Posts Tagged ‘railway bridge’

Down the Blue, Spa Road & Old Jamaica Road 1988

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

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

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links of the area but to the many Anchorites, many of them women who were enclosed in religious buildings having withdrawn themselves from secular society to lead a life of prayer.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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South Hackney Walk 1988

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

South Hackney Walk 1988
It was not until Sunday 18th September 1988 that I had the time for another walk with my cameras around London, taking a train and tubes to Bethnal Green Station and walking north up Cambridge Heath Road to Mare St in Hackney.

Victoria Buildings, Mare St, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-53-Edit_2400
Victoria Buildings, Mare St, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-53

I stopped to take another photograph of the fine late Victorian commercial building with its row of shops at ground level and a bricked up doorway, particularly attracted by the multiple identities of No 7 as Aarons Van & Car Rental with Doris Car Service partly covering yet another. In the top left corner of the shop window it tells us ‘UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT’ while a rather drunken notice lower down states ‘YOU DRINK WE DRIVE’. Above Simply Seconds at No 9 were peeling posters and the upper floors appeared largely unoccupied.

Rich Scum out of Hackney!!, Westgate St, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-56-Edit_2400
Rich Scum out of Hackney!!, Westgate St, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-56

A little further up Mare St I wandered briefly down Westgate St, to record the graffiti on its railway bridge, which above the advert for LEATHER MERCHANTS gave the clear message ‘RICH SCUM OUT OF HACKNEY!!’. The bridge has been regularly repainted over the years, but I think later graffiti has been non-political.

King Edwards Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-43-Edit_2400
King Edwards Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-43

On King Edwards Road off to the west of Mare Street I came across a fine piece of architectural decoration with peeling paint and shrubs growing from it at No 6. The house next door, No 8 had a similar feature in better condition and a little more ornate which I also photographed but is not on-line.

Synagogue, Ainsworth Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-31-Edit_2400
Synagogue, Ainsworth Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-31

The South Hackney Federation Synagogue or Yavneh Synagogue at 25 Ainsworth Rd was founded in 1904 and was an Ashkenazi Orthodox synagogue incorporated into Clapton Federation Synagogue in the 1990s. It was demolished and replaced by a block of flats.

Church Crescent, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-21-Edit_2400
Southborough Road area, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-21

I often made use of framing a view through some kind of arch – in this case of trees – which had been emphasised by the writers for Amateur Photographer when as a grubby teenager I spent hours perusing it in my local library. And while it can be a useful device it is certainly a cliché and is often used ironically in my work. I’ve also here carefully joined together a 22 storey tower block and the rather grand porch of an older house.

I think the block could be Clare House in Hawthorne Avenue, on the other side of Victoria Park where I was standing on a street corner, somewhere not far from Church Crescent where I made a previous exposure and the next on the corner of Southborough and Lauriston Roads. But I cannot find its precise location

Derby Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-24-Edit_2400
Derby Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-24

These houses were on Derby Road, awaiting demolition as well as those in the image below. There is now a modern two-story housing development on this side of the street.

J Roler, Derby Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-25-Edit_2400
J Roler, Derby Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-25

J Roler was at the corner of Derby Rd though I think its address as No 6 may have been in Rutland Road. It appeared long closed when I made this picture. Perhaps someone reading this will remember visiting the shop and tell us all more in a comment to this post.

Shelter, Victoria Park, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-26-Edit_2400
Shelter, Victoria Park, Hackney, 1988 88-9c-26

A curiously organic shelter in Victoria Park with a generous coating of graffiti, none of any interest. In the background people are sitting beside the lake. I don’t think I walked far into the park and although I can’t identify and of the buildings in the background I think this is somewhere close to Victoria Park Road on the north side of the lake.

I suspect I sat here or somewhere close by drinking a cup of coffee and eating my sandwiches for lunch. Back in 1988 there were still relatively few places you could rely on getting a decent cup of coffee and my camera bag always included a space for a thermos. After a short rest I will have continued my walk – and there will be more pictures in a future post.


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Bromley-by-Bow – July 1988

Thursday, February 17th, 2022

Bromley-by-Bow – July 1988. My previous post on my walk on Sunday 31st July 1988 ended at Watts Grove off Devons Road, and I spent some time exploring the area around here and in Bow Common and Bow.

All Hallows, Church, Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-45-positive_2400
All Hallows, Church, Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-45

The church of All Hallows on Devons Road was funded by the Clothworkers’ Company who got the money from the site of All Hallows Staining, demolished except for its tower in 1873. That tower, now Grade I listed, is still there just off Mark Lane, next to St Olave’s Church Hall. They paid for a church by architect Ewan Christian, completed in 1874. Unfortunately this was badly damaged by bombing, and only its core remained in the new church on the site by A P Robinson completed in 1955 in an ‘Early Christian’ style. The church has its address on Blackthorn St and is not yet listed.

Shops,  Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-46-positive_2400
Shops, Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-46

There was still a tyre shop, though no longer J R Tyres, at 119 Devons Road in 2021, though I think this end of the row of shops is currently being rebuilt. Some years since I made this picture this shop had previously been rebuilt, its ground and upper floor losing their late Victorian frontage.

The Widow's Son, The Bun House, pub, Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-32-positive_2400
The Widow’s Son, The Bun House, pub, Devons Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-32

The Widow’s Son has the distinction of being the only listed building in the South Bromley Ward of Tower Hamlets, though I suspect its Grade II* listing reflects the legend associated with it – of the widow’s son who joined the Navy to fight Napoleon and wrote telling his mother he would be home for Easter and told her to cook a hot cross bun and have it waiting for him. He never came, but every year on Good Friday she baked a fresh bun for him, and a large collection was found hanging in a net from the ceiling beams of her cottage after her death.

The Widow’s Son, commonly known as the Bun House, was built on the site of her cottage, and the net containing the buns, was hung above the bar, with a sailor from the Navy adding another each year on Good Friday. From some time in the 1990s the buns were baked and supplied by Mr Bunn’s Bakery, a family-run business a few miles away in Chadwell Heath.

The pub was built around 1848, and its single bar largely retains its fittings from around the 1870s. It closed and was put up for sale in 2016, but was reopened in time for Bun Day in 2017 and was refurbished with new kitchens in 2019 and is more a pub/restaurant. I think it reopened after a further temporary closure due to Covid, but haven’t been able to check personally.

Joe's Auto Spares,  Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-34-positive_2400
Joe’s Auto Spares, Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-34

Joe’s Auto Spares were in a railway arch immediately west of the Cantrell Road Bridge, where there are still businesses in the arches, though many are now being priced out as railway arches – such as those in the centre of Brixton – are redeveloped and re-let at much higher rents.

Railway, bridge, gasholder, Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-35-positive_2400
Railway, bridge & gasholder, Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-35

I walked into the southern end of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park to take a wider view showing the railway bridge and Joe’s Auto Spares, with one of the two remaining gasholders of Bow Common Gasworks behind. The gasholders, long redundant, were only demolished a few years ago and the site is now a development of around 1450 homes, a new sixth form centre, some commercial uses and a new area of open space.

Car spares, Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-36-positive_2400
Car spares, Cantrell Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-36-positive_2400

I couldn’t resist taking another picture of the scrapyard beside the railway which has featured in a previous post. The site is now a part of the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

Demolition, Rounton Rd, Bromley, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-21-positive_2400
Demolition, Rounton Rd, Bromley, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-21

Walking back towards the east I came to Rounton Road, where a row of late Victorian houses was being demolished. I think the tower block just visible in the background is probably Gayton House just off of Knapp Rd. The whole area around Rounton Road has been redeveloped.

Lozinski Ltd, Rounton Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 198888-7s-22-positive_2400
Lozinski Ltd, Rounton Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 198888-7s-22

Lozinki Ltd, an engineering company helpfully give their address as Rounton Ropad, Bow, and their site is now Miami Car Wash. Through the railway brdige you can see Navenby Walk. The tree is also still there.

H Barnett & Co, Rounton Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-23-positive_2400
H Barnett & Co, Rounton Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7s-23

The railway bridge, as well as the brick building are still there but the writing on the wall for H Barnett & Co, as well as the Vehicle Spares sign have gone and the wall and street sign both replaced. The building, obviously much altered by the brickwork, is a sub-station for the railway with a bridge carrying cables across to the tracks at its rear.

I still had a lot of wandering to do – so there will be further posts from my walk around Bow.


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Thames Path – Pangbourne – Cholsey

Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

Whitchurch from the bridge from Pangbourne

Thames Path – Pangbourne – Cholsey: At the start of 2010 we were still walking sections of the Thames Path. On New Years Day we had walked from Reading to Pangbourne, and on the following day caught the train back to Pangbourne to begin our day’s journey there.

The Thames from the Thames Path along a hillside west of Whitchurch

We were heading to Cholsey, around 8 miles away, an easy distance suitable for a short day with over an hour’s rail travel at each end. Cholsey is a small village and has a railway station a little over a mile from the Thames Path with trains back to Reading from where trains run – if rather slowly – back to Staines.

Gatehampton Bridge

Pangbourne is a much larger village, and its station is a short walk from where we joined the Thames Path, and there were a few shops where we could buy some crisps and sweets to supplement the sandwiches in our bags and even a public toilet, so a very useful place to start a walk.

Before our walk really started we spent a little time in Pangbourne, visiting the parish church and photographing the Pang before rejoining the Thames Path at Whitchurch Bridge. Crossing the bridge takes you to Whitchurch, perhaps a prettier village than Pangbourne. Here the path takes quite a long detour away from the river bank and up on a hillside, with some extensive views through trees of the river and country to the south, before going back down to the riverside.

The railway line crosses the path and the river at Gatehampton Bridge, built by Brunel for the GWR main line in 1838 but the path stays on the north bank, passing between the tree-covered slopes of the Goring Gap, where the river cut through to seperate the Chilterns from the Berkshire Downs. Winter sun on the leafless bare branches was magical.

The bridge linking Goring on the north bank with Streatley on the south seems a rather primitive and temporary wooden structure, but has been here since 1923 when it replace the earlier bridge from 1837. Before then there had been both a ferry and a ford, though this was probably more often passable on horseback than on foot. It takes two bridges to reach Streatley from where the Thames Path proceeds westward on the south bank.

Streatley from Goring lock

At Streatley, a village until 1938 owned by the Oxfordshire brewers Morrell we visited the church and then set out on a partly underwater path by the river. December 2009 had been one of the wettest months on record and we began to doubt the wisdom of We thought about turning back and abandoning the walk, taking a train from Goring, but after seeing a walker paddle through towards us decided to continue.

Fortunately it was only a few inches deep, but despite our boots I think we all got wet feet. The day was around freezing, but walking kept our feet warm, and many of the smaller puddles along the rest of our route were frozen over, as well as the mud, and it was much easier to walk than had it been warmer.

The Beetle and Wedge at Mouslford looked very closed

A little further on the tow path moves from the south to the north bank, not a great problem in the past for craft being towed who could pole over to the other side, but more so for walkers, who need to take a path away from the river and along a main road for a mile or so leaving the path were it went down towards the Moulsford railway bridge and continuing to a footpath beside the railway to Cholsey station.

More pictures from this walk at Pangbourne – Cholsey and more from the previous day’s walk at Reading – Pangbourne. You can read my original post at Thames Path.


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Pimlico & Battersea 1988

Saturday, September 18th, 2021

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-62-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-62

These seven pictures all come from the same film I took at the end of a fairly long day’s walk around Chelsea on Sunday 8th May 1988 which had taken me down to the Thames on Grosvenor Road. I spent some time wandering around on the road and also where it was possible to get onto the riverbank, though most was fenced off.

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 198888-5f-64-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 19888 8-5f-64

The views today are rather different, although the railway bridge carrying the main line to and from Victoria is still much the same. In the pictures you can see some work being carried on in Battersea Power Station, but now new flats hide most of the building apart from the chimneys from here, and the gas works have completely gone.

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-51-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-51

You may still see lighters moored in the river here, but I think this rather odd structure close to the mouth of the vestigial Grosvenor Canal here has gone. I wasn’t absolutely sure why there was this wooden platform with what looked to me like small dog-kennels on it, but perhaps as the rope shows they were simply for mooring barges waiting to use the canal. Technically I think this is a dolphin, as the picture below shows.

Chelsea Bridge, River Thames,Grosvenor Rd, Westminster, 198888-5f-52-positive_2400
Chelsea Bridge, River Thames,Grosvenor Rd, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-52

The first bridge here was built in 1858 when Chelsea Embankment was being built and was a suspension bridge intended to give the large population of Pimlico access to the new Battersea Park – if they could afford the toll – though it was made free on Sundays. It was then called Victoria Bridge, named like the station after the Queen. It became even less popular after Albert Bridge was built at the other end of the park in 1873. It was bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1877 and they abolished the tolls in 1979. It was a narrow bridge and found to be structurally unsound, so fearing it might embarass the Queen if it collapsed they renamed it Chelsea Bridge. It didn’t collapse and apparently took several years to demolish when they decided to replace it with the current bridge which opened in 1937.

As the picture shows, the main cables are attached to the end of the bridge rather than on solid ground on the banks, and it was the first such ‘self-anchored’ suspension bridge in Britain. The LCC couldn’t afford to fund the entire cost and the Ministry of Transport only agreed to stand 60% oof the cost on the condition that all the materials used came from the British Empire.

When Billy Strayhorn named his most famous composition ‘Chelsea Bridge’ it was not this structure that he had in mind, but something more ethereal, probably Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge.

Grosvenor Canal, entrance, River Thames, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-53-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, entrance, River Thames, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-53

I wrote at some length in a previous post about the Grosvenor Canal, London’s last working canal, still in use when I took this picture. You can see part of one of the barges still in use to carry Westminster’s rubbish downriver through the bridge.

Chelsea Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-43-positive_2400
Chelsea Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-43

The pictures here (and on Flickr) are from around 20 exposures I made on this small area of riverside, though many of the others are very similar. There were very few boats around moving on the river at the time.

Pagoda, Battersea Park, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-34-positive_2400
Pagoda, Battersea Park, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-34

I walked upriver along Chelsea Embankment on my way to catch a bus across Battersea Bridge to take me to Clapham Junction for the train home. On my way I took a few pictures of the impressive late-Victorian houses – which haven’t made it to my Flickr album – and four pictures across the river of the Battersea Park Peace Pagoda, this one of which has. I’m not sure about the framing and I think it would perhaps be better in a square format but I felt it had a suitably Japanese feel to it.

Reverend Gyoro Nagase at Hiroshima Day, Tavistock Square, 2019

After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US atom bombs in August 1945, Nichidatsu Fuji who had in 1917 founded the Japanese Buddhist movement, Nipponzan Myohoji, in 1947 decided they would set up Peace Pagodas around the world to promote peace and non-violence. The first opened in Japan in 1954 and the London Peace Pagoda was built by Nipponzan Myohoji monks and opened in 1985, shortly after Nichidatsu Fuji died aged 100. Since 1978 it has been looked after by Reverend Gyoro Nagase who I have met and photographed at many events calling for peace. There are also Peace Pagodas in Milton Keynes and Birmingham among over 80 around the world.


Click on any of the black and white images to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse to other images.


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