Posts Tagged ‘houses’

More from Battersea & Clapham, 1988

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

I often went to Battersea in the 1980s though more often to look at and discuss photographs at the Photo Co-op which was based in Webbs Road than to take pictures. I wasn’t deeply involved but became a regular attender when they set up a ‘Men’s Group’ to look at issues around gender from a male perspective, though I don’t think I contributed much to it.

Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-32-positive_2400
Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

I was a little put out when the Photo Co-op changed its name to Photofusion and moved to more extensive premises in Brixton, though I did usually attend openings there and contributed quite a few pictures to its photo library.

With its new name and much improved premises it became a larger and less intimate organisation – and it’s location was also less convenient for me, with a half hour bus journey rather than a ten minute walk from Clapham Junction. And although London buses are generally very frequent (and in most respects now much improved) I spent too much time waiting at a draughty bus stop in Brixton on my way home after openings.

Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-33-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-34-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

This charming Arts & Crafts style reference library by Henry Hyams was built in 1924 for the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea, adjoining the older library building and was Grade II listed in 1983.

Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-23-positive_2400
Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Although several properties in this picture were for sale, there is no estate agents on this stretch of street and I think it is hard to find one in my pictures of the area. Walking up Lavender Hill more recently it seemed hard to find a shop that wasn’t an estate agents, which seem to be about the only profitable businesses left in London. Huge rises in property prices and increased mobility due to gentrification have created an enormous expansion in this area.

Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-13-positive_2400
Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988

Unless you ride a bike it’s easy to forget that parts of London are quite hilly as this slope down towards the River Thames from Wandsworth Rd in Clapham demonstrates.

Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-12-positive_2400
Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988

Built in 1909 it was one of at least 24 Temperance Billiard Halls in South London built for the Temperance Billiard Hall Co. Ltd, founded in Pendelton Lancashire. Like most or all of those in the early years it was designed by Norman Evans, and there are other examples nearby in Clapham High St and Battersea. Despite this alcohol-free start, the building later became a bar and even a night club.

Until a few years ago it was Rileys, offering a Bar with Pool and Snooker tables. In 2015 the building was gutted, retaining its facade with a rather ugly plain block replacing the rear of the building, now a hotel. It’s something of a mystery how planning permission was obtained, although unlike several others, this hall was not listed. Probably the panels across its frontage shown in my picture were part of the reason for this, and at least the conversion to a hotel has revealed or provided an unencumbered aspect, even if it is only a brick or two thick.

Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-25-positive_2400
Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Another Temperance Billiard Hall in Battersea, also unlisted. Again it is no longer a Billiard Hall and is now a pub, with a rather large new building behind. It remained in use as a busy snooker hall until the mid 1990s, open – and usually busy – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Converted as the Faraday and Firkin, a brew-pub, which opened in 1997, it later became O’Neills and is now The Goat.

The front of the church at left partly dates from 1823 when the building was owned and lived in by local merchant William Mellersh who enlarged it from a cottage dating from the 1750s. In 1858 it became the home of the Wandsworth District Board of Works who extended and embellished it, naming it Mellish House, there were further additions behind but it still became too small after Battersea gained its independence from Wandsworth in 1888 and they built a new town hall on Lavender Hill.

Still owned by Battersea, it served various purposes including being home to the Boy’s Brigade and the YMCA from 1890 until 1915. It was then bought by the International Holiness Mission founded in 1906 by Battersea drapers and pentecostalists John and David Thomas and was renamed the Thomas Memorial Church after David Thomas died in 1938. The IHM joined the Church of the Nazarenes in 1953. A major internal refurbishment was begun in 2011 with the church closing and reopening, still as a Nazarene church but known as Fresh Ground London.

More in 1988 London Photos.

Wealthy Kensington – 1987

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

The London I grew up in, on the outskirts of the capital was an area of small late Victorian terraces and Edwardian and inter-war two or three-bed semis, interspersed with the occasional factory, church and municipal buildings, with few or any sizeable private houses of any age. It was largely working class, poor and largely honest but not particularly deprived. And back then we had the NHS, free education and the welfare state.

Walking around Holland Park and other wealthy areas of Kensington is a completely different world; another country of large detached house and large blocks of mansion flats, an opulence based both on the exploitation of the British Empire and of the exploitation of the workers in the mass of England. I wrote first “our country”, but I think it was never really our country, but their country, “England” or “Great Britain” a deception that sent many working people to toil in factories or die in the trenches – as well as profiting from slavery and working in mines and plantations across the world.

Looking at these pictures now, it’s hard not to think of the times I have walked past some of these and similar places more recently, often on my way to Grenfell Tower or to join the monthly silent marches in memory of those who died there, some of which have passed through this area, walking from Kensington Town Hall.

Vintage car, Philbeach Gardens,  Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-65-positive_2400
Vintage car, Philbeach Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The Addison Road area was the first to be developed, on 200 acres of farmland belonging to Lord Holland, beginning in the 1820s. The estate was sold off in parts for development from 1823 to 1930.

Royal Crescent, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-12-positive_2400
Royal Crescent, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Royal Crescent to the north of Holland Park Avenue was built in 1846, and the whole crescent of houses is Grade II* listed. The picture shows the eastern corner of the crescent with Holland Park Avenue.

St Anns Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-15-positive_2400
St Anns Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The road leading north from the centre of Royal Crescent is St Ann’s Villas and is lined with substantial houses. After a few in stucco and a road junction it is lined with a development of 12 similar but not identical semidetached houses in a red brick Tudor style, with attractive stonework and blue brick diapering, built in 1852 and Grade II listed. The blue plaque here is for music hall artist Albert Chevalier, born here and best remembered for one of his many songs “My Old Dutch”. Although he wrote and performed in cockney as a costermonger and was called ‘the coster’s laureate’, he was from a rather more middle-class background, his father being the French master at Kensington School, Jean Onésime Chevalier, and Albert was christened Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier. His mother was Welsh, which accounts for the Gwathveoyd, more usually spelt Gwaithfoed.

87-12d-23-positive_2400
Debenham House, Peacock House, Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Debenham House, also known as Peacock House, is the only Grade I listed building in the Addison Rd, designed by architect Halsey Ricardo for department store owner Ernest Ridley Debenham and completed in 1907. it became known as Debenham House after it was sold following Debenham’s death in 1952. The exterior, designed to retain its appearance despite the ravages of London’s soot with coloured tiles and glazed bricks is in an Italianate style, but the interiors are Arts and Crafts, with work by some of the leading designers of the time. Unfortunately we can only see them in photographs and in several films made using it as a location.

87-12d-31-positive_2400
Holland Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Holland Road is a long straight street largely lined with 4 storey terraces of substantial houses like the one in this picture. Expect to pay something around £4m for one of them – or perhaps £700,000 for a 1-bed flat.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-35-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This house at 77 Addison Road is opposite Debenham House and I rather prefer its more restrained manner.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-41-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

One of a row of similar houses on Addison Rd, in a neo-Gothic style dating from around the 1850s. The next door house is listed but for some reason this one is not.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-42-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And this is the house next door, rather hidden behind its more impressive gate

All pictures are from page 8 of my album 1987 London Photos.

Architectural Icing

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Brunswick Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-35-positive_2400

I suppose my photography is always a catalogue of obsessions, but at times and in particular places this shows more strongly.

Palace Garden Terrace,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-43-positive_2400

Most of these pictures were taken in Kensington, with just a couple in Primrose Hill.

Brunswick Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-32-positive_2400

Photographically there is a certain interest in rendering these essentially white surfaces – as some photographers have found with subjects like white eggs on a white plate.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-26-positive_2400

But I suppose that there might be more Freudian interpretations of at least some of these pictures.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-24-positive_2400

London developed hugely in the nineteenth century with stock brick for the workers and stucco for the middle classes, and I still feel something of an outsider in these wealthy areas, although some had become pretty down-at-heel by the 70s and 80s when I was making these pictures.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-22-positive_2400

Since then, most of them have been tidied up and refurbished, and more divided into flats now often worth rather my than my own outer suburban house.

St Mark's Square, Primrose Hill, Camden, 1987 87-10c-53-positive_2400

There are times I find myself rather despising what appears to be overdone icing on the architectural cake, and looking for something with a little more depth and variation.

Park Village East, Regent's Park Camden, 1987 87-10c-31-positive_2400


Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10c-15-positive_2400

There is something of the fairly tale about these houses and the pictures, and although I had committed myself to photographing all of London I felt a longing to get away from Kensington and back to the real world.



Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to my Flickr Album 1987 London Photos where you can view larger versions.


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.



Back to Mayfair 1987

Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Culross St/Park Lane area, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-7a-12-positive_2400

Logically you might expect Wood’s House to be in Wood’s Mews, and it may well have been, but if so is no longer there. The frame before I took two pictures of this rather pleasant 1930s building was a view of the side in Wood’s Mews of a house in Park Lane, and the frame after is of another house further south on Park Lane on the corner of Culross St.

I suspect a building with only two stories became yielded a huge profit to developers in being built as an ugly but considerably taller block, but it would be nice to be proven wrong and to find this still tucked away in a corner.

129 Park Lane, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987  87-7a-36-positive_2400

I think this rather splendid marble (I think) steps are still there on Park Lane behind the high wall that now keeps them out of view of the hoi polloi who often crowd the area around the bus stops close to this corner with Green St.

Perhaps walls like that which now hides these steps and the view from the pavement of the houses behind are a result of the increase in inequality in our society and reflect an increasing unease among the elites. Though there have been few signs of the London mob in recent years. More likely the owners got fed up with finding people sitting on them waiting for buses.

Eagle Squadron, memorial, Grosvenor Square, Wesminster, 1987 87-7a-41-positive_2400

Before the US joined in the Second World War at the end of 1941, 244 US citizens volunteered to join the RAF and served in the RAF, flying Spitfires and Hurricanes in three three Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons, despite US laws which meant losing their citizenship for fighting for a foreign power The squadrons were transferred to the USAF in 1942 and the pilots were pardoned in 1944.

The bronze eagle on the top of the column is by Elizabeth Frink, and the memorial was financed by US newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst. It was unveiled here by Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

US Embassy, Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-7a-43-positive_2400

Grosvenor Square was chosen as the site for the Eagle Squadron memorial because of the US Embassy which occupied the entire west end of the square. It was then a fine example of modern architecture and lacked the high fences, ugly lodges and patrolling armed police that made it a rather grim feature in more recent years. I think the long queue is of people queuing to enter the embassy to get US visas.

Car, Gilbert St, St Anselm's Place,  Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-7a-64-positive_2400

I have to admit to knowing nothing about cars. But this one parked in Gilbert Street was obviously a little out of the ordinary and I imagine very expensive. It looked to me like something out of a black and white film noir, and perhaps the setting would have served too. I’m sure there will be people who see this picture and can immediately recognise the make, model and date – and if so I hope they let me know in a comment.

To me it looks American, and the style seems to belong to the late 1930s, though it could be a modern replica, possibly one made for use in a film. It has an engine that doesn’t quite fit in the bonnet, perhaps 8 cylinders. The number plate NGF786Y no longer appears to exist. This is also a picture I seem to have missed retouching and there are more than usual number of scratches and dust spots.

Davies St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-7a-65-positive_2400

It isn’t hard to identify this building as the Grosvenor Works of John Bolding and Sons in Davies Street, as their name is proudly displayed on a plaque at bottom left and on the building at top right, with the initials JBS featuring twice in the centre of the picture. The company was founded by Thomas Bolding in 1822 in South Molton St and they were at first brass founders.

By the 1870s they had moved into the business they became famous for as providers of high-class sanitary equipment. They moved to this site in the late 1880s and these premises were built as a showroom for their goods, with a foundry elsewhere in London. The architects were Wimperis and Arber; John Thomas Wimperis had been appointed as one of the Grosvenor Estates approved architects in 1887 and his assistant William Henry Arber became a partner in 1889.

In 1963 Boldings bought up the business of their rather better-known rival Thomas Crapper. But a few years later in 1969 Boldings was wound up, while Thomas Crapper & Company Limited, founded in 1836, continues in business based in Huddersfield, offering ” a small yet extraordinarily authentic set of Victorian/Edwardian sanitaryware.”

The River Tyburn runs through the basement of the building which is now occupied by Grays Antiques, established in 1977. The river is a tourist attraction with large goldfish swimming in it.

Park Lane, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-7b-66-positive_2400

93 Park Lane, a small part of which is visible at extreme right was a speculative rebuild of 1823-25 by builder Samuel Baxter and is Grade I listed primarily because it “was Benjamin Disraeli’s London residence from 1839 to 1872; Coningsby, much of Sybil and other novels by Disraeli were written here”, whereas the others are all Grade II. 94 to its left was also rebuilt by Baxter at the same date. Next left, 95 was rebuilt in 1842-4 by John Harrison in plain brick with stucco only on the ground floor; the rounded 96 was rebuilt in 1826 as was its more angular neighbour 97. Almost entirely out of sight at left, 98 from 1823-5 was from 1888-94 the residence of Frank Harris, “author and adventurer”, and the final house in the terrace, not in my picture, was also built then by Jon Goldicutt and was the home from 1826-85 of philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore.

Many other photographers have photographed these houses, including Bill Brandt, who made his picture on a Spring afternoon in 1932 from behind railings across the south-bound carriageway, with a London bus in traffic behind a rather grander horse-drawn carriage driven by two top-hatted men. On page 27 of ‘Camera In London’ it appears with the simple title ‘Mayfair’. The Tate website lists it as “Regency Houses, Park Lane, Mayfair – c.1930–9, later print” and apologises “SORRY, COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS PREVENT US FROM SHOWING THIS OBJECT HERE”, but you can view it on Artnet where it is captioned “Park Lane (Mayfair, London) , ca. 1960”. I increasingly think that our current copyright law needs review.


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.


More Notting Hill – 1987

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

As a schoolboy I used to cycle up a hill past some grand large houses on a street probably of a similar age to these, though not quite as grand, most of them in poor repair and multi-occupied, divided into flats and rooms. My first student flat with two friends in Manchester was in a not dissimilar house where one would meet men, usually the worse for drink, on the stairs when we went to use the shared toilet; we soon realised the occupation of two of the women who had rooms on other floors of the house, including the very motherly woman who collected our rent each week and offered consolation when she arrived one week to find me in on my own and still in bed.

Stanley Gardens, Stanley Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-11-positive_2400

When I started work in the 1960s I could have bought one of those houses I cycled past for with a mortgage for around three times my then annual salary. There would have been a few sitting tenants, some of whom could have been easily persuaded to leave. Had I been like Peter Rachman I would have first made a modest cash offer, then if they refused would make their lives miserable by holding loud and noisy all-night parties in the already empty flats, moving finally to cutting off the water and electricity and perhaps sending men with large angry dogs to harass them. He made his fortune mainly in the more northerly parts of Kensington, and not so far as I’m aware in any of the areas shown in my pictures. But even for more law-abiding landlords there were fortunes to be made. Those houses I cycled past, now converted into self-contained flats are now worth at least a thousand times more, allowing for inflation around 50 times as much.

Stanley Gardens, St Peter's Church, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-12-positive_2400

Stanley Gardens was as a part the Ladbroke Estate owned by James Weller Ladbroke who in the 1820s employed Thomas Allason to make a grand overall plan for the whole area. Ladbroke ran into problems with various developers and the plans were modified in the 1840s by landscape artist and architect Thomas Allom in the 1840s. After James Weller Ladbroke died in 1847 his cousin Felix Ladbrooke sold the land to developer Charles Blake who employed a builder in 1853 to build the houses to Allom’s designs and street plan. The builder went bust before finishing the job and others finished the work in 1858. Most of the houses in Stanley Crescent are also to Allom’s designs and THe Survey of London comments that these streets represent “grand display in the latest taste” of the Victorian era. All were Grade II listed in 1969. You can read a very full account of the area and its history at The Ladbroke Association.

St Peter’s Church Notting Hill was also designed by Thomas Allom and was built before the houses were completed in 1855-7. The site had been donated by Charles Henry Blake (1794–1872) who had made a fortune trading in indigo in India before coming back to make more as a developer in Notting Hill. Its classical style was out of fashion by the time it was built, but fits in better with the housing than would a gothic design.

Man on Skateboard, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-31-positive_2400

My father, born in 1899, was a man of few if any qualifications but skilled in many trades including carpentry, all kinds of building work, plumbing, painting and decorating, bee-keeping and gardening. It was in this latter respect that he became a member of the Soil Association and we grew up eating the food and vegetables he grew in several gardens and an allotment, organic before anyone had thought of the marketing name.

We knew about Whole Earth Foods and Ceres, set up by Nebraska-born brothers Craig and Gregory Sams in 1967, though I don’t think we ever shopped there. Their shop on Portobello Rad was said to be the first English bakery selling wholemeal goods, though I think dedicated to them would be more accurate. They advertised Ceres as “London’s complete natural food centre featuring a full range of organically grown vegetables and grains.”

According to Craig’s blog “This was on the Portobello Road in the 1970s where we were in competition with 30 fruit and vegetable stallholders as well as cheap bakers, and when the yuppification of Notting Hill was just a glint in the property developers’ eyes.”

At some point Craig and his family moved away from Notting Hill to Hastings to continue their business – which went on to include various other companies including the fantastic ed Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate. The shop at the left of the picture had been the Ceres Bakery (which perhaps accounts for the rather American fire hydrant pictured on its front), and to the right is the entrance to Portobello Garden Arcade.
The shop is now Portobellow Health Foods.

I grabbed this image rapidly as a skateboarder came into view, which accounts for the more than usual tilt.

Pembridge Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-41-positive_2400

Pembridge Crescent dates from 1854-9. Much of the area was developed by brothers Francis and William Radford, with Francis being the architect for the houses, and was one of the most financially successful developments in Notting Hill. The Survey of London suggests their work in Pembridge Crescent was “coarse in comparison with the earlier, gracious proportions of the houses” in the rest of the area they developed.

Pembridge Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-43-positive_2400

Since 1969 the area has been a part of the Pembridge Conservation Area. There is a description of the architecture of the area in the Survey of London on the British History Online web site.

Pembridge Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-6d-55-positive_2400

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.


1987 Holborn

Saturday, August 1st, 2020
Star Yard, Holborn, Camden, 1987 87-2m-46-positive_2400
Star Yard, Holborn, Camden, 1987

After Bedford Park I turned my attention to Holborn, including the area around the Royal Courts of Justice where there are shops catering for legal necessities as well as premises meeting more general needs.

Urinal, Star Yard, Holborn, Camden, 1987 87-2m-32-positive_2400
Urinal, Star Yard, Holborn, Camden, 1987

The urinal is still in-situ but I think is permanently closed. Just along the street is a Wetherspoons which serves the same purpose. It’s actually one of their more pleasant locations and I’ve several times enjoyed a quick lunch there. The food may only be so-so, (though there are a few things they do quite well) but the service is fast and the price very reasonable for London. Of course they treat the staff badly, but so do most pubs, and if things get back to anything like normal I’ll follow the union advice and not boycott them but refuse to cross any picket line.

Lincolns Inn Fields, Holborn, Camden, 198787-2m-26-positive_2400
Lincolns Inn Fields, Holborn, Camden, 1987

Lincolns Inn fields has plenty of fine architecture and also London’s most intriguing museum, founded by Sir John Soane. Currently closed it hopes to open on October 1st, but with pre-booked timed tickets only. If you’ve never visited I’d advise you to book as soon as you can. You can get some idea of the museum through yhe amazing digital online https://www.soane.org/explore Explore Soane, but the real thing is rather more satisfying. Because of the space limitations in the museum bags have to be left at the door.

Connock & Lockie, New Oxford St, Camden, 1987 87-2l-63-positive_2400
Connock & Lockie, New Oxford St, Camden, 1987

I can do no better than quote from the company’s web site:

A centenarian business

Connock and Lockie was established by cousins William Henry Connock and John Lockie in 1902 on 60 New Oxford Street. Over the years, we have relocated several times and settled at our current address, 33 Lamb’s Conduit Street, in 2004. Throughout our 110 years of trading, we have proudly catered to the bespoke tailoring needs of discerning ladies and gentlemen.

http://connockandlockie.com
Warwick House,Great Russell St, Holborn, Camden, 1987 87-2l-43-positive_2400
107-110 Great Russell Street,

‘Luxury hotel development, Completion 1987’ it states on the notice on the front of this building, and although in February 1987 when I made this picture it seemed unlikely, this is now the Cheshire Hotel, in London terms a budget hotel, with rooms around £70 per night. Quite why it changed its name from the Warwick Hotel to the Cheshire I don’t know, and the plain entrance has changed to a more pretentious one with four columns.

Space House, CAA House, Kemble St, WIld St, Holborn, Camden, 1987 Space House, CAA House, Kemble St, WIld St, Holborn, Camden, 198787-2l-15-positive_2400
Space House, CAA House, Kemble St, WIld St, Holborn, Camden, 1987

Grade II listed Space House was a speculative office development built 1964-8 by George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners for the developer Harry Hyams. It was technically innovative, using a precast concrete grid for rapid construction without the use of scaffolding, and remains visually arresting. As the listing text says, it’s assertive styling reflects “the confidence and dynamism associated with the period.”

This building and the connected building on Kingsway were to be vacated at the end of last year and ‘revamped’ for commercial letting.

Flitcroft St, St Giles, Camden, 1987 87-2k-66-positive_2400
Flitcroft St, St Giles, Camden, 1987

This bas-relief is above the old entrance gateway to St. Giles’s Church Yard where a bas-relief of The Resurrection was placed in 1687. It is a plaster copy of the original which is inside the church. The gateway was originally around the corner in the St Giles High St, but rebuilt in 1800 incorporating the old bas-relief and then moved to Flitcroft St in 1865. Flitcroft St gets its name from Henry Flitcroft who was the architect of the church, built in 1733.

The carving was originally in oak, and the carver, a man called Love was paid £27 for his work. The 1800 gate included a stone recreation of the work, now in plaster.

I occasionally used a photographic lab in Flitcroft St, which produced remarkable Cibachrome prints using a laser scanning technique on the transparencies which gave them an unbeatable contrast and clarity. They were also rather expensive!

You can find more from Holborn in 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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