Posts Tagged ‘warehouses’

1987 Shoreditch

Saturday, August 8th, 2020
Great Eastern St, Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3h-63-positive_2400
Great Eastern St/Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987

Almost every picture I took in Shoreditch in 1987 seemed to have a ‘For Sale’ notice on a building in it.

The Mission, Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3h-54-positive_2400
The Mission, Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987

Shoreditch is an area just outside the City of London, and it was this position outside of the City’s jurisdiction that led to its being the site of London’s first theatres towards the end of the 16th century. These soon moved to other areas – such as Southwark – but people and trades continued to grow in the area. There was a massive increase in population in the Victorian era, with local industries particularly based on timber and furniture-making and upholstering. There are still many Victorian warehoused in the area, but almost all now put to other uses as the furniture trade lost out to cheaper mass-produced and often imported goods. The de-industrialisation was hastened by the shift under Thatcher away from manufacturing to service industries, and by the time I took these pictures in 1987 many warehouses and workshops were empty.

Andrews Office Equipment, Great Eastern St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3h-42-positive_2400
Andrews Office Equipment, Great Eastern St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987
Shops, Tabernacle St, Old St, Islington, Hackney, 1987 87-3h-24-positive_2400 87-3h-24-positive_2400
Shops, Paul St, Old St, Islington, Hackney, 1987

The fire at Butler’s wharf led to the many artists who had set up studios and often lived in them illegally in disused warehouses being given notice to quit in 1978/9. One of my artist friends being evicted got on his bike and cycled north looking for a suitable new home and got a flat tire on Curtain Rd. He stopped to repair it outside a furniture factory which was closing down and asked a man there if he could have a bowl and water to try and locate the puncture. They talked a little and he was told that the premises were to let – and he had his studio there for the next 20 years or more.

Old St,  Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987
Old St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987

Other artists also found cheap property to use as studios, and their presence kept the area alive and gradually made it a more desirable area. Developers moved in, rents increased and artists were gradually forced out of the area, as new clubs, restuarants and other leisure venues proliferated. From the mid-90s Shoreditch began to be a popular area to go for a night out, and is now one of London’s tourist destinations.

W A Hudson Ltd, Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3g-12-positive_2400
W A Hudson Ltd, Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987
Old St,  Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3g-43-positive_2400
Old St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987

There are still some artists with studios in the area, but most of its art is now outside on its walls as London’s prime graffiti area. In their place as well as the clubs and food outlets the area has also become home to many high-tech computer based companies, and an epitome of gentrification and hipster culture.

Rivington St,  Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3g-34-positive_2400
Rivington St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987
B Smiler & Sons, Rivington St,  Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987 87-3g-23-positive_2400
B Smiler & Sons, Rivington St, Shoreditch, Hackney, 1987

More from Shoreditch and elsewhere on Page 3 of my 1987 London Photos.

Hull Colour 2

Friday, July 10th, 2020

A look at a few more of my colour pictures from Hull in the 1970s.

Paint, Hull 70shull077
Paint, Hull 1970s

I made a number of exposures of this wall, which I think was possibly at one of the dry docks on Dock Office Row, though my memory may be at fault. I often walked up High St from Clarence St next to Drypool Bridge and then on to Wincolmlee, sometimes continuing on up to Bankside or Air St, where I could walk west and across towards my parents-in-law’s house just off Chanterlands Ave north.

I was attracted by the colour but also by the mix of the accidental and deliberate in the markings on the wall. Like quite of few of the other images, time has added its mark to this picture, with some patches of blue which I haven’t entirely managed to retouch where mould has attacked the dyes.

Hull 70shull083
Hull 1970s – a distant view of Saltend

I can’t recall at all taking this picture, and another also taken from a similarly rural viewpoint with the chemical works in the distance. From the view I think it is taken from somewhere on the west edge of Hedon, perhaps on a walk from Hull to Paull.

But when or wherever it was made, its an image I like for its contrast, both visually and between the agricultural and industrial.

Weighton Lock, Broomfleet, 72-80-Hull-005
Weighton Lock, Broomfleet, 1970s

In contrast I remember our family walk which took us to Weighton Lock well. If you have travelled my rail from Selby or Doncaster to Hull, your train will have sped through Broomfleet, and you may just have seen a station there.

The man in the ticket office at Hull Paragon station seemed surprised when we asked for tickets to Broomfleet, but trains do stop there. Now you have a choice of the 07:19 or the 16:21 – but then there were rather more though I think we did have to tell the guard we wanted to stop there – and to hold our our hands for the returning train.

The lock is where the Market Weighton Canal joins the River Humber. Opened in 1782, the canal was both a navigable waterway and a drainage ditch. The upper section was closed around 1900 and the lower few miles to the lock abandoned in 1971. The Market Weighton Civic Trust managed to save the lock by getting it listed as an ancient monument, and it was repaired and reopened although there is no right to navigation around six of its original nine and a half miles remain navigable.

A few other pictures in the album are also from trips we made from Hull, including to Flamborough.

Guildhall Rd, Hull 72-80-Hull-008
Guildhall Rd, Hull, 1970s

Until ‘The Dock’ was opened in 1778, ships coming to Hull moored the the ‘Old Harbour’ in the River Hull, where staithes still run from the High St to the river. The dock was the largest dock in the UK when it was built, and soon became known as the ‘Old Dock’, but was renamed Queen’s Dock in honour of the visit to Hull by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1854.

By the 1920s it was redundant, with docks on the Humber – Victoria Dock, Albert Dock, Alexandra Dock, Riverside Quay and King George Dock – forming the port of Hull, and it finally closed in 1930. The city bought it and filled it in to create Queen’s Gardens. Filling it took four years – one year longer than its construction and provided some employment during a period of recession.

I’m not sure exactly where these former warehouses on the south side of Queens Dock (Queens Gardens) in Guildhall Road were, but from the street sign I think they were just to the west of Quay St and have since been demolished.

River Hull, Hull 72-80-Hull-011
River Hull, Hull from North Bridge

I added the following text to a black and white image on my Hull photos web site taken from just a foot or two to the left of this image:

Peeling paint on a wall advertises the coal and sand wharf belonging to ‘Henry’, which I think may be Henry Mead & Co at 15 Lime Street, which was wound up in 1973. On the west bank of the Hull are a long line of wharves and buildings on Wincolmlee, with the towering silos of R&W Paul (now Maizecor) in the distance. A single vessel is visible moored at one of the Lime St wharves.
Floods from the Hull, mainly because of a tides coming up from the Humber, were fairly frequent before the tidal barrier was built, because the corporation failed to get wharf owners to maintain adequate flood defences. A number of derelict properties made their job more difficult. More recent floods have been because of excessive rainfall in the Hull valley.

Apart from the Maizecor silo, none of the buildings visible in this slide are still standing.

Wapping & the Thames

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

I arrived early for a private celebration of May Day with friends in a Wapping pub and took a short walk along the High St and riverside path, where I sat and ate my lunch sandwiches.

I’d made photographs here in the 1980s, and there were one or two that I’d hoped I would be able to fix the locations more precisely. It wasn’t easy as vitually everything between Wapping High Street and the river has been rebuilt with expensive riverside flats. New Crane Wharf (above) was still recognisable as here the old buildings had been converted.

The Thames sweeps around to the south to go around the Isle of Dogs, and from Wapping you can see Canary Wharf to the North of the River and the gasholder in Rotherhithe to the south – and both appear in photographs to be across the river.

You also see rather too much very pedestrian riverside architecture like the flats above. So little new building on the river bank has any architectural merit, all about maximising profit within the planning restrictions. It’s such a shame that the LDDC didn’t have higher aspirations for its control of the redevelopment of docklands.

Relatively little of the old riverside survives here, and Tunnel Mills and the other buildings at Rotherhithe are one very welcome exception. There are parts of the north bank too where some of the better warehouses have been saved, converted into expensive flats.

It was good also to be able to walk out onto Tunnel Pier, where I met two old friends also taking advantage of the opportunity.

And though the Captain Kidd pub to the left of Phoenix Wharf is relatively modern, dating from the 1880s, like many Sam Smith’s pubs it is a sensitive conversion of an old building, Sun Wharf, which along with Swan Wharf (now renamed Phoenix Wharf) and St John’s F & G Wharf at left were owned or leased by W H J Alexander and Company, who as well as wharfingers dealing in a wide range of goods including coffee, dried fruit, gum and bales of Australian wool, also used these premises to repair their tugs. Swan Wharf I think is the oldest of these buildings, dating from the 1840s and possibly designed by Sidney Smirke.

More pictures at Wapping and the Thames .

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

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