Posts Tagged ‘lions’

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions – 2014

Friday, March 15th, 2024

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions – Protests in London on Saturday 15th March covered a wide range of issues across the world. Another varied day for me in town.

London March for Freedom for Tibet – Downing St

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions

Around a thousand Tibetans and supporters of the Free Tibet campaign met at Downing Street to march to a rally at the Chinese Embassy on the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against oppressive Chinese rule.

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions

Before the start of the march they sang the Tibetan national anthem then marched up Whitehall. I left the marchers at Trafalgar Square to cover another event.

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions

It was a colourful march, with many carrying the Tibetan National Flag or wearing items in its colours. In my post on My London Diary I wrote more about Tibet and the brutal Chinese regime there along with many more pictures.
London March for Freedom for Tibet

Syrians March for International Action

Tibet, Syria, Fukushima, EVF & Lions

Before going to Downing Street I had gone to Hyde Park Corner where Syrians were gathering at the start of their march to Downing St on the third anniversary of the start of their fight for freedom to show their commitment to the cause and their solidarity with fellow Syrians inside and outside Syria.

They were calling for the international community to help them get rid of the Assad regime which had murdered over 150,000, seriously injured 500,000 and imprisoned 250,000 people in Syria. 1.5 million refugees had fled Syria and over 4.5 million were internally displaced and recently Assads forces had started using chemical weapons.

I left Piccadilly as the march was about to leave and met them again as they turned into Whitehall and began their protest opposite Downing Street. Unfortunately the west was not prepared to stand fully behind the Syrian revolution, with Turkey very much opposed to the autonomy it was providing for the Kurds and supporting ISIS and Russia stepping in to support Assad.

Many more pictures on My London Diary: Syrians March for International Action.

Fukushima Nuclear Melt-down Remembered

Also at Hyde Park Corner were protesters on the third anniversary of the nuclear melt-down at Fukushima, including many Japanese, marching to remind the world of the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

They were led by a group dress as flurescent barrels of roadioactive waste, while others were dressed up in various ways and some carried giant sunflowers. It was a fairly small group but made a colourful impression as it made its way first to the Japanese Embassy.I left them as they arrived there.

I met the group again as it arrived at Downing Street where they stopped for a short protest and photographs in front of the gates before moving on to a rally in Parliament Square. But I had other things to do.

Many more pictures at Fukushima Nuclear Melt-down Remembered.

English Volunteer Force march in London

I met the English Volunteer Force, combining a number of right wing ‘patriotic’ groups outside the Lord Moon of the Mall at the top of Whitehall just a minute or two before their march to Parliament Square began from there.

I had a little trouble getting there through a loose line of police who were there to ensure that the anti-fascist opposition to the march were kept well away. The around a hundred EVF supporters were accompanied by rather more police as they marched down Whitehall, but I was able to walk with the and to talk to a few of the protesters who knew me from earlier right-wing events.

They seemed pleased that I was covering the event, but as I reported in 2014, “one man came over and shouted at me, pushing my camera into my face. I complained to police at this assault but they simply pushed me away. Later the same individual came and threatened me, and a police officer did ask him to stop, though it seemed rather half-hearted given that he was clearly breaking the law.

The major police effort was directed against the larger number of anti-facists and was largely successful in keeping the two groups apart and enabling the EVF to hold their rally as planned in Old Palace Yard. I saw several arrests of EVF supporters who tried to attack the anti-fascists. Police had kettled some of these briefly but they were soon allowed to leave so long as they went away from Parliament.

You can read more about the event and see more pictures at English Volunteer Force march in London.

Save Our Lions – Ban Canned Hunting – Trafalgar Square

I walked up to Trafalgar Square where several marches from different starting points in London were combining for a protest calling for a ban on the ‘canned’ hunting of captive lions by wealthy trophy tourists.

‘Canned hunting’ is big business in South Africa, with more than 8,000 lions in captivity, bred on lion farms and over 160 lion killing camps. These lions are raised without fear of humans and are often drugged to make them easy kills.

The tourists kill male lions and buy the lions heads stuffed and mounted as trophies. The bones fetch high prices in the Far East for use in ‘medicines’ or ‘aphrodisiacs’ though they have no testable beneficial effects.

Most female cubs are killed at birth with just a few being kept for breeding. The cubs are kept and tourists pay to ‘pet’ and play with them and when they are a little larger pay for the experience of ‘walking with lions’. Once they outgrow this, they are crammed into overcrowded cages in poor conditions until they are mature and can be shot.

Canned hunting also threatens the wild lion population as some are captured to combat the inbreeding in captive lion populations.

More at Save Our Lions – Ban Canned Hunting.

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Immigration, Lions, Low Pay & Child Prisoners

Monday, March 13th, 2023

Immigration, Lions, Low Pay & Child Prisoners. I started my day on Friday 13th March 2015 in Feltham in outer London, outside an Immigration Tribunal before going in to cover three further protests in central London.

Let Ife Stay in the UK! York House Immigration Tribunal, Feltham

Immigration, Lions, Low Pay & Child Prisoners

Immigration has been very much in the news lately, with the UK government introducing new legislation to attempt to evade its responsibilities under international obligations over the treatment of refugees, demonising those who have genuine asylum claims as “illegal” and refusing them the opportunity to make claims.

For years both our major political parties have vied with each other to produce more and more draconian measures to cut the number of migrants coming to the UK. A part of this has been the setting up of more and more Byzantine and understaffed systems to slow down the processing of claims by the Home Office. More and more people are kept in limbo for years before eventually being granted leave to stay in this country.

It’s our system that has led to the huge growth of people smugglers, at first using lorries and more recently concentrating on channel crossings in unsafe and expendable small boats.

Immigration, Lions, Low Pay & Child Prisoners
Some of the petition to keep Ife and her family in the UK

The real basis for this trade is that there are no safe routes that most genuine asylum seekers can take to enter this country. Even the few country-specific schemes we have are not working properly. Were we to set up a system that worked fairly and efficiently it would largely put the people smugglers out of business, perhaps cutting the demand for their services by around three-quarters.

Setting up a system that rapidly – perhaps within 28 days – sorted out those with a probable case for asylum from those who were clearly economic migrants would not be difficult, and we could admit those who are likely in the end to be given asylum on a provisional basis, allowing them to work and contribute to our society while their cases were under more detailed scrutiny.

Lineker’s tweet “This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s” was simply stating facts. It certainly is immeasurably cruel, and listening to speeches by Tory MPs and ministers both in Parliament and in media interviews we largely hear a complete lack of compassion from people claiming to be “compassionate“.

Immigration, Lions, Low Pay & Child Prisoners

Perhaps it might have been politically more acceptable to call it something like Orwellian double-think but government policy often seems to be very accurately following the well-known quote “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” And I probably don’t need to tell you who said that.

Obviously we should not refer to “invasions” or define people’s actions as illegal when their activities are legal under international law, and certainly even people breaking laws are not themselves illegal.

I didn’t know there was an Immigration Tribunal in Feltham before the protest here, rather hidden away on a small industrial estate a mile or two south of Heathrow. And clearly the staff working there didn’t want people to know, and attempted to get police to stop the protest – but were told by police it was legal. It wasn’t a big protest, calling for a 2 year old Ife and her mother and brotheer to be allowed to stay in Peckham where the Ife and continue the medical treatment she needs rather than be deported to Nigeria. You can read more about the protest at Let Ife Stay in the UK!

Save Our Lions – ban Canned Hunting – Trafalgar Square

It took me a little over an hour to travel by bus, train and tube to Trafalgar Square where I joined (a little late) several hundred people who were there to protest against ‘canned hunting’, where lions are bred and raised tame on farms in South Africa for rich visitors to pet, to ‘walk with lions’ and to shoot as trophy heads.

It’s a sordid business, degrading noble animals and threatening wild lions which are captured for farm breeding to improve the quality of the stock. Young females are often killed as soon as they have got too large for the petting zoos, as females are in little demand as hunting trophies.

After some speeches on the North Terrace I was invited to go across with a couple of protesters to South Africa House, where I took a few pictures as they posed in the entrance before security told us to leave.

Save Our Lions – ban Canned Hunting

Poverty pay at the Royal College of Art – RCA, Kensington Gore

IWGB members, supported by students, protested noisily at the Royal College of Art against low pay of outsourced workers, demanding they be paid the London Living Wage now, not from September as the college has offered; the workers need it now.

This was a noisy protest with trade union members and students banging on drums, whistling, blowing plastic horns and chanting slogans, mainly “Living Wage Now!” with RCA security and a couple of police looking on.

After protesting at the entrance to the RCA for some time they marched out on to the main road and held a short rally at the end of the college building close to the Albert Hall before going on a further noisy protest at a small enclosed yard next to a college dining area.

Poverty pay at the Royal College of Art.

Free the Hares boys protest at G4S – Victoria St

Finally I went to Victoria Street where protesters on the wide pavement outside the G4S offices were calling or the release of 5 young boys from Hares, held and tortured in Israeli jails which G4S helps to run.

They were arrested two years ago after they had been accused of throwing stones at an incident when an illegal settler crashed into the back of a truck. If they are ever tried, like most Palestinians in Israeli courts they are likely to be found guilty – even if there is little or no real evidence and could be sentenced to over 25 years in jail.

The protesters also called for the release of other Palestinian child prisoners, handing out leaflets and displaying banners which detailed some of the cases and the torture of children often tortured and held in isolation in small dark cells in the prisons for which G4S provides support.

Free the Hares boys protest at G4S

Windows, A Doorway, Horse Trough and Winnie Mandela

Friday, November 18th, 2022

I went back to where I had finished my walk on 27th January 1989 two days later on Sunday 29th January, beginning with a couple of pictures of the former St Giles Hospital which I used in the final post on that walk.

Motor Vehicle Spares, Southampton Way, Rainbow St, Camberwell, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-66
Motor Vehicle Spares, Southampton Way, Rainbow St, Camberwell, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-66

I walked up Havill St to Southampton Way. Across the road was Rainbow Street with this building with bricked up windows and doorway on a large house converted to commercial use. Rainbow Street was not present in 1870 but appears on the map surveyed in 1893 and this building was almost certainly built between those dates, after the window tax was repealed in 1851 and so the bricking up of windows was for practical reasons – and clearly was the doorway.

This building is now home to a small 24hour supermarket on the ground floor with two of the top floor windows now opended up and a door replacing the right-hand ground floor window presumable giving access to living accommodation above the shop. The large notice area is still there, though without notices when I last saw it.

Rainbow Street was for some time the home of Great Train Robber Buster Edwards who many of us saw regularly at his florists stall near Waterloo after his release from jail in 1975.

Doorway, 201 Southampton Way, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-51
Doorway, 201 Southampton Way, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-51

Further south on Southampton Way was this house with iron screenwork, lions and mosaic path which made it stand out. In the background is the North Peckham estate. Unfortunately this doorway was altered around 2012. The estate was redeveloped under the Five Estates Peckham Masterplan approved by Southwark in 1995, which resulted in the net loss of 1184 social-rented dwellings. The chimney was for the estate heating system.

Doorway, 201 Southampton Way, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-52
Doorway, 201 Southampton Way, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-52

This house is at the corner with Peckham Grove and I think probably dates from the mid-19th century, possibly from around the time the houses nearby in Peckham Grove (now Newent Close) were developed from 1837 on. Unfortunately this doorway was altered around 2012, although the lions, steps and mosaic are still there. The houses around the corner were built in 1843 and are listed as is a lamp post on the corner outside this house.

House, Peckham Grove, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-54
House, 46, Peckham Grove, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-54

This is now called “Listed House” and is at 46 Peckham Grove although its neighbours are also covered by the listing of 40-46 and attached railings. Built in 1843 and now flats.

Lamp post, Horse Trough, flats, Southampton Way, Peckham Grove, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-41
Lamp post, Horse Trough, flats, Southampton Way, Peckham Grove, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-41

And this is the Grade II listed Gothic Revival late 19th century hand pump converted in the 20th century to an electric lamp post, with a horse trough and drinking fountain beside it. Across Peckham Grove is the London Borough of Southwark’s Samuel Jones Industrial Estate and beyond that the North Peckham Estate.

The lampost and the rest of the corner along with tall chimney are still there, but the rest has been replaced by new housing.

The message on the horse trough, ‘”BLESSED ARE THE PITIFUL” – THE WORK OF ST LUKE’S BAND OF MERCY’ seems a little strange to me. It is a translation of Matthew 5 v7, more normally ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy’ and means that those who show pity are to be blessed rather than those to be pitied. Some translate it as ‘Blessed are the humble’, but in this context it rather seems to me that St Luke’s Band Of Mercy were showing pride rather than humility. But horses need water and were doubtless grateful.

Men and women need water too. In my youth every park had its drinking fountain, providing not only water but also fun for kids as we used them to spray each other. Since then we have had decades of them being removed on grounds of hygiene (and I sometimes wonder how we survived back then.) Recently we have seen a huge fad of ‘hydration’, with people walking and running around our cities clutching water bottles – and the growing provision in a few places of free water bottle filling stations.

Winnie Mandela House, Peckham Road, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-44
Winnie Mandela House, Peckham Road, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-44

At the end of Southampton Way I came to Peckham Road and opposite me was Winnie Mandela House. Once described in the Daily Telegraph as a “viciously ugly 1960s office block” with a “shabby façade”, Winnie Mandela House looked more to me a 1930s art deco factory building, and not without its own charm.

Its former name was ‘Pelican House’, the words almost legible on either side of the clock, and now back under that name has been imaginatively converted to provide eighty new affordable housing apartments for shared ownership and rent for Amicus Horizon Group with the lower floors housing an arts café and gallery.

At right of this picture is the frontage of Kennedy’s Sausage Factory. Occasionally on my walks I felt hungry and would stop at one of their shops to buy a sausage roll. But they were closed on Sundays.

Winnie Mandela House, Peckham Road, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-44
Winnie Mandela House, Peckham Road, Peckham, Southwark, 1989 89-1h-44

I crossed the road to take this second picture from the wide pavement outside.

The factory was was begun by The Surrey Association for the General Welfare of the Blind in 1885, and rebuilt in this form in 1936 (by which time it was the London Association for the Blind – and later became Action for Blind People) with new offices in Pelican House completed in 1952.

The factory employed blind men in the production of handmade baskets, the manufacture of casein and metal knitting needles, and injection moulded plastics. Production moved to Verney Road Peckham in 1974 and Pelican House was sold in 1976.

I find it hard to define a clear boundary between Camberwell and Peckham, and this part of the walk had been on the borderlands. From here on I was clearly walking into Peckham for the next part of my walk.

Stand Up To Lambeth, Brixton Arches, Trafalgar Square & Iran

Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Saturday 8th October 2016 in London

Stand Up to Lambeth Council – Windrush Square, Brixton

Stand Up To Lambeth, Brixton Arches, Trafalgar Square & Iran
Rapper Potent Whisper with the Andrew Cooper’s four Lambeth villains

Lambeth is on some measures one of the most unequal boroughs in the whole of England, with some areas of high deprivation and others with well above average incomes. It is ethnically diverse, with almost two thirds not describing themselves as White British and schoolchildren coming from homes in which 150 languages other than English are the first language. There are large Portuguese, Spanish and Somali speaking communities and almost a quarter of the population identify as Black.

Lambeth Council is run by Labour who have almost 60 councillors, with just three Lib-Dems and two Green Party councillors (there were 3 Conservatives and no Lib-Dems in 2016.) It is dominated by right-wing Labour councillors and has many links with property developers, estate agents and others, and seems determined to follow policies which are not in the interests of the people of Lambeth, closing libraries, ending many vital services and getting rid of council estates and the people who live there.

Lambeth works with Savills, are a leading agency in social cleansing

Activists in the borough accuse the Labour council of financial waste and “destroying our communities, racial and social inequality” and “stealing the people of Lambeth’s future.” The borough’s motto is ‘Spectemur Agendo’, Let us be judged by our acts, and many in Lambeth have judged the council and found it guilty of selling out its people.

Police come to protect a Lambeth Labour stall supporting the council

The protest was planned to be ‘family friendly’, a ‘big, pink, determined’ event to ‘Stand Up To Lambeth Council’ and oppose its “destruction of services, homes, jobs and the rights of residents.” As well as speeches there was a small brass band. But the protesters were clearly angry and a Lambeth Labour stall in the square needed police protection after it refused to take part in the protest or move. There were Labour members taking part in the protest, but Lambeth Momentum later appeared to deny supporting it, hoping to avoid the kind of purges that have been highlighted in the recent truly shocking Al Jazeera ‘Labour Files’ documentaries.

Council business is largely decided by a small inner cabinet, and the four major villains were represented at the event by a large four-headed monster made by Andrew Cooper with the faces of Lambeth Labour leader Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Culture Jack Hopkins and Sue Foster, Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and Growth.

Eventually the march set off for Clapham Common, though it came to a partial halt almost immediately for a protest outside Lambeth Town Hall opposite Windrush Square, before setting off slowly towards Clapham.

I walked with the march roughly halfway to Clapham Common before turning around and going back to Brixton to catch the Victoria Line to central London.

More on My London Diary:
Stand Up to Lambeth March
Stand Up to Lambeth Council

Brixton Arches & More – Windrush Square, Brixton

Save Brixton Arches

Both on my way to the protest and during the march along Acre Lane I took a few pictures of Brixton. One of the actions of Lambeth Council has been to cooperate with Network Rail to force out traders from the railway arches in the centre of Brixton.

Network Rail intend to refurbish the arches and will then re-let them at three or more times the current rents, which will mean the distinctive local businesses being replaced by chains which can be found on every high street across the country. The campaign to keep the businesses there received huge support in the area, but the council wasn’t listening.

I rushed a few yards away from the march to photograph the mural Big Splash, painted in 1985 by Christine Thomas and still looking well (details here), though I doubt if anything like this ever existed on Brixton’s river, the Effra.

Trafalgar Square

I’d left the Lambeth protest to come back to photograph a protest that was supposed to be happening in Trafalgar Square which quite a few people had said on Facebook they would be attending. But nobody had turned up, and I had time to wander around the square.

One of the four 18ft square square bas-reliefs on the base of the column was of particular interest as the picture showing Nelson’s death includes one clearly black face. These panels were supposed to be made with brass from captured French cannon, but one led to a court case with the makers being jailed for having added some much cheaper iron and it had to be completed by others. The builders of the column also got away with fraud, as when it was restored in 2006 it was found to be 16 ft shorter than it should have been.

Red Devils MC, Holland

There were problems with the lions too, as they were first commissioned to be sculpted in granite, but the sculptor had a disagreement with the architect and abandoned the job. took years for them to be re-commissioned in bronze from Sir Edwin Landseer and Baron Marochetti and they were only added in 1867. And like most large projects while the costs were intended to be covered by private finance (or rather public subscription) the government had to step in and cover much of the cost.

Trafalgar Square

Iranian vigil on Anniversary of 1988 Massacre – Trafalgar Square

I’d stayed in Trafalgar Square to photograph a vigil by the Iranian People’s Fadaee Guerrillas in London and the Democratic Anti-imperialist Organisations of Iranians in Britain on the 27th anniversary of the massacre of an estimated 18,000 political prisoners held in Iranian jails by the Iranian regime following its defeat in the Iraq/Iran war in the Summer of 1988.

The 3 months of killing by the Iranian regime of communists, progressives, patriotic activists and intellectuals of all ages ended at the beginning of October 1988 but details only began to emerge years later. The protest also called for the release of the many political prisoners still held in Iran and called for a society there were all would be free and equal.

Iranian vigil on Anniversary of Massacre

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

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 Garden Square, Kensington, Kensington & 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.