Posts Tagged ‘lions’

Tibet, Syrians, Nuclear Melt-Down, Islamophobia & Lions

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

Tibet, Syrians, Nuclear Melt-Down, Islamophobia & Lions. Saturday 15th March, seven years ago was another typically varied day of protests on the streets of London which I covered.

London March for Freedom for Tibet

Every year Tibetans and supporters in London protest around the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, ten years after the Chinese invasion of the country. In 1959 the Dalai Lama and 120,000 Tibetans escaped to India and established the Tibetan Government in Exile.

In 2014 they met at Downing St for a march to a rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place, calling for Tibet to be free and in charge of its own destiny again and for an end to the illegal Chinese occupation. They say China is destroying Tibetan culture, and Tibetans are rapidly becoming a minority in their country as thousands of migrants are brought in. Peaceful protests by Tibetans are met by arrests, torture, death and lies, and China’s economic power means western countries adopt what they have called a policy of ‘constructive engagement’ with China, effectively turning a blind eye to the occupation and to human rights abuses in Tibet.

I left the Tibetans shortly after their march went through Trafalgar Square to photograph another protest.

London March for Freedom for Tibet

Syrians March for International Action

I had met the Syrians before the start of their march close to Hyde Park corner and had left them as they began their march along Piccadilly on the third anniversary of the start of their fight for freedom. I met them again as they came down Whitehall for a rally at Downing St to show their commitment to the cause and their solidarity with fellow Syrians inside and outside Syria.

The marchers from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the UK Syrian community called for Assad to go and were appealing to the Britain and the international community to help them to get rid of him. Unfortunately although western leaders condemned the actions of the Syrian government they were not prepared to back up their words with action, and it was left to Russia, who backed Assad to determine the future of the country. Few can doubt that the weakness shown by the west over Syria was not a major factor in Putin thinking he could successfully invade Ukraine.

Ukraine is not of course Syria, but it is hard to read the statement made by the Syrians I quoted in my post without seeing some parallels: “Syria, once proud of its contribution to culture, its distinguished history and its beautiful mosques and churches has been overwhelmed with a brutal dictatorship. Syrian homes have turned to rubble, echoing the unheard screams of its inhabitants. The regime has tried to silence the call of freedom by murdering over 150,000, injuring 500,000, imprisoning 250,000, making 1.5 million refugees and caused over 4.5 million internally displaced people within Syria, and recently started using chemical weapons…” Putin in Syria saved a brutal dictatorship, while in Ukraine it seems his aim is to impose a different regime on the country, perhaps less brutal but requiring similar means for it to be imposed.

Syrians March for International Action

Fukushima Nuclear Melt-down Remembered

Earlier I had been at Hyde Park Corner where protesters had gathered on the third anniversary of the nuclear melt-down at Fukushima to march through London, first to the Japanese Embassy and then on to a short stop at Downing St before a rally in Parliament Square.

I photographed them again at Downing St, but had to leave as they marched away to their rally.

Fukushima Nuclear Melt-down Remembered

English Volunteer Force march in London

The English Volunteer Force is a coalition of various far-right groups and described the protest on Facebook as “highlighting multiple issues from immigration, Islamic hate preachers, sharia law, Sharia zones, Sharia patrol groups, banning the Burhka!, Halal meat, endless applications for more mosques etc.”
They insist that they are ‘patriotic’ and are not racist, and claim not to be against Muslims but simply against Muslim extremists, though I found this hard to take seriously.

The march started outside the Lord Moon of the Mall pub close to the Trafalgar Square end of Whitehall where people were just coming out of the pub as I arrived. Police were taking a great deal of trouble to keep anti-fascist who were intent on stopping the march from getting close to it, but were unhelpful when I complained about an assault by one of the protesters who shouted at me and pushed my camera into my face.

A few minutes before the assault I’d mingled with the protesters as they walked down to Downing St, joking with some I knew from earlier right-wing protests I’d covered previously. They seemed pleased that I was covering the event – and although they were clear we differed greatly in our views had personally invited me to some cover some ‘patriotic’ events as they trusted me to report accurately on them.

There were several groups of counter-protesters but generally they were kept apart by police – and by stewards in an official protest area against the EVF opposite Downing St. There were a few arrests both of anti-fascists and of EVF marchers who tried to attack them, and one of the larger groups of anti-fascist was kettled by police on Parliament St.

English Volunteer Force march in London

Save Our Lions – Ban Canned Hunting

Finally I walked back up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, where hundreds had come for the Global March for Lions, marching from different starting points to meet and call for a ban on the ‘canned’ hunting of captive lions by wealthy trophy tourists.

Legal but unscrupulous, ‘canned hunting’ is big business in South Africa, with more than 8,000 lions in captivity, bred on lion farms. Rich visitors pay large sums to take part in lion shoots, where the targets are unable to escape, often raised to be tame and used to human presence and drugged to make them easy kills. Over 160 lion killing camps have been set up in South African in the last 15 years.

As I commented: “It is a terrible way to treat a wild and noble animal, but it also greatly threatens the wild lion population. To prevent the inbreeding that is rife in captive lion populations, wild lions continue to be captured, while the growth in the Asian lion bone trade increased poaching.”

Save Our Lions – Ban Canned Hunting

More about all these events on My London Diary:
Save Our Lions – Ban Canned Hunting
English Volunteer Force march in London
Fukushima Nuclear Melt-down Remembered
Syrians March for International Action
London March for Freedom for Tibet

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

Blacklands, Blowup, Flats, Baby Doll & more: 1988

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988   88-4r-23-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-23

A GLC plaque records that Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935) lived in this house.

Blacklands Lane ran from the Kings Road to Fulham Road; most was renamed Marlborough Road in the 1820s and later became Draycott Avenue. The name Blacklands possibly came from the dark earth of Chelsea Common and was a small hamlet and a large house dating at least from the 1680s which at the start of the 18th century was a French boarding school for young ladies and became an asylum for the insane in the 19th century and Samuel Wesley spent some time as a patient there in 1808. Blacklands Terrace was developed at the end of the 19th century taking its name from the house a short distance to the west and was on a part of its extensive estate There was also a house nearby called Whitelands, which became a paper factory. The short street is now best known for a restaurant (an earlier version was a location in Blowup) and a independent bookshop opened by John Sandoe in 1957.

Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-25-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-25-positive_2400

Both the outside of Andrea’s Restaurant and the interior feature in the film ‘Blowup’ made in 1966 and its exterior had changed little 22 years later. After than it became El Blason Restaurant & Tapas Bar and then in 2013 went considerably upmarket as The Five Fields with a Michelin star and prices to match.

Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-31-positive_2400
Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-31

This huge block of flats in Brompton is the rear of Chelsea Cloisters, ten storeys with over 800 small flats as well as shops etc along its Sloane Avenue frontage, built in the 1930s, demolishing the earlier houses on the site. The block was controversially bought in 1968 by the Freshwater Corporation. The conversion of part of the property into a hotel was extremely controversial, and many tenants lost their homes. Plans by the GLC and Kensington & Chelsea council to buy the block for public housing fell through and in 1984 the 747 flats, garage, petrol-filling station, restaurant, and coffee shop were sold. It was then extensively refurbished. (British History Online.)

Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34-positive_2400
Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34

The entrance into a small private courtyard in front of 53 Bury Walk still has this pair of lions proudly guarding a rather plain and basic gate. The street perhaps gets its name (previously Bury Street) as it led to St Lukes Burial Ground. It was developed on Chelsea Common in the nineteenth century.

Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43-positive_2400
Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43

These flats are I think Thurloe Court which consists of two linked blocks, that at right with a frontage on the Fulham Road, or possibly a neighbouring 1930s block of flats, and I walked down the narrow Kinbolton Way to take this picture bwtween the blocks. An estate agent describes it as a “charming, period, redbrick portered mansion block ideally situated between South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square” and flats there are valued at £1.5-£2m.

Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44-positive_2400
Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44

The Baby Doll poster is for the 1956 American dramatic black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan. I think the shop is probably in Crescent Mansions at 113 Fulham Road. Steps led down to a basement where men’s clothes were for sale.

Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45-positive_2400
Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45

Pelham Crescent was named after Henry Thomas Pelham, third Earl of Chichester, one of the trustees of the Smith’s Charity which acquired the land from nurserymen Samuel Harrison and William Bristow who went bankrupt in 1832. George Basevi junior provided the drawings for the house frontages which were contracted to builder James Bonnin who was required to build houses worth at least £800 and complete the job in seven years. (British History Online.) They now sell for over £10m.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos and to browse the images there.

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.

Windows and Doors 1987

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7g-21-positive_2400

A man studies the menu of a Chinese restuarant on Westbourne Grove while his partner stands uncomfortably a discrete distance to the side. This corner with Hereford Road is still recognisable, but the New Good World is long gone. It was for a while a Rodizio Rico, a Brazilian grill, then another Brazilian bar and grill and, most recently and possibly still Franco Marco Sourdough Pizza, while Vinyl Solution is now a Moroccan restaurant; opened around 1978 by Yves Guillemot after he sold his record shop in Le Havre it was during the 1980s stuffed with obscure records from around the world attracting collectors, as well as DJs including John Peel. It began its own record label and thrived, so much so that this shop became too small and the business moved to Portobello Rd.

Chepstow Rd, Westbourne Green, Westminster, 1987 87-7g-34-positive_2400

This house is part of a long terrace of mid-19th century houses at 22-68 Chepstow Road in Westbourne Green that was Grade II listed in 1981, and was clearly in rather poor condition and recently sold and about to be renovated. These are large houses and now sell for over £2.5m; they are part of the Westbourne Conservation Area and were probably developed in 1850-55. I took an almost identical image on colour film which was a part of a show around 1990 and which now hangs on my stairs.

Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-43-positive_2400

A number of the grander houses in Kensington have elaborate extended porches like this over the steps leading from their front doors to the street to protect people walking to and from their carriages . They are sometimes called porte cochères, though more strictly this refers to porches into which a coach may be driven. This one in Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill, is more elaborate than most and comes with a front door and a lion on top which this picture rather distorts. You can just see two more lions by the house, here peeping over the wall.

Pembridge Square, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-51-positive_2400

Another extended porch at 27 Pembridge Square has some delightful wrought iron work.

Dawson Place, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-66-positive_2400

Some fine calligraphy in graffiti on a wall in Dawson Place, though not easy to read. I think I can make out the word ‘Saint’ but the rest escapes me – let me know if you can decipher more. Above the wall is some kind of creeping plant, which not long before had been trimmed back and you can still see the marks it left below.

Royal Pavillion, Brighton, Sussex, 1987 87-7h-31-positive_2400

Brighton has often been called “London by the sea”, and since the railway was built in 1841 has been a popular destination for days out as well as ‘dirty weekends’. So I felt I could include just a few pictures from one of my days out with family and friends to see the sights. I don’t think the girls were greatly impressed by the Royal Pavillion and we didn’t manage to drag them inside, but they did enjoy the Lanes and the Volk’s railway.

Kensington Square Gardens, Kensington, Kensignton & Chelsea, 1987 87-7h-66-positive_2400

36 Letterboxes in one door must be something of a record, and it was hard to imagine how 36 flats could be fitted in to this pair of houses, though the one at bottom left is labelled ‘Other Mail’. Presumably the entrance leading to all the flats is the door at left, and as well as the 18 bells which can be seen there is presumably another block of similar size on the wall at the right of the door.

I think most or all of the flats are one bedroom flats, and in this area would probably be rented at around £500 per week, so all 36 would bring in a weekly income of £18,000 – not far off a million a year.

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.