Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Harold Evans

Friday, September 25th, 2020

Harold Evans, certainly one of the greatest newspaper men of the second half of the twentieth century and the early years of this, died aged 92 on 23 September 2020. Many obituaries have appeared about him in print and online, and there is little point in my repeating the details of his life.

One thing that his career does illustrate is the malevolent power of Rupert Murdoch and the undue influence of him (and other billionaire newspaper proprietors) on what we are allowed to read. Murdoch appointed Evans as Editor of The Times when he took over the newspaper group in 1981, but the following year Evans resigned because of policy differences relating to editorial independence.

Like many photographers I have a well-used copy of his 1978 book ‘Pictures On A Page‘ written when he was Editor of The Sunday Times and in association with the paper’s Design Director Edwin Taylor. It was Book IV in a series of 5 volumes in the series by Evans, Editing And Design, “Published under the auspices of the National Council for the Training of Journalists“. It was a work I made extensive use of when I taught photography. It’s worth reading if you have any interest in photography or being a photographer, not simply for journalists.

I never met Evans, but Graham Harrison did, and on his Photohistories site is a fine piece on the man and the book Harold Evans and Pictures on a Page which I firmly recommend you to read.

The book has gone through several editions and revisions since its original publication and if you don’t already have a copy is well worth buying. You can find later editions secondhand for around a fiver as well as rather more expensively, though I’ve not found anything to match the £5,710.07 plus delivery that Harrison found on Amazon in 2015.


More West End 1987

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
Dover St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-35-positive_2400

I can offer little explanation for this rather sad looking bust, odd cup and plates which my contact sheet says I photographed in Dover St. I think the odd cup in the foreground is actually an extremely naff clock, with the lower snake’s head pointing to the hour and the upper head to a disk showing minutes. In the unlikely event it was working I took this picture at around 11.58. What it lacks is a rod coming out of the top with an arm holding a small bird or fly whizzing around for the seconds.

I guess the guy in the background could be Titus or Vespasian; most of the other Emperors had fancier hair, at least in their busts. This one looks around life-size and could well be the sculptor’s grandfather but more likely a copy of an older figure. From the number of similar busts around I have a picture of circles of student sculptors around a bust in a gallery at perhaps the V&A, each chipping away at a block of marble as an exam piece. Whoever did this one would have deserved a decent grade.

Berkeley St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-56-positive_2400

More sculptures with two young stone ladies pretending to hold up a porch in Berkeley St. It looks a rather boring job. But although both seem to be scratching their heads they don’t appear to be putting a great deal of effort into it.

Ukrainian RC Cathedral, Duke St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-24-positive_2400

Whenever I see this building it amazes me that this gaudy and extravagant edifice was built as a Congregational Church, the King’s Weighouse Church, built in 1889-91 to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse, better known for his Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Congregationalists are Puritans, tracing their heritage back to the Brownists and the London Underground Church of the 1560s. Rejecting the ecclesiastical trappings at the centre of the Anglican Church – cathedrals, bishops, vestments, formal liturgies, priests, the sign of the cross and more – they espoused a simple austere faith based on the priesthood of all believers.

Of course over the years there was some back-tracking. But most Congregational church buildings remained suitable austere, often with at least a hint of the Classical – and some did it very finely but without great ornament. Sadly their practices deteriorated to the extent of allowing church choirs, though these consisted of adult members who considered they could sing, and organs. But as someone raised in the tradition (though no longer involved) I still fine the ornate nature of this building surprising.

Perhaps it was becuase the King’s Weighouse came from an older – and Royal tradition, tracing its ancestry back to Queen Matilda’s ‘Free Chapel’ at the Tower of London, founded by her in 1148 and not subject to the rule of any bishop. When the 1662 Act of Uniformity made the Book of Common Prayer and other aspects of Anglican practice compulsory almost the entire congregation left and shortly after began to worship as an independent congregation in an ancient building on Cornhill where foreign goods coming into London were weighed – the King’s Weigh House. They kept the name when they built their own chapel where Monument station now is, and later in other buildings, bringing it to Mayfair where they combined with a congregation already on this site and then built a new church.

Perhaps it was the influence of this building which in the 1920s led the church, then led by Rev Dr W. E. Orchard to moving towards Rome and developing what became known as ‘Free Catholicism’. The church never really recovered from wartime requisition and bomb damage and closed in the 1950s. Since June 1968  it has been the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of he Holy Family of Exile, which seems a far more suitable use for the building. You can read more about it on the Cathedral web site, from which much of the above comes.

Air St, Piccadilly, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-33-positive_2400

In Air Street we could almost be inside a cathedral. The rebuilding of the area around Piccadilly Circus was a subject of various proposals, plans and debates from around 1886 until 1928 which you can read in some detail in British History Online and possibly make more of than me. It involved many of the UK’s leading architects of the era, including Richard Norman Shaw and Sir Reginald Blomfield. I think that this section was built to Blomfield’s designs in 1923-8, but by that point in the text my eyes were fully glazed.

Regent St, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-34-positive_2400

In Regent St I was faced with the problem of photographing something which I find rather bland and boring – like most of the more monumental architecture of that period.

I found another curve to go with the two of the street, but I think it is no longer there – and many other details of the shops etc have changed. Bus Stop C is still there, but no longer served by Routemasters.

Christ Church, Cosway St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-5m-36-positive_2400

Christ Church in Cosway street, Marylebone was no longer a church when I took this picture having been made redundant in 1978 and converted into offices. This Grade II* church was built in 1824-5 by Thomas Hardwick and his son Philip Hardwick, one of the more interesting of the many cut-price Commissioner’s Churches built from 1820-1850 to cope with the rapid expansion of the urban population.

Despite the appearance it is a largely brick building with stone dressing. It was altered in 1887 by Sir A W Blomfield but I think this did not affect the portico or tower, a rather unusual construction, “3-stage tower with square Ionic peristyle with cylindrical core rising into octagonal cupola with volutes.”

More on page 4 of my album 1987 London Photos.


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

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


Still Mayfair – 1987

Sunday, September 6th, 2020
New Bond St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5k-11-positive_2400

A shop window display that could be in an art gallery, but one that I think might now be very questionable, with its three black women, one holding her bikini top in her hand roped and held by hands (also black) coming up from the floor. I thought of the slave trade, and also of bondage and it gave me much the same uncomfortable feeling as the photographs of Helmut Newton.

This is a display of expensive ‘Beachwear‘, in “the department store of note for shoppers of exceptional taste since 1882“. The cossie at left would set you back £55 – around £155 allowing for inflation – and does not look as if it is designed for swimming. And although the three ‘mannequins’ are barefoot, they are all up on their toes as if wearing high heels rather than in a natural pose.

New Bond St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5k-23-positive_2400

This building was Grade II listed in 1970, but the listing text gives little information about it, describing it as ‘commercial premises, ca 1900 and mentioning its ‘carved decoration to apron panels and arches’.

The architects were Leonard Martin (1869-1935) and Henry John Treadwell (1861–1910), responsible for a number of fine commercial buildings in London from 1890-1910, like this one in a fin de siècle art nouveau style. The ‘architectural sculpture’ is possibly by J. Daymond & Son, and its grapevine motif suggests this may have been built as a pub, but I’ve not been able to find more detail.

Woodstock St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5k-31-positive_2400

Woodstock St is just off New Bond St, and this picture shows the Woodstock Tavern, still a pub (and still a pub at least until recently, though for some time it was a Japanese bar) and clearly built as such. It was one of around 400 pubs across London and the surrounding areas of the Cannon Brewery Co. Ltd based at their brewery in Clerkenwell. Founded around 1720, this had 110 pubs in 1895; it was taken over by Taylor Walker in 1930, but brewing continued in Clerkenwell until 1950.

The pub was here from 1841, and for a time in the 1840s and 50s was run by Mrs Ann Harding and known as Harding’s Tavern. The current building is from 1876.

The building at left, the Bonbonierre Restaurant, is another by Martin & Treadwell.

New Bond St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5k-35-positive_2400

Another Mayfair man, who I appear to have given wings, and who has a face made of playing cards. The suit carries a label for the Parisian fashion house founded by Nino Cerruti.

'May the 4th be with you', Marble Arch, Westminster, 1987 87-5k-52-positive_2400

Marble Arch with a banner ‘MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU’ presumably for ‘Star Wars Day’, a feeble pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you”.

The Royal Arcade, Old Bond St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-25-positive_2400

The Arcade, linking Old Bond St and Albemarle St was built as an upmarket shopping centre in 1879 and is London’s oldest purpose-built shopping arcade.

The Royal Arcade, Old Bond St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5l-11-positive_2400

It became ‘The Royal Arcade’ after Queen Victoria bought shirts from shirtmaker William Hodgson Brettell at No 12 in 1880. Though I rather doubt she went there in person or wore his shirts. Other shopkeepers in the arcade have also been awarded the Royal Warrant, and she apparently still gets here chocolates there from Charbonnel Et Walker.

More from Mayfair (and some other parts of London) in my album 1987 London Photographs – these pictures are on page 4.


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.

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


Sharp Pictures

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Jack Sharp, (1928-1992), born in Bedfordshire became an engineer and moved in 1955 to take up a job at CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research which had been founded the previous year and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is now best known for investing the World Wide Web and as the home of the Large Hadron Collider, but this large scientific community also – at least then – had an amateur photographic club, which Sharp joined and which stimulated an interest in photography that lasted at least until 1970 when, for reasons unknown, he apparently stopped taking pictures.

In a self-portrait he looks a typical scientist of the time, with carefully brushed hair and bow tie, looking into the eyepiece of his tripod-mounted Asahi Pentax SLR camera, his other eye closed as he presses the short cable release. Sharp was obviously a man who took his photography very seriously – as you might expect from his scientific training – with details of each frame taken noted on index sheets.

Of course records such as this were common practice at the time, with photographic magazines and books publishing shutter speeds and aperture in the photo captions. There were special photographer’s Notebooks sold, and filing sheets to hold film negatives in binders often came together with paper sheets to record the details. Photography at this time was largely taught as a science rather than an expressive practice. At the end of Bill Brandt’s ‘Camera in London‘ (1948) is a section of technical data, listing his cameras, lenses and films and with a fold-out table listing each picture in the book with ‘Subject’, ‘Camera’, film speed, ‘Stop’, ‘Exposure’ (time), year and lighting conditions.

Even when I began to get pictures published you would often be asked for such details, though by the 1970s I think most of us simply looked at the picture and made them up. But when I started I carried little cards on which to record exposures even if I seldom used them.

I first read his story in a PetaPixel post, Man Inherits Treasure Trove of Unseen Street Photos From His Grandfather, which tells the story of how Sharp’s grandson, Dylan Scalet, a marketing professional who came to England 8 years ago to take a university photography course had time on his hands because of COVID-19 and started to look at and digitise some of his grandfather’s collection and found some truly interesting images.

You can see these images larger on the web site set up by Scalet, who is also publishing a new image each day on Instagram. Scalet estimates he has inherited over 5,000 of his grandfather’s images and has bought an Epson V850 flatbed to scan them. It isn’t a bad scanner for scanning film, though more suitable for larger formats than the 35mm used by Sharp. But I’ve made several books for friends scanned using this or a similar Epson model and used it to scan some of my own work.

Though much faster than a dedicated film scanner, using the Epson is considerably slower than photographing negatives using a macro lens and digital camera – and can’t match either the resolution or quality. But it is simpler and more or less foolproof and comes with reasonable software.

Sharp’s work – or what I’ve seen so far of it – is often interesting and certainly technically very competent as you would expect. It isn’t work that is going to change our view of the history of photography, fitting well into the general run of photography in the times that he worked and at least sometimes a delight to look at. But it does certainly bear out my often voiced opinion that the photography we know and admire is just the tip of a very large iceberg.


1987: More Soho

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
Dance shop, Charing Cross Rd, Soho, 1987 787-2k-41-positive_2400
Dance shop, Charing Cross Rd, Soho, 1987

It’s always difficult to know where London’s districts begin and end, and sometimes it is rather a matter of personal opinion. There are some definite boundaries – postal districts and borough boundaries – though these seldom coincide with our perception of place, and most people – unless they actually live there are unaware that in central London you may be in Camden or Westminster etc. The City is a little more obvious, with its borders on some main streets clearly marked, but who would know when crossing the Charing Cross Road you might move from Westminster into Camden.

Poland St,  Soho, Westminster, 1987 87-2j-64-positive_2400
Poland St, Soho, Westminster, 1987

Names too change with the years. Fitzrovia for example only began to be used in the late 1930s, and other older area names are now seldom used. Building tube stations led to many of their names being used for areas which previously went under other names, and estate agents are notorious for promoting properties into nearby more salubrious areas – or inventing new area names, often by adding the word “village” to an existing name.

Never Park Here, Falconberg Mews, Soho, Westminster, 1987 87-2j-23-positive_2400
Never Park Here, Falconberg Mews, Soho, Westminster, 1987

Soho is perhaps one of the more clearly defined of all London areas, though some might quibble slightly at Googles definition, clearly bounded by major roads – Oxford St, Regent St, Shaftesbury Ave and Charing Cross Road. Many of us would also include Chinatown in its ambit, perhaps going south down Haymarket as far as Orange St to include Leicester Square. And perhaps some of the fringes just across Oxford St might qualify…

Carnaby St, Soho, Westminster, 1987 87-2i-21-positive_2400
Carnaby St, Soho, Westminster, 1987

On the streets themselves, the more modern street names – since the mid 1960s – include the borough name, but many London streets have proudly retained their older signs, sometimes with a postal district (though sometimes the earlier version.)

Taylors Buttons, Silver Place, Soho, Westminster, 1987 87-2h-35-positive_2400
Taylors Buttons, Silver Place, Soho, Westminster, 1987

Like all things, Soho is defined by what it isn’t. It isn’t Mayfair or Fizrovia or Bloomsbury or St Giles or Covent Garden or Westminster (the area not the Borough – which all or almost all of it is inside) or St James. And it’s not just a matter of geography, but also of character.

Walker's Court, Soho, Westminster, 1987 87-2h-25-positive_2400
Walker’s Court, Soho, Westminster, 1987

And it was that character which was uppermost in my mind as I made these pictures.

You can see more of them on page 2 of my Flickr album 1987 London Photos.


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

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


Goole 1983

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

When I told my mother-in-law, a life-long Hull resident, that I was taking a day trip to photograph Goole she shook her head in disbelief, asking me whyever I would want to do that. She wasn’t a great fan of my pictures of Hull either, thinking I dwelt far too much on its less salubrious areas and on those old and dilapidated warehouses and derelict docks.

Goole 83goole168_2400

My only regret looking back is that I didn’t visit Goole more often. True its name isn’t inspiring – but then neither is Hull, perhaps why its more prosperous residents like to remind you it is really called Kingston upon Hull. For some reason the name Goole on Ouse has never been considered, though perhaps it should be Goole upon Dutch River or Don, which was diverted to meet the Ouse here in 1629 by Cornelius Vermuyden, not for the benefit of the few villagers of Goole, but to improve the hunting at Hatfield Chase for King Charlea I. But Goole got a bridge over the new river and barges could carry coal along it from the South Yorkshire coalfield at it could then be transferred to sea-going vessels.

Goole  83goole148_2400

In the 1820s the Aire and Calder Navigation opened a connection to the Dutch River and began the construction of docks and a new town at Goole. The canal opened in 1826 and in 1827 Goole became an official port with custom facilities, its docks able to handle vessels up to 400 tons. It’s main export remained coal until Thatcher closed the mines, with a system of compartment boats – the ‘Tom Puddings’ and special hoists giving a very efficient means to transfer the coal into seagoing ships. Timber was the main import, in part for use as pit props.

Goole 83goole161_2400

Railways first came to Goole in 1848 with a line to Pontefract and Wakefield, but it after the North Eastern Railway line from Doncaster to Hull was built in 1870 that the railway really became important. It was this route from Doncaster that I travelled on many times from and to the south between 1970 and now through Goole; sometimes the train stopped there, but more often travelled through at a leisurely pace, giving time to appreciate its landmark ‘salt an pepper’ water towers before swinging east to cross the River Ouse. But I never got off there until my first day trip in 1983.

The Victorian ‘New Goole’ seemed to have survived reasonably well, and gave a remarkable access to the docks (in those days they were a little less fettered by health and safety), and I spent a full day wandering around and taking pictures, particularly in black and white, but with some in colour too. I’ve returned more recently and it is still an interesting place to visit, though a little less so.

More colour pictures of Goole on Page 3 of Hull Colour 1972-85.

More black and white pictures on Hull Photos.

The Power of Photography

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

One series of pictures posted through the current lockdown that has often interested or amused me is by Peter Fetterman; in ‘The Power of Photography‘. To see them all in the order he posted them, open the page and scroll down to the very bottom to see the first image, ‘The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, C. 1860′.

But before you scroll, read his introduction at the top of the page which I reproduce here:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to introduce a new online series called the Power of Photography, highlighting hope, peace, and love in the world. With every entry, I’ll share personal reflections on my favorite images. I invite you to enjoy and reflect on these works during this time.

Peace & Love,

Peter Fetterman

The Power of Photography

Clicking on each of the images will give you more details about it – in this case that it is by an anonymous photographer and is a 9.75×9.75 inch vintage albumen print – and rather curiously is “Copyright The Artist” who as well as being anonymous is certainly long dead and whose copyright will have expired many years ago.

The negative from which it was printed will I think have been made using the wet plate process, which while it had considerable limitations and required a great deal of manipulative skill was in some respects the absolute pinnacle of the photographic process, with detail and resolution limited only by the lenses of the day. You can enlarge the on-screen image by clicking on it, but it then seems rather soft. Since all printing was by contact, the demand on lenses was not extreme, though you can clearly see some softening towards the edges in this and many images of the time. The print appears to be in excellent condition for its age, though there is clearly some fading at top right, but digital representations are often misleading.

Actually I think the images like this are best seen in reproduction, when some discrete retouching can help to repair the minor ravages of time and restore as best we can the original vision of the photographer, which is of more interest to me than the object.

Strangely the second image of the series seems to be missing, though you will probably have little difficulty in bringing “The Steerage” into your mind. There are other iconic images too, such as Cartier-Bresson’s 1938 ‘On the Banks of the Marne’.

But not all of the pictures are well-known and quite a few entirely new to me and by photographers I have not previously heard of, such as the beautiful Small Apples, 1984 by Finnish photographer Kristoffer Albrecht.

I don’t always share Peter Fetterman’s enthusiasms, but it is good to read the comments of someone so obviously enthusiastic about our medium – and to discover we have at least something in common outside of our interest in photography. So here is a little piece of London he may recognise.

Dobells, Records, Tower Court, Camden, 1987 87-2d-63-positive_2400
Dobell’s Records, Tower Court, Camden, London 1987

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.