Posts Tagged ‘market’

Down the Blue, Spa Road & Old Jamaica Road 1988

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

R & G Holden, Household & Fancy Goods, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-31-Edit_2400
R & G Holden, Household & Fancy Goods, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-31

‘The Blue’, the area around the market on Southwark Park Road and Blue Anchor Lane gets its name from the Blue Anchor Pub at the corner of the lane. The pub is on the site of an ancient hostelry, marked on the earliest maps of the area dating from 1695 as the Blew Anchor. The area belonged to Bermondsey Abbey and attracted many pilgrims, some on their way to Canterbury. The anchor is thought to have not been any reference to the later nautical links of the area but to the many Anchorites, many of them women who were enclosed in religious buildings having withdrawn themselves from secular society to lead a life of prayer. Pilgrims would visit them to join them in prayer and seek advice. It was a practice largely when Henry VIII broke away from the Pope.

The market was along Southwark Park Road until a separate market square was created in 1976, but shops like this still spilled out onto the pavement.

Spa Rd Station, Former Railway Station, S E & C R,  Priter Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-22-Edit_2400
Spa Rd Station, Former Railway Station, S E & C R, Priter Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-22

London’s first railway station was a short walk away. The London and Greenwich Railway opened its Spa Road station in 1836 before it had completed the line into London Bridge. Although little more than a temporary halt and at first without platforms it remained open until 1838. A second Spa Road station was opened after the line was widened in 1842 and operated until 1867 when a new station was opened 200 yards to the east with its entrance in the railway arches on what is now Priter Road. This closed as a wartime economy measure in 1915. Some of the buildings of the 1867 station including this can still be seen in the railway arches and I photographed several of them as well as this one. The initials are for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway which was only formed in 1899, and until 1923 ran all the railways in Kent and to the Channel ports.

Spa Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-62-Edit_2400
Spa Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-62

On my contact sheet I state that this remains of a former garage was on Spa Road and although I have no reason to doubt this the roads around here were confusing and the rail bridges all have a similar appearance. I took a number of very similar frames, obviously intrigued by both the broken boarding and the branches growing through it was well as the strange tower rising about a very tall brick wall on the other side of the road.

Rouel Rd, Frean St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-53-Edit_2400
Rouel Rd, Frean St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-53

The tower block in the background of this picture is Lupin Point on Abbey St, a 21 floor 61 m tall bock on Southwark’s Dickens Estate. This was made at the mouth of the bridge on Rouel Road, with Frean Street going off to the right. More recently this part of Rouel Road, was renamed Marine Street which previously had only started north of Jamaica Road (now Old Jamaica Road.)

This area has been redeveloped since I made this picture and the old housing replaced by a nine storey block so you need to go a little way along the road to see Lupin Point.

Old Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-42-Edit_2400
Old Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-42

These buildings on Old Jamaica Road are long gone. In 1988 clearly Robinsons Motorcycles Cycles Mopeds was still in business with a row of machines outside and bike parts in the shop window and curtains on the floors above, but much of the rest of the block was ready for demolition.

Enid Garage, Old Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-43-Edit_2400
Enid Garage, Old Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10k-43

Enid Garage on the south side of Old Jamaica Road was clearly a very basic concrete structure, its skeleton of beams exposed at the left. Behind are the railway arches and a long gantry across the tracks, still there. Enid Garage has gone and this is now the Old Jamaica Business Estate.

I think my walk continued to Rotherhithe New Road, where I’ll begin the next post in this series.


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Reclaim Brixton – Arches, Markets & More

Monday, April 25th, 2022

Reclaim Brixton – Arches, Markets & More – 25th April 2015

A day of events in central Brixton on Saturday 25th April 2015 celebrated its social & cultural diversity, increasingly under threat as increasing rents and property development are forcing out local businesses and residents.

Brixton boomed after the railways arrived here in the 1860s, the new transport links making it both a popular middle-class suburb and the major shopping centre of South London; it had the first purpose built department store in the UK, Bon Marché, opened in 1877 and continuing in business until 1975 and probably the first street market in the world to be lit by electricity in Electric Avenue. While the wealthier moved out in the first half of the twentieth century to leafier areas, the increasingly working-class population grew, as did the markets, cinemas, pubs and other facilities.

After the war Brixton became increasingly multiracial. Arrivals on the Windrush were given temporary housing in the Clapham South deep shelter, and found jobs from the nearby Brixton Labour Exchange and housing in rooms and flats in the area. Though many had intended to go back to the Caribbean, most remained here, bringing over family to joint them and over the years Brixton became a centre of the British African-Caribbean community. In 1981 locals rose up against heavy handed policing but the conclusions of the Scarman report were largely ignored and it was only after the death of Stephen Lawrence that the police were declared “institutionally racist.”

There was further unrest after the death of Wayne Douglas in police custody in 1995, and there was an increasing attempt by Lambeth Council to change the nature of the area seen by them as regeneration but by many in the area as gentrification.


Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction

The railways run on viaducts through central Brixton, and the arches below them, particularly along Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road have long provided low cost spaces for local businesses.

But Network Rail decided to increase the income from these spaces and the existing tenants were threatened with eviction and then a tripling of rent for the refurbished space. One of the businesses, fishmongers L S Mash & Sons, had been trading here since 1932 and others since shortly after the war.

The businesses closed for two hours on Saturday lunchtime, many hanging white sheets with messages across the frontage and others inviting graffiti artists to decorate the shutters. These businesses, the arcades and the market really are the heart of Brixton.

Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction


Take Back Brixton against gentrification

Brixton Black Revs (revolutionaries rather than reverends) had wanted to march peacefully through the gentrified ‘Brixton Village’, but police and security guards blocked their way into the arcade, and instead it became a very short march to take housing and other activists directly to the Reclaim Brixton gathering in Wind rush Square

Granville Arcade which links Coldharbour Lane, Atlantic Road and Popes Road was built in 1937 with over 100 shops in its covered avenues, and was named after its developer, P Granville-Grossman. The site had previously been the Lambeth Carlton Club, a large Georgian-style mansion buit in the 1870s and home to the Brixton Conservative Association.

It was renamed Brixton Village around 2005 and was saved from demolition by a powerful local campaign which resulted in it and Reliance Arcade, Market Row being given Grade II listing. The listing text makes much of the importance of the Afro-Caribbean nature of the markets, but although listing saved them from demolition it has not protected them from gentrification and the replacement of much of this character by trendy restaurants and boutiques.

Take Back Brixton against gentrification


Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton

The area in front of the Tate Library and Brixton Ritzy was renamed Windrush Square in 1998. It had long been a popular meeting place for locals and local events, but Lambeth Council with offices in the town hall opposite clearly saw that as something of a threat, and spent a large amount on turning it into a desolate, bleak and unwelcoming windswept area to discourage the informal gatherings that took place there.

Although today the area was reasonably crowded, there seemed to be nothing very organised happening. Unite Community had a microphone at one side and there were a speeches, but few seemed to be taking any notice of them. When I walked around there was a group playing classical music, another of African drummers, and the Revolutionary Communist Group had its own megaphone and speakers, while people were having a light-hearted limbo competition to a musical accompaniment from the Unite ‘stage’. And some of my friends had disappeared to a nearby pub.

Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton


London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton’ march

After an hour or two hanging around in Windrush Square, activists again took to the street for a lively march around Brixton.

Rather to my surprise, the march simply returned to Windrush Square. I hung around for a bit but everything seemed very peaceful and I mistakenly thought that perhaps nothing more would happen and decided to take a bus to begin my journey home.

Shortly after I left some people stormed and briefly occupied Lambeth Town Hall and a large window at Foxton’s estate agents was broken, and a few activists went into Brixton Village with banners.

Marcia Rigg whose brother Sean Rigg was killed in Brixton Police Station in 2008

London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton ‘march


Things in Brixton have got worse since 2015. In 2018 Hondo Enterprises owned by Texan property developer and part-time DJ Taylor McWilliams bought Brixton Market which includes the arcades and the following year announced plans for a 20 storey office block, which were approved by Lambeth Council in November 2020. Hondo now brand the whole market area as Brixton Village.

More from the protests:
London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton ‘march
Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton
Take Back Brixton against gentrification
Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction


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Hoxton 1948 Street Party

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

No, I wasn’t taking pictures in 1948, nor was Hoxton’s 1948 street party taking place in 1948, but on Saturday 24th August 2008, the date marking the handover of the Olympics to London from Beijing where the 2008 Olympics had recently finished.

Hackney was one of the three boroughs – along with Tower Hamlets and Newham at the centre of the London 2012 Olympics, coming to London for the first time since 1948. The London Olympics then were very much run on a shoe-string in 1948, with a total budget of well under a million pounds – allowing for inflation probably rather less than a hundredth of the budget for 2012.

People in Hackney had decided to mark the event with a ‘1948 Street Party’ in Hoxton in the area of Hoxton Road where the market takes place (confusingly around half a mile from a street named Hoxton Market) and there were shops, museums and various local organisations taking part and putting on events and displays. And appropriately for a celebration of 1948 they organised their own ‘Austerity Olympics’ on the street, as well as some more serious boxing.

Hackney Council, being doctrinaire New Labour were of course appalled by the idea of a community initiative such as this. Their idea of politics was for people to put an X in the Labour box of the ballot paper and then sit back and let those they elected get on with running things to their advantage – without the people getting in the way of their schemes. So instead of backing a community initiative which might display what people thought about the forthcoming Olympics they snootily set up their own rival event in a park a few minutes walk away, with a giant screen relaying the events from Beijing.

There were two men waving Union Flags at the Hackney Council event.

I went to both, though most of the hour and a half I spent at the council event was an hour and a half of my life lost, tedious in the extreme, except for a short performance by a local kids group. There was a Chinese group with flags and a lion, but they seemed to be deliberately hidden away in a corner.

Back on Hoxton St, things were much more interesting, and very much a reminder of my own youth in the 1950s. I enjoyed a very nice cup of tea served in 1948 style china by a “nippy”, and in the street were tea parties (with free cakes) and displays of boxing, jitterbugging and various objects from the 1940s kitchen (almost all of which we still use at home, including a pastry blender – and no, it isn’t used to make bread.) Pearlies came in force and had a sing-song round the joanna.

And then there was the ‘Free Hackney Movement’ (aka Space Hijackers) who brought some serious politics to the event along with a ‘tank’. Here’s what I wrote about them in 2008:

The Free Hackney protest sees London 2012 as a great opportunity for property developers to rip us off and make obscene profits building luxury flats in the area, while at the same time restricting public access, closing down the existing free facilities and demolishing social housing and local businesses. So far its hard to argue against their case given the closure of local sports facilities including the closure of the Temple Mills cycle circuit and the removal of the Manor Gardens allotments and the wholesale clearance of small local firms which were based on Stratford Marsh

In 2008 I commented “The Olympic development has so far been something of a catastrophe for the area, and a lot has to be done to recover from this, let alone produce a positive outcome for the area.” Unfortunately most of what has been done since has borne out the fears and predictions that were made by the Free Hackney Movement and others back in 2008. London 2012 was a bonanza for the few but disrupted the lives of many in the three boroughs.

More at:
Hoxton Handover – 1948 Street party
Free Hackney Movement
Hackney Council Hoxton Handover


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.


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.


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 .


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


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.