Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

Regent’s Canal 200 Years at UCH

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Regent’s Canal 200 Years at UCH – As this post goes online today, Thursday 7th April 2022 I am helping with the hanging of a dozen of my pictures, half of a joint show, Myths & Realities, with artist Hilary Rosen at The Street Gallery in University College Hospital on Euston Road.

Regent's Canal 200 Years at UCH

The show was due to open in March 2020 as we went into Covid lockdown, and although now our government seems to think Covid is all done with, others know better and there are still restrictions in place in hospitals, so we are unable to host an opening. And although you are very welcome to visit the show you will need to make an appointment by emailing guy.noble@nhs.net at UCH. Both Hilary and I have invitation cards and are handing out copies to people we meet as well as sending some by post and more electronically – and the two images show both sides of mine. I’m very sorry I won’t be able to see you all there.

Regent's Canal 200 Years at UCH

Below is a little more about my project which is in the show. As well as the 12 pictures on the wall at UCH I have put a larger group including these in an online album, Regent’s Canal 200 Years.

Regents Canal 2020: Maida Hill Tunnel entrance 03-20190717-d028

The Regent’s Canal was opened in 1820 to connect the inland canal system to the River Thames at Limehouse, so 2020 was its 200th anniversary. To commemorate this I began a series of colour panoramas along the canal for an exhibition in March-April 2020 at The Street Gallery in University College Hospital London, half of a joint show, ‘2020 Vision – Vistas and Views’ with artist Hilary Rosen. Unfortunately this show had to be postponed due to COVID-19, but has now been rescheduled with the title ‘Myths & Realities’ for 8th April 2022– 18th May 2022 at The Street Gallery, University College Hospital, 235 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2BU.

Regents Canal 2020: Lisson Grove 06-20190717-d0218

I first photographed the Regent’s Canal in 1979 and have taken many pictures along it over the years since then. I began my work for ‘Regent’s Canal 2020’ early in 2019 and made around eight visits in the following 12 months, producing several hundred images, of which 43 are online.

Regents Canal 2020: Camden High St13-20190308-d0708

These images have an extremely wide angle of view, is roughly similar to the entire field of human vision and to record this on a camera and in print requires a move away from normal rectilinear perspective. They use a cylindrical perspective which retains vertical lines and edges as straight lines but shows other straight lines (except those passing through the image centre) with varying curvature, more pronounced towards the edges of the image. I’ve worked with various equipment in this way since around 1991 when I first bought a specialised panoramic camera.

Lyme Terrace, Camden 16-20190821-d0235

Exhibiting on-line enables me to show more images than the 12 I had selected and printed for the UCLH show. They are presented in the order of a walk from Little Venice where the Regent’s Canal leaves the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, a pleasant walk of around 9 miles (with a couple of diversions for tunnels) which can easily be done in a day if you are not stopping to make pictures.

Regents Canal 2020: St Pancras Lock and Gasholder Park 19-20190821-d0081

All images are available either as unframed C-Type photographs (image size approximately 16×9″ or 16×10.5″) at £220, as 40x60cm latex prints on canvas (£200) or as 40x60cm dye sublimation prints on canvas (£220). Dye sublimation prints are less intense and carry the image in the canvas, while latex inks sit on the canvas surface and give a more photographic effect.

Regents Canal 2020: Mare St, Hackney 34-20190411-d0238

Peter Marshall Regent’s Canal 200 Years.


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Bow, Kingsly Hall, a Nursery, Grime, Quakers & more

Sunday, March 13th, 2022

This post continues from my previous post on this walk by me on 1st August 1988, Coventry Cross, Gandhi, Graffiti, Drag Balls …

Stroudley Walk, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-21-Edit_2400
Stroudley Walk, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-21

The buildings of the Diary and the Rose & Crown are still standing at the north end of Stroudley Walk where it meets the end of Bromley High St, but the closed diary became Hussains Convenience Store and then Jalalabad Grocers and half is now a mobile phone repair shop.

The Rose & Crown had opened here around 1720, as the Bowling Green Inn, though the building here is from the 1880s. It closed in 2007, was boarded up for some years before reopening around 2014 as a coffee bar and fast food restaurant.

This was formerly the north end of Devons Road, and a sign for this painted on the brickwork at the left of the pub had virtually disappeared when I made this picture in 1988. Later repainted it has now almost disappeared again.

Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-25-Edit_2400
Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-25

I wrote more about Kingsley Hall and the sisters Muriel and Doris Lester in the previous post on this walk. They used a legacy from their younger brother Kingsley to set up a house where they lived in relative poverty and served the neighbourhood as well as campaigning for peace and justice across the world. A plaque on the building records that Mahatma Gandhi lived in a small cabin here during his three month stay attending a government conference as a representative of the Indian National Congress. You can read and see more about his visit and the sisters on the Muriel Lester web site.

This image gives a better view of the whole building, which dates from 1928. It faces the Devons Estate, built for the London County Council in 1949 and described by Pevsner as being in their ‘pre-war manner, but with all the drabness of post-war austerity‘. Those moved from slums into its maisonettes and flats would have taken a far more positive view and the estate was solidly built and well-designed to the standards of the day.

Clyde House, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow,  Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-26-Edit_2400
Clyde House, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-26

Clyde House is still there at 46 Bruce Road, looking in rather better condition now. Built in 1884 it appears to have been built as a pair with its double-fronted neighbour at 48.

Children's House, Nursery School, , Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow,  Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-11-Edit_2400
Children’s House, Nursery School, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-11

Sisters Muriel and Doris Lester helped to set up the Children’s House on Bruce Road 1923. Doris had trained as a teacher and they commissioned Charles Cowles-Voysey to design a building based on Maria Montessori’s ideal learning environment for young children. The school was opened in 1923 by H G Wells and is still a school, run by Tower Hamlets Council.

Inside there is a 12 metre mural painted in 1935 by Eve Garnett, the illustrator, artist and writer of the first children’s book about working class characters, The Family from One End Street, in 1937. There is now a campaign to save and restore the mural which is dirty and damaged and the web site is asking for donations to pay for this.

Regent Square, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8a-15-Edit_2400
Regent Square, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-15

The Crossways Estate, built in 1970 was apparently at the time known as the ‘Pride of Bow’, for its three 25 storey towers and a low rise block, Holyhead Close, built over the railway line. Later it was more prosaically referred to as the ‘three flats.’

It was here that Grime developed in 2003, after Rinse FM squatted in a flat and broadcast illegally from here, and it was also where Dizzee Rascal and others grew up.

Like many council developments the area around the estate was hard to navigate, with walkways and roads often not shown on maps. My contact sheet says ‘Regent Square and gives grid reference 375827 for the first of the five images I made. The three towers were Hackworth Point, Mallard Point and Priestman Point and are on Rainhill Way.

And also like many council estates, it was subjected to a policy of ‘managed decline’ and by 1999 was in a very poor state, so bad its demolition was under consideration. Tower Hamlets decided to retain and refurbish the estate which passed to Swan Homes after a residents ballot in 2005. Its towers now refurbished and clad more brightly this is now the Bow Cross Estate.

Bow Church, station, DLR,  Crossways estate, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-56-Edit_2400
Bow Church, station, DLR, Crossways estate, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-56

The ‘three flats’ seen from Bow Road and Bow Church DLR station which opened on 31 August 1987.

Mornington Grove, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-61-Edit_2400
Mornington Grove, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-61

Mornington Grove not only gets a mention in the London 5: East volume of Pevsner (p619) which describes these houses as “unusually grand for the area” but also has an extensive web site covering its history by Ken Ward, a resident in the street, from which this information is extracted – and which has far more detail. And it really is an interesting history – if you have the time do click the link and read more.

The land of a nursery here was bought by the Quaker meeting in Ratcliff in 1812, and houses on Mornington Road were developed by them from 1854-1889 – those on the east side in this picture being among the later development. Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington was the son of the first Earl of Mornington, and the fourth Earl lived nearby on the north side of Bow Road.

Many of the houses in Mornington Road were compulsory purchased and demolished for the Whitehapel and Bow Railway (later the District Line) and others by World War II bombing of what had in 1939 been renamed Mornington Grove. Under the Quakers, at least 5/7th of the rents of the houses went to the support of the poor.

Most of the houses in the street, by then under multiple occupation, were sold by the Quakers to a housing association in 1980, becoming social housing, though many have now been sold off.


More from Bow in the next post from my walk in 1988. You can see larger versions of any of these pictures by clicking on the image which will take you to my album 1988 London Pictures from where you can browse.


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Anti-Putin protests over Ukraine and Syria 2014

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

Anti-Putin protests over Ukraine and Syria 2014. On 22 Feb 2014 the small regular protest opposite the Russian Embassy in Kensington was joined by several hundred Ukrainians supporting the Maidan coup in their country and calling for an end to Russian interference in the Ukraine.

Ukrainian Orthodox priests lead a service of mourning for those killed in the Maidan revolution

President Yanukovych was removed from his post by a vote in the Ukraine parliament on the 22 Feb, although he called the vote illegal as it did not follow the procedures of the Ukrainian Constitution. He fled as the new government raised criminal proceedings against him.

Syrians were also protesting against Putin opposite the Russian Embassy

There were Antimaidan protests in Ukraine, particularly in the southern and eastern areas, and there was considerable public support in the Crimea for the invasion by Russian troops which began on 26th February. There appears to have been considerable public support in the Crimea for the Russian action and a referendum, declared illegal by the EU and USA, on Crimea joining the Russian Federation had an official turnout of 83% and resulted in a 96% vote in favour.

Ukrainians march from a nearby cultural centre to the Russian embassy

On 22 Feb 2014, deputies at the Congress of the Southern and Eastern regions declared, accordint to Wikipedia, they were “ready to take responsibility for protecting constitutional order in their territory” and they rejected the authority of the Ukraine government. Demonstrations and clashes followed with opinion polls showing most people rejecting both the regional and national governments as illegitimate but fairly equally divided as to which they supported and separatist militia took control of large areas.

The Minsk summit in February 2015 brought a ceasefire between the Ukraine government and the militias but has failed to unite the country. When I drafted this post a few days ago Russian forces were massed on the borders of Ukraine and it seemed inevitable some would soon cross the border to come to the aid of their comrades in the breakaway areas as they now appear to be doing.

Fortunately I don’t suffer the same hawkish advisers as NATO – or at least like to add a pinch of salt as they more or less monopolise the BBC airwaves. This isn’t a second Cuba missile crisis (and I remember that vividly) but may possibly bring some resolution to an unsatisfactory situation in the area which the West has failed to properly grapple with since Minsk. At least I hope so. Nobody – not even the Russians – wants another war, and it would be disasatrous for the Ukraine.

Russia has interpreted (probably correctly) the large flow of arms and training by the west into the country as a build up for a Ukrainian government attack to retake Eastern Ukraine – where apparently over 600,000 people are of Russian heritage and still have Russian passports. It still it seems most likely to me that the Russian action will be confined to establishing clear borders for the breakway republics rather than a full-scale invasion of the country, and the end result will be a smaller but more united Ukraine in the remaining areas.

If Russia remains inside the new republics it has recognised, the Ukraine that remains, like the protesters in 2014, will be a strongly Orthodox country. After the protest opposite the Russian embassy they left and marched to the statue of St Volodymyr, ruler of Ukraine 980-1015, erected by Ukrainians on the corner of Holland Park in 1988 to celebrate the establishment of Christianity in Ukraine by St Volodymyr in 988.

The statue was surrounded by flowers, photographs and tributes with hundreds of burning candles to the many pro-opposition protesters who have been killed in Kiev and elsewhere in the Ukraine. Two Ukrainian Orthodox priests presided at a service to remember all those who have died to establish a free and independent Ukraine.

More about the 2014 protests in London on My London Diary:
Ukrainians Protest, Celebrate and Mourn
Syrian Peace Protest at Russian Embassy


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Hull City of Culture 2017

Saturday, February 19th, 2022

Hull City of Culture 2017. I spent a few days in Hull in February 2017, while the city was celebrating its year as UK City of Culture.

Hull was important to me in my early years as a photographer, and was also where my wife grew up, and we made our trip partly to celebrate her birthday in the city, as well as for a little promotion of my photographs from the 1970s and 80s and also to work on a new photographic project.

I had my first – and still my largest – one person show in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery in 1983, and much later self-published a book, Still Occupied: A View of Hull 1977-85. It’s still available, but at a silly price – and for some reason the hardcover imagewrap version is now cheaper than the paperback version. I’d always suggest getting the PDF version at £4.50, as the images are at just a tad better quality than in print and good enough to make a print should you wish (and I’ll pardon any small breaches of copyright.) The book has around 270 black and white photographs, some reproduced rather small, on its 120 pages. First published in 2011 it was republished with minor corrections to captions for the 2017 Hull UK City of Culture.

Two rather more reasonably priced 36 page black and white booklets were later published by Cafe Royal Books, one on the River Hull, and the second, The Streets of Hull. I promised another on the docks but have not yet got around to it.

Hull from The Deep

I also set up a new web site on Hull for its year as City of Culture, finding much to my surprise that the domain hullphotos.co.uk was still available. I began this with a couple of hundred pictures at the end of 2016 and then added one every day through the whole of 2017. There are now over 600 black and white images on the site. A search of my images on Flickr reveals rather more than twice as many, including a large number in colour.

The Blade in front of City Hall

I had some disappointments during the 5 days I was in Hull in February 2017, and I found many other photographers and others in Hull who were also upset at the lack of opportunities the year had provided for local artists, instead concentrating on buying in talent from elsewhere. There is no shortage of talent in Hull and it would have been good for more of it to be showcased during the year. Plans for a small exhibition of my own work unfortunately fell through.

Self-portrait by gas light in Nellie’s in Beverley

But it was a good 5 days, with plenty to do and to seem and I was pleased with some of the panoramas I was able to make, though I’ve not yet got around to creating a show of these together with my old black and whites from the same locations. We also enjoyed a family celebration of Linda’s birthday,

Scale Lane footbridge

The pictures in this post were all taken on Sunday 19th February 2017, where I got up fairly early for a long walk in the area close to the River Hull before meeting family for lunch, then took a bus to Beverley, where we walked around the town before having a drink in Nellie’s, one of the country’s more remarkable pubs and then catching the bus back to Hull, and then walking back through an empty city to the house we were staying in on the Victoria Dock estate.

Here’s the full list of links to our five days in Hull:
Hull 2017 City of Culture
    Sculcoates & River Hull
    City Centre & Beverley Rd
    Ropery St & St Mark’s Square
    St Andrew’s Dock
    Hessle Rd
    Gipsyville
    Beverley and Nellie’s
    Around the Town
    The Deep
    More Hull Panoramic
    Wincolmlee and Lime St
    Evening in the City
    Old Town
    A ride on Scale Lane Bridge
    Around the City Centre
    Hullywood Opening
    East Hull & Garden Village
    Albert Dock
    Old Town & City Centre
    River Hull
    Night in the Old Town
    Victoria Dock Promenade


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Fathers 4 Justice

Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Fathers 4 Justice was a group begun in 2001 by marketing consultant Matt O’Connor to “champion the causes of equal parenting, family law reform, and equal contact for divorced parents with children.” The pictures here come from their protest in London’s West End on 18th December 2004

Between 2002 and 2008 members carried out a number of high-profile stunts which hit national headlines to promote their cause, the first of which saw a small group led by O’Connor storming the Lord Chancellor’s Office dressed as Father Christmas in December 2002. They went on to climb cranes and buildings including Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace dressed as superheroes, to carry out a ‘citizens arrest’ on the Minister for Children, throw bags of purple flour at Tony Blair in the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Questions and more.

Although protests continued after 2008, there was a split in the group with O’Connor officially closing the group and others setting up New Fathers For Justice. And although both groups continued to carry out publicity stunts, these have gained less and less publicity.

The activities of these groups perhaps have had some effect, with increasing attention being turned on the activities of our secretive Family Courts, and some small and continuing moves toward transparency.

However the 2014 Children and Families Bill which it was hoped would improve the situation was watered down by a Lord’s amendment removing a legal presumption of automatic shared contact still failed to prevent obstructive parents who had been granted custody of childen preventing children from any meaningful relationship with absent parents.

Although they were called Fathers 4 Justice, there are also mothers who were separated unjustly from contact with their children. But overwhelming custody of children in the Family Courts goes to the mothers, some of whom make it impossible for fathers to have the access to their children which the court has specified, but fails to enforce.

The protest on 18th December 2004 involved several hundred men, women and children dressed in santa gear (and a couple of individualists, including a young spiderman), a band, and a large and unwieldy balloon and hundreds of smaller ones parading peacefully around the West End. Their placards read ‘Put the Father Back Into Xmas’.

In 2005 I photographed two further protests by the group. In October Wakey Wakey Mr Blair, a ‘pyjama protest’ with those taking part asked to wear their jim jams, slippers and dressing gown, bring their hot water bottles, teddy bears and even their beds calling for overnight stays for children with their dads after separation and then in December 2005 24 Days of Christmas Chaos, when again Santas came to London to protest, this time at the Church of England Offices, Department of Education & Skills and Downing St on their way to the Royal Courts of Justice.

Swanscombe Peninsula 2021

Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Pilgrims Rd (DS31)

A couple of days ago I walked around the Swanscombe peninsula together with two photographer friends and took some more pictures of the area.

Footpath (DS12)

I first went to Swanscombe back in 1985 as a part of my project on lower Thameside and in particular the area close to the river between Dartford and Cliffe. The area between the main road and the Thames had been one of a chalk hill leading to marshes, and the chalk had largely been quarried years ago after the invention of Portland Cement, with major factories producing it in Stone, Swanscombe and Northfleet.

By 1985, only the Northfleet factory was still in production, with just a few largely ruined buildings of the Swanscombe factory still standing. The ancient pathway of Pilgrims Road, by then just a footpath, ran down from the main road to the marsh on a narrow section of chalk which remained., and the floor of the former quarry to the east of this was occupied by various industrial sites.

Then you could wander fairly freely across the marsh where there were still the clear traces of its its former industrial use, with relics from the overhead cable and conveyor belt which took materials from the jetty to the works, and various heaps of waste materials. There are still a few sections of the railway lines that lead to the jetty, but much more of the land is now either fenced off or has recent notices prohibiting access.

There are several public footpaths through the area, and we took a route along most of them, although a part of one near the jetty appears to have been blocked and needed a slight detour. A new route going east beside the jetty and then alongside the river to the saltings had been approved as a part of the England Coast Path “from Autumn 2021” and we walked along this section of it, although I’m not sure if it is as yet officially open.

Although we took care not to go past any of the notices marking areas a private, we did find at one point as we walked past a notice that it claimed the track we had just been walking on was private. But by then it was too late, although of course we were doing no harm by walking along this unfenced path. One of the public footpaths (DS12) has a short section that is now totally overgrown, and we had to push our way through a few yards of rather boggy reeds to keep within its fenced route. We ended out walk at Greenhithe, which had two pubs but virtually no beer or food and caught the train to Darford for a meal.

Since 2021 the area has been under threat of a planned development as London Resort, 535 acres of a “world class, sustainable, next generation entertainment resort on the bank of the River Thames” and a kind of London equivalent to Disneyland, with a theme park, hotels with 3,500 beds, jetties on both the north and south bank of the river and a new road connection from the A2.

Although this would provide new jobs, there has been considerable opposition to the scheme, particularly as it would threaten the huge diversity – the area is home to many plant species and bees, butterflies, beetles, cuckoos and marsh lizards, more than any other brownfield site in the UK, and is one of only two places where the critically dendangered Distinguished jumping spider (Attulus distinguendus) is found. Following a request by the Save Swanscombe Marshes campaign the area was declared a site of special scientific intrest (SSSI) by Natural England who describled it as “one of the richest known sites in England for invertebrates”.

Many new housing estates have been developed in the surrounding areas since 1985 and others are likely to be built on various quarry areas in the region. It would be a great shame to lose this important area of green riverside space to the proposed development. Leisure doesn’t need theme parks.

More pictures on Facebook at Swanscombe October 2021.


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Hackney Wick (1)

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Waterden Rd, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1982 32z-65_2400

Thinking about the New Year – or about the past one – simply makes me feel angry and depressed, and though I started to write something I couldn’t finish it. There is plenty of stuff already on the web and in print about it. So I decided to continue writing and posting pictures about my project from the 1980s on the Lea Valley. And so to Hackney Wick.

Eastway/Waterden Rd, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1982 32z-66_2400

Not that Hackney Wick presented an encouraging face back in 1982. It had been an important industrial area in previous years, but now industry was in terminal decline, with Thatcher abandoning the idea of manufacturing in favour of services, accelerating its decay, driving to a post-industrial future.

Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1982 32k-31_2400

There was a bleakness too in the Greater London Council’s Trowbridge Estate, with its seven 21 storey blocks completed between 1965 and 1969. It provided much-needed housing but by the 1980s was showing evidence of neglect, but there was still considerable local opposition to the series of demolitions which began in 1985 three years after I took this picture in 1982. By 1987 three blocks had been demolished, and they were all gone by 1996, with some spectacular pictures and video being taken of some of them being blown up – not always very effectively.

Hackney Stadium, Waterden Rd, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1982 32z-52_2400

Hackney Greyhound Stadium only finally closed in 1997, but was struggling for some years. Going to the dogs had gone out of fashion. It had begun in the UK in the late 1920s, an import from the USA where it had started in California in 1919, and its heyday was in the 1930s, with the Hackney Wick Stadium having its first race meeting on April 8th 1932. Later the stadium was also used for Speedway and Midget Car racing. I never went to Hackney Stadium and my only visit to dog racing was by mistake at Wimbledon Stadium around 1960 where I went on several occasions with a friend who was a speedway fan, and one week he got the dates mixed. I didn’t enjoy it.

BRONCO, British Patent Perforated Paper Co, Atlas Works, Berkshire Road, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1982 32k-46_2400

Among the many products which previous generations relied on Hackney Wick for was toilet paper, which for many years was made at the Atlas Works by the British Patent Perforated Company, better known as Bronco. We now live in softer times and their less porous and more hygenic product went out of favour. This was first patented in the USA in 1870, but Hackney Wick can claim to be the source of many inventions.

Wallis Rd, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1983 36n-44_2400

Before Bronco, the Atlas Works were home to dyestuffs company Brooke Simpson Spiller who had taken over the company set up by the founder of the synthetic dyestuff industry William Henry Perkin. There they employed several of the leading organic chemists of the late 19th century who developed a number of new dyes. My own very brief and much less illustrious career as an industrial chemist also began (and very soon ended) in dyestuffs, but at a west London company – and the lab there was still using some samples signed on the bottle by Perkin himself.

Queens Yard, Whitepost Lane, Hackney Wick, Tower Hamlets, 1992 92-8d26_2400

It was in Hackney Wick that the first synthetic plastic, Parkesine was manufactured, and where oil distillers Carless, Capel & Leonard marketed the first product to be given the name Petrol, and also where dry-cleaning came to the UK thanks to Achille Serre. But the largest and best-known of the Wick’s industries was Clarnico (until 1946 Clarke, Nickolls,Coombs until 1946) who opened a jam factory here in 1879 and went on to produce many well-known sweets – a total of over 700 varieties – in what became the largest sugar confectionary factory in Britain, but closed in 1973. You can read about it at the Wick Curiousity Shop site, which also has a photograph of me and a few from my web site.

Kings Yard, Carpenters Road, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1992 92-8d15_2400

Other products from the Wick you may have eaten include Fray Bentos pies, produced here by a part of the huge Vestey meat company from 1958. The pie business was sold on to Brooke Bond, acquired by Unilever and finally sold to Campbell’s Soup in 1993, when they promptly moved production away from Hackney.

More from Hackney Wick in another post.


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.


Montreuil, Paris

Saturday, November 14th, 2020
Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-56-Edit_2400

Montreuil is of course not Paris, not inside the old walls or the modern municipality, but a commune at its eastern edge, only four miles from the centre of Paris, an ancient settlement now separated from the city by its modern wall, the Boulevard Périphérique. 

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-12-Edit_2400

I don’t now recall exactly where we stayed, somewhere a short walk from Robespierre (the Metro Station not the man) and just a little further from the RER at Vincennes.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-34-Edit_2400
Rue Douy Délcupe, Montreuil,

Long before the days of Airbnb we had leased a flat from a colleague of my brother-in-law’s wife who had gone south for a month in a gîte for August – like most of Paris. It was a spacious flat for its usual single occupant, but a little cramped for our family of four, and while the boys shared a bed, we slept on a mattress on the floor, which was comfortable enough.

88-8f-13-Edit_2400

Most days I went out for a walk before breakfast to buy bread and sometimes croissants, often with one of my sons, and always with a camera. Many of the bakers were closed for August and others took it in turns to be open for a week, making some of these walks a little longer, and I often diverted down streets that looked interesting.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-15-Edit_2400

We also went for family walks around the area, though on the first Monday of our visit went to a photo-booth to get portraits for the boys to get them their ‘Carte Orange (we still had cards from a previous visit) and then bought our ticket for what seemed a ridiculously cheap week of travel on the Metro system – I think little more than the cost of a day travelcard in London.

Montreuil / Vincennes, Paris 1988 88-8g1-64-Edit_2400

Once equipped with these we spent most of our time in Paris, but still occasionally walked around Montreuil on our way back to the flat or after our evening meal there rather than return to the city.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-11-Edit_2400

There are more pictures of Montreuil and other places in and around Paris in the album ‘Around Paris 1988‘ and clicking on the pictures above will take you to a larger version in the album, from where you can browse them others. The images here all come from the first day or two we were staying there and are all a short walk away from the flat. I’ll feature some more in later posts.


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.


Missing Paris

Thursday, November 12th, 2020
1984

I’m missing Paris. My first visit there was in 1966, when I spent a week or two in a Protestant student hostel a few miles south of the centre with my future wife – though in separate double rooms, each with another of the same sex – and students from around the mainly Francophone world. After breakfast each day we took the train for the short journey to the Left Bank and spent the day as tourists in the city and nearby attractions, though mainly just walking around the city as we were both still penniless students.

Paris 2008

We lunched outdoors in parks and squares, buying baguettes and stuffing them with chocolate or pate as we couldn’t afford cafes or bars, eating cheap fruit for afters. We went out of Paris to Versailles, where I managed to drop my camera in the lake as we climbed into a boat to row around the lake. The boatman fished it out and handed it back to me as we got out of the boat, rather obviously expecting a reward, but all I could afford was my thanks. The camera never worked reliably after that, and it was five years before I could afford to replace it.

We returned to the hostel for an evening meal, which introduced me to some very strange dishes – and I think one evening as a special treat we were given a kind of horsemeat stew; it tasted fine, but I’ve never sought to repeat the experience. After dinner we crowded into a room with the rest of the inhabitants to watch the games of the World Cup, though I’d gone home before the final.

Quai de Jemappes / Rue Bichat, 10e, Paris, 1984

It was some years before we could afford another foreign holiday – we’d spent our honeymoon in Manchester with a day trip to the Lake District, a visit to Lyme Park and some walks around Glossop. But in 1973 we were back for a couple of weeks in Paris, this time at a hostel in the centre and sharing a room. We took with us the Michelin Guide (in French) and I think followed every walk in the book, which took us to places most tourists never reach – it was then much more thorough than the later English versions.

Monmartre, 1973

In 1973 I had two cameras with me. A large and clunky Russian Zenith B with its 58mm f/2 Helios lens and a short telephoto, probably the 85mm f2 Jupiter 9, but also the more advanced fixed lens rangefinder Olympus SP, with its superb 42mm f1.7 lens, a simple auto exposure system as well as full manual controls. I needed my Weston Master V exposure meter to work with the Zenith. You can see more of the photographs I took on my Paris Photos web site. Some of these pictures were in my first published magazine portfoliolater in 1973.

It was a while before we returned to Paris, though we went through it by train on our way to Aix-en-Provence and on bicycles from between stations on our way to the Loire Valley in the following couple of years. Then came two children, and it was 1984 before we returned to the city with them when I came to photograph my ‘Paris Revisited‘ a homage to one of the great photographers of Paris, Eugene Atget, which you can see in the Blurb Book and its preview as well as on my Paris Web site.

Placement libre-atelier galerie, Paris 2012

We returned to the city several times later in the 1980s and 1990s, and more regularly after 2000, when I went in several Novembers for a week, usually with my wife, to visit the large Paris Photo exhibition as well as many other shows which took place both as a part of the official event and its fringe. One week there I went to over 80 exhibitions, including quite a few openings.

La Villette, Canal St Martin, 19e, Paris 1984-paris285
1988

But the last time I was in Paris was in November 2012. Partly because Paris Photo changed and there seemed to be less happening around it in the wider city than in previous years. We’d planned to go in 2015 but were put off by Charlie Hebdo shooting and later the November terrorist attack. More attacks in 2018 also put us off visiting France, but we’d promised ourselves a visit to Paris in 2020 – and then came the virus.

88-8l-54-Edit_2400
1988

While I’ve been stuck at home since March, I have been visting France virtually, going back to my slides taken in 1974 in the South of France, of our ride up the Loire Valley in 1975 and of Paris in 1984, all of which are now on Flickr. Most recently I’ve returned to Paris in 1988, with over 300 black and white pictures from Paris and some of its suburbs.


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.


Black Country DADA

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Please take a look at Brian Griffin’s Kickstarter project to produce a hardback volume of his autobiography from 1969-1990. Here is the first paragraph:

“I have written my autobiography ……yes I have written it myself! A hardback book of over 200 pages, with an insightful introduction by W. m. Hunt. It tells truthfully what it was like to survive and make ones way as a photographer in Britain back then. I tell the story through my personal experience of those tough times.”

Black Country Dada by Brian Griffin

Brian writes more on the project page, and of course there are some of his best-known images to illustrate the book, as well as some that I’ve not seen before. The book is expected to have 216 pages, professionally designed and edited by Cafeteria, a design agency based in Sheffield and roughly 10×8 inches in size, very appropriate for a photographic book.

If you’ve had the pleasure of attending one of his talks over the years – or rather I should call them performances – you will know that he is a great story-teller in words as well as images, and that he has some fabulous stories to tell, as well as an interesting taste in clothes.

I’ve written about Griffin’s work on several occasions, including about his show at the National Portrait Gallery of his London Olympic commission and the Paris opening of ‘The Black Country’.

The project needs £30,000 to be pledged by October 29th to go ahead, a daunting goal. As usual there are various levels of pledge, with perhaps the most popular likely to be £35, for which you will get a copy of the book, probably in February 2021, though shipping is extra, depending on your country – and seems a little expensive at £10 for the UK.

Higher amounts pledged qualify for extra rewards, including a signed poster, signed prints of various sizes, and at the top end, a special portfolio of 22 prints and a day-long portrait session with the photographer.

Black Country DADA on Kickstarter.


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.