Posts Tagged ‘Underground’

Shepherds Bush 1988

Monday, May 17th, 2021

I’ve always found Shepherds Bush confusing. My first visits to the area were infrequent trips with my mother to visit an elderly woman relative who lived alone in a flat on the Goldhawk Rd, an exiting visit, travelling to Hammersmith on the tube and then a bus. And it was a secret mission on which I was sworn to silence; Blanche had been ostracised by all her relations except my mother. This was around 1950 and divorce was still seen by many as something shocking. I remember being rather disappointed to find this ‘scarlet woman’ was much the same colour as me.

Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1d-44-positive_2400
Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Sheep could certainly not safely graze at Shepherds Bush, and were best keeping well out of trouble on this arch above the subway under the M41 West Cross Route, built as part of Ringway 1, part of a series of motorway rings which would have destroyed London. The damage they would cause became very apparent during the building of the Westway and West Cross Route and the scheme was abandoned, with fortunately only a few sections completed. The road was demoted to the A3220 in 2000 but cyclists are still prohibited. The subway is immediately to the north of the Holland Park roundabout.

Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-22-positive_2400
Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Eight years later, in July 1996, I returned here together with around 6,000 others to hold a party and protest on the M41 here which blocked the road for over 8 hours. I left before it ended, climbing over a wall and ending up on Freston Road, taking the Underground to Hammersmith from Latimer Road Station.

Shepherds Bush Station, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & FUlham, 1988 88-1c-42-positive_2400
Shepherds Bush Station, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

One of the confusing things about Shepherds Bush were the two Underground stations around 500 yards apart and on different lines, but both named Shepherds Bush. I think both were built around 1900. The Central Line station in the picture was replaced by a new station in 2008, and the Hammersmith & City station was then renamed Shepherd’s Bush Market.

Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1c-56-positive_2400
Footbridge, Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The footbridge leading across Shepherds Bush close to the Central Line Station to the large 1967 shopping centre on its south side added to the confusion with a giant Intercity 125 Train on its side, despite it leading to the Concorde shoppint centre. It confused me still more by disappearing completely two years after I too its picture, plagued with problems as the escalators kept breaking down and a few people found it funny to drop things from it onto passing traffic.

There are still two quite separate stations called Shepherds Bush, as a new National Rail Shepherds Bush station opened close to the Central Line station in 2008. It had been meant to open as a Silverlink station on the line from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction in 2007, but when completed they found one platform was 18 inches less wide than safety regulations required. By the time this was put right the following year it was a part of the London Overground. Perhaps had this change been anticipated it would have been designed with a tunnel leading the the Underground station rather than having to go through two ticket barriers and across a roadway busy with buses to change trains here.

Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-25-positive_2400
Providence Capital, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The station developments were for the opening of the huge Westfield shopping centre on the White City site. Although the new Overground station was built on the site of the long-disused Uxbridge Road station it required the demolition of the building I rather liked close to the Holland Park roundabout. Its design as a giant gate echoes in plain form the excessively ornate gateway built here at Shepherd Bush for the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition at White City which attracted over eight million paying customers, and I believe this was indeed a much slimmed-down version of the entrance to the exhibition halls, converted for office use.

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.

Holland Park, Earls Court & West Kensington: 1987

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-13-positive_2400
Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Grade II listed 18 Melbury Road is now distinguished by two blue plaques, neither of which appear in my picture. Like many houses in this street in Holland Park it was home to a noted artist, in this case William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. The house was built in 1877, but Hunt only moved here in 1903 and it was here that he died. His widow was still living here when the plaque to him was added to the front of the house in 1923.

Cetshwayo (c.1832-1884) King of the Zulus enjoyed a rather shorter stay, arriving in August 1882 after his defeat and capture in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, an entirely uncalled for attack on Zululand by British forces, who at first suffered an ignominious defeat at Isandhlwana before finally winning the war and taking Cetshwayo prisoner. He was brought to London together with his chiefs, where he was welcomed by inquisitive crowds and met with both the Prime Minister and Queen Victoria, and they agreed to re-instate him as King of Zululand, to where he was secretly returned the following January.

His reinstatement did not go well and he returned to a bloody civil war and had to seek refuge in a British reserve. He died, officially of a heart attack, but possibly poisoned in February 1884 and two months later his heir became king. The English Heritage blue plaque commemorating his stay, just above that of Hunt’s was only unveiled in 2006, long after I took this picture.

Tower House, Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-15-positive_2400
Tower House, Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

In 1875 noted architect William Burges began the building and furnishing of the Tower House in a French Gothic Revival style as his home, but died as it was more or less completed in 1881 and was inherited by his brother-in-law, who later sold it. After several owners and tenants, and Grade I listing in 1949 John Betjeman inherited the remaining lease in 1962, but found the property needed expensive repairs and moved out without extending the lease. He claimed that after this it was deliberately left empty and left it to rot and be vandalised, hoping to be allowed to demolish it and develop the site.

Lady Jane Turnbull bought the house in the mid-60s to save it and began its restoration, selling it to actor Richard Harris for £75,000 in 1969 who continued the work. Three years later he sold it to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (who outbid David Bowie for the property) for £350,000 and Page still owns it and has in recent years carried out a long legal battle with his neighbour Robbie Williams over his plans for underground excavations to develop his property that might threaten the structure of Tower House.

Earls Court Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-35-positive_2400
Earls Court Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Christmas was coming as I took these pictures in December as the multi-lingual messages on The Canning School suggest.

Moscow Mansions, Cromwell Rd,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-44-positive_2400
Moscow Mansions, Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Pineapples, brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus soon became a symbol of wealth and status – and were apparently available for hire to be displayed (but now consumed) at posh dinner parties in the 18th century. Only the incredibly rich could afford to eat them at around the equivalent of £5,000 a fruit. And although they are now commonplace in supermarkets and market stalls, back in my working-class youth they only came in tins as rings or chunks. They can be seen on many buildings across London from St Paul’s Cathedral down – and here on the gateposts of Moscow Mansions.

Hoarding, car, West Cromwell Rd,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-54-positive_2400
Hoarding, car, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The queues of traffic dawdling into London on the A4 were greeted by a car in an unusual parking place on this hoardiing.

Railway, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Looking over a wall or fence you can still see these railway lines, at left is now the London Overground going down to West Brompton Station, but in 1987 this line was only in use for goods trains, with passenger services only being resumed in 1994 and the Network Rail platforms at West Brompton only coming into use in 1999. At lower level is the District Line of the London Underground, coming from Olympia behind me and West Kensington at right. Behind that is the Lillie Bridge Railway and Engineering Depot; missing now from the right of centre is the large bulk of Earls Court Exbition Centre, but the Metropolitan Police tower at right is still present.

Ashfield House, London Underground, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Out of the previous picture to the right is Ashfield House in West Kensington, a block of offices for London Underground, which now includes a mock Underground Station, West Ashfield, used for training purposes. The building was purpose-built for London Underground and opened in 1983. It is likely to be demolished as a part of the redevelopment plan for the area.

Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to a larger version on my Flickr album 1987 London Photos from where you can browse through over 750 black and white pictures I made that year – these are all on Page 8.

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.

Underground Photography

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Like many photographers who work in London I spend too much of my time underground, travelling around from place to place. Taking the Underground is usually the fastest way to get around London other than riding a bike as traffic congestion so often holds up buses and taxis (which are prohibitive unless you work in advertising or fashion.)

Taking my bike to London is possible, but adds complications like finding a safe place to lock it up (and nowhere in London is really safe from bicycle theives) and, particularly with marches where I may end up taking pictures a mile or more from where I started, having to walk back and find it. So usually I rely on buses when I’m not in any hurry or the tube when I am and the journey is too long to walk.

I decided to photograph on buses.

Back around 1990 I first saw the pictures taken on the Underground by Paul Baldesare, who became a friend and one I’ve shown work together with on numerous occasions. The first was a show at the Museum of London and as Paul already had some fine work on the tube, I decided to make a set of images for it of people on London’s buses. Paul’s early work was in black and white, but later he went on to photograph the tube in colour.

Another photographer who has photographed underground for a long period of time is Bob Mazzer, and you can find several features on his work on Spitalfields Life (there are links at the bottom of that page to the others.) His pictures are more varied than Baldesare’s and are the pictures of a regular daily traveller recording odd moments and unusual scenes.

Published now by Hoxton Mini Press. is a book of the work of photographer Mike Goldwater, London Underground 1970-1980, and you can see a fine selection of pictures on the BBC web site feature Candid moments on the London Underground.

And for a final mention, Stefan Rousseau, whose more recent pictures appeared in a Metro feature, Photographer secretly documents people’s sleepy commutes on London’s underground in April 2019.

Of course there are many other photographers who have photographed on the London Underground, including some well-known names, and several photographers I know whose projects I haven’t mentioned, along with the many thousands who have posted their phone images to Instagram and elsewhere. And of course there are other cities and underground networks. But the examples I’ve linked to are some that have particularly interested me and that I hope readers of this post will enjoy. Apologies to all those not mentioned!

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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