Posts Tagged ‘market’

Portobello Rd 1987

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
Street Musicians, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4c-13-positive_2400

I can’t now remember why I went to Notting Hill in April 1987 as it wasn’t quite on my plans for taking pictures at the time, and it was clearly only a fairly brief visit, walking up the Portobello Rd, usually the kind of tourist trap which I was then trying to avoid. It was perhaps the end of my walk with my son along the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union, leaving it at Great Western St and walking down to catch the tube from Notting Hill Gate.

Street Musician, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4c-15-positive_2400

I wasn’t at the time very familiar with Notting Hill, at least outside various works of fiction such as Colin MacInnes’ ‘Absolute Beginners’ written in 1959 and including some graphic descriptions of the 1958 Notting Hill ‘riots’. a series of attacks by white youths, mainly “Teddy Boys”, on black residents of the area. A great book about an extremely cool teenage photographer which was made into a extremely poor film musical, which flopped despite a score by Gil Evans, title track by David Bowie (which reached No 2 in the charts) and contributions from other pop and jazz luminaries including Paul Weller, Ray Davies, Sade, Slim Gaillard and Smiley Culture.

Street Musician, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4c-16-positive_2400

It may well have been the film and all the publicity around it which prompted me to walk on past Westbourne Grove station and down Portobello Rd to Notting Hill Gate. And it will certainly have been my interest in jazz which made me stop and listen and take pictures of a small combo playing on the street, deliberately choosing to work through the crowd.

Barrel Organ, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4d-11-positive_2400

All of these pictures were I think taken on my Leica M2, which by then had a 35mm f1.4 Summilux almost permanently attached. It was a lens I had lusted over in the window of a secondhand shop in Camden for some time before handing over around a month’s salary. After that the 50mm collapsible f2.8 Elmar saw very little use; later I got a 90mm f2.8 too, but found that gave such a small viewfinder image it was almost unusable, except perhaps for a few distant landscapes.

Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4d-63-positive_2400
Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4d-65-positive_2400
Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-4d-41-positive_2400

I didn’t take many pictures, but you can find a few more on page 4 of my 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


London life

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

Possibly the only real weather pictures I took in 2019 were a couple during a short but torrential downpour in central London. I was travelling between protests and had stopped to change buses, and was fortunately standing under a bus shelter when what had been the occasional drop of rain suddenly went rogue. When a woman walked past under a pink umbrella I saw there was a picture and manged a couple of frames with a short telephoto before she walked out of frame and, more or less at the same time my bus arrived.

By the time the bus had gone along most of the Strand the rain had stopped and the pavements were beginning to dry. I looked down from the top deck of the bus and saw this group of three men sheltering in front of a print shop with bedding and belongings beside them. It’s a sight that is unfortunately far too common in London now, though virtually unknown in my younger days when I started taking pictures.

Under both New Labour, Tory Lib-Dem coalition and Tory governments we have seen increasing inequalities and a change in government policies, increasingly moving away from an attitude of care for the welfare of the poorest and towards a criminalisation of poverty, with councils bringing in bylaws that regard people living on the streets simply as an incovenient eyesore, fining people who feed those on the streets and also those sleeping rough. We used to say that Britain was a Christian country, but it’s hard to see that in practice now.

I was in Brixton for a protest against the continuing persecution of Windrush family members and other migrants and the increasing levels of hate crime encouraged by government policies and actions. Places like this are suffering from the Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’ and immigration removal squads. But I’m always impressed by the colour and vibrancy of the place – and so are all those wealthy young people who are moving in and leading its gentrification.

One of those things that you obviously see when travelling by bus – at least if you have the energy to climb the stairs to the upper deck of London’s many double-deckers is the roofs of the cars. I’m always rather disappointed if the bus I’m taking turns out only to be a single decker, as the views from the top deck are so much more interesting.

This month the various traffic jams around Trafalgar Square gave me plenty of time to contemplate the reflections in car roofs and to photogrpah a few of them. It’s rather tricky angling the camera down at an angle and often the glass is too dirty to make it worthwhile; reflections also often spoil the images, though I use my arms and coat to try to cut them out. I do have the solution to this in a giant floppy lens hood, but that sits protecting a little dust on my desk at home whenever I need it.

The line of hexagons at the bottom of this image rather adds to it, and is on the window of the bus. I think this is the full frame as I made the picture and would perhaps benefit from a slight crop at top and right. Although the sun was out, you can see a sky pretty full of clouds reflected in the roof.

See more pictures from my September travels around London on My London Diary at London Images .


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


Stonewall 50

Friday, November 15th, 2019

At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, police began a raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, a Mafia owned pub according to Wikipedia known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth.”

Police raids on gay locations were not uncommon, but usually the police who took money from bar owners and tipped them off in advance of the raids, but this hadn’t happened at Stonewall that night, probably because the police felt they weren’t getting enough payback.

In the raid, police separated all those dressed as women and as usual in such raids tried to get them to go into the toilet with a woman officer to be examined – and, if they had male genitals, arrested. But people refused, and men refused to show police their ID.

You can read a lengthy account of how the events developed in the Wikipedia article. The riots that arose from the raid, largely started by lesbians and transgender people who stood up to the police continued the following day and are generally accepted to have begun the gay liberation movement not just in the United States but elswhere across the world.

The annual Pride celebration in London is now largely a corporate event, a parade rather than a march, and although this year it was said to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, to many it hardly seemed to do so in an appropriate fashion. But there are other Pride celebrations around London that now seem more authentic, and the Forest Gayte Pride festival had the advantage of taking place on the actual 50th anniversary of Stonewall, with events on the 28th and 29th June.

I arrived a few minutes late for the start of the Pride march in Forest Gate, which appeared to have started a little earlier than the time I had been given, but managed to photograph its final few hundred yards and the speeches in the Pride Market at its conclusion. Unlike the huge event in central London, this was very much a community event, and far more interesting for that.

Among those who took part in the march and spoke was the local mayor Rokhsana Fiaz. She replaced the former mayor of Newham, Robin Wales, who had been mayor since the post was established in 2002 but was deselected in 2018 after a challenge to questionable voting procedures by affiliates which would have kept him in power despite the votes of local party members.

More at Forest Gayte Pride celebrates Stonewall 50


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.