Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

My Own Atget

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

I already have one Atget print hanging on my wall in my front room, not an original print made by the man himself, but an excellent high quality reproduction which was a special supplement to a US photographic magazine back I think in the 1970s, printed by a much higher quality process than the normal magazine. I also have another rather fine image by Josef Sudek framed and on the opposite wall; I think they are sheet-fed lithographs and they certainly have a remarkable quality.

I don’t think anyone who has seen them framed on the wall has ever taken them to be anything other than a normal photographic print, and certainly in many of the books on my bookshelves there are some fine examples of the printer’s craft, duotone and quadtone reproductions that are often equal and sometimes superior to the darkroom prints that are shown in exhibitions and sold for high prices by photography dealers.

Not all photographic prints are particularly good prints, and some ‘vintage prints’ that make their way into the hands of dealers were never intended to be so. Some are prints that were rapidly made with little consideration to be printed in magazines and newspapers, and many do not represent the image at its best. When I spent a lot of time in the darkroom I would often make half a dozen prints from the same negative before I arrived at the one which I thought was exactly how I wanted it. That was the print which went into my portfolio or onto the exhibition wall, but there were often others that were almost right that I couldn’t bear to throw away, and I think the same was true of many photographers in the past. And I’ve seen prints on some dealers’ walls which surely must have come from the photographer’s waste bin.

Things are rather different for most photographers today. Many actually produce limited editions of prints, either made by themselves or a professional printer that are more or less identical, and if working from a digital file exactly so. The kind of work we put into each print, including dodging, burning and retouching is now incorporated into the making of the digital file.

Photography is essentially a medium of reproduction. The calotype became more important than the Daguerreotype despite its technical deficiences because the negative could be used to make multiple prints, limited only by the time it took to produce them. And digital has taken that a step further, with the digital file that produces as many prints as you like itself being infinitely reproducible without any variation.

High quality digital files of a number of great photographic images have of course been available for some years, particularly of the work available in the Library of Congress collection. On my computer I have large digital files of a number of the best images made by Walker Evans for the FSA, of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother and of many other fine photographs. Enough to make a fine gallery of photography.

I have only ever printed one or two of these files largely because I simply don’t have the wall space to display them – and what I have is already filled with other images, including both photographic prints by myself and others as well as a few painting and some reproductions of paintings.

Jardin de l’hôtel des abbés de Cluny, (actuel Musée National du Moyen Age), 24 rue du Sommerard, Paris (Vème arr.). 1898. Photographie Photographie d’Eugène Atget (1857-1927) Paris, musée Carnavalet.

But today I downloaded a rather beautiful Atget and there are many more online along with works by many other great photographers, particularly French photographers, as the City of Paris has made available over 100,000 of the works in its museums freely on-line as high quality 300dpi digital images under a Creative Commons CC0 licence, essentially dedicating “the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

The CC0 licence is only applicable to “the reproductions of a work the author(s) of which died more than 70 years ago, after which time his/her works have fallen into the public domain, and which is the reproduction of a two-dimensional cultural asset the author of which died more than 70 years ago, a reproduction created by a photographer who has permitted Paris Musées to place the photograph under a CCØ licence or by a photographer employed by Paris Musées.” It also restricts you from selling the files, though you can use the images for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

As their press release states (in French), you can now download the “oeuvres des grands noms de la photographie (Atget, Blancard, Marville, Carjat…) ou de la peinture (Courbet, Delacroix, Rembrandt, Van Dyck…). ” And while for the painters what you are downloading is a photograph of their paintings, for the photographers it is something much closer to the orginal, enabling you to make excellent digital photograph prints.

So far I’ve only downloaded a couple of Atget prints from what must be a very large collection, as his main source of income was selling his prints to the Paris museums. I first became aware of his work in a Paris museum, where some of the prints in a display of historic Paris for me stood out from the rest, and there in the small print of their captions was his name. The image above was probably one of those that impressed me and made me want to find out more about the photographer when I visited the musée Carnavalet in 1973.

There is a slight problems to overcome in downloading the images, in that they come in ZIP files, the image jpg accompanied by a PDF about usage (in both English and French) and a text file with some image details and its source. Unfortunately those I tried have file names that are too long for Windows 7 to handle (eg: cartel_atget_eugene_jean_eugene_auguste_atget_dit_musee_de_cluny_24_rue_du_sommerard_5eme_arrondissement._jardin._ph6338_132304.txt) and I needed to use the free 7-Zip to access the files. I haven’t yet tried in with WIndows 10.

London 1980 (14)

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

The 14th and last of the series of posts of selected black and white pictures I made in 1980 with the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook. Larger versions of the pictures are now available on Flickr.

Apologies for some earlier posts in this series that were titled as London 1990 – and I hope I have now corrected all these. It will be a little while before I have caught up with my work from 1990! This is the final post of pictures that I made in London in 1980.


Playground, Battersea. 1980
26r-24: spaceship, playground power station, bridge,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26r-24.htm

Behind the spaceship in a childrens’ playground are the four in-line chimneys of Fulham Power Station, decommissioned in 1978 and one of the first power stations that the CEGB was made redundant and sold for redevelopment. The demolition in the early 1980s became controversial over the safety of the removal of around 1,000 tons of asbestos by the new owners. Because of this the government announced that the CEGB would strip asbestos before selling power stations in future.

The Regent on the River apartments that replaced the power station in the 1980s supposedly were designed to reflect the architecture of the power station.

I carefully framed the word ‘FLOATING’ underneath the spaceship, thinking of it floating in space. I think this was a floating dry dock. At left you can see a small part of the Battersea Rail Bridge, now used by London Overground services between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction, then I think solely a goods line. I’m fairly sure the playground where I took this is now underneath a large block of riverside flats, Groveside Court on Lombard Rd, though some open space remains a little further north in Vicarage Gardens.


Roundabout, Wandsworth. 1980
26r-41:roundabout,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26r-41.htm

Another picture of the inside of the roundabout which was completed around 1972 and has appeared on record covers as well as being used as a film location – famously where Alex and his droogs beat up a singing drunk in Kubrick’s adaption of A Clockwork Orange. I have no idea why someone has painted Van Gogh on the railings -the Serbian rock group of that name was only founded six years later, but perhaps there may have been an earlier more local manifestation. And the National Front have been here too. There is a sinister look to this structure and doorway, and though I have no idea what is inside this concrete structure, it could well be a torture chamber.

The roundabout now has a rather odd metal structure on it, the ‘Atom’ monument, with two circular metal rings holding up a box with advertising screens for JCDecaux. If – as the firm who erected it claim – the adverts on it attract a great deal of driver attention, then they clearly decrease road safety at this critical junction. I can find no evidence for a local rumour that famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer had any part in its design. Wandsworth Council includes the structure on its list of works of art in the borough.


Roundabout, Wandsworth. 1980
26r-42: roundabout, storage tanks

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26r-42.htm

This view from a higher level path inside Wandsworth roundabout shows some of its surroundings more clearly, including the storage tanks which I think were for Charrington’s Fuel Oils next to the river on the south bank immediately downstream of the bridge; incorporated in 1895, the company was dissolved in 1995. Charrington’s began in 1731 and was acquired in 1997 as a part of CPL Distribution Ltd, a company bought out by management from the British Coal Corporation in 1995. Charrington’s were one of the largest UK fuel oil distributors and also had a wharf downstream on Blackwall Way in E14, developed by Ballymore in 2002.

Also visible, on the other side of the river is Fulham Power Station, with its row of four chimneys.


Roundabout, Wandsworth. 1980
26r-43: roundabout, subway

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26r-43.htm

The final picture from the roundabout in 1980 shows a single figure walking in a concrete waste, walking away from one of the four underpasses which led to the central area. It emphasizes the modernist geometry of the construction and the sense of alienation the environment creates, something which has rather softened over the years as more vegetation has grown since it was built in 1969.

More recently it has been considerably tidied up with re-turfing and minor alterations which might prevent the flooding of the underpasses and with the intention of better maintenance, including a contract for the grass to be cut six times a year, though it remains to be seen how long this will last.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-31: house, rastafarian

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26s-31.htm

Houses in St Agnes Place were occupied by squatters from 1969 and survived Lambeth Council’s eviction attempt in 1977, which made the national news and eventually led to the fall of the then Conservative council.

Many of the occupants were Rastafari, as in this house, with its painted symbols and the message ‘ISRAEL: LIVE’ above the window. Many of the squatted properties were kept in good order, and the residents paid utility bills etc and for some years were a part of a housing co-op.

Some other properties were derelict and in a poor state, and the house on the left is boarded up.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-32: house, rastafarian, fire damage, derelict,

Although No 22 looks in good condition and occupied, the house at right has been gutted by fire.

We walked through here fairly often when visiting friends who lived in Key House, just across the main road from here on the other side of the park, but I didn’t often stop to take photographs. We came to Kennington Park next to St Agnes Place for our children to play and sometimes took a little walk around.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-42: house, graffiti, fence,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26s42.htm

Graffiti on the end of a house I think once read ‘LOVE IS GOD’ but the G has been painted over to convert it to an O. But I don’t think OOD makes any sense. To its left is ‘angelo Rule’.

There are more graffiti on a wall across the road, including ‘LEGALISE FREEDOM?’ and a rather faded ‘DON’T PANIC’.

The fence has clearly seen better days.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-43: house, graffiti

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26s-43.htm

St Agnes Place in 1980 began here, and the previous image was was taken in what was then Bolton Crescent looking towards St Agnes Place, but is now St Agnes Place. I had walked closer to photograph the wall with its graffiti ‘LEGALISE FREEDOM?’ and ‘DON’T PANIC!’.

There had previously been just one more house at the left of the picture which has been demolished, along with another building at an angle on the turn of the street. The doors leaning against the wall on both sides of the blocked up door probably came from this. Next to ‘Legalise Freedom?’ and rather smaller is the message ‘Ban The SPG’. The Special Patrol Group, a Met Police unit for dealing with public disorder and who the previous year had murdered Blair Peach at an Anti-Nazi League protest in Southall. They were found to have been using a number of unauthorised weapons, including a sledge-hammer and a crowbar. They were replaced in 1987 by the Territorial Support Group (TSG), though many think little was changed except the name.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-44: house, graffiti

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26s-44.htm

Going a little closer still I photographed ‘DON’T PANIC!’ on its own, head on.

I think that some earlier graffiti had been painted out on this wall, and that this and the ‘LEGALISE FREEDOM?’ out of picture at the left had been painted on top of this, with the painter having a little problem squeezing the IC in at the end of the word before adding the oversize exclamation mark with some relief.


St Agnes Place, Kennington. 1980
26s-54: house, graffiti, park, flats

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/26s-54.htm

The flats seen across the playing field are on the Brandon Estate in Hillingdon Rd and Meadcroft Rd, and include Prescott House, Cruden House, Bateman House, Walters House and Cornish House, built in 1958 by the London County Council. Many of the early residents were delighted; they had been moved in more or less a whole street at a time and kept their community spirit in flats built to much higher standards than the slums that were demolished, a community-based approach that has been abandoned to allow private developers to profit from estate demolition.

20 Years later the estate had gone down-hill, partly because of bad management and the removal of caretakers, but mainly because council housing became a service for problem families rather than a more general approach to providing rented properties at a fair price.

This part of the street was still Bolton Crescent when I took the picture, but St Agnes Place now extends further south.


This is the final post in the series of selected images that I made in London in 1980. You can now see all the pictures (and a few more) at a larger size and with the descriptions here on Flickr.


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

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 – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


London 1980 (12)

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Continuing the series of post about the black and white pictures I made in 1980, with the pictures and the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook.


Shop Window, London. 1980
25f-15: pyramids, window, reflections

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-15.htm

I’m fairly sure this was somewhere in Fitzrovia, where a few frames earlier I had been outside the Northumberland Arms, at the corner of Charlotte St and Goodge St, recently renamed The Queen Charlotte, perhaps to avoid confusion with another Northumberland Arms on Tottenham Court Rd.

Why a shop window should have these four pyramids at its front is now certainly a matter of mystery at least to me, though presumably they were some kind of display stands. Apart from this what drew me to take four very similar frames was clearly the mix of reflections and interior which make the image difficult or impossible to decode.


Shop Window, London. 1980
25f-23: horses, window, shadows,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-23.htm

Another shop window in Fitzrovia which again poses something of a conundrum. It is clearly the window of a betting shop, which a fairly small distance between the glass and a screen behind, required then by law to prevent us seeing the inside of the betting shop. And the picture clearly has a mix of actual objects – the light bulbs and some peeling pictures of racing horses on the back of the window glass – and their shadows from late afternoon evening sun ( it was taken in July or August.)

The upper row of horses and riders are on the rear of the glass, with some peeling away more than others, and where they have peeled away slightly they now appear like shadows (though because they are closer to my camera are slightly large than the shadows), and the almost white riderless horse appears to have no shadow at all and nor does the lettering ‘P OFFICE’.


Clerkenwell Green, London. 1980
25f-31: houses, works

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-31.htm

The Farringdon Enamelling and Plating Works of A Smith were, along with Upholsterer R H Dillon on Clerkenwell Green as the window above the door helpfully informs us, and another business with a name beginning with ‘EN ‘and ending ‘P…..R’ has its ‘Works at Rear’.

Attracted doubtless both by the signage and the peeling paint, emphasised by the glancing sun, I had already made two frames when this man in a dirty white coat and striped tie walked out.

This little section of the street can still be recognised, but has gone up considerably in the world. One of the windows has been converted to a door, the paint no longer peels and the signage has disappeared. The building at right has been replaced by a modern structure with giant glass windows, The door from which a man is emerging is now for the Hammond Cox Casting Agency, the next window has been converted into a door for the Provision Trade Benevolent Institution and others, while the door at left, then a typesetter, is now for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The tree is still there.

Behind me as I took this picture were public conveniences, which may well have been the reason for my visit, but which have been long closed.


Cross Keys Square, Little Britain, London. 1980
25f-42: passage, houses

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-42.htm

Inside ‘Little Britain’, I think this is part of Cross Keys Square, and shows some clearly fairly elderly buildings, one of which, its windows now covered with corrugated iron, had previously been a Hairdressing Salon.

Much of the area was derelict when I took this picture and parts were inaccessible, with demolition or building work being carried out. The reflections on the brickwork at left interested me, and part of one of them rather looks like a shield or coat of arms, not dissimilar to the City of London’s which were on the light fittings.


Little Britain Club, City of London. 1980
25f-53: club, waste ground

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-53.htm

Somewhere in the middle of ‘Little Britain’ was this club, and a patch of really overgrown waste ground, either formed by wartime bombing or later demolition.

Little Britain a century earlier had been famous for its ‘The Roaring Lads of Little Britain.’ who held weekly sessions at a pub “bearing for insignia a resplendent half-moon, with a most seductive bunch of grapes” run since “time immemorial” by the Wagstaff family and whose current landlord member presided over its singing and story-telling, according to Washington Irving in 1886.

The street number, 179, is almost certainly for Aldersgate St, and this was one of the many addresses listed in the planning application for demolition in January 1982, which was I think approved the following year:

“Demolition of all properties listed below, per dwg. ME/1: 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 Bartholowmew Close, 1 & 2, 7, 8, 4 & 11, 5 & 10, 6 & 9 Albion Buildings, 179 Aldersgate Street, *3 Little Montague Court, 1,2,3, Westmoreland Buildings, 4 Little Britain, 14, 15 Albion Buildings, 2a, 3, 4 Cox’s Court, 2, 2a, 3, Cross Key Square, Crown Buildings, Cox’s Court. The Garage on site of 21 Albion Buildings, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, Little Britain, part of pedestrian walkway link to Rotunda * also 2 Little Montague Court.”

I think it was on a part of the site now occupied by London House, 172 Aldersgate St. These flats, “high-standard, fully serviced accommodation in London for the international business traveller”, have beside the entrance plaques stating it was the former site of London House. This was built for Henry Pierrepont, 1st Marquess of Dorchester (also the 2nd Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull) 1606-80, apparently a thoroughly unpleasant character, and after 1660 became the home of the Bishops of London.

After the bishops moved out it was let out to various tenants before briefly becoming in 1750–1751 the ‘City of London Lying-in Hospital for married women and sick and lame Outpatients’; it burnt down in the 1760s.


Albion Buildings, City of London. 1980
25f-54: shop, waste ground

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-54.htm

Also a part of ‘Little Britain ‘ was Albion Buildings, dating according to a stone in its frontage from 1766 (a second stone to the right is unreadable.) The sign above the door, which shows a stylized animal, a winged lion, with one of its front paws on what I think is an open book, is dated 1903. It perhaps reflects the time when this area was still the centre of the London publishing and secondhand book trade, which had been here since at least the 17th century. Pepys records a visit to Duck Lane (as Little Britain was then called) where he “kissed bookseller’s wife and bought Legend“. As well as going there to see the bookseller’s wife he is also recorded as buying several other books.

Albion Buildings (according to Webb – see comment below) were built in 1764 on the site of a 16th century house and gardens. In 1628 they were occupied by the Earl of Westmoreland and known as Westmorland Buildings, getting their name later from the Albion Tavern. Previous to 1764 the passage they are on was called Porridge Pot Alley.

The building on the left edge still has a fluorescent light on and appears to be still in use.

There is a very detailed account of the buildings and history of the area in E A Webb, ‘The parish: The close precinct and glebe houses‘, in The Records of St. Bartholomew’s Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2 (Oxford, 1921), pp. 213-231 on British History Online. The map at the National Library of Scotland collection from 1896 is useful in understanding the layout of the area, though much had changed by 1980.


Albion Buildings, City of London. 1980
25f-62: shop, waste ground

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25f-62.htm

This small row of shops and businesses were I think empty – some clearly so, when I made this picture, I think from the elevated walkway along the side of the Barbican estate.

At left was a button maker ‘H R C….’ on the first floor and ‘Ernest Stark’ on the ground, then a business whose name is obscured by a three. At 6 was John Lovegrove & Co Ltd, then H R Thompson (with an unlikely ‘To Let’ sign) and ‘Basinghall Elect…’ presumably Electrics or Electrical… I have been unable to find any information about any of these.


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

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 – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


London 1980 (11)

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Continuing the series of post about the black and white pictures I made in 1980, with the pictures and the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook.


Man walking on Riverside wall, Greenwich. 1980
24n-63: man, woman, children, power station

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-63.htm

A man was walking on the riverside wall, to his right perhaps a 20 ft drop, probably not into water but into thick mud. The lifebelt which should have been below him was missing, but it probably would have been of little use.

I’m not sure if he was having some kind of mental health problem, or was drunk, or possibly both, but didn’t feel there was much I could do to help – and trying to do anything might even have made him fall. So I took a picture and walked on. I did keep an eye on him and by the time I was leaving the area he had come down safely.


Child posing on riverside fence, Greenwich. 1980
24n-66: child, river, power station, cranes,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-66.htm

Another picture of a girl standing beside the railings but with rather different framing from those in my previous post, with the river visible below the fence, the bottom rail of I’ve carefully aligned along the riverbank.

This was actually taken a few seconds before the previously shown picture of her. My filing and numbering system is based on contact sheets and films were not always developed and filed exactly in the order they were taken. I was using two cameras to take black and white images, an Olympus OM1 with a 35mm shift lens for carefully composed images such as this and most of the urban landscape work, and a Leica M2 with which I was trying to develop a more intuitive approach, reacting without conscious deliberation.

I based my numbering system on a sheet number for each sheet (here 24n) and then a number based on the position on the contact sheet rather than frame numbers. Because I was loading film from 100ft rolls into cassettes of roughly 36 exposures the first frame on the film might be any number from 0 to around 38 and the sequence usually jumps from 38 to 0 somewhere in the middle of the film. And sometimes I would load a strip of film, cut to appropriate length in total darkness, measured between two nails on my darkroom door so that the frame numbers actually went in the opposite direction.

I cut my developed black and white films into strips of 6 frames to put into filing sheets, giving 6 strips and often a shorter length of 2 or 3 frames. The filing sheets I used had 7 pockets so could accomodate a single film, and it was just possible to expose all 6 or 7 strips on a single 8×10″ sheet of photographic paper to produce a contact sheet. But frame numbers were not always visible on these, so I used a simple system to give a unique number to every frame. This negative, 24n-66, is on contact sheet 24n, on the sixth strip of negatives (numbered 1-6 or 0-6 when there was something worth keeping on the film end) and the 6th negative on that strip.

In 1986 I moved to a slightly different system of naming the contact sheets that included the year and month in their name, making it rather easier to find things.


Scrap metal merchants, Commercial St, Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24x-44: street, scrap metal, structure

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24x-44.htm

Surprisingly this corner is still easily recognisable, though the advert has changed, with a taller hoarding; the gates, no longer for a scrap metal merchant, are now firmly closed by two iron bars and the skeletal structure behind has disappeared completely. This is on the corner of Quaker St and Commercial St, and the building at the left is still there on the corner of Shoreditch High St and Great Eastern St.


Govette Metal & Glass Works, Park Hill, Clapham, Lambeth. 1980
24y-53: children, swings, dog,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24y-53.htm

Govette is originally a French name, and a couple of them came over with William the Conqueror back in 1066 and were given land in Somerset. The name was often spelt without the final ‘e’.

Govette Metal & Glass Works, a family firm and was established in 1956 in Clapham, and in the 1970s split up into several divisions, with Govette’s remaining in Clapham. They closed the factory there in the mid-nineties and specialised in the supply, installation and glazing of steel windows and doors, establishing Govette Windows Ltd in 1996, and are now based in Whyteleafe. They also now have a factory in South Godstone.


Albany (rear entrance), Burlington Gardens, Westminster. 1980
24z-63: club, shops,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24z-63.htm

Albany or ‘The Albany’ is a mansion in Mayfair that was extended and converted in 1802 into 69 bachelor flats, with the addition of two long ranges of buildings which ended at the back gate shown in the picture. The flats are rather like the rooms in an Oxbridge college, which are known as ‘sets’. Apparently you no longer have to be a bachelor to live there, though children below 14 are not allowed.

The flats generally have an entrance hall, two main rooms, and a smaller room and are owned freehold but subject to a whole number of rules. In 2007 one sold for around £2m. Around half of them belong to Peterhouse College Cambridge. Most are rented with an annual rent (according to Wikipedia) of up to £50,000. Many famous people have spent some time as tenants here, including someone of particular interest to photographers, W H F Talbot.


‘Eros’ and Piccadilly Circus, Westminster. 1980
24z-64: men, women, sculpture, monument, hoarding

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24z-64.htm

I’ve never understood why people come to sit at Piccadilly Circus. It isn’t a place where there is much to see or much to do, but every tourist has to visit it.

And as most Londoners probably know, the statue on top of its slightly more interesting plinth, put there as a memorial 1892–1893 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury is not Eros but his brother, the Greek god Anteros. Made of aluminium, then a relatively new (and expensive) metal, was called ‘The Angel of Christian Charity’ and the memorial was originally on a roundabout in the centre of the circus where it is now on one side.

‘Eros’ has actually got around quite a bit. Originally in the centre of a mini-roundabout at the centre of the circus, in 1925 he went to Embankment Gardens so they could build an enlarged Underground station, coming back in 1931 to a slightly moved roundabout. During WW2 he took a trip out to Coopers Hill above Egham, while the fountain below (it never really worked as a fountain, and after a single day the drinking cups had been vandalised) was covered up. Eros came back with a great fanfare in 1947, but I think shortly after was moved aside to where he still stands on one leg, though he gets covered up every year for a month or so for Christmas celebrations, as people find him attractive to climb up to or hang things on.

‘Eros’ is not unique as years later several more casts were made from the mould. There are a couple up in Lancashire, one now in storage which used to be in Sefton Park, and another corroding by the seaside at Fleetwood. The most recent, made in the 1980s, in the art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide.


Little Britain, City of London. 1980
25e-42: doors

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/25e-42.htm

Little Britain is now simply the street these doors are on, running between Aldersgate and King Edward St, but was earlier the name of the whole area to the north up to St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Smithfield, which was once the residence of the Dukes of Brittany. In the distant past it was the centre of the book trade, which later moved south to Paternoster Row, which was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War.

Parts of the crowded warren of streets and alleys still remained when I took these pictures, though it was difficult to find a way into them, with alleys leading from Little Britain and Aldersgate to what remained of Cross Key Square, Montague Place and Albion Buildings.


More to follow…

London 1980 (10)

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Continuing the series of post about the black and white pictures I made in 1980, with the pictures and the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook.

Reeds Wharf, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-44: wharf, warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-44.htm

Looking across the mouth of St Saviour’s Dock, with the New Concordia Wharf having a short frontage to the river, and beyond its three bays are the those of China Wharf and then Reed’s Wharf.

China Wharf was the site of the controversial building by CZWG, completed in 1988, a rather hideous pink and glass frontage jutting out into the river, which destroys this row of warehouses. At best it could perhaps be called playful, but I rather wish architects would keep such playing to their private dreams rather than inflict them on us. I can imagine sites where it might be appropriate, but this was not one.

There is now a footbridge across St Saviour’s Dock taking the path across and along in front of the New Concordia Wharf, and a further bridge leads across to Downings Roads, one of the oldest river moorings, now more often known as Tower Bridge Moorings, home to around 70 people and the floating Garden Barge Square, with the largest single collection of historic trading vessels on the Thames, some over 100 years old.


St Saviour’s Dock, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-45: dock, warehouse, crane,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-45.htm

Another view of St Saviours Dock. The path here was a dead end in 1980, and walkers had to walk back to the right of where this picture was taken and then down Shad Thames to the head of the dock and then a few yards along Jamaica Road before turning back up Mill St. The foot bridge over St Saviour’s Dock was built 1995 and opened the following year but by 2016 needed to be rebuilt.


Sumona Photo-Studio, Brick Lane, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24n-12: shop, shop front

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-12.htm

It was I think the neatly shuttered frontage of Sumona Photo-Studio at 168 Brick Lane which attracted me to take this picture, and the feeling that this was a photographer very carefully hiding from the world behind the facade while I was trying hard to look at it.

The building is still there, but converted to a more normal shopfront, for Oceanic Leather Wear.


Alley off Bricklane and Shoreditch Underground Station, Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24n-14: street, alley, station

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-14.htm

The alley is still there but is now a path and cycle path leading to Pedley St and Spitalfields City Farm. Shoreditch Underground Station had been the terminus of a short underground line leading via Whitechapel to New Cross and New Cross Gate. When I photographed it, the station was closed on Sundays, and in later years only opened at rush hours Monday to Friday and for a few hours on Sundays to serve Brick Lane Market. It finally closed in 2006.

The line is now a part of London Overground, with a station a quarter of a mile away, Shoreditch High St, just off the Bethnal Green Road. Last time I walked past the walls along the alley and the disused station were covered with graffiti, looking rather more colourful than in this picture.


Riverfront walk at Greenwich, Wood Wharf and Deptford Power Station, Greenwich. 1980
24n-51: child, mural, cranes, wharf, power station, river

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-51.htm

The wall at the end of this rather neglected riverside promenade has a mural with what I think were meant to suggest the tops of boats and sails in front of some hills. It was unimpressive but served as a wind-break. Behind it were a few wharves including Wod Wharf, still in use, and then a jetty with a crane, possibly for the former gas works, and then further on, past Deptford Creek (which is hidden by buildings) the chimney of Deptford Power Station. The two cranes towards the left are on Deptford Creek.

There were mothers with prams, fathers with push chairs, old ladies sitting on seats and a few children playing here, a couple of whom came to ask me why I was taking pictures, and insisted on posing for me (see picture below.)


Children with stones, Riverfront walk, Greenwich. 1980
24n-53: child, river, barges

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-53.htm

Two children who watched me taking photographs insisted I take their picture underneath a small row of stones they had collected on top of the rail. They are also both holding stones.

They were collecting them to throw in the river mud below where they made a satisfying splat, with mud flying out when they landed.


Riverfront walk at Greenwich, Wood Wharf and Deptford Power Station, Greenwich. 1980
24n-56: mural, cranes, wharf, power station, river

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24n-56.htm

Another view of the wall with the mural. It might have looked better in colour, though I think it wasn’t highly coloured.

The cranes at right are on Wood Wharf, apparently still in use and those at left I think are on Deptford Creek, with the chimney from Deptford Power Station.


More to follow…

London 1980 (9)

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Continuing the series of post about the black and white pictures I made in 1980, with the pictures and the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook.


Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-16: street, warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-16.htm

Shad Thames was in 1980 a truly remarkable street, a canyon between the riverside warehouses on the left of this view and their further premises linked by bridges across the street.

Work had just begun on some of the properties, but it took years to complete. The redevelopment has kept a little of the general character but seems to me to be an empty pastiche. My heart still sinks every time I go to the area.


Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-21: street, warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-21.htm

In this closer view you can see the girders supporting those bridges across Shad Thames, and also a number of pipes spanning the gap. Some of them may have been a part of the hydraulic power system which powered many of the cranes and hoists in the warehouses, avoiding the fire danger of other power sources. Fire was always a danger in warehouses, and one fire in 1931 when a seven storey warehouse full of rubber and tea was burning at Butler’s Wharf attracted great attention as ‘the Frozen Fire’. Around 70 fire engines and more than a thousand firefighters, along with two fire boats too several days to extinguish, with firemen working in snow and intense cold; large icicles formed on the buildings as the water ran down and it covered the roadway with sheets of ice.

You can see a remarkable story about it on the London Fire Brigade web site, complete with coverage from Movietone News.


Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-22: warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-22.htm

Another picture from Shad Thames, looking up, just a few yards down the street from the previous picture. Sometimes described as a ‘canyon’ it was a dark and fairly narrow street between the riverside warehouses and their landward companions.


Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-25: warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-25.htm

Another image from Shad Thames, with two of the linking bridges, pigeon and aeroplane.


Overhead walkways, Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-33: warehouse,

A rather more minimal view looking vertically up from the middle of the street.

Shad Thames, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-34: street, warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-33.htm

Wire and rubbish in a window.


Ship and River Thames, view to St Katharine’s Dock, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-35: ship, deck, river, warehouse, flats

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-35.htm

This paddle steamer was moored here in front of Butlers Wharf for some years, and I think may be the Tattershall Castle, once a ferry from Hull to New Holland across the Humber and now, very much altered, a floating bar on the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the Thames. Before becoming a bar and restuarant she served some time on the Thames as an art gallery.

I’d been across the Humber once or twice on one of its fellow paddle steamers, the Lincoln Castle, a more modern design which continued in service for 5 years after the Tattershall Castle was retired in 1973. Later I had tea in the Lincoln Castle when it was a restuarant on the beach beside the Humber Bridge, whose opening in 1981 brought the ferry service to an end. I can’t recall having seen the Tattershall Castle in service.

The third of the Humber paddle steamers, built by the same yard as the Tattershall Castle also in 1934 was the Wingfield Castle, and was saved from becoming a bar in Swansea by being found too wide to fit through the lock gates and is now an floating exhibit in ‘Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience’, close to where she was built.


New Concordia Wharf, St Saviour’s Dock, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-41: boat, dock, warehouse,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-41.htm

Again these buildings were only listed in 1982. Originally built as a cornmill and warehouse in 1882, they were rebuilt after a fire in 1894. I was fortunate to photograph them before they were converted to residential use in 1981-3


The notice on the wall reads “Mooring Facilities at these premises can be used when convenient by those having business here but the Proprietors do not guaranteed their sufficiency and accept no responsibility for the consequences of any defect therein“.

The barge moored here seems to have been cut off at the right hand end, and is apparently sitting on the mud.


St Saviour’s Dock, Bermondsey, Southwark. 1980
24m-43: boat, dock, warehouse, crane

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-43.htm

A view up St Saviour’s Dock before any conversion. There are four cranes on the wharf at left. There are still two cranes, but they look rather different, without the shelter for the workers, and the doors of the loading bays are replaced by balconies

Some of the buildings at right were later demolished and the frontages of most of the buildings altered in the conversion to residential use. The general impression however has been retained.


To be continued…

London 1980 (8)

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Continuing the series of post about the black and white pictures I made in 1980, with the pictures and the comments I posted more recently daily on Facebook.


Pedley St, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-51 wall, sign, graffitti

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-51.htm

The sign for the Car-Breakers was on the steps on the south side of the footbridge from Cheshire St to Pedley St (or rather to Fleet St Hill at the end of Pedley St.)

What attracted my attention was clearly the word ‘ENGLISH’ painted on the wall, though I’m not sure why I cropped out all of the word below – you can I think make out the tops of the letters ‘OUT’.


Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-61: children, shop

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-61.htm

Childrens Corner, which may have once sold sweets but was no longer in business, was just off Brick Lane to the west, I think at 24 Bacon St.

Obviously I took the picture for the two Bangladeshi children who were walking past it, viewing me quizzically as I photographed them. The shopfront also has a crudely drawn swastika and the National Front initials, and was not far from where they would sell their papers at the weekend. The chalking at right for fireworks with prices was probably for a street stall on market day rather than the shop.


Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-62: children, shop

After I took the first picture, the young boy came back and posed in the former shop doorway for me to take his picture. The NF graffiti is more obvious in this picture.

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-62.htm


J U Fashions, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-63: shop, fashion, derelict,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-63.htm

I think this shop was at 129 Brick Lane, not least as few other streets in the area aspire to a number as high as that, though 129 is now a part of a larger shop. The street numbering may of course have changed since 1980, but I think more likely the shopfronts have been rebuilt.

J U Fashions, ‘Manf.rs. of good quality leather garments – ladies – gents – wholesale – retail’ was I think one of the many Jewish businesses in the area in earlier years, and it claimed in a notice falling off the window of the left hand door “OUR PRICES …UNBEATABLE … E YOURSELF IN ONE”.


Brick Lane area, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-64: derelict buildings,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-64.htm

This could be almost anywhere in the Brick Lane area where there were plenty of derelict buildings, but I think is most likely to have been on Buxton St.


Pedley St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-66: street, flats

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-66.htm

Weaver House on Pedley St was built by the Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green in 1929 with 16 flats. The road here used to be called Weaver Street, and the name reflected the area’s weaving industry which began with the Huguenots. It was part of the council’s third estate; the second built while the council was under joint Communist/Socialist control was named the ‘Lenin Estate’ but by 1929 the council was Liberal-Progressive and renamed that Cambridge Heath.

Weaver House was a part of the Hare Marsh council estate. Hare Marsh was the old name for large land estate south of Bacon St, once called Hare St and east of Brick Lane, most of which was covered by buildings in the 17th and 18th century. There there is still a short dead end street called Hare Marsh leading south from Cheshire St opposite the William Davis Primary School, which though outside the old Hare Marsh estate may have led there before the railway got in the way.

The wall at the end of this road is now longer there, and the road continues. ‘Try Living Here’ seemed an apt comment (I’m not sure if the Jones was a part of this) and at right I think it said ‘Our Kids Need Space’. Clearly this was Arsenal territory though close to the centre are clearly painted the stumps for a kids game of cricket.


River Thames and Surrey bank from Tower Bridge, Southwark. 1980
24m-14: river, tug, barge, warehouse, wharf

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24m-14.htm

Several things now strike me about this picture from Tower Bridge. Firstly the lighters are carrying real goods and not rubbish – about the only thing that gets towed along this part of the Thames now – and secondly the different look of the riverside then.

When Butler’s Wharf, a large area of Victorian warehouses dating largely from 1871-3 closed for business in 1971, much of it was bought up cheaply by property speculators, but little if any development had started by 1980. Some of the buildings were in use as artists’ studios, but after a disastrous fire in 1979 they were given notice to quit, and I think most of the buildings were empty when I took this picture.

Rather surprisingly these buildings appear not to have been listed until 1982 – and even now industrial buildings such as these seem often to be neglected by English Heritage.

Around 1984, Conran Roche began the redevelopment of Butlers Wharf into luxury flats, with restaurants and shops on the ground floor, though it was some years before the project was complete.


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

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London 1980 (7)

Monday, December 30th, 2019

Continuing with my posting of selected black and white images of London I made in 1980, along with the comments on them I wrote daily when I posted them a year or so ago on Facebook.


Riverside path, River Thames and view of Deptford Power Station, Greenwich. 1980
24j-52: footpath, river, power station

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-52.htm

The was I think the start of the riverside path from the end of Ballast Quay; it used to go down this short alley to the top of the river wall before turning right to go alongside the river.

The view appears to be upstream along the Thames to Deptford Power station.


Swans and riverside downriver from Greenwich. 1980
24j-63: swans, river, ships, silos, gasholder, works

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-63.htm

A group of swans on the River Thames and the view downstream from the start of the riverside walk at Greenwich. The ship at right ‘Friend’ is moored alongside Lovell’s Wharf. The next ship along seems to be named ‘Violet Mitchell, but I can’t make out the name of the third. Further on are barges, possibly at Piper’s Wharf, with Enderby’s Wharf behind them and in the distance in front of the shorter gasholder is a larger vessel moored by the Amylum silos.

The coaster Violet Mitchell, 367 gross tons, built in Holland in 1957 was renamed from Aspera in 1979, and later was known as Sojourner before being renamed Violet Mitchell around 1984. She capsized and sank during a gale with the loss of 2 of her crew on passage from Great Abaco Island to West Palm Beach, Bahamas in April 1986.

When photographed she was owned by H R Mitchell & Sons Ltd based in Woolwich Arsenal who owned a number of ships presumably named after family members, including John, Patricia, Isabel, Hetty, Katharine, Susan, May and Harry as well as Violet. The company ceased trading in the 1980s.

She had been supplying islands there, including Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour and the Abaco Islands with a wide range of goods – timber and building material, vehicles, small boats, food and clothing with weekly sailings from West Palm Beach, Florida, returning to Florida with the local crawfish catch, one of the main income sources for the islands. The ship was hit by a “rage sea” at Whale Cay, where the Atlantic meets the shallower waters of the Bahamas. Rescuers picked up six of the seven crew, but found the dead body of the captain’s 13 year old daughter and the ship’s engineer was not found. Similar sea conditions at Whale Cay are said to have caused over a 100 deaths since English settlers came to the area in 1783.

The only remaining recognisable feature in this picture is the taller of the two gasholders – and developers are now threatening that.

You can read a long account of the tragic end of the Violet Mitchell on-line in the October 1986 Yachting, from which the details here are mainly taken. The story is also told here.


Mansell St, Aldgate, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-14: building, door, pillar

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-14.htm

I think I walked down Mansell St on my way from Spitalfields, perhaps to London Bridge, and this was one of six pictures I made of details of this closed café serving halal meals and snacks. It had obviously been built as something rather grander.

Most of the buildings on both streets have now been demolished and replaced by larger and rather depressingly characterless modern blocks but I this still stands, though with a rather different look, at No. 57. The building from around 1720 was Grade II listed in 1971 and has gone considerably upmarket since my photograph and is now the offices of Seascope Insurance Services.


Spring Rose Fashion Co Ltd, Aldgate, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-26: shop, wholesale, fashion,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-26.htm

Spring Rose Fashion Co Ltd seems to have disappeared without trace, at least so far as the Internet is concerned, with the only relevant links found by Google being to this image on my web site. As a limited company there should be some details available at Companies House, and this suggests it has long since disappeared.

It has a fairly distinctive shop-front, rather formal and very old fashioned, with an unusual array of patterned tiles under the windows and the recessed doorway. I can’t find anything like this in the area now, and suspect it has probably been demolished, or at least the shopfront replace by a more modern design, probably now selling some variety of fast food, though there are still plenty of wholesale clothing companies in the area.

I think this was probably on a side street just off Aldgate High Street, somewhere near Aldgate East station. It has quite a wide frontage on a street with road markings but a fairly narrow pavement.


Freedom Alley, Whitechapel High St, Aldgate, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-34: wall, graffiti

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-34.htm

Angel Alley or Freedom Alley is hard to find, an insignificant entrance between two shops on Whitechapel High St, immediately to the west of the Whitechapel gallery at the left of KFC.

Opposite the corner of the yard shown here is Freedom Bookshop, London and one of the world’s oldest anarchist publisher and bookshop, founded in 1886. It’s address is given as 84b Whitechapel High Street.

The shop has been attacked by right-wing arsonists on several occasions during its life, most recently in 2013, but remains open, and still selling, among many others, the works of Peter Kropotkin, 1842-1921, a Russian prince and geographer who gave up wealth and a privileged lifestyle to become the father of Russian anarchism.


Cheshire St, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-42: house street

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-42.htm

A view from the footbridge over the railway lines out of Liverpool St, looking north and showing the rear of a house on Cheshire St and the road, with property in a run-down state.

The footbridge, leading to the oddly named Fleet Street Hill and on to Pedley St is still there, now highly decorated with graffiti as is the building at the left of the picture, but the opposite side of the street has been rebuilt in an excessively bland fashion, as has the block to just outside of the picture to the right which was developed in 2008.

The pavements of Cheshire St to the west of this alley are a part of Brick Lane market, thronged with people on a Sunday morning, where later I often went to photograph.


Shop, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets. 1980
24l-46: window, shop,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24l-46.htm

This small Bengali shop was on or just off Brick Lane, and had what seemed a curious mixture in is windows, with at its centre a book on self-defence, next to some Bengali newsheets.

On the shelf above some packets proudly state ‘Made in Inda – Export Quality’ though I’ve no idea what they contain, nor the tall jars which I think are of various spices.

I read the window as an illustration of the concerns of the community, then relative newcomers to what had previously for many years been a largely Jewish area. Although there were a number of early Bengali residents, some of whom had come here as ‘Lascar’ seamen, the main wave of immigration was in the 1970s, after the formation of Bangladesh. There were many attacks on them in the 1970s by skinhead gangs and the National Front, and in May 1978 25-year old Altab Ali was murdered by a teenage gang, and a few months later the NF moved its HQ to neraby Great Eastern Street.

And of course there are cigarette adverts, for Benson & Hedges Gold Leaf and Craven A, and less visible Dunhill, who then made cigarettes as well as pipes and butane lighters, though now they are better known for menswear and leather goods.


To be continued…

London 1980 (6)

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

The sixth set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


Disused Wharf and gas holder, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-23: wharf, derelict,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-23.htm

Looking from the inside of the derelict shed you can see the two gas holders through the windows.


Machinery, Enderby’s Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-25: wharf, machinery

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-25.htm

Enderby’s Wharf was where the cables that provided worldwide communication long before the age of radio and the satellites were made. The Telegraph Cable Works was established here in 1854 by Glass Elliott and William Henley, though Henley moved to North Woolwich. The company later merged with Siemens and were taken over by Submarine Telephones and Cables Ltd in 1979, later becoming part of Nortel and then Alcatel. The first transatlantic cables were made here and laid in the mid 1860s by the SS Great Eastern. Manufacture of cables here ceased shortly before I took this picture. There is a short length of cable by the riverside path and this piece of cable loading gear is still by the riverside.

Enderby House was built in 1830 for a member of the Enderby family, who were coopers in London and later moved into shipping and set up a patent rope, twine and canvas factory here, beofre losing their fortunes in the Antartic whaling industry. Grade II listed, it was deliberately allowed to deteriorate. As a condition of planning permission the developer were required to restore it to a decent condition and it is now incorporated into a larger building, though not I think as it originally was.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-34: wharf, derelict, graffiti,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-34.htm

Another picture inside the derelict shed at Bay Wharf. Among the scrawlings on the wall was a rather better than averagely drawn chalked reclining nude, apparently signed by the artist, ‘John 25.5.80’, almost certainly the day before I took this picture on the Spring Bank Holiday, which that year was on May 26th. The view also shows some details of the building and its vaulted roof.


Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-41: wharf, sand, gravel,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-41.htm

Sand and Gravel at Granite Wharf. The site is now occupied by new and expensive flats. The whole area, including Greenwich Wharf, Lovells Wharf, Granite Wharf, Providence Wharf, Badcock’s Wharf, Pipers wharf and Cadet (or Paddock) Place is now known as Greenwich Wharf.


Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-42: wharf, sand, gravel,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-42.htm

More sand, aggregate and gravel at Granite Wharf, which remained in use by Tarmac until mid-2001. It was first let by Morden College to Victorian road builder John Mowlem in the 1840s.


Riverside path, River Thames & Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-43: wharf, sand, gravel, footpath, river

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-43.htm

I think the massive concrete blocks were bases for cranes at the wharf. The inlet here where Cadet Place left the riverside path was known locally as Dead Dog Bay, Mary Mills suggests possibly because animals which escaped the Foreign Cattle Market at Deptford and were drowned washed up here.

THe whole area is no covered by recently built flats, The River Gardens, where a 2-bed flat will cost you a little over £600,000, and Cadet Place no longer exists. A walkway, River Gardens Walk, with steps up from Banning St opposite Derwent St occupies roughly the same position.


Pier, River Thames and view of Millwall, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-44: children, pier, river,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-44.htm

One of several piers on the riverside path, this may be at Primrose Wharf, but if so had been considerably modified since I took this picture. I don’t think the pier was officially open to the public at the time I made this picture.

Primrose Pier belonged to Amylum and was later opened by them to the public but in 1998 it was resurfaced and part-rebuilt by the Groundwork team, with reed beds being added on either side and disabled access provided.


More to follow…

My pictures on Flickr

Friday, December 27th, 2019

In typically perverse fashion I’ve decided to put an increasing amount of my work on Flickr just as it seems the platform is possibly going downhill fast, with a begging letter from the CEO which also includes a 25% off offer for the ‘Pro’ subscription to those with free Flikr accounts .

I’ve had a free Flickr account for a long time, simply because I needed one to subscribe to another, now defunct organisation. I put a fairly small number of pictures on it, I think around 75, and then forgot about it.

What made me think about it again was simply the fact that my web space is filling up and near its limit, not in terms of space but for the number of files. There is a limit on my account of 262,144 files and I’m currently at the 225,419 mark.

262,144 seems to be quite an important number in computing, which I’m sure is connected to the fact that in binary it is 1000000000000000000 (in hex 40000) and has some connection to the way in which the accounts are set up in Linux. It seems a pretty huge number, but I find that my web space currently contains just short of 200,000 image files. In November 2019 on My London Diary I added another 837 images, along with another 31 html files, and over the whole year over 14,000 files, while other web sites and this blog added at least another thousand or two. So things are getting rather close to the limit. Either I’m going to have to delete some or get another web account of some sort.

I don’t actually generate much income directly from the web, but make everything available free online and without advertising. I do occasionally sell prints or get repro fees because people have seen work on the web, but it hardly pays my costs (and certainly doesn’t repay the hours of work I put in.) I do it more because I want to share my photography and my thoughts with other people.

Importantly for me, there is a lot more work that I would like to share. Fifteen or twenty years of work in both black and white and colour, particularly on London, that has hardly been seen except by myself and a few friends and colleagues, with just perhaps just a few hundred of the probably more than a hundred thousand of the images having been published or exhibited. It includes several major projects along with much other work.

I had hoped earlier this year that a major institution would take ‘My London Diary‘ under its wing, enabling me to free almost 200,000 files from my personal account, but after some discussion and lengthy deliberation they decided that they just did not have the resources to do so. I’m open to offers from any other body that would like to host this unique record of around 20 years of London’s history covering protests and other events on the streets – and for that matter my earlier film-based work.

I decided to do a little research on ways that would be effective both in terms of cost and time in sharing my work on-line and thought seriously about two platforms, Instagram and Flickr. Neither seemed particularly suitable and both have interfaces that really don’t work well for what I want to do. I tried out putting a little work on each of them and in the end decided that for all its peculiarities (and it has a seriously dated and inconsistent interface) Flickr seemed the better for my purposes. So I’ve now signed up for a ‘Pro’ account that will enable me to put as many images as I like on line.

At the moment there are three new albums of my old pictures on Flickr: 1977 London Pictures

1978 London Pictures


1979 London Pictures

There are also a few pictures from the 2000’s, including albums on Paris and on Croydon’s Trams which I added in 2007 when I first set up my Flikr Account. Then I made the mistake of only putting on the files at a small size and low quality, using the images from my web site, while I am now uploading 2400 pixel wide repro quality files which display the work much better. Of course these may now be used by the unscrupulous who are prepared to ignore the copyright notice, but I hope that there are enough honest people around who will contact me and pay to make the risk worthwhile.

All of those London pictures in the albums above are also available on my web site, but you can now see them rather larger and better on Flikr along with the comments that I wrote when putting most of them on Facebook a day at a time.I’ll also probably at some time put the images that are on my Hull web site onto Flickr in hight quality, and then remove both the Hull and London sites from the web, leaving just a residual site which links to the Flikr albums. Together with removing a few other old sites this might give me space for another year or so of My London Diary.


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

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.

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