Posts Tagged ‘shop window’

A Mixed Day: 23 Nov 2019

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021


Bon Marché, the first purpose-built department store in the UK closed in 1975

I can’t remember why I went to Brixton on Saturday morning two years ago, though there must have been some reason. My events diary has nothing relevant in it and neither the text or pictures in My London diary contain any clues as to why I should have decided to take a walk up Brixton Road. I suspect I may have had a tip-off about something which was supposed to be taking place outside Brixton Police Station which turned out to be inaccurate.

It isn’t unusual to arrive at the time and place I had been told something would happen to find I am the only person there. It’s rather better for those things with an events page on Facebook which tells you how many people have said they will be going, though these are often wildly inaccurate. After walking up and down the road I left for central London.

Carnaby Street Show

Three of my Notting Hill pictures in a Carnaby St shop window

I’m not quite clear either about my next movements, as I seem to have taken the tube to Charing Cross and looked for another event in Trafalgar Square, where again I clearly didn’t find what I was looking for and only made two pictures. I was on my way to Carnaby Street where I wanted to see how three of my pictures were being used in ‘A retrospective on the musical footprint of an iconic sneaker‘ in a window display and screens inside the shop.

Stand With Hong Kong

After a brief look at the shopfront in Carnaby Street I hurried down to Parliament Square where protesters were gathering for a march to Downing St calling on the Prime Minister to act over China’s breaches of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They called attention to Hong Kong’s humanitarian crisis, widespread injustices and erosion of autonomy and called for the Hong Kong protesters 5 demands to be met.

Some carried yellow posters stating these demands: complete withdrawal of the Extradition Bill; a retraction of characterising the protests as riots; withdrawal of prosecutions against protesters; an independent investigation into police brutality; the implementation of Dual Universal Suffrage.

Unfortunately even if Boris Johnson could be persuaded to lift a finger it would not attract the slightest notice from the Chinese authorities.

March Against Fur 2019

A short walk took me to Leicester Square, where several hundred were gathering for the annual march against fur, a tour of the West End and stores selling fur products, calling for an end not just to using fur in clothing but against all exploitation of animals of all species, whether for meat, dairy, wool, leather or other products.

Using fur in clothing has a very long history, but it is a practice that should now be in the past. We now have so many alternatives and there is abundant evidence of barbaric cruelty in the trapping and farming of animals for their fur. Most in the fashion industry and most shops have been persuaded by various campaigns over the years to abandon fur, but too many still sell clothes with fur trims or use animal skins or down fillings. There are long-running campaigns against stores such as Canada Goose.

More pictures and details in My London Diary

March Against Fur 2019
Carnaby Street Show
Stand With Hong Kong

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.

Another Chelsea Walk – 1988

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Church Of The Ñazarene, Grant Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-54-positive_2400
Church Of The Ñazarene, Grant Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-54

I returned for another walk in Chelsea, taking the train to Clapham Junction and taking a few pictures on my short walk to the bus stop of the Church Of The Ñazarene close to the north entrance to the station on Grant Road. The church, a twelve-sided building by Green Lloyd Adams was built in 1970 on the edge of the Winstanley Estate, developed by Battersea Council in the 1960s. The lettering on the ramp ‘JESUS SAID I AM THE WAY’ is designed for maximum size rather than typographical nicety.

Currently extensive building work is being carried out to considerably extend the church, though its future may be threatened if Crossrail 2 goes ahead. Of the two pictures I made I preferred a view across the small area with seats to a cleaner architectural view also included in the album.

Falcon Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-55-positive_2400
Falcon Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-55

On the bus I took advantage of an unusually clean front window on the upper deck to take a photograph of Falcon Road with the Queen Victoria pub. Also apparently known as ‘Spikey Hedghog’ the pub which had been there since the 1860s closed permanently in 1999 and was demolished to build the 8 flats of St Luke’s Court.

The picture also includes a falcon – both image and text on the side of a lorry. Elsewhere you can read a short post Falcon Road – a Memory of Battersea by someone who grew up living in the pub which gives an idea what the area was like, probably in the 1950s.

Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-45-positive_2400
Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-45

I got off the bus in Beaufort St in Chelsea and photographed this doorway there before walking along Cheyne Walk. Although the door is on Beaufort St, this is Belle Vue Lodge with the address 91 Cheyne Walk. It gets a lengthy mention in the Survey of London, first published in 1913 which suggests it dates from before 1771. It states that in 1829 it was occupied by “Luke Thomas Flood, who was a great benefactor to the parish. He was evidently a friend of the historian, for he addressed some lines to him, which conclude with the halting line ‘Sweet Chelsea shall ever live in thee.’ Flood Street was named after him, and his benefactions are celebrated at the parish church by a service on January 13th,—’Flood’s Day.'”

Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-32-positive_2400
Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-32

I walked across Cheyne Walk to make a photograph over the roofs of houseboats at the moorings, looking towards Chelsea Harbour and at left the Rank Hovis flour mills at Battersea and the Battersea Rail bridge. Then I think only used by goods trains this now carries frequent services of the London Overground as well as Thameslink trains.

Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-33-positive_2400
Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-33

I took a picture of houses in Cheyne Row. That at left is No 104 with two blue plaques, for the artist Walter Greaves (1846-1930) and Anglo-French ‘Poet, essayist and historian’ Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) whose poem Jim (who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion) ends with the famous lines:
‘And always keep ahold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse.’

No 104 doesn’t get a mention in the Survey of London, but No 100 at right of the picture is part of Lindsey House which it suggests was “rebuilt much in its present external form by the third Earl of Lindsey in 1674” but then divided into separate houses as 95-100 around 1775. It gets a very long entry.

Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-22-positive_2400
Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-22

I walked back up Beaufort St, passing a long row of frontages with identical garden ornaments which I think is Beaufort Mansions, though the gardens now have hedges. I think these mansion flats probably date from around 1890.

Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-23-positive_2400
Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-23

I was on my way to take a few more photographs on the King’s Road, including a several shop interiors. I think the name of the shop is on the wall at left, part hidden, Pineapple.

More pictures from this walk in a later post.

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

FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis

London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.

Kings Road & Chelsea Common 1988

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Anderson St, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-21-positive_2400
Anderson St, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-21

It was the eye on the billboard that particulalry caught my attention on the corner of this long block of rather distressed looking shops and accomodation on the Kings Road, though I now have no idea what it was advertising and rather doubt if I did then. The long terrace has been considerably smartened now, with both advertising hoardings gone and the building has a smooth unblemised finish.

Royal Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-22-positive_2400
Royal Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-22

Royal Avenue was first laid out as a part of a scheme connecting the Royal Hospital Chelsea with Kensington Palace which was apparently approved by Sir Christopher Wren in 1681, but only ever got as far as the King’s Road. At first it was planted with two rows of horse chestnut trees and grass and was known as Chestnut Walk, then it got white ladder stiles over the walls at each ends and became known as White Stiles. The terraces on each side date from around 1840 and are Grade II listed. The chestnuts were replaced by lime and plane trees and the grass by gravel around the same time, and it was renamed Royal Avenue in 1875. In 1970 the road access to King’s Road was replaced by a broad area of pavement. It still looks much the same as when I made this picture in 1988.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-23-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-23

Another view of the King’s Road that is relatively unchanged, although there is now a florists stall which would have obscured this view. Strangely the council have replaces the plain but elegant bollards here with rather more ornate versions which seem rather less in keeping with the elegant white stucco architecture of Wellington Square, behind me as I made this image. The square was developed around the time of the death of the Duke of Wellington in 1852 and was named for him.

The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-13-positive_2400
The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-13

The Pheasantry got its name from Samuel Baker who bred new breeds of pheasants and other species there in the nineteenth century, though the present building is thought largely to have been built and embellished after the building was bought in 1880 by Amédée Joubert & Son, upholsterers and sellers of furniture, tapestry and carpets. In the early 20th century it also housed artists and a ballet school, and from 1932 when Felix Joubert retired the basement became a bohemian restaurant and drinking club with a host of famous actors and artists among its patrons. The club closed in 1966, the basement becoming a nightclub and the rest of the building flats. Now it houses a branch of Pizza Express and a cabaret club. Wikipedia has more.

The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-24-positive_2400
The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-24

The listing text describes this as “Central entrance with split segmental pediment supported by 2 male caryatids.”

Shop window, Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-33-positive_2400
Shop window, Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-33

Elystan Street runs from the miniscule remains of Chelsea Common and was originally called College St. Here in 1913 the William Sutton Trust built 14 red-brick blocks of model dwellings, designed by E C P Monson, with 674 dwellings for around 2,000 working-class residents of Chelsea. Another large estate was also begun close to this in 1913 by the Samuel Lewis Housing Trust, with eight blocks of model dwellings completed after the First World War to house 1,390 people. (British History Online.)

Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-35-positive_2400
Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-35

Elystan St is better known now as the name adopted by a restaurant at No 43 with a Michelin star.

Monkeys, Restaurant, Cale St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-36-positive_2400
Monkeys, Restaurant, Cale St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-36

Monkeys in Cale St, also leading from the residual Chelsea Common, a small triangle of grass in a road junction looks more my kind of restaurant. It faces that triangle and still looks very similar, but now claims to be “London’s best Neapolitan pizzeria”.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version and to browse other images in my album 1988 London Photos.

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

More 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.

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.

Mayfair & St James’s 1987

Monday, September 7th, 2020
St George St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5n-52-positive_2400

J C Wells Ltd at 12 St George St, founded in 1829, were one of a number of small tailors in this and surrounding streets not far from Saville Row, and already served an international clientèle, selling suits in the USA since 1927 when they merged with Cooling Lawrence and Wells and Cordas and Bright to become ‘Wells of Mayfair’ around 1976. For a while there were one of Saville Row’s most succesful tailors, but went out of business in 1992 and were acquired in Davies & Son.

The photograph is of Wells of Mayfair’s premises around the corner at 47 Maddox St. I was attracted particularly by the map of the world showing the many places where their suits dressed the wealthy. Their bespoke tailoring did not come cheap, but it was certainly not ‘fast fashion’ and some are still worn – and sold – fifty years after they were made.

Conduit  St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5n-53-positive_2400

I found empty windows like this rather more interesting than when they were full of goods, and they had a rather eerie quality, emphasised here by what appears to be the ghost of a necklace on the central stand. I’m not sure if that was really visible when I took the picture – either where a necklace has shaded the material from being darkened by the sun or as a reflection in the window through which I made the picture. It could even be a fault caused in the film processing. But whatever it was caused by it adds to the image.

I took a second frame of another of the shop’s windows with a similar empty jewellery stand, but with what appears to be a ghostly hand and arm in the picture (presumably for displaying bracelets, watches and rings.) You can find this, along with other pictures, in my album 1987 London Photos – linked here.

Conduit  St, Mayfair, Westminster, 1987 87-5n-55-positive_2400

Although my contact sheet states Conduit St, I think this is Jack Barclay on the corner of Bruton Place and Berkeley Square, part of H R Owen who also deal in Rolls Royce, Ferrari and other expensive gas guzzlers.

John “Jack” Donald Barclay was one of the wealthy British motorists who drove Bentley sports cars in the 1920s to victories, though his career was cut short as his mother would only settle a huge gambling debt he had run up in Le Touquet on condition he stopped racing. He had previously been selling Vauxhalls as Barclay & Wyse and in 1927 opened the shop named after him, dealing in both Bentleys and Rollers. It moved to Berkeley Square in 1953 and is the world’s oldest and most famous Bentley dealership.

King St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-22-positive_2400

I think this part of King St has since been demolished with a new prestige office block in place of both Silks cocktail bar and the art dealer next door.

I felt an immediate sympathy with the running man at right, trying to get away from the West End and its conspicuous wealth, though doubtless on sale for some obscene sum, but it was the jockey walking into the cocktail bar, his arm outstretched, that made me take two more or less identical frames. I’d made the first when another man, possible a waiter, came to stand in the doorway and watched me around the corner. I’m not entirely sure he improves the scene.

Crown Passage, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-25-positive_2400

Crown Passage, also in St James’s, was more my kind of street, one where you could actually buy something of use, with a sandwich shop, an ironmongers, Early Birds Fine Foods, a tobacconist and sweet shop and a pub and more.

The Red Lion is still there, but I think most of the other shops have changed hands and the street has been rather tidied up.

Jermyn St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-41-positive_2400

Wiltons restauarant, begun by George William Wilton as a shellfish-mongers off Haymarket in 1742, is still at 55 Jermyn St and reopens after COVID-19 on Monday 7th September, coincidentally the day I intend to publish this post.

In the early 19th century the stall changed its name to Wilton’s Shellfish Mongers and Oyster Rooms and set up in a series of locations in St James’s having to move as the area was redeveloped. By 1868 it was established in King St where the Prince of Wales was a loyal customer and it received 868 its first Royal Warrant as Purveyor of Oysters to Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales.

The family sold the shop in 1889 and it moved larger premises, and there were several later owners and moves. On Wilton’s site you can read the story of how the then owner Mrs Bessie Leal got so fed up with wartime bombing that she “folded her tea towel, unpinned her apron and then proclaimed that she no longer wished to live in London during the War and wished to sell Wiltons”. The only customer dining at the time, a regular, Mr Olaf Hambro told her to “put the restaurant at the end of the bill!”

Under Hambro’s ownership and the manager he appointed, Jimmy Marks, Wiltons became a world-famous institution, moving in 1964 to Bury St, and in 1984 to this shop in Jermyn St, dressing its waitresses like nannies who treated the aristocratic customers like children in a nursery.

You might like to book and try a half dozen Loch Ryan Natives No2 for £30, or perhaps 30g of Beluga Caviar for £180, washed down perhaps with a glass of Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” 2006 at £45.00

Sculptures, Economist Plaza, St James's St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-43-positive_2400

The buildings for the Economist group in 1960-64 are the only remaining London buildings by Alison and Peter Smithson, two of the UK’s most influential post-war architects. They were listed Grade II* the year after I made these pictures. The plaza was refurbished in 2018 and renamed as Smithson Plaza.

The plaza has exhibited a wide range of sculpture by prominent sculptors over the years. I’ve forgotten who these were made by.

Economist Plaza, St James's St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-46-positive_2400

From the Plaza, and below, from St James’s St.

Boodles Club, Economist Building, St James's St, St James's, Westminster, 1987 87-6a-54-positive_2400

The Economist site is next door to Boodle’s, perhaps the most ludicrously named of London’s clubs for wealthy men. Often called ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ though many of the members were not. Boodle’s, a Private Members’ Club was founded in 1762 by the Earl of Shelburne, later the Marquess of Lansdowne and Prime Minister. Originally at 49-51 Pall Mall, it moved to 28 St. James’s Street in 1782. It got its silly name from its Head Waiter, Edward Boodle.

Boodle’s owned a part of the land needed for the Economist site and released it being given a part of the new building and now has its entrance in the Economist Plaza. Among former members have been Beau Brummel, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, Adam Smith, the Duke of Wellington and William Wilberforce.

More from 1987 London Photos later.

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.