Posts Tagged ‘Walk’

Blessing the Thames & Southwark Walk

Friday, January 14th, 2022

The Bishop of Woolwich throws a wooden cross into the River Thames to bless the waters. 

Sunday 14th January 2007 was a pleasant day for me. The weather was good, a bright winter day and I was up in London to photograph a very positive event, the Blessing of the River Thames, with plenty of time too for me to wander around one of my favourite areas of the city, south of the river in Southwark.

In the first ten years of this millennium I photographed a wide range of religious events that take place on the streets of London, particularly by Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims. But there seem to be rather fewer Christian festivals that are celebrated in public, though I think there have been more in recent years, with more public events in particular each year on Good Friday.

The procession comes from Southwark Cathedral

But the Blessing of the Thames is a recent addition, begun in 2004 by Father Philip Warner when he was appointed to the City of London church of St Magnus The Martyr, inspired by similar ceremonies he had experienced in the Orthodox Church in Serbia.

And is met by those from St Magnus at the centre of the bridge

St Magnus The Martyr was Sir Christopher Wren’s most expensive parish church and the traveller’s route into the City of London across the medieval London Bridge, in use from 1209 to 1831 led directly through its entrance porch under its tower after the church was rebuilt around 1676. Until 1729 when Putney got a bridge it was the only way across the river except by boat downstream of Kingston Bridge.

The church is one of the most interesting in London and well worth a visit, and among its treasures includes a very large modern model of the Old London Bridge. This was completed by ex-policeman David T Aggett in 1987, a year after his heart transplant, and found a willing home here after the Museum of London turned it down. A member and past Steward of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, Aggett died a year ago at the age of 91.

You can find out more about the various editions of London Bridge from various bloggers including Laura Porter on Londontopia. Close to the south end of the bridge (which had a chapel on it dedicated to St Thomas which was the official start of pilgrimages to Canterbury) was the Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, until the dissolution in 1538 part of Southwark Priory and since 1905 Southwark Cathedral.

Processions from both churches met at the centre of the new London Bridge completed in 1972 for a brief service with prayers for all those who work on the river and in particular for those killed close to this point in the 1989 sinking of the marchioness close by, which climaxed with the Bishop of Woolwich throwing a wooden cross into the River Thames to bless the waters.

Ofra Zimballsta, Climbers, 1996-8, Borough High St

I’d come up earlier to take a walk around Southwark and Bermondsey and photograph some of the buildings, both old and new, in the area. Back in the 1990s when Desk Top Publishing was in its infancy I had written and published a walk leaflet (now a free download though a little out of date) on West Bermondsey which sold several hundred copies, and it was interesting to visit a part of this again.


When first produced, this walk was printed on a dot-matrix printer, though later copies were made on a black and white laser – an HP Laserjet 1100 still in use over 20 years later on my wife’s computer running Ubuntu.

I think I asked 20p for the leaflet, and using cheap third-party laser toners on cheap thin card it cost only a couple of pence to produce, though printing on dot-matrix was slow the laser speeded up things considerably – once the page was in printer memory it rattled off copies fairly quickly.

In 2007 there were few photographers at the Blessing of the River, but blogging was growing fast and more and more people were using camera phones. The following year I wasn’t able to get such good pictures as there were too many people jumping in front of me and obscuring my view. Photographers do sometimes get in each other’s way, but we do try to respect others, something which doesn’t even seem to occur to the newcomers.

But rather than go for a walk I did go with those celebrating the event and have lunch in the crypt of St Magnus, after which I took a few pictures inside the church, then rather thick with incense.

Scroll down the January 2007 page on My London Diary for more pictures of Blessing the Thames & Southwark Walk.

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Belsize Park Hampstead 1988

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02

Belsize Park Hampstead 1988
Belsize is a confusing area for the casual wanderer and many of the streets have ‘Belsize’ in their name, including Belsize Avenue, Belsize Court, Belsize Crescent, Belsize Gardens, Belsize Grove, Belsize Lane, Belsize Mews, Belsize Park, Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Place, Belsize Square, and Belsize Terrace.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04

I’m not entirely sure whether my captions place all of the houses that are featured in exactly the correct Belsize street, though I’ve tried hard to get them correct. But many of these streets are lined with very similar houses by the same developer – or rather they fall into two groups, the stucco and the later red-brick.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61

As my previous post Hampstead & Belsize 1988 stated, the older houses in the area from the 1860s which feature in this post were stucco, built by Daniel Tidey who went bust in 1870, when development in the 1870s was largely in red brick by William Willett.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63

I liked the Ladies bicycle parked at the bottom of the stairs, its wheels contrasting with the rectangular columns at the gate and base of the steps. It seemed a suitably old-fashioned steed, with caliper brakes and a wicked basket, held by a rather flimsy looking lock to the rail at the bottom of the steps. It was also a tonal contrast, although actually a rather rusty red colour. I also took a colour picture from an almost identical viewpoint which works well, with the green of the vegetation and some attractive muted colours on some of the doors.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65

The backs of these houses have an unusual rounded bay extending from basement to roof.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53

A grand set of steps up to the front door, now with three bells – most of these large properties have now been converted to flats. The tiles here are breaking up and a small area at right is now filled with flowers. There are bootscrapers at both side, probably rather more necessary in the days of horse-drawn traffic than now.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56

Two different framings of the same profusely growing plant – I think a false castor oil plant – and I can’t decide which I prefer. The leaves were beautifully lustrous dark green.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32-positive_2400
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32

It is a beautiful plant, and has flowers and produces black seeds, but unlike the true castor oil plant it vaguely resembles, the seeds of Fatsia japonica are I think not particularly toxic.

Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33-positive_2400
Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33

The iron-work on this house is perhaps a little too much for my taste, both over-intricate and somehow too fat looking. I think it may now be rather more hidden by vegetation than when I made this picture around 33 years ago.

This was the last picture I made on this walk, probably as I made my way to Belsize Park Underground station on my way home.

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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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Thames Path: Maidenhead – Marlow

Friday, December 31st, 2021

Thames Path: Maidenhead – Marlow – A New Year’s Eve Walk

Back in 2007 our New Year’s Eve walk was a little more distant than we will attempt this year, though we started from the same place. This year public transport will be rather less available and less reliable than it was 14 years ago, thanks only partly to Covid which this year will put many train and bus drivers into isolation at short notice.


But we’ve seen an increasing trend over recent years to close various rail lines for engineering works over all of our holiday periods, and travelling anywhere on New Year’s Eve had begun increasingly to resemble Russian Roulette. I can’t understand why the railways now seem to need so many more closures for repairs than they used to; perhaps less work is now carried out overnight.

Ray Mill Island behind Boulters Lock, Maidenhead

We spent a few years walking the Thames Path, from the Estuary beyond its official ending to the source, taking the route in short sections, perhaps ten or twelve miles at a time, with the start and finish determined by where trains and buses could take us until we were some way west of Oxford. It was only for the final three days from Hinton Waldrist to Kemble we had to spend a couple of nights staying at Buscot and Cricklade.

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But to get to Maidenhead we had to take a train to Windsor & Eton Riverside, run from there to Windsor Central to take the train to Slough where we could change for the train to Maidenhead. And after our walk to Marlow we could catch a train back to Maidenhead, another to Slough and then Windsor. At least on the return journey we had time to walk for the connection. It worked in 2007, but the chances of 4 trains running without any cancellations in the early evening of New Years Eve 2021 seem low.

Cliveden woods and River Thames

The section from Maidenhead to Marlow is only around 8 miles, though as usual we made a few detours on the way to explore some of the places it took us through. As the pictures show, the day was a dull one and I left the pictures making that clear rather than try to brighten them up.

Cookham Parish Church

The pictures on My London Diary are generally in the order of the route, and the captions there give some information about the walk. On the introductory page I wrote a very short text, and here it is in full (with the odd typo corrected):

The Thames path between Maidenhead and Marlow is quite picturesque, but full of evidence of how the rich get rich by theft. Anyone attempting to tow their boat will find that large sections of the towpath are now fenced in as private property. For walkers, the lack of access opposite Cliveden is annoying – you can really only see this part of the Thames from the river.

Maidenhead – Marlow
The Stanley Spencer Gallery is in the former chapel at the centre of the old village of Cookham

Parts of the route were familiar to me from earlier walks, and I’d recommend doing this walk on a day of the year when the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham is open – and there are also several pubs worthy of some attention where I wasn’t allowed this time to linger.

I think these paired triangles which are navigational transit markers, placed in pairs a set distance apart for craft to time how long they take between them and thus calculate their speed.

On Marlow Bridge I photographed the seals which state SIGIL DE DESBRO and back in 2007 I invited people to e-mail me to explain these. Sigil is simply an archaic word for a seal or pictorial symbol, from the Latin ‘sigillum’. De for ‘of’ comes from the Norman invasion and Desbro is a shortened form of Desborough, one of the three Chiltern Hundreds which dates back to pre-Norman times, though then made up of a number of smaller hundreds.

But by the time the bridge was built the hundreds were largely or entirely historical, and the Chiltern Hundreds last had a real steward in the sixteenth century. In 1624 it was made illegal for Members of Parliament to retire from office, and still are appointed as either ‘Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds’ or of the Manor of Northstead as a legal fiction enabling them to do so.

Marlow Bridge and Church

The name Desborough came back into use in 1905 when William Henry Grenfell who had been an MP for 25 years and made is home in Taplow was sent to the House of Lords as the 1st Baron Desborough. For 35 years he was President of the Thames Conservancy Board and was responsible for the Desborough Cut, a navigational shortcut on the Thames between Walton and Weybridge which, together with the island it created were named after him.

Looking back towards Bourne End

Given there is little or no commercial traffic on the Thames the creation of the cut now seems rather pointless. Although it saves around 1.2 km on the route, the longer passage is far more interesting. But it was perhaps more a scheme to create jobs for men in the depression than anything else.

More at Maidenhead – Marlow.

Thames Path

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

One of the many things I ought really to do is to put together a book of my pictures of the Thames Path. Of course quite a few others have done so, but I think mine would provide a slightly different view.

I think I’ve walked every section of it over the years, parts of it many times, though there may possibly be a few yards I’ve missed actually in London where there are routes on both sides of the river. I’ve also gone rather further east on both banks, as the Thames Path stops rather prematurely at the Thamea Barrier while the paths continue.

I’ve never quite been to the mouth of the Thames, traditionally marked at various places including the the Nore sandbank, Yantlet Creek – where the City put up the London Stone, and though I cycled to Leigh-on-Sea in 2005 I think I missed the Crow Stone.

Most of the sections of path upstream from Windsor I’ve walked on various days with my family. As far as a little above Oxford it’s fairly easy to travel by public transport to the start of a day’s walk and back from the end, but above that there are few buses and no stations until you get close to the source. So the final (or initial) 60-70 km had eluded us.

In 2013, my elder son planned the expedition to complete the route, booking bed and breakfast for the three of us at Buscot and Cricklade so we had three days to walk. On the Tuesday following Easter, two trains (both running late) took us to Oxford, despite Easter Holiday engineering works still in operation and we took the bus to Hinton Waldrist. For the last five miles we were the only passengers and the bus had a problem in the village squeezing past a parked tractor.

We were still a couple of km away from the Thames Path, but the sun was out and despite being rather close to zero it was good walking weather. The map and guide book said there was still a ford across an old stream of the river at Duxford which would have saved us some walking, but there had been considerable rain in previous weeks and it was clearly impassable; even on the longer way round we occasionally needed to detour around flooded sections of path.

We just made it for a late lunch before the pub at Tadpole Bridge stopped serving, having seen only one other person on the first five miles or so of our walk. It was good to have a pint, though the food suffered from the restaurant’s aspirations, and service was fast. The river winds considerably around here and I think we walked at least twice as far as a crow might fly to get to Radcot and from there on to Kelmscott where we again paused. We were a day early for the first opening of the Manor there, perhaps as well as we didn’t have time to appreciate it, but we did visit William Morris’s grave and the local pub before continuing our slog to Buscot Manor, an interesting and welcoming place to spend the night.

The following morning after a very large breakfast with other guests we made a short tour of the village before continuing along the Thames Path towards Lechlade, where I was forced to waste time snared into a tea shop by my companions. Eventually we made it and walked on past the start of the Thames and Severn canal to the Church of St John the Baptist at Inglesham, a splendid medieval survival thanks to the efforts of William Morris, who along with his pre-Raphaelite friends founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) or ‘Anti-Scrape’ to oppose the gothicisation of buildings such as these.

Then came the worst section of the Thames Path, a mile or so on the verge of the busy A361 followed by another couple along a bridle path and country lanes out of sight of the river. Between Inglesham and Castle Eaton there is no real Thames Path – except for a couple of hundred yards beside the river in the 4 or 5 mile stretch. Though except for the A361 it is a decent country walk. The route does run beside the river from Castle Eaton to Cricklade where we made for the oldest and poshest pub, the White Hart where we were booked. And after finding our room found a good Indian restaurant not far away.

After a disappointing breakfast we took a short walk around Cricklade before continuing our journey. Flooding in the area meant the path had been diverted but it wasn’t a bad diversion and we were soon walking with the river through a land almost entirely covered by unfilled gravel pits, something there is no shortage of close to home. These cover the land east and west of the charming village of Ashton Keynes, west of which it’s hard to decide where the river actually flows. According to the Thames Path Guide, the Thames follows several coursed through Ashton Keynes, though some distance further up you do walk beside a decent small river.

Past the A 329 the river rather peters out, and by the time we reached Thames Head on the A 433 Fosse Way all that was left was damp grass. Across the road we struggled up a small hill to the official source, a dry spring that is marked by a stone placed here by the Thames Conservators. From here it was downhill to Kemble Station and a long wait for a train to Swindon, where we changed for Reading and then another train home.

More details and many more pictures on My London Diary.
Thames Path: Cricklade to the Source
Thames Path: Buscot to Cricklade
Thames Path: Shifford to Buscot

Brentford to Whitton – 2016

Friday, March 26th, 2021

The River Brent flows over a weir from the Grand Union towards the Thames

Saturday 26 March 2016 was Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Day which many people nowadays call Easter Saturday. My older son had taken a few days off work and had come home for Easter and we decided to go out for a walk, taking a train to Kew Bridge. I’d hoped to go somewhere considerably further away on the far edge of London, but engineering works taking place on the railways made that impracticable.

Boats moored where Brentford gas workswas and Isleworth Ait

Our plan was to follow the Thames through Brentford to Isleworth and then the Duke of Northumberland’s River to Whitton and take the train home from there, taking a few detours on the way to explore wherever looked interesting. Both of us were carrying cameras, though while I had a bag with a couple of camera bodies and several more lenses, Sam made do with his only camera, a fixed lens Fuji X-100. I expect he took some interesting pictures, but his web site at seems currently to be off-line.

Dockside flats at Brentford

I grew up a couple of miles away, but didn’t know most of the parts we were going to walk in particularly well, though I had gone back a few times since both on my own and with groups of sixth-form students to take photographs in Brentford.

Boatyard at Brentford

My father took us to Brentford when I was young, though mainly we just went through the town on the top deck of the bus on our way to Kew Gardens, as he was a keen gardener and then it was only a penny (one of the old 240 to the pound ones) to get in and I think children like us probably got in free. Decimalisation resulted in huge rise to 1p, but now it costs £11 for adults. Fortunately Sam and I had no desire to go there, and apart from the train fares our walk cost us nothing, though we did buy some drinks and snacks to go with our sandwiches.

Brentford Lock and flats on the former canal dock

You can save your legs and follow our walk in fairly full detail from the many pictures I put on My London Diary, though we wandered around rather a lot in Brentford taking pictures. From there on our walk was more straightforward, though it isn’t possible to walk beside the Thames on the Middlesex bank between Brentford and Isleworth as the Duke of Northumberland put Syon House there. A footpath does take you in a direct route out of sight of the river through his estate.

The pond below where Kidd’s Flour mill stood on teh Duke of Northumberland’s River in Isleworth

Isleworth was just a little disappointing, not least because of the light drizzle that made sitting on a bench to eat our sandwiches a little uncomfortable. But parts of the riverside development there are unfortunate.

Footpath and Duke of Northumberland’s River in Mogden Sewage Works

Isleworth boasts what when built was I think the largest sewage works in the country at Mogden, and a footpath runs beside the Duke of Northumberland’s River – a man-made river to run the bringing water to run the flour mill at Isleworth. This section of the river was built by monks who ran the area before the Duke took over to bring water from the River Crane – he added a section to the west to bring more water from the River Colne. And yes, Mogden does smell, though not as strongly or unpleasantly as you might expect, though this perhaps depends on the weather and the direction of the wind.


Twickenham makes its presence felt with two large rugby stadia, but fortunately it wasn’t a match day at either and they were very quiet – and there were no inebriated spectators staggering in our way. It’s a place best avoided when internationals are taking place even though drunken rugby fans are generally less violent than soccer supporters. And then were were in Kneller Park and walking by the River Crane through it before leaving to take a path to Whitton station.

Many more pictures on My London Diary:
Syon, Isleworth & Mogden
Riverside Brentford Panoramas
Riverside Brentford

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.

Hoo Dec 28th 2002

Monday, December 28th, 2020

Back in 2002 the idea of expanding the UK’s airport capacity was under serious consideration and living near Heathrow we were concerned and campaigning against the building of yet another runway at an airport that even then was seriously past its best-before date. Not just because of local considerations but also because of the environmental threat posed by the expansion of air traffic.

It was a fight we won – and celebrated winning in 2010, only to have it put back on the table a couple of years later with a biased report, then taken off again by a court ruling. More recently this court decision has been put aside by what looks rather like a legal fudge, but in the current climate – and more importantly the impending climate catastrophe any expansion seems totally unthinkable.

Back in 2002, there were other proposals for increasing air traffic, some more batty than others, also being put on the table, and one was for an airport on the Hoo peninsula in North Kent. We decided to go and take a look at the area as our long family after-Christmas walk. It was around 15 years since I’d photographed there and none of the others knew it.

Here’s my account written in 2002 (when I was still suffering from a shortage of capital letters) and all the pictures I posted on My London Diary then.

“we walked off some of christmas on the 28th, taking a look around Cliffe, proposed site for a new London airport. Probably not a serious proposition, just put up so that at some point the civil aviation lobby can say, ‘as we can’t possibly build at Cliffe, we will have to have another runway at Heathrow, and yet another terminal/vast shopping centre … Its long past time that we made airlines pay fuel duties and vat and tried actively to cut the growth in air travel, an incredibly wasteful method of transport with with vast subsidies that distort the world economy.

Shornmead Fort
 Thames path at Cliffe
Thames at Cliffe
Creek at Cliffe
Cliffe churchyard
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Higham station

These pictures were among the first that I took with my first serious digital camera, a 6Mp Nikon D100 DSLR, which I had got only a couple of weeks earlier. I’m not sure why I didn’t post more of the roughly 100 pictures I took, or for that matter why I chose these particular group other than that some of them have posters opposing an airport being built here.

At the time I only had one Nikon fit lens, a mid range zoom, I think something like a 24-80mm, which, given the DX format sensor gave the equivalent of 36-120mm.

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.

City Walk 2004

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I can’t remember exactly why I went up to London on 16th December 2004, but my pictures taken that day tell me fairly clearly the route that I took, taking me in a rather roundabout fashion from London Bridge to a meeting with someone at the Museum of London.

It was a fine day, and I’d obviously decided to take an early train to give me time to wander and take a few photographs before the meeting, arriving at London Bridge Station over an hour before. I can tell this because I was using a digital camera, my first interchangeable lens digital camera, a Nikon D100 and can read the times the images were made from the Exif data embedded in the files – such as the example below.

1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 400
Mode: P, Meter: Matrix, No Flash, Auto WB
Focal: 52mm, 16/12/2004 14:49:27, Adobe RGB (1998)
6.1MP (3,030×2,021) NIKON D100

I only used one lens, the very versatile 18-125mm f3.5-f5.6 Sigma lens, a relatively light and compact zoom that really showed the advantage of the DX system over the later bulkier full-frame lenses. I imagine its test results wouldn’t quite match those of more expensive Nikon glass, but the images seem fine and sharp looking at them now.

Although the D100 was only a 6 Mp camera, this provided images at 3030 x 2021 that were large enough for most repro purposes and gave me excellent prints at 12×8″ and even larger – one picture from it – taken with another Sigma lens – went on exhibition 2.3m wide and paid well.

I think I will have taken these pictures using RAW files, though it would take me a while to locate these on a backup disk, and I only have jpegs and some tiff files to view on my current system. Software for converting from RAW has improved significantly since 2004 and I would almost certainly be able to produce some improvements, in particular reducing the little colour noise present in some. But I think they are fine as they stand.

I arrived at the meeting presumably on time but can tell you nothing about it other than it probably lasted for a little over an hour and came out to make my way home a little after 4.30pm, by which time it was dark. I took a picture of Shakespeare’s bust using the D100’s built-in flash – which came out as badly as you would expect, one in the interior of No 1 Poultry you see here, and then stood still for a final picture on the moving walkway taking me down to the ‘drain’ (Waterloo & City line) to Waterloo for the train home.

A few more pictures from the walk and others from December 2004 on My London Diary. It was a month I also visited Mucking (its in Essex) and photographed ‘Fathers For Justice’ protesting in Santa suits and took a couple of walks close to where I live. All have something of a sepia quality – thanks to the raw conversion – which I find quite appealing and perhaps nostalgically appropriate.

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.

Montreuil, Paris

Saturday, November 14th, 2020
Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-56-Edit_2400

Montreuil is of course not Paris, not inside the old walls or the modern municipality, but a commune at its eastern edge, only four miles from the centre of Paris, an ancient settlement now separated from the city by its modern wall, the Boulevard Périphérique. 

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-12-Edit_2400

I don’t now recall exactly where we stayed, somewhere a short walk from Robespierre (the Metro Station not the man) and just a little further from the RER at Vincennes.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-34-Edit_2400
Rue Douy Délcupe, Montreuil,

Long before the days of Airbnb we had leased a flat from a colleague of my brother-in-law’s wife who had gone south for a month in a gîte for August – like most of Paris. It was a spacious flat for its usual single occupant, but a little cramped for our family of four, and while the boys shared a bed, we slept on a mattress on the floor, which was comfortable enough.


Most days I went out for a walk before breakfast to buy bread and sometimes croissants, often with one of my sons, and always with a camera. Many of the bakers were closed for August and others took it in turns to be open for a week, making some of these walks a little longer, and I often diverted down streets that looked interesting.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-15-Edit_2400

We also went for family walks around the area, though on the first Monday of our visit went to a photo-booth to get portraits for the boys to get them their ‘Carte Orange (we still had cards from a previous visit) and then bought our ticket for what seemed a ridiculously cheap week of travel on the Metro system – I think little more than the cost of a day travelcard in London.

Montreuil / Vincennes, Paris 1988 88-8g1-64-Edit_2400

Once equipped with these we spent most of our time in Paris, but still occasionally walked around Montreuil on our way back to the flat or after our evening meal there rather than return to the city.

Montreuil, Paris 1988 88-8f-11-Edit_2400

There are more pictures of Montreuil and other places in and around Paris in the album ‘Around Paris 1988‘ and clicking on the pictures above will take you to a larger version in the album, from where you can browse them others. The images here all come from the first day or two we were staying there and are all a short walk away from the flat. I’ll feature some more in later posts.

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.

Greenwich Riverside Walk

Monday, October 19th, 2020

One of my favourite London walks has for many years been beside the River Thames on the path downstream from Greenwich. I first walked it in the 1970s and went back occasionally over the years, both on foot and later taking my Brompton bicycle to it on the train. When I was on foot I often went as far as Woolwich, not a great distance but I was always a photographer rather than a walker. Other riverside walks began from Woowlich or railway stations further east including Erith, Dartford and Gravesend.

On October 18th 2018 my walk was rather shorter as I was with three other photographers, and we began at North Greenwich. Parts of the riverside walk had recently reopened after closure for the continuing process of ruining the Thames by lining it with tall blocks of expensive flats and I was keen to walk it again after some years away.

There were other reasons for the walk too. One was a visit to the Pelton Arms, arguably Greenwich’s finest pub. Its in a homely area, developed like the pub around 1844, though the Grade II listed street of granite setts from around 1870 stops a few yards short. It’s just a short walk from Granite Wharf, which got its name as it was here than Mowlem landed its granite from Guernsey that once paved much of the streets of London. But the real attraction is its fine range of real ales and comfortable atmosphere – and, although quiet when we visited is one of South London’s leading music venues.

We were also on our way to an evening event across the river in North Greenwich, and after a meal in the centre of the town hopped on the DLR at Cutty Sark for the single stop to Island Gardens and a short walk to where another of our photographer friends, Mike Seaborne was having the launch of his book on the Isle of Dogs. It was getting a little late when we had finished our meal otherwise I would have suggested going across the river on foot, not walking on the water but under it in the Greenwich foot tunnel.

There are many more pictures from the walk on My London Diary. Most but not all are ultra-wide views with a horizontal angle of view of over 140 degrees. Often I crop these to a more panoramic format, but here I decided to leave them covering the full frame to fit better with the few less wide-angle images. All except one in this post are ultra-wide and they are presented in the order of the walk.

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.