, around 10 degrees warmer than we’d been having and sunny, so I decided to take a bus to North Greenwich and walk along the Thames Path, having heard that parts of it had re-opened. The weather changed a little and there were some dramatic skies.

There is still a section of the walk that is closed, a giant building site where Delta Wharf once was up to Drawdock Road, but on each side of this the walk is open. although the council sign on the footpath leading from Tunnel Avenue still indicates it is closed. At the river the path north is blocked, but you can walk south to Greenwich.

A panorama – the same path in opposite directions at both sides

At first the walk goes alongside a giant manmade landscape of sand and gravel, like some alien planet – and behind the conical hills the Dome and the gas holder, with occasional lighting towers and cranes add to the scene. Most of this is behind tall fences, but fortunately these have gaps between the posts allowing you to see and photograph. Years ago the path here went through a working container dock, the Victoria Deep Water Terminal, with yellow lines marking the route, though occasionally it was blocked by crane operations, and we waited rather than have heavy containers overhead. There are a couple of my pictures of this and others from the riverside path in the 1980s on my London’s Industrial Heritage site.

Beyond there the riverside path seems rather empty, with many structures having dissappeared, including the huge concrete silo I photographed. But something new has appeared, ‘guerilla knitting’ on some of the trees and posts along the path.

Many more pictures at Thames Path Greenwich Partly Open on My London Dairy


Stop Western Intervention in Syria & Mali

It was the 10th anniversary of the march by 2 million against the Iraq war, Stop the War organised a small protest at Downing St calling for a stop to Western intervention in Mali and Syria and against the possible attack on Iran.

Many on the left feel that the failure of that huge protest to actually prevent the UK taking part in the invasion of Iraq showed a failure in the leadership of Stop The War to make any quick and efffective action to follow it up. Stop The War have also failed to convince the public at large with their more recent campaigns against intervention in Libya and now against the support being given to the Free Syrians and the Mali government. As the upper picture shows there were some supporters of the Assad regime, from a small left group, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), taking part in the protest. Almost certainly the great majority of supporters of Stop The War while against UK military intervention would like to see more support being given in other ways to the Syrian rebels.

Stop Western Intervention in Syria & Mali


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London’s Cheapest Flight: June-July 2013

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Eight years ago I took a couple of rides on the Emirates Air Line, better known thanks to London blogger Diamond Geezer as the ‘dangleway’ and posted a number of the pictures that I took from it.

As I pointed out then, “in transport terms its a joke, a slower and more expensive route on almost any possible journey“, but to my surprise this joke is still running eight years later despite huge losses, and my exhortation “if you’ve not taken a ride don’t leave it too long” was then misplaced. Though given the effects of the virus on air travel it may not last much longer, but perhaps the extensive developments on the south bank on the Greenwich Peninsula and the replacement of industrial sites by housing on the north bank, together with the move of the Greater London Authority to the Crystal at the north end of the route by the end of the year may provide a few more customers.

One advantage of the current situation is that, according to the TfL web siteOnly one passenger is allowed per cabin, unless a household or group is travelling together” so you can be sure of having it to yourself, or chosing those you want to travel with. The poor people in the picture above had to share a ride with me.

I think there were notices in the cabins telling you to remain in your seats during the short journey, but clearly I didn’t entirely obey these, but there was no one around to see. Perhaps there might be safety issues if a full cabin of Sumo wrestlers began to throw themselves around but I don’t think my careful movements were any problems.

The service runs weekdays days from 7am to 11pm, stopping an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays and opening later at weekends. It also stops in very strong winds and thunderstorms, though one London reporter made a story out of using it this January as storm Christoph was approaching. His photographs don’t really support his story of being buffeted around by the wind but I imagine there was some tangible swinging motion. When there is any real danger it closes – and that happens around a hundred times a year. There are also some closures for maintainence.

My journeys were both smooth and rather quiet, and the ride seemed much shorter then the 10 minutes it took. A single journey costs £4, more or less the same as in 2013. I generally avoid air travel, but I imagine the carbon footprint of this short journey is quite low.

Back in 2013 I commented “it should be promoted as one of London’s cheaper and more interesting tourist attractions, giving a rather better view than the helter-skelter on the Olympic site at around a tenth of the cost, and with the added attraction of motion in three dimensions.” It has so far only attracted a few more discerning tourists, some of whom are doubtless also following London’s public art trail, The Line and get an unusual view of Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud on their ride.


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.


South of the River – 1987

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-45-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Many of my favourite London walks were by the River Thames, back in 1987 still lined with industry, most now replaced by luxury flats, and rather less interesting. Walking along Creek Road from Deptford to Greenwich took me past a power station, scrap metal yards, sand and gravel works and a former gas works with the creek flowing past them.

Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-44-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

The final section of Deptford power station had been decommissioned in 1983, but most of of it was still standing, though I think some demolition was taking place around it. And a smaller chimney, I think on the opposite bank of the creek, was still belching out smoke, and there were piles of sand and gravel on the opposite bank as well as the scrap metal at left where the creek went under Creek Road.

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-32-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Both banks of Deptford Creek here are in the London Borough of Greenwich, something I often forgot when captioning images, expecting the creek to be the boundary. The creek is of course still there, and more conveniently for walkers there is now a footbridge across it a few yards from where it enters the Thames. A path now runs beside the Thames too, where both the power station and gas works once stood, in some ways a gain, but there is now so much less of interest to see.

Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-43-positive_2400
Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987

I don’t remember going inside the Art Gallery at Wood Wharf, and I think it was probably now open when I took this picture. Wood Wharf is now tall residential blocks – with a riverside walkway, restaurants and a pub.

The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-35-positive_2400
The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987

The Loyal Briton at 62 Thames Street went through a variety of names over the many years since it was built, probably around the middle of the 19th Century, possibly as a fire station, though it was selling beer by the 1850s.Its renaming as The Lone Sailor was probably after Francis Chichester’s single-handed voyage around the world in 1966-7 when his yacht Gypsy Moth was put on display not far from the Cutty Sark in 1968, remaining there until 2004, when she was restored and put back into sail. The pub closed in the 1990s, later becoming the SE10 restuarant. It had a brief time as a Chinese takeaway and gambling den, and in October 2013 reopened as a pub, The Old Loyal Britons. But the lease was only for a year, and it closed permanently in October 2014 to be replaced in 2018 by a large block of 1,2 & 3 bedroom appartments.

Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987 87-10l-65-positive_2400
Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987

A workhouse was built in 1871 in Renfrew Rd to house 820 inmates and five years later the Lambeth Infirmary was built on an adjoining site, with the two being combined as Lambeth Hospital in 1922. It was taken over by the LCC in 1930 and by 1939 was one of London’s larger municipal hospitals. It continued in use under the NHS until 1976 when a new wing was opened at At Thomas’ Hospital. Parts still remain – including this building which since 1998 has housed the Cinema Museum.

87-10k-62-positive_2400
Trade Counter, Westminster Bridge Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

This is now a part of the Peabody Head Office building, Minster Court.

Royal Eye Hospital, St George's Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-51-positive_2400
Royal Eye Hospital, St George’s Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The South London Opthalmic Hospital opened with two beds in a house near here in 1857, but after some growth and several name changes it moved to this larger block on the NW corner of St George’s Circus as the Royal Eye Hospital in 1892. Badly damaged in the war it reopened in 1944, becoming part of the NHS in 1948. In 1976 patients were transferred to St Thomas’s Hospital with out-patient clinics ending in 1980. It was demolished in the 1990s and a student hall of residence, McLaren House, built on the site.

Temporary Housing, London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-33-positive_2400
Temporary Housing & London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The London Park Hotel was built in 1897 as the Newington Butts Rowton House, the third of its kind under Lord Rowton’s recently introduced scheme of hostels for down-and-out or low-paid working men in London. They had communal facilities including a dining hall, lounge, reading room, washrooms, barbers, cobblers and tailors shops, shoe cleaning rooms and parcel rooms for storage on the lower floors and on the upper floors were private cubicles each with a bed, chair, shelf and chamber pot, all for 6d a day. Lodgers were not allowed into the cubicles during the day. They could either eat in the dining room or cook there own food (more at http://www.workhouses.org.uk/RowtonNewington/).Originally having 805 beds, a new wing added in 1903 increased that to 1017. It was renamed Parkview House and in 1972 re-opened as the London Park Hotel. It closed in the 1990s but was for a while used to house refugees and asylum seekers. It was demolished in December 2007.

More pictures on page 7 of my 1987 London Photos on 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.


Greenwich Riverside Walk

Monday, October 19th, 2020

One of my favourite London walks has for many years been beside the River Thames on the path downstream from Greenwich. I first walked it in the 1970s and went back occasionally over the years, both on foot and later taking my Brompton bicycle to it on the train. When I was on foot I often went as far as Woolwich, not a great distance but I was always a photographer rather than a walker. Other riverside walks began from Woowlich or railway stations further east including Erith, Dartford and Gravesend.

On October 18th 2018 my walk was rather shorter as I was with three other photographers, and we began at North Greenwich. Parts of the riverside walk had recently reopened after closure for the continuing process of ruining the Thames by lining it with tall blocks of expensive flats and I was keen to walk it again after some years away.

There were other reasons for the walk too. One was a visit to the Pelton Arms, arguably Greenwich’s finest pub. Its in a homely area, developed like the pub around 1844, though the Grade II listed street of granite setts from around 1870 stops a few yards short. It’s just a short walk from Granite Wharf, which got its name as it was here than Mowlem landed its granite from Guernsey that once paved much of the streets of London. But the real attraction is its fine range of real ales and comfortable atmosphere – and, although quiet when we visited is one of South London’s leading music venues.

We were also on our way to an evening event across the river in North Greenwich, and after a meal in the centre of the town hopped on the DLR at Cutty Sark for the single stop to Island Gardens and a short walk to where another of our photographer friends, Mike Seaborne was having the launch of his book on the Isle of Dogs. It was getting a little late when we had finished our meal otherwise I would have suggested going across the river on foot, not walking on the water but under it in the Greenwich foot tunnel.

There are many more pictures from the walk on My London Diary. Most but not all are ultra-wide views with a horizontal angle of view of over 140 degrees. Often I crop these to a more panoramic format, but here I decided to leave them covering the full frame to fit better with the few less wide-angle images. All except one in this post are ultra-wide and they are presented in the order of the walk.


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.


Meridian 1

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

One of the blogs about London I keep my eye on and occasionally read with interest is the rather oddly named ‘Diamond Geezer‘, who posts daily articles, usually about his walks or bus rides around some of London’s more obscure areas. As someone who spent around 20 years walking around many of these taking photographs, I often find these interesting even though I don’t share his preoccupation with some of the minutiae of Transport for London’s oddities.

The two most recent of his posts have been Prime Meridian 0° Day 1 and Day 2 and by the time you read this, there will probably be a Day 3. Since he is only walking along the line (or rather as close to it as you can) in Tower Hamlets and Newham there probably won’t need to be a Day 4.


Greenwich Observatory – Peter Marshall, 1985

I was particularly interested because I carried out a similar but rather longer project in 1994-96, completing it despite failing to get any of the Millenium funding which was on offer. I began at what seemed the obvious place, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich – as this was the Greenwich Meridian. My walk, carried out over several days, was rather longer, ending more or less at the Greater London boundary in Chingford – and later I extended it south from Greenwich to New Addington at the southern boundary.

Greenwich Riverside – Peter Marshall, 1985

It was rather harder then to actually trace the Meridian on the ground. There were rather fewer actual markers then and I think no published walks along it. Although my application failed, others were successful and obtained funding to put in new Meridian markers and publish walks at the time of the Millenium and yet more have been added since.

West India Dock – Peter Marshall, 1985

Back in 1994-6 I had to draw my own line on my maps – it was only in 1998 that the line was added to the Ordnance Survey maps – in order to allow people to celebrate the Millennium on it. Back then we had no mobile phones and no GPS – the first phone based GPS navigation system was only introduced by Benefon in 1999 and it was a few years before this became universal.

Greenway & Channelsea River, Stratford – Peter Marshall, 1995

I first published these images on the web in 1996, having then recently acquired a colour film scanner. It wasn’t a very good scanner and getting good results from colour negative film was tricky. I think I scanned most of them again later, but some could still be improved.

Stratford – Peter Marshall, 1995


To be continued…

South of the River 1985

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
Container ship, biker, Shornemead Fort, Shorne, Gravesend, Gravesham 85-6c-43_2400

In 1984, I more or less came to an end of my work on the River Lea (though I returned to it later) and the major focus of my photography shifted to London’s Docklands, and I’d photographed the West India and Millwall Docks as well as the Royal Docks, pictures from which I’m currently posting daily on Facebook. And later in that year I also went to the Surrey Docks, where work by the London Docklands Development Corporation was well advanced.

I was very aware of the political dimensions of the redevelopment, with the LDDC taking over from the elected local authorities and imposing its own largely business-led priorities which although accelerating the development distorted it away from the needs of the local area, and particularly away from the still pressing need for more social housing and for better employment opportunities for local people.

Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-35_2400

In those years I read every book in my local library on the history and geography of London, and began to build up my own collection of older works bought from secondhand bookshops and by post. Before the days of on-line listings I used to receive a monthly duplicated list of books on offer from a dealer I think in Brighton, and found many topographic and photographic items of interest, often very cheaply, and would look forward to receiving heavy parcels wrapped in several layers of newspaper. Yes, there was mail order before Amazon, and it was rather more exciting.

Cement Works, Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-53_2400

It was reading one of the books, Donald Maxwells ‘A pilgrimage of The Thames’, published in 1932 with his imaginative text and evocative drawings (some originally printed in the Church Times) that prompted me to walk in 1985 as he did from Gravesend west through Northfleet and Greenhithe exploring what he christened ‘the Switzerland of England’. As a rather more down-to-earth guide I also had the more academic ‘Lower Thameside’ picked up for pennies in a secondhand bookshop, which included a chapter on its 1971 cement industry by geographers Roy Millward and Adrian Robinson.

Crossness Marshes, Belvedere Power Station, Belvedere, Erith 85-9j-53_2400

My series of walks traversed what was an incredible industrial and post-industrial landscape, altered on a huge scale by quarrying and industry, continuing past Gravesend along the riverside path past Erith and Woolwich to Greenwich and Deptford (areas also covered in my 1985 London Pictures), as well as walking further east to Cliffe and Cooling.

Cement Works, Manor Way, Swanscombe, Dartford 85-9g-36_2400

It was a project that I returned to for several years – and I went back to the area more recently when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was being built as will as the occasional walk or bike ride over the years.

You can see 280 of my pictures from 1984 now on Flickr in the album
1985: South of the River: Deptford to Cliffe


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.
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Zero Time for Action

Monday, January 27th, 2020

I’d walked halfway up the hill to Blackheath where South East London Extinction Rebellion were holding their two day South East London Rebel Rising festival, but had to rush off and run back downhill to catch a train back to the centre of London to cover events there. But I was able to return without having to climb the hill again, taking a train to Blackheath station which is at the top of the hill, and just a short walk to at Blackheath Lincoln Field where the Greenwich Observatory Die-In was going to start.

I arrived just in time as the march to the observatory was about to set off, and was able to photograph them as they walked across the common and into Greenwich Park.

It wasn’t a huge group, which was just as well as they pretty well filled the space in front of the Royal Observatory which isn’t very large and a triangular area with very busy paths along two side, full of tourists going to see London’s finest view from the terrace just past the observatory or to visit the observatory. This is now a museum for tourists with a large meridian marker in the ground where people like to photograph themselves with a foot in each hemisphere (and I admit I’ve done so in the distant past.)

Back when I first visited the observatory it was free, but now it costs £16 for an adult ticket (cheaper if you book online.) When they started to charge for entry you could walk into the yard and photograph yourself on the meridian marker for free, but now you have to pay to get through the gate. Though there is a much older marker on the footpath just below if you want to save money.

Greenwich advertises itself as the home of Greenwich Mean Time, and Extinction Rebellion chose the venue to point out that we are running out of time and need to take urgent action now to avoid mass extinction. Some of the protesters had ‘clock faces’ painted on their faces or carried clock posters.

While most of those present lay down for a ‘die-in’, others handed out leaflets and used a megaphone to speak to the tourists wandering past, some of whom applauded the action, while others either ignored it or just looked confused.

It was another event where my fish-eye lens came in useful, though even it wasn’t quite wide enough to take in the whole scene as I wanted. The top picture on this post shows a fisheye view, slightly cropped at top and bottom, and it couldn’t quite let me take the whole scene I wanted. I had to angle the lens down to get in the foreground banner as I couldn’t move further back and you can see a little cut-off at both top corners after a little attempt at correcting the verticals. Photoshop could of course have generated a little sky at the left and tree at right to fill the gap but I decided that would be cheating.

You can see some other pictures made both with the fisheye and, like that above this paragraph made with a rectilinear ultrawide lens – the 10-24mm Fuji zoom at 15mm equivalent focal length – on My London Diary, along with others made at longer focal lengths.

Rebel Rising Royal Observatory Die-In