Posts Tagged ‘London’

Dec 4th 2010 in London

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

UK Uncut protest Topshop Tax Dodge

UK Uncut protested outside and briefly inside Topshop and other Oxford Street stores in Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, one of the major companies who together are alleged to dodge £12 billion per year in UK tax.

Eleven years on we still haven’t seen effective action by our government against the huge amount of tax evaded and avoided by the wealthy in the UK. Hardly surprising since many of those in government and their friends and supporters benefit greatly from these practices.

It was the threat by the EU to clamp down on some of these legal fiddles that was a major factor behind the huge funding and lies of the Brexit campaign, something that we are now paying the price for while the billionaires are doing very nicely thank you – and some profiteering hugely from the government’s Covid contracts for their mates.

It was the threats that a centre left government under Jeremy Corbyn might have made some slight changes that, along with his support for Palestinian rights, led to a hugely vitriolic campaign against him by the press and inside the Labour Party.

UK Uncut labelled Sir Philip Green, the boss of the Arcadia Group, which included include Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge Wallis and British Home Stores, as “Britain’s most notorious tax-avoider. While Green himself paid tax on his salary, the companies are owned by a holding company in the tax haven of Jersey, which is owned by his wife and immediate family who live in Monaco, and pay no tax. Arcadia are certainly not the only huge scale tax avoiders – and later the protesters also briefly visited Oxford St branches of two others, Boots and Vodafone.

They also point out that when Green awarded himself a huge dividend payout – £1.2 billion – in 2005, it went through various offshore accounts and tax dodges to his wife’s Monaco bank account. The loss in tax to the UK was £285 million.

We should have a tax system based on a simple principle. If people or companies make the money in the UK then you should pay tax on it in the UK, and any of the dodges now still used to avoid this should be illegal. At the moment the large accountancy firms are mainly used to aid the avoidance of tax, and they need to be completely re-purposed to with the role of ensuring the correct tax is paid.

Of course it won’t happen. It would destroy a huge part of the business of the City of London, currently the world capital of financial skullduggery and with a curiously intimate connection to our parliament. All we have seen over the 11 years since this protest are a few sweetheart deals with the tax office with some rather token repayments and things are unlikely to change.

More at March for Zero Carbon UK 2030.

March for Zero Carbon Britain 2030

Happening the same day was a march to Parliament by the Campaign Against Climate Change calling for urgent action over climate change including a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030. The march and rally was the seventh annual climate march organised by the CACC, which has spearheaded the campaign to get effective action to meet the climate challenge since its formation, aiming to put climate change at the top of our political agenda as the greatest threat that humanity faces.

While our government still seems shackled to business as usual and only making rather half-heated committments to tackling climate change with the necessary urgency, most of the rest of us are now convinced of the need for real action. From being regarded by many as cranks, CACC are now a small part of a huge mainstream.

Back in 2010 they were joined on the march largely by other relatively small campaigning groups, including Friends of the Eath, Greenpeace, the World Development Movement, the Climate Rush, the Green Party and many local groups, trade union branches etc. But as with most protests in Britain it was largely ignored by the media, dominated by a press owned by a handful of billionaires.

Things outside government were beginning to move back in 2010, particularly with the publication of an in-depth report compiled for the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), ‘Zero Carbon Britain 2030: A new energy strategy earlier in the year, but since then we have seen another largely wasted eleven years.

More at March for Zero Carbon UK 2030.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Ten Years Ago – 3 Dec 2021

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

City Xmas Celebrations

I thought I’d see how the City of London was celebrating Christmas and took a few pictures of a real life Music Box in front of the Royal Exchange before going inside and being told I couldn’t take photographs. And although I’d been told there were free drinks I think they were only available for the kind of people who looked as if they would spend vast amounts on the luxury items being sold inside. I went out and walked towards St Paul’s Cathedral, pausing briefly to photograph a band and Santa who had come with a couple of reindeer who seemed rather small to me for his lengthy journey.

City Xmas Celebrations

Occupy LSX Climate Justice Workshops

On the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral was a plain coffin with the message ‘25,700 EXCESS WINTER DEATHS’, a rather lower figure than that I photographed at last week’s Fuel Poverty Action protest – last winter the number was 63,000. Of course this can’t all be put down to 10 years of Tory austerity, and Covid will have played a part, though of course flu deaths were down.

Workshops are not generally the most exciting things to photograph, and I only took a few pictures. I left Occupy LSX shortly after they began a ‘Climate Walk of Shame’ around the offices of various climate change villians (‘unsavoury sites of climate criminality’) which began rather later than advertised to make my way to the Climate March (where they were also heading.)

Occupy LSX Climate Justice Workshops

Stand Up For Climate Justice

Ten years ago we had a chance to begin to disastrous climate change, but world leaders failed to lead. The protest was organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change and around a thousand people marched through London calling for Climate Justice, highlighting the fact the 7% of the world’s population cause 50% of the worlds emissions as the Durban climate talks take place. This was COP17 but by the time of COP26 in Glasgow little had changed.

Here’s a few paragraphs from the post I wrote then on My London Dairy:

The 17th UN climate change conference taking place in Durban is widely expected to lead to a breakdown in efforts to combat global climate change, as the US continues to block serious attempts to combat climate change. The continued refusal of the US to accept mandatory limits on carbon emissions seems likely to prevent any progress on global reductions in emissions, and seems certain to lead to catastrophic increases in global temperature. To put it bluntly, our planet is going to fry.

Currently predicted global temperature rises by the end of the century would lead to an environmental crisis that would be expected to lead to huge areas of the world becoming uninhabitable, and billions dying through flood, famine and and other catastrophes. Those who will die will largely be the poor who currently are responsible for only a small proportion of the emissions, while the rich and highly polluting are those who will survive.

There is no longer any serious scientific debate about the reality of climate change, just about the the exact magnitude of the effects and the timescales involved. But all informed opinion agrees that urgent action is needed. We need to make drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The most industrialised countries who have contributed most to the increase in CO2 levels over the past centuries have a particular moral obligation to make drastic cuts.

Deja-vu all over again! Though perhaps now I might have added something about Australia, China and India also heads firmly in the sand, and also about species extinction – including possibly ours.

Stand Up For Climate Justice

Congolese Election Protests Continue

Congolese continued their protests in London against the election fraud, rapes and massacres and called on the British government to withdraw its support from the immoral regime of President Kabila responsible for the atrocities and voted out by the people.

Congolese Protest Against Kabila Vote-Rigging

London Wandering

As often while walking about London between the various events I photographed I took a few pictures, including some in the city centre, and others as I made my way to and from an evening event in North Acton where a photographer friend was appearing. I’ve always meant to take more photographs of London at night, but have never got around to more than the occasional picture like the one above.

And while I’ve taken many thousands of pictures along the River Thames from its source to the estuary, it’s always good to find something just a little different as in this study of bridges.

London Wandering

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

South Hampstead & Kilburn

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Hilgrove Rd,  South Hampstead, Camden, 1988  88-6d-12-positive_2400
Hilgrove Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-12

This semi-detached pair of Gothic revival red brick house date from around 1870 and are locally listed. They have a very ecclesiastical look. Hilgrove Road was laid out as Adelaide Road North in the 1830s or 40s and named in honour of Queen Adelaide, born as Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen in 1792 who in 1818 was married to William, Duke of Clarence and became Queen who in 1830 became queen consort of Great Britain when her husband was crowned as William IV.

The road was renamed Hilgrove road in 1875 by developers who wanted to attract house buyers with a name that suggested it was a semi-rural location – something that is very common in this area. You can read more about Camden street names in a listing by David A. Hayes and Camden History Society.

Fairhazel Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988  88-6d-13-positive_2400
Fairhazel Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-13

Fairhazel Gardens sounds like another of these ‘semi-rural’ estate agents names, but apparently was taken from a truly rural local property on the Sussex estate of the Maryon Wilson family. Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson (1800 – 1869) was the 8th Baronet of Eastbourne and Charlton. He was also lord of the manor of Hampstead and according to Wikipedia tried hard to cover the area with housing despite problems with the terms of his fathers will and the protests of local residents. You can read more in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Fairhazel Gardens (originally called North End Road) began to be developed in 1879 but the flats probably date from between 1886 and 1896. The area was developed by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson, the tenth baronet (1829–1897).

Greencroft Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988  88-6d-14-positive_2400
Greencroft Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-14

Greencroft was another genuinely rural name, coming from a farm near near Great Canfield on the Essex estate of the Maryon Wilsons (again according to the Camden History Society listing.) The houses here were built by Ernest Estcourt and James Dixon in the late 1880s.

Greencroft Gardens, Fairhazel Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-15-positive_2400
Queen’s Court, Greencroft Gardens, Fairhazel Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-15

Canfield Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-62-positive_2400
Canfield Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-62

Great Canfield on the Maryon Wilson Essex estate gave its name to Canfield Gardens – the estate there also contained a 16th century mansion Fitzjohns whose name also appears in the Hampstead area.

South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-63-positive_2400
Cleve Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-63

Woodcote at 16 Cleve Rd, the road named after a property near Quex Park in Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, the home of the Powell Cotton family who developed their estate around Quex Rd from 1868 on, with Cleve Road coming in 1882-6. Woodcote is a village on the Chilterns in South Oxfordshire, not far from Goring. Woodcote House there was the home of the Cotton family from around the 1790s until some time in the following century.

Kingsgate Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6e-51-positive_2400
Kingsgate Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6e-51

Walking back towards Kilburn Park station my usual wandering fashion I came across this food stall being prepared in Kingsgate Road, though I can no longer remember what was the occasion for it. It looks like some church group, perhaps from the church close to the Quex Road end of Kingsgate Rd.

Belsize Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-52-positive_2400
Belsize Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-52

This long parade of shops is still there to the west of the junction with Kilburn Priory at 199-219 Belsize Rd. Belsize Rd was developed from 1851.

221 Belsize Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, Camden, 1988 88-6e-53-positive_2400
221 Belsize Rd, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6e-53

Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6e-54-positive_2400
Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6e-54

The Red Lion at 34 Kilburn High Rd claims to have been established in 1444 and rebuilt in 1890, then replacing a rather charming two storey building possibly a hundred years old. At some time after my photograph it became called The Westbury, then in 2012 a bar called Love and Liquor, and finally in 2017 Soul Store West, a dinner, cocktail bar and hotel, which closed after four months. You can read more on its history in ‘Professor Morris’ and the Red Lion, Kilburn. The authors of this say the earliest date they can trace for the pub is an alcohol licence for 1721.

Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6e-55-positive_2400
Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6e-55

Finally as I walked towards Kilburn Park Station I couldn’t resist taking another picture of TS Leicester, Kiburn’s ‘Tin Tabernacle’.

This was my final picture in London for around a month, though I made more pictures of Hull and also on an industrial architecture visit to Sharpness and the Forest of Dean.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

London, Dec 1st 2012

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Adidas ‘Pay Your Workers’

December 1st 2012 was a Saturday and another busy day for protests over various issues in London. The poor are always with us because employers pay rock-bottom wages, even those who sell high-priced goods on London’s premier shopping streets.

But the protest outside Adidas in Oxford Street was not about the poorly paid staff in their store, but about the workers who make their sportswear in Indonesia who make the sportswear they sell and who have not been paid what Adidas owe them for over a year.

The PT Kizone factory in Indonesia had been making sportswear for Adidas, Nike and Dallas Cowboys for many years with many workers being on pitifully low wages, many being paid as little as US $0.60 an hour (37p), hardly enough to keep them alive. But in January 2011 the factory owner fled and the factory closed in April 2011 and the 2,800 workers were left with no jobs.

Under Indonesian law they were entitled to severance pay, a total of around US$2.8 million (about £1.74 million) and the three companies for whom they had made goods for many years were obliged to share the payments. Both Nike and Dallas Cowboys agreed to pay up, but Adidas are refusing to pay the $1.8 million (£1.12 million) they owe, despite a worldwide campaign with a 50,000 signature petition and 5000 posts on their Facebook page demanding they pay.

On December 1st there were protests outside Adidas stores in London and other cities in the UK, with some protesters wearing masks with the face of Justin Bieber, who is the ‘global style icon’ for their NEO label. The protesters point out that Adidas were “happy to pay their $157m to sponsor the Olympics, but won’t pay 1% of that to avoid the destitution of those that made them their profits.”

Adidas ‘Pay Your Workers’

Free West Papua Independence Day

A short distance away at the Indonesian Embassy in Grosvenor Square another protest was taking place against the Indonesian occupation of West Papua in 1962.

On December 1st 1961, West Papua had been set on the road to independence by the Dutch. The Netherlands had controlled the area since 1898 except during the wartime Japanese occupation. Indonesia had become independent in 1945 and claimed all of the Dutch territories in the area, leading to a long-running dispute between the two countries, and just over two weeks later began moving troops into West Papua, and were in the whole area by the end of the following year. But it was due to the United States fear of Soviet influence in Indonesia that the Dutch finally temporarily transferred the control of the region to Indonesian government as a part of the New York Agreement, which called for a later UN referendum on the future of the country.

This referendum took place in 1969, and although called the Act of Free Choice, involved voting by 1025 men and women selected by the Indonesian military who unsurprisingly voted unanimously in favour of Indonesian control. Since then the Free Papua movement has worked to gain independence both by peaceful protest and international pressure but also by guerilla warfare.
Free West Papua Independence Day

Morsi’s Dicatatorial Decree

The Egyptian Embassy is short distance to the south in Mayfair, and in front of it there were over 50 protesters shouting noisily condemning the decree by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and calling him a dictator. A few yards down the street, separated by police was a protest by 5 of supporters of his action.

This was one of widespread protests in Egypt and around the world which led to the president announcing the decree would be scrapped a week later. But he proceeded with bringing in a new constitution which was described by many as an ‘Islamist Coup’ and was approved by a referendum later in the month.

Morsi’s Dicatatorial Decree

Climate March Says ‘NO’ to Fracking

The day’s largest event also started in Mayfair, outside the US Embassy, still in Grosvenor Square. It was the Global Day of Action on Climate Change, and the protest focused attention on the dangers of using shale oil and tar sands for energy, both of which would lead to excessive global warming and make reaching the targets set for carbon emissions impossible.

The US embassy was chosen for the starting rally as the dirty energy lobby in the USA, led by companies including the Koch Brothers, has succeeded in making the US the main barrier to effective climate action over the years.

After the rally they began to lay a mock pipeline from the US Embassy to the Canadian Canadian High Commission at the opposite end of Grosvenor Square to show their outrage at the continued exploitation of high-carbon tar sands. They had brought an impressive number of long pipes for the purpose, but they were not allowed to lay them in the direct route across the square, so didn’t quite make it going around the outside.

The thousand or so marchers then set off towards Parliament Square while I went to cover some of the events elsewhere before meeting them again in Parliament Square just before they erected a mock fracking rig with the message ‘No Fracking in the UK’. After this the rally there continued with speeches from Eve Macnamara from REAF (Ribble Estuary against Fracking), John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) and Natalie Bennett (leader, Green party).

Climate March Says ‘NO’ to Fracking

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Ten Years Ago – 30 Nov 2011

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Occupy protesters outrun police down Haymarket

Ten years ago today on Wednesday 30th November the TUC called a one day general strike over the government plans to cut public service pensions and their failure to enter any meaningful discussion with the trade unions on them.

The Southern & Eastern Region of the TUC, SERTUC, organised a march and rally in London, and at least 20,000 people came for a peaceful march through the capital. At the head of the march was TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady, along with leaders of several of the other unions and professional associations taking part in today’s strike by public sector workers.

Frances O’Grady, Dep Gen Sec of the TUC and NASUWT president John Rimmer and a French trade unionist

Along with many strikers, including many taking strike action and marching for the first time there were also others who came to join them, including students and groups including UK Uncut and activist groups such as the Education Activist Network and other student groups, and a number of people wearing ‘Anonymous’ Guy Fawkes ‘V for Vendetta’ masks.

Some of these people began walking ahead of the official march and police stretched a line of officers across Aldwych stopping both them and the march behind them, but eventually they let the march continue. Although the march was going to Parliament along the Embankment, police had closed off Whitehall and created more traffic chaos than the large march.

UK Uncut had come to support the march and were handing out cups of tea from a yard in front of some offices on the square in what they called a ‘solidaritea!!’ action to support the strike.

Later around a hundred protesters from Occupy London rushed into the building in which mining company Xstrata has its offices in a protest against Mick Davies, its CEO, who they say “is a prime example of the greedy 1% lining their own pockets while denying workers pensions.”

They met at Picadilly Circus under the eyes of around a hundred police watching and photographing them from the steps around Eros, and after around half and hour in intermittent rain a small group rushed across the road to stand outside a branch of Boots with a banner reading ‘Precarious Workers Brigade’, but made no attempt to enter the store, which then quickly put down its metal shutters.

Protesters rush into Panto House

But this was just a diversion, and the rest of the group rushed down Haymarket behind a long banner reading ‘All Power to the 99%’ and then turned abruptly down Panton St and rushed into Panton House. The police had got rather left behind and were unable to stop them, and I followed in after some of the protesters, but got very out of breath rushing up the stairs.

A crowd of protesters make it hard to get up the stairs

I hadn’t picked up completely on what was happening, and failed to get up to the roof where a group of around 20 was continuing the protest against Mick Davies, CEO of mining Company Xstrata and the highest paid CEO in the UK. Police forced me and other protesters still on the stairs to go down and leave the building.

I was disappointed not to get onto the roof with other photographers, but rather pleased that, since it was impossible to take more pictures I could now go home. Those on the roof were kept there by police for rather a long time and those who had hung around on the street outside were also kettled.

See more on My London Diary:

Occupy London Expose Corporate Greed
TUC Nov 30 March

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Global South leads Climate March 2015

Monday, November 29th, 2021

Global Frontlines bloc banner ‘Still fighting CO2onialism – Your Climate Profits Kill’

Many groups came together for a march through London on 29th November 2015 about the need for action over global warming and climate change on the weekend before the Paris talks. It had been agreed that the march should be led by the Global Frontlines block, as the Global South is already being more affecte by climate change.

But on the day the organisers, representing the large groups including Avaaz, changed their mind. They decided to put the main march banner along with some of those in carnival animal costumes at the front of the march as they felt the Global Frontline was too radical, wanting system change not sops.

The organisers decided to put their main banner and a section of animal costumed carnivalistas in front to hide this more radical group, but not surprisingly the Global Frontlines group were not having this and moved back in front of the carnival. The organisers then sent in the private security guards they had employed to steward the march rather than relying as most other protests do on volunteers, with orders to hold back the more radical block and remove some of the more political placards and coffins that were being carried.

It was hardly surprising that this move was resisted, and the protesters stood their ground, and repelled the security guards. The organisers then called the police to try and enlist their help to move the bloc from the front of the march, but other than passing on the organisers’ request I understand they sensibly refused to try to illegally remove the block. The whole argument was a disgraceful attempt to de-politicise the event and to marginalise those facing the sharp end of climate change, and one which they successfully resisted.

The banner at the front of the Global Frontlines block – and thus march as a whole – read ‘STILL FIGHTING CO2ONIALISM YOUR CLIMATE PROFITS KILL‘ and there were others with anti-colonial messages including ‘Extractivism is Colonialism‘ and other anti-mining sentiments. Apparently what worried the more conservative charities most was the message ‘British Imperialism causes Climate Change‘ as well as two coffins naming companies BP and BHP Billiton.

The organisers held back the rest of the march to leave a longish gap between this group and the rest of the march led by the the ‘The People’s March for Climate & Jobs‘ banner which the organisers had tried to put in the lead, along with its white rabbit and giraffes. But when the Global Frontlines stopped and sat in the road for a protest close the offices of BP in St James Square, many of the more radical groups in the main march streamed past this banner to join the march up again.

It was an unfortunate dispute, and one that for many of us undermined the credentials of some of the more affluent protest groups, who many on the left suspect of being funded by corporations and governments to try to tame the environmental movement rather than effectively oppose climate change. It seems quite clear that without some drastic system change we are doomed to see business as usual taking us to extinction.

More about the march and many more pictures – giraffes and all – on My London Diary:
Global Frontlines lead Climate March
March for Climate Action Starts

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Abbey Rd, South & West Hampstead – 1988

Sunday, November 28th, 2021
Langtry Walk, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-54-positive_2400
Rowley Way, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-54

Camden council bought the Alexandra Road estate, part of the Eyre estate in North London and their architect Neave Browne designed this ziggurat style terrace in 1968, but construction only began in 1972. Browne saw the design, with vehicles restricted to the basement level as a better solution than tower blocks, which had been discredited by the Ronan point collapse and other problems. Family flats with small gardens opened onto the walkway at ground level, with smaller flats stepped back above them, so all got good light and air. The height of the 8 storey block at left gave some protection to the rest of the estate from the noise of the main West Coast railway line from Euston.

I had wrongly titled this Langtry Walk, which runs at the south of this estate a few yards away with a single lower row of flats by Browne built on similar principles. The name Langtry walk refers to royal mistress Lily Langtree, nicknamed “The Jersey Lily”, who, as local historians Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms have shown had no connection with the area but was co-opted by a resident whose house in Alexandra Road was to be demolished for the new estate.

The estate was Grade II* listed in 1993, remarkably early in its life and the first post-Second World War council estate and one of very few public housing schemes to acheive this status.

Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-55-positive_2400
Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-55

This photograph was made from Abbey Road, with the back of Rowley Way at the right of the picture. Snowman House at left is on Abbey Road and Casterbridge at the corner of this and Belsize Rd and both are in Camden Council’s Abbey Estate. Both were approved in 1965 and building completed in 1967. They have 20 storeys above ground and are 59.4m tall – about 195 feet.

Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-42-positive_2400

A bridge across Abbey Road connects the Casterbridge tower with another Abbey estate building, Emminster, which has a parade of shops at ground level. Both the 8 storey Emminster and another block, Hinstock, are scheduled for demolition to make way for new affordable homes to be built, and improvements to the road layout. This bridge was still there in April 2021, but will presumably soon be gone.

Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-35-positive_2400
Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-35

I walked back towards Kilburn Grange Park and then to West End Lane, and then across to FInchley Road. On my contact sheet this row of heraldic figures on the front garden wall of a house is labelled ‘Finchley Rod’, but it may have been a few yards down a side turning.

The Alcove Cafe, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-36-positive_2400
The Alcove Cafe, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-36

The Alcove Cafe was in a part of the former station entrance for the Finchley Road (Midland) station which first opened as Finchley Rd & St John’s Wood in 1868. Around 1905 a row of seven shops and offices named Midland Crescent was added to the entrance on the west side of FInchley Road. The station closed in 1927 but the shops remained, being demolished in the early 1990s for the building of the O2 Centre here. Various planning, finanacial and other problems held up the new building which finally opened in 1998.

Neasden Electronics, Tandoori Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-21-positive_2400
Neasden Electronics, Tandoori Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-21

Neasden Electronics was roughly opposite the former station, and these buildings have now been replaced by a hotel.

Broadhurst Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-22-positive_2400
Broadhurst Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-22

I walked down towards Swiss Cottage turning briefly into Broadhurst Gardens to make a picture of the rear of the St John’s Court flats on FInchley Rd, built in 1937-8, architect T P Bennett, with the lower three floors for the department store John Barnes, with five floors above housing 96 flats. In 1940 the store became part of the John Lewis Partnership. It closed as a department store in 1981 and the ground floor are now occupied by Waitrose.

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-24-positive_2400
Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-24

I made a couple of photographs of new office buildings at Swiss Cottage.

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25-positive_2400

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25-positive_2400
Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25

And then went on the photograph Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, a Grade II listed Samuel Smiths pub originally built as an alpine-style chalet and called The Swiss Tavern.

Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-26-positive_2400
Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-26

Various dates for the building of the chalet can be found on the web, including both 1804 and 1840. Possibly CAMRA may be more reliable given the nature of the building, which they state “was built in 1830 by T Redmond and it stood next to a toll gate; travellers would stop at the tavern while waiting to pay their fees. There had been a gabled building on the site called Lausanne Cottage said to have been used by Charles II as a hunting lodge and their may have been an earlier pub called the Swiss Tavern.”

I didn’t pop in for a pint of ‘Old Brewery Bitter’ (and probably it wasn’t then on tap) but continued my walk – and will do so in a later post.

Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version on the album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the whole album. Pictures there are usually in file name order which differs from the order in which they were taken.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Kilburn Again – 1988

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03-positive_2400
St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03

I continued my walk along Kilburn High Road, photographing again some of the buildings I had photographed on my previous walk in Kilburn, and going down Priory Park Road to take a couple of pictures of St Lawrence Mansions, Victorian flats. These were used for some years by Brent Council to house homeless families, and applications by the owners to demolish them were turned down in 2012. In 2017 they were in used to house over 200 asylum seekers in desperately poor and overcrowded conditions in a hostel run by run by Clearsprings Ready Homes, a company that has been criticised in media reports about this and other asylum hostels.

Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61-positive_2400
Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61

I’ve always been interested in trade signs and liked the large keyhole of this locksmith’s,on Willesden Lane, close to its junction with Kilburn High Rd.

Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400

Taken just a few yards closer to Kilburn High Rd, with Kilburn State Cinema tower visible. The large sign for Brondesbury Garage above Brondesbury Mews entrance has now gone, the Gentlemen’s convenience has disappeared, the billboards have gone and Biddy Mulligans is now a betting shop, but the view is still much the same.

Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63-positive_2400
Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63

Grade II* listing has protected the Gaumont State Theatre, a splendid art deco building withh opened in 1937, seating over 4,000. Since 2007 it has been a church and still contains one of the largest fully functioning Wurlitzer organs in Britain.

The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65-positive_2400
The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65

The National Club is another building I’ve previously photographed and written about in my post To Kilburn High Rd 1988 – and like the Kilburn State is now also a church. The boundary between Brent and Camden runs down the Kilburn High Road, with properties on the east side being in the LB Camden.

Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66-positive_2400
Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66

Wallace Manufacturing Chemists Ltd is still active according to Companies House, but no longer in Netherwood St. Its business is described as ‘Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products’ with a registered office in Brentwood and I think is now a part of the Alinter Group based in Abingdon. Perhaps the graffitied ‘INFECTION’ was a mildly humourous comment on the closure of the premises making medicines – Histergan cream and tablets, Ironorm drops and Malarivon and Vigranon-B syrups.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

These pictures show the doorway at 15 Quex Rd, on the corner with Mazenod Avenue, part of a set of mansions at 9-15 Quex Rd, just a few yards from Kilburn High Rd. I’ve called it Kilburn, but certainly for estate agents this is West Hampstead.

The road was built on a large estate on both sides of West End Lane which had been inherited in 1813 by John Powell Roberts following the death of his brother who fell from a horse. His brother had previously inherited this and a large house a Quex Park in Birchington, Kent under a trust following the death of his uncle, and the terms of that trust meant changing his surname to Powell, and John Powell Roberts became John Powell Powell. When he died in 1849 the various estates held by the trust passed to his nephew, Col Henry Perry Cotton.

Quex Road, named after the Powell-Cotton family seat, was at the heart of plans for the development of the estate made in 1866, which included a Roman Catholic church and Wesleyan Methodist and Unitarian chapels on Quex Rd built in 1868-9 and the street was more or less fully developed by 1885.

Eugene de Mazenod was a leading French Catholic bishop in the nineteenth century and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who became missionaries across the world and founded the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Kilburn in 1866, though their temporary building was replaced by one designed by E W Pugin and built after his death from 1875-1899.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-46-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

Click on any image to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Fuel Poverty, NHS Staffing & Zero Hours – 2013

Friday, November 26th, 2021

Eight years ago there were protests about fuel poverty and NHS staffing which seem still very much in the news today, and zero hours contracts remain a problem, though unscrupulous employers have found another unfair way to screw their workers with ‘fire and rehire’, although legal actions brought by smaller and more active unions have begun to curb some of the more obviously illegal aspects of the gig economy.

Justice Not Jumpers at NPower HQ

But fuel costs are rising fast and putting many energy companies out of business. Not that they were really energy companies, simply middlemen gambling to make a quick profit, buying energy as cheaply as they could and attracting customers to deals which have become uneconomic to honour as fuel prices have risen. The scheme to rescue their customers, passing them on to those companies still in business makes life tougher for those who have to pick them up, and with the latest company to go under – or at least into administration – means that either taxpayers or possibly electricity customers – we await the details – will have to shoulder the bill.

It’s a crisis that has its roots in the privatisation of the industry and the absurd belief in competition that has created an overpopulated market in companies taking a cut out of our bills, with others profiting from persuading people to switch suppliers. Along of course with a government failure to provide proper support for insulation of homes – as Insulate Britain have been gluing themselves to the M25 and elsewhere to highlight, as well as ending the building of onshore wind farms, failing to put investment into other renewable sources such as tidal power and instead backing climate-destroying wood burning and expensive nuclear schemes. The recent half-hearted support for heat pumps is yet another failure by government. We should have schemes that ensures that new build properties are built with either air or ground source heat pumps and high levels of insulation and provides incentives for them to have solar panels.

On Tuesday 26th November I went with fuel poverty activists to march to the offices of NPower, one of the big six energy providers to protest against the profiteering by them that leads to people having to choose between eating and keeping warm, causing unnecessary deaths.

They included people from Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, the Greater London Pensioners’ Association and Disabled People Against Cuts and were protesting against the huge increase in energy costs and against the deception of the energy companies who blame price rises on ‘green taxes’. The protests, in London and at British Gas’s new Oxford HQ, as well as in Lewes and Bristol were supported by other groups including No Dash for Gas, Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Revolution, Young Friends of the Earth, Frack Off London, Power for the People, Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Lewes Against the Cuts, SOAS Energy & Climate Change Society and Southwest Against Nuclear.

They went to the NPower offices in Threadneedle Street in the centre of the City of London because NPower is the UK’s most complained about energy company with double the customer complaints of its nearest rival EDF and higher price rises in 2013 than any of the other Big Six companies. It had then paid zero corporation tax for the past 3 years despite a 34% profit rise of £413million and in the previous winter its price hikes were estimated to have pushed 300,000 people into fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty leads to premature deaths – and the figure for these announced that day for winter 2012-3 was a shock, with an increase of almost a third on the previous year, to 31,000 people. The protesters emphasized this by carrying a coffin to the offices, with several of the wearing masks with the faces of the prime minister and chancellor, David Cameron and George Osborne, and wearing jumpers with the logos of major energy companies.

Police protected the offices of NPower while the protesters held a peaceful rally outside, where many testimonies were read from people who were having to chose between heating and eating, already cold and dreading the coming winter. In a press statement, Susan Jarrett of UK Uncut said: ‘The fact that people are dying of fuel poverty as Npower and other energy companies rake in the money and avoid tax is a scandal. This Government is not only unnecessarily cutting our services in the name of austerity but are allowing these energy companies to literally get away with murder which is why we are fighting back today.’

This winter fuel costs are higher. Global warming means our weather is far less predictable, and its possible we may have an unusually cold snap. Or we may be lucky and avoid extremes of cold. But if we do get them, then there will be more deaths.

4:1 legal minimum NHS staffing

Back in 2013, the Dept of Health was still in Richmond House on Whitehall, and nurses were there to campaign for a manadatory staffing level of one nurse for every 4 patients in the NHS. They were joined by other groups protesting against closures and privatisation in the NHS. Its probably because of protests like this and many others that the department moved to obscure offices some way down Victoria St – which at least one protest I photographed marched past without noticing and got several hundred yards down the road before they realised they had missed it. Richmond House is now set to hold Parliament while the old building undergoes extensive and very expensive modernisation.

The protest was a response to various disastrous news stories about the problems of the NHS, including the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) revealing the NHS has over 20,000 nursing vacancies and the Department of Health’s decision to downgrade (effectively close) 100 A&E departments. Protesters also urged people to sign a petition calling for the NHS to be exempted from the provisions of the EU-US trade treaty then being negotiated in secret; and post-Breixt the government has made clear they will not protect the NHS in UK-US negotiations.

Cultural Workers against Zero Hours

Finally I went to photograph PCS members from national cultural institutions in London at Tate Modern and on the Millennium Bridge protesting against zero hour contracts which give them no guaranteed weekly hours or income, while stopping them taking on other work. Employers use zero-hour contracts to cut wages, avoid holiday pay, pensions, and ensure the maximum flexibility and profit for themselves. Workers are also unable to take on other part-time work, as they are obliged to be available for work at the whim of the employer.

There have been some minor changes in the law and in 2015 employers were banned from requiring workers to get permission before accepting other work but zero hours contracts continue to be a problem for many workers. Workers on them have no way of knowing their income week to week and although in theory they have the right to refuse any work offered, this still often leads to them being offered fewer hours in future. And while in theory zero hours workers have employment rights, these are often denied – and virtually impossible for individuals to enforce. All workers – particularly those suffering from zero hours contracts – need to join an effective union.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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

Around Kilburn Square – 1988

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21

My next visit to Kilburn came in June 1988 and I began my walk from Kilburn Park station on the Bakerloo line. I took a couple of pictures in Cambridge Ave, but nothing exciting and then walked up Kilburn High Road to Kilburn Square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22

Kilburn Square was built in the 1960s for Willesden Municipal Borough Council with a 17 storey high rise with 85 flats and four low rise blocks with a shopping centre and market area in a wide pavement in front of them on Kilburn High Rd. Work began on the tower block in 1961. The estate replaced Victorian terraced houses in the square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25

These pictures are from the front block of the estate, the shops fronting Kilburn High Rd. It was designed to have shops on the first floor, but these were never very successful. They could be reached by steps or a long slope. This shows the tower on the estate behind the shops.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26

The management of the estate behind the shops passed to a Tenant Management Organisation in 1994 following the Right to Manage Legislation. Currently Brent Council is still consulting on plans to add infill housing to the estate, and appears to be taking some of the residents views into consideration. Although it’s sad to lose green space, if infill is done sensitively its better than the comprehensive demoltion of many estates across London which always result in a loss of social housing.

Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11-positive_2400
The Cock Tavern, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11

The Cock Tavern at 125 Kilburn High Road has a plaque stating it was licenced in 1486 and rebuilt in 1900 and was a Truman pub. It was later owned by Greene King and from 2009-11 was also home to a theatre on the first floor, but this had to close as the staircase was found to be unsafe. It was sold in 2016 and closed in 2019, reopening in January 2020 as The Juniper. The building is locally listed by Brent Council.

Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400

This estate office in Quex Road appeared have something of an obstacle course to enter, apparently designed to eliminate access for any disabled clients. I think there was probably a slope down behind the front gates then two sets of steps to the entrance.

The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15-positive_2400
The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15

The Earl of Derby dates from around 1869 at 155 Kilburn High Road. Having been called the Golden Egg for some years it reopened in 2013 and was described as a gastro pub under a shorter version of its original name, simply Earl Derby. It claims to be home to the cheapest pint in London, and in 2020 some beers were £2.00 a pint.

The side of the pub shown is on Priory Park Rd, and the block further down the road is Ryde House, designed by Willesden Borough Council Architect’s Department and built in 1964.

Sadly the wrought iron entrance at the left of the pub has been lost in alterations to the side of the pub. I hope it has been preserved somewhere.

Click on any image to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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