Posts Tagged ‘peter Marshall’

1986 Page 8

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Page 8 of my album 1986 London Photographs begins with pictures from Wapping in August 1986.

Wapping High St, Wapping, Tower Hamlets  86-8t-55-Edit_2400

I photographed some slogans in Russian on fences – left I understand from the making of a film, supposedly set in Russia, but actually filmed here.

Wapping High St, Wapping, Tower Hamlets 86-8t-54-Edit_2400

Wapping High Street never failed to interest me back then, though it has now lost a great deal of the old atmosphere. The doorway at the right of this picture now leads to the Captain Kidd pub, converted from an old warehouse which used to store various goods including coffee, edible gums, dried fruit and wool from Australia. Sam Smith’s have done some excellent conversions of a number of historic properties and this is now a pleasant place to sit on a terrace overlooking the river and enjoy a pint of Old Brewery Bitter in a pub blessedly without TV or canned music.

Hays Wharf, Tower Bridge, Bermondsey, Southwark 86-8u-61-Edit_2400

After making some pictures there I walked back to Tower Bridge and crossed it to wander around a little of Bermondsey and Southwark as I made my way back to Waterloo station. The view towards Guy’s Hospital from Tower Bridge is rather different now, with City Hall and More London almost hiding the hospital tower and a wide walkway along the river bank.

Gainsford St, Bermondsey, Southwark 86-8u-54-Edit_2400

As in Wapping, many of these pictures south of the river show evidence of the great deal of building work then taking place, with many buildings being reduced to street-facing facades. For many buildings keeping the facades is probably the only possible way – if done sympathetically – of retaining some of the atmosphere of the areas, though when done badly a complete modern replacement would be preferable; not all buildings deserve to be kept. Mostly I avoided people in making these pictures, but some were desperate to be photographed.

Southern 777, Steam Engine, Cannon St Station, City 86-8v-65-Edit_2400

Another day in August I went with my two young sons, both keen railway enthusiasts and members of a British Rail kids group ‘Railriders’ to an event taking place at Cannon St station, with vintage Southern Railway electric trains and a steam engine.

Skin Market Place, Southwark 86-8w-01-Edit_2400

The trains didn’t greatly interest me, but I took a few pictures before we left and went over Southwark Bridge for a walk around Southwark, again on our way to Waterloo. Bankside Power Station is now Tate Modern, but I think Skin Market Place and its council depot has disappeared without trace.

100 pictures at 1986 London Photographs Page 8


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.


More from Page 5

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

The previous post Page 5 of my London 1986 pictures looked at some from Hoxton and Islington and there were many more in the album that in my post, including a number form Shoreditch. Later in July I returned to Wapping, Shadwell, Limehouse and the West India Docks with a few other images from Greenwich, Finsbury and the City.

New Crane Wharf, Wapping, Tower Hamlets 86-7i-23_2400
New Crane Wharf, Wapping
Gun Wharves, Wapping,  Tower Hamlets         86-7i-32  Thames foreshore, Wapping High St, W 86-7i-31_2400
Gun Wharves, Wapping
Rotherhithe from Wapping, Tower Hamlets v 86-7i-35_2400
Rotherhithe from Wapping
Limehouse Dock entrance, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets 86-7j-46_2400
Limehouse Dock entrance
Limehouse Dock, Limehouse Cut, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets 86-7j-51_2400
Limehouse Dock
West India Dock, Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets  86-7k-65_2400
West India Docks

These are just a few of my favourite pictures from the 100 on page 5 of my Flickr album of pictures I made in London in 1986. Clicking on any image will take you to a larger version on Flickr.


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.


Page 5: Micawber St

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
Micawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-66_2400

The Merriam-Webster dictionary lists Micawber as a word meaning “one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune“, derived of course from the clerk in Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield famous for his belief that “something will turn up” and the principle he expounds:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Macawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-51_2400

Wilkins Micawber is said to have been based on Dicken’s father who also spent time in a debtors prison. In the novel Micawber gives his address as Windsor Terrace, City Road, and in the 1930s this street is in Hoxton, close to the Islington border in north London which runs across the north end of Windsor Terrace, previously Edward St was renamed after him.

Micawber St, Hoxton, Hackney 86-7f-52_2400

It seemed a suitable location for a bookie’s shop, (and there is a pub opposite) but it had clearly gone out of business. The building is still standing though rather altered, at the end of a row of Victorian housing but the area has changed considerably. As well as modern developments since I took this picture, parts had already been rebuilt after the Blitz with what was left of Windsor Terrace being redeveloped in the 1950s, and the Wenlock Brewery on Micawber St, site of a terrible wartime tragedy when bombing caused a leak of ammonia gas into its basement which was used as a local air raid shelter was demolished shortly after. That site is now the home of the Child Poverty Action Group.

Wenlock Basin, Regent's Canal, Hackney 86-7g-64_2400

Micawber St runs across the south end of the Wenlock Basin on the Regent’s Canal, but I don’t think there is anywhere where the basin is visible from the street.

St Luke's Vestry, 1896, Wenlock Rd or Wharf Rd, Islington 86-7g-34_2400

Another nearby building, erected in 1896 by St Luke’s Vestry. You can see these and other pictures on Page 5 of my Flickr album 1986 London Photographs.

Richmond Ave, Islington 86-2d-42_2400
1986 London Photographs. To go to page 5 use this link instead

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.


Back to 1986: Page 4

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
Broadway Bakeries, Brougham Rd, Benjamin Close, Broadway Market, Hackney 86-6m-35_2400
Borough Market

Returning to my London pictures for 1986, and to page 4 of my Flickr album 1986 London Photographs.

The Oval, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6m-65_2400
The Oval, Bethnal Green

1986 was the year I began to photograph London in depth, and the album reflects this, with 1370 black and white photographs, a fraction of the number I took that year. The hundred on page 4 are from the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets and include pictures from Dalston, Shoreditch, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Wapping, Shadwell, Limehouse, Whitechapel and other parts east of the city. There is just the odd image from elsewhere in London.

War Memorial, Cyprus St, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets86-6o-31_2400
Cyprus St, Bethnal Green

Unlike in some earlier years the routes for my walks around the area were carefully planned, with research from a number of published sources, though information was much less readily available than now before the days of the world wide web. Of course I didn’t always stick to my planned routes, but I did carry a notebook to write down where I actually went and even sometimes some details of what I was photographing.

Hessell St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets
Hessel St, Whitechapel

One of my major resources was of course maps, both new and old, not just for the streets but also for the other information included on them. Some marked industrial areas in brown, most showed churches and public buildings and some gave names of various features. The invaluable series of reprints of old 1:2500 OS maps was begun by Alan Godfrey in 1983, but few were available in 1986. I now have a very large collection.

Kingsland Basin, Regent's Canal, Hackney 86-7c-26_2400
Kingsland Basin

My aim was to not to walk along every street (as the woman who produced the London A-Z was sometimes said to have done) but at least to look down nearly all of them, and to photograph all buildings of interest as well as other things I found on my journeys. Later when I had bought a scanner I produced enlarged versions of the A-Z pages, printing them on a black and white laser printer and used highlighter pen after I came home to mark where I had walked. These both showed me any areas I had missed and helped me, together with the notebooks, to mark on the contact sheets where the pictures were taken.

Nuttal St, Hackney 86-7c-36_2400
Nuttal St, Hackney

I mostly travelled by train or underground so often several walks started from a particular station, and perhaps along the same streets close to them. There were also some areas that particularly interested me, either for simple visual reasons or because they were obviously changing, to which I returned.

I’ve posted some of the pictures on this page previously on >Re:PHOTO and I’ve tried to find others to put on this post. You can see all of the pictures – 100 on page 4 – on Flickr – where you can view them larger than on here – by clicking on the link or the image below.

Russia Lane, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6l-66_2400

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.


Group Outings

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Most of my photographs from the late 1970s and early 1980s were made in England, though quite a few outside London. After I moved to Staines in 1974 I joined a photographic club a few miles away and met up with a group of its more rebellious younger members.

We organised monthly group trips, when usually four or five of us would travel to various locations to spend a Sunday taking photographs. Each month one of the group would come up with a suggestion, and those who were interested would meet up early to travel, usually in people’s cars. We would bring the pictures we took back to monthly group meeting to pull each other’s work to pieces in sometimes rather bluntly critical terms.

Numbers varied, according to the popularity of the destination. Partly because I didn’t own a car (I sold the only one I ever owned back in the late 1960s when I became interested in the environment) the trips I suggested and led were always in London, using public transport – and rather less popular. On at least one occasion I was the only person to turn up, and I had a very good day!

More popular were the outings to more scenic locations, and I enjoyed these too. They included Stonehenge and Avebury, some rather desolate areas of the Kent and Essex coasts, the Sussex coast and Surrey Woods and more. We also made a couple of weekend trips, staying overnight at B&Bs.

The group – which had to leave the club – became a group of independent photographers with the name Framework continued until 1993 and over the years organised almost 20 exhibitions, but the group outings came to an end I think in the early 1980s, probably because most of us were seriously into our own projects.

Most of these slides from around 40 years ago need considerable retouching to remove ingrained dirt and mould spots which attack the colour, and in some the dyes used in the images have faded beyond restoration. I think the quality of the chemicals used in their development, both those I used at home and some of those lab developed was rather variable. I’ve worked on these images in Photoshop to produce the results above, but it isn’t always possible to produce an really natural looking result. Some of course may have been taken largely because of the unusual lighting at the time, and some films that I occasionally used – such as Orwo – were incapable of producing realistic colour.

I’ll put more of my old colour images on Flickr shortly.


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.


More from May Days: 2009

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Another year, another May Day. 2009 was just a little different with more happening at Clerkenwell Green than usual, though some things remained the same. Although in my very early years Stalin was known through our press as ‘Uncle Joe’ and it was certainly the case that it was the Russian Army that played the major role in the defeat of Hitler, it does seem to me somehow obscene to be continuing a cult of his personality with what we now know about him.

As always the Turkish and Kurdish community were out in force – here the KGÖ (Komünist Gençlik Örgütü), the youth wing of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) MLKP.

Unusually there was a maypole, brought and erected by Chris Knight and others from G20 Meltdown, and a few people tried to dance around it.

There were the usual collection of trade union banners, with pride of place going to a couple carried by Ford workers following the Visteon dispute, as well as various other left-wing groups from the UK and abroad.

As in previous years the rally at Trafalgar Square failed to acknowledge the predominant presence of various minority communities on the march and was dominated by speakers from the large unions and Labour party. The star of the event was undoubtedly Tony Benn. At his left a Tamil holds a placard with a picture of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who was killed in an ambush by Sri Lankan government forces only a few days later on May 18.

Earlier there had been heated arguments on the march against the participation by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a Sinhalese communist and Marxist–Leninist party which is a part of the government oppressing and fighting the Tamils.

More at May Day March & Rally


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.


More from the Loire

Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Mill, Montreuil-sur-Maine l19B73loire
Mill, Montreuil-sur-Maine

We started our ride with a couple of excursions from Angers, including one to the north where we rode back alongside the Mayenne. Watermills were a feature at many points of our rides, particularly along the tributaries of the Loire.

Coutures x34loire

There were a number of similar roadside crosses at junctions along some of the minor roads we cycled along, but I think this was the only one I stopped to photograph. Despite the place names on the road signs it was difficult to find the location as none of those names appears on maps or on Google and I only eventually located it by ‘riding’ on Streetview. I think it is actually a little north from where the caption on Flickr indicates.

Horse-drawn cart in Vineyard, Loire Valley x24loire

Many of the roads we cycled along were departmental roads or routes communales and both were often little more than farm tracks, though most were metalled. We met little traffic, sometimes cycling for an hour or more without seeing a car or tractor. Farmers were still working with horses on a number of fields, mainly vineyards that we passed.

A main road, Indre-et-Loire d30loire

Many of the departmental routes pass through small villages and the street above was wider than many (I think it is somewhere east of Orleans, but let me know if you recognise it.) Often there were children walking out into the street who would shout encouragement to the two mad cyclists passing through. The Tour de France had just ended and cycle-mania was at its peak. Sometimes kids on bikes would try to race us, puffing noisily as they struggled past before turning off and stopping while we continued at a steady pace for perhaps another 30 or 40 miles.

There were also other cyclists, without luggage and dressed for the Tour on lightweight racing bikes (which mine had once been before I replaced its narrow tubular tires with sturdier versions on wheels with wider rims and twice the weight.) Struggling up a hill well behind me, Linda suddenly felt pedalling much easier and she began to accelerate, and at the summit a rider let go of her saddle and waved a cheery ‘au revoir’. Much less welcome were the dogs who chased us through some farms, and a couple of times I had to pull the aluminium cycle pump from the frame to beat them away.

River Thouet Montreuil-Bellay k29loire

Some of the chateaux were remarkably out of some Gothic fairly tale, such as Montreuil-Bellay above the River Thouet, where I expected to see knights on horses with lances or perhaps even unicorns, but was disappointed.

Loire Valley x26loire
Near Angers – but let me know if you know exactly where it is.

And should you feel moved to emulate us after seeing these pictures, one small road safety tip. It really is better to ride on the right (as having pressed the shutter I raced to tell Linda), though with roads as empty as this one it wasn’t a real problem.

More on Flickr at 1975 Loire Valley Bike Tour.


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.


Another Road Trip

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020
Near Saumur k38loire

I’ve spent much of the last week cycling up the Loire Valley, though unfortunately only virtually, though the weather would have been great for the real thing, but perhaps not my legs. Surprisingly almost all of the back roads we chose, some little more than farm tracks, are on Google’s Streetview and seem little altered from 45 years ago, with the roads almost as empty.

In reality I’ve made a few short and pleasant cycle rides and walks but mainly been stuck in front of a computer removing dust and other blemishes from scans of slides I took in 1975 and trying to work out where I took the various scenes they show.

Now around 160 pictures and some text are on Flickr from what was the first real photographic project that I made. Here is the introduction and a few of my favourite images.

Windmill, Patouillet xxxxloire

1975 Loire Valley Bike Ride

In 1975 Linda and I decided to have a cycling holiday in the Loire Valley in France, first cycling from Staines to Seaford where my father was then living, then taking the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry, a train to Paris and then another train to Angers.

The holiday had taken many hours of planning the route, reading books from the library, poring over 1/200,000 scale Michelin maps (1cm = 2km or approximately 1″=3 miles) and booking hotels in suitable stopping points by letter and telephone.

Unfortunately none of the books had told us that while then on British Rail you could simply turn up and put your bike in the guard’s van (part of a carriage on most passenger services), this was not how it was done in France. It took a lot of argument when we arrived in Dieppe around midnight before with much shrugging of shoulders SNCF workers let me lift them onto the Paris train.

Cycling across Paris at 6am was also a little nerve-wracking, particularly across the Place de la Concorde where there seemed to be no road markings and traffic came from every direction. For the next stage we went to the SNCF office at Gare Montparnasse to deposit our bikes, paying for them to be carried to Angers.

River Louet, nr Denée Maine-et-Loire xxB31loire

Riding through the Loire valley was a delight, and the weather was good. Most of the roads we took were empty, and French drivers generally treat cyclists much more considerately than in the UK. The hotels were all good too – and made sure our bikes were safe overnight – they spent one night in a ballroom. The Tour de France was just coming to its end, and kids on the village streets often stopped to shout ‘Allez!, Allez!’ and ‘Eddy Merckx!’ as we passed, though our pace, particularly on the hillier sections was considerably slower.

This had been planned as a photographic trip and I produced a dual projector slide-tape presentation on it for a competition in a photographic magazine, my first and only, for which I was woefully ill-equipped in terms of projection and sound recording. But they had supplied me with a slab of Kodachrome for the job, and I had an Olympus OM1 and several lenses, a 28mm, 50mm and one of the earliest consumer 70-200mm (or so) zoom lenses, which I sold after this trip deciding it didn’t quite come up to my standards.

Chênehutte k11loire

Working for the presentation meant I had to work in landscape format only, though I did also take some portrait format images for myself. I worked entirely in colour, but putting them on Flickr I accidently turned one to black and white and rather liked it, so left it. It also very much influenced the subject matter, perhaps for the better as otherwise I might have stopped and used all the film in the first of many roadside villages we passed. Cycle touring is better for photography than going by car as you can stop almost wherever you want and get a far better view around you at its slower pace. But photographers really need to walk.

Most of the Kodachrome slides have aged well, though some have acquired a strong orange colour cast and I was unable to get acceptable images from their scans. The slides were all cleaned before scanning but some still took considerable retouching to remove larger dust spots (and the smaller ones are still there but not obtrusive.)

Chateau, Sully-sur-Loire h20loire

Unfortunately I cannot at the moment find the detailed notes I made at the time and few of the images are captioned on the slide mounts. I’ve been able to recognise the locations for many of them, but others are presented with more generic captions and are presented on Flickr very roughly in the order in which they were taken – where known.

Most are still in their original Kodachrome card mounts, which crop considerably and have annoying rounded corners which I have removed from the scans, along with the many fibres straying from the card at the picture edges. Like many photographers I could never understand why Kodak made what many regarded as the best of all transparency films but mounted the processed slides worse than any other processor. The 200 or so slides I could find, less than half of those I took, are probably an rough edit made at the time, and for Flickr I’ve mainly just removed near-duplicate images and a few that were impossible to restore.

1975 Loire Valley Bike Tour on Flickr.


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.


Page 3

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

I hope it will not disappoint anyone that this is only a post about the third page of my pictures from 1986 on Flickr! Though rather more than usual for me at that time do include people, I think all of them are fully dressed.

All of the pictures on this page are from the East End – Bethnal Green, Stepney, Globe Town, Mile End, Whitechapel, Old Ford, and I think a few in Hackney, though when walking the streets it isn’t always clear which area or even which borough you are in, though the street signs often tell you this. Nearly all of these pictures were taken in Tower Hamlets in June 1986.

104 Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 104 Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets86-6b-52_2400

I stopped to talk to this man fairly early on a Sunday morning, when he was sitting quite happily on the steps of a house, which I think was empty and derelict, though it did have an empty milk bottle on it, as well as his larger bottle of what I think was cider. He had taken his shoes off and it was a pleasantly warm morning and we had a short chat before I asked if he minded if I took his picture. I think he was actually quite pleased to be photographed, and I was pleased to take his picture, though I would have photographed the house without him.

Sima Tandoori, Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 86-6b-34_2400

I was photographing this shopfront too when these two young men came out from inside to be in the picture too – and they do improve it, adding a little asymmetry. I think I may have gone back a few weeks later and posted a copy of the picture through the door, as I often did when I’d photographed people, but I’m not sure. If not, perhaps they will see it now on Flickr.

Globe International Autos, Cephas St, Globe Town, Tower Hamlets 86-6e-63_2400

Another business I photographed on several occasions was ‘Globe International Autos!’, whose frontage had some extensive painting, and again I was asked to take their picture by two men working there. There are four pictures of the business on this page, two at times when it was closed.

Print workers march to Wapping, Mile End Rd, Stepney, Tower Hamlets 86-6b-63_2400

Back in the 1980s I wasn’t photographing protests, or at least only those which I was taking part in against racism, South African apartheid and nuclear weapons. I didn’t go to Wapping to photograph the year long “Wapping dispute” by print workers after Murdoch moved printing from Fleet St to a new factory there, ending ‘hot-metal’ printing and replacing it by new computer-based offset litho. Murdoch sacked around 6000 printers after the union refused to accept redundancy for 90% of the workers with flexible working, a no-strike clause, the adoption of new technology and the end of the closed shop.

Although Murdoch had been both devious and brutal, I’d known some in the print and something of the “Spanish Practices” that were apparently widespread in Fleet St. While as a trade unionist (and at the time a trade union rep) I supported the workers who had been extremely badly treated it was clear that change was inevitable.

Bishops Way, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6g-66_2400

A rather more upbeat picture was I think of workers enjoying a lunch-break kick-about in an alley just off the Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green.

"Woman and Fish", Frank Dobson, Cambridge Heath Road, Globe Town, Tower Hamlets 86-6e-43_2400

And the closest I came to a ‘Page 3’ picture were a couple of images of Frank Dobson’s “Woman and Fish” on the Cambridge Heath Road in Globe Town. The sculpture had been placed in Frank Dobson Square at the junction with Cephas St on the edge of the Cleveland Estate. Dobson (1886 – 1963) was born and worked extensively in London and the square to commemorate him was made by the London County Council the year he died, with the sculpture at its centre, one of several versions he made in 1951 (another rather uglier one is in Delapre Gardens, Northampton.)

Originally it was a fountain, with water emerging from the moth of the fish, but it was vandalised in 1977 and restored without water. It was restored again after various further vandalisations in 1979 and 1983 and had to be removed completely when restoration was impossible in 2002. A bronze replica by Antonio Lopez Reche in 2006 is now in Millwall Park, Isle of Dogs.

Unfortunately much of Dobson’s work remaining in his studio at the time of his death was destroyed by his widow because of its erotic content, but one of his finest works, London Pride is outside the National Theatre in London.

1986 Complete – Page 2

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
Varden St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets 86-5d-11_2400

Images in this post are embedded from Flickr where you can view them at a large size by clicking on the image. You will need to use your browser back button to return to this post. Or you can right-click and select ‘Open link in new tab’.

My album 1986 London Photographs is now complete on Flickr, and this is the second of a short series of posts pointing out a few of my favourite images from the year.

Fashion St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets 86-4r-16_2400

Several things come out strongly to me as I look through these pictures, mostly taken around Brick Lane and other areas of Whitechapel. One of the major themes that has run through much of my photography is the writing on the wall, whether graffiti or signs and posters. Language is such an important aspect of our social interactions and its inclusion in these images makes them into a record of how people lived and thought.

Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets 86-5a-01_2400

In 1984 London was rapidly becoming the multicultural city we now know, though of course it had been so on a lesser scale for many years if not centuries. Spitalfields where some of these pictures were made had long been a home for new communities moving to London and there was still abundant evidence of its Jewish population as well as the Bangladeshis who had by then largely replaced them.

Commercial Rd, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets 86-5c-64_2400

Housing, then as now, was an important issue in London in particular, and some of these pictures reflect this and other issues such as racism. Although I think some of these pictures are well-composed and even attractive compositionally, I’ve always considered the formal aspects – line, shape, tone, texture, form etc to be the means to communicate a message rather than an end in themselves. I aimed to make photography that had something to say and said it well rather than to produce well composed, attractive or even striking or popular images.

Limehouse, Tower Hamlets 86-5h-66_2400

There are another 95 pictures on the second page of the album, all with a location, taken from the usually rather incomplete information I recorded on the contact sheets. I’ve tried to check these before posting, but corrections and other comments are always welcome. I’m happy for these pictures – with suitable attribution – to be shared on social media, but they remain copyright and any commercial or editorial use requires a licence from me.


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.


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