Posts Tagged ‘Westminster’

Signs and Animals

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
Gosheron Tapes, Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10c-14-positive_2400
Gosheron Tapes, Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea

I’m often surprised by people who look at some of my photographs and say to me “ I never notice that”, but I think it’s true of all of us that we walk around without really noticing things. Even buildings like Vicarage House, home of Gosheron Tapes, whose frontage screams out onto the street. But Gosheron’s days – at least at this address – had clearly passed, as an estate agent’s sign and flyposts on the windows clearly show, though they seem to have continued making packaging materials elsewhere until at least 2005.

The building now has antiques on the ground floor and serviced offices elsewhere, including the Nicaraguan Embassy. I’ve failed to find any information about its exact date – somewhere around 1900 – or the monogram which appears to be CS on its frontage. Information is welcome.

Godfrey's Model Bakery, Arlington Rd, Parkway, Camden, 1987 87-10b-66-positive_2400
Godfrey’s Model Bakery, Arlington Rd, Parkway, Camden, 1987

The ‘Tasty Corner’ on Arlington St and Parkway in Camden is now an estate agentss and its large sign with its baker for Godfrey’s Model Bakery has disappeared.

Palmers, Pet Stores, Parkway, Camden, 1987 87-10b-55a-positive_2400
Palmers Pet Stores, Parkway, Camden, 1987

Many passed Palmer’s Regent Pet Store on their way to and from London Zoo from Camden Town Station. It was established by Mrs Florence Palmer around 1918 but was run from 1924 by George Palmer, who built up the business and expanded into a second neighbouring shop in the late 1930s. Perhaps surprisingly this shop was listed Grade II in 2007, largely for its shop front which the listing text suggests dates from around 1940, though the houses containing the shop were built in the 1820s.

The shop, which had sold Winston Churchill his cat Orlando as a kitten which later moved into Downing St, and a couple of Abyssinian kittens to Charlie Chaplain, stopped selling animals around 2005 and moved across the road. After being empty for several years it became a tea room.

Clarence Cottage, Albany St, Regent's Park, Camden, 1987 87-10b-15-positive_2400
Clarence Cottage, Albany St, Regent’s Park, Camden, 1987

On their way to the Zoo walkers might have walked down Albany St, or at least past its corner close to this hous, Clarence Cottage, which stii has its row of ornaments with a rather weather-beaten lion at its centre. Previously called Glenhaven, it isn’t clear to me why the mid-19th century house was Grade II listed in 1974, though it’s a pleasant enough building of its age, only really distinguished by this extension with a Ionic pedimented doorway onto the pavement outside and the ornaments above it – including that lion.

It’s in a area of London that has many fine buildings from that era and earlier – much of which is probably also listed.

St George's Drive, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-42-positive_2400
Sussex St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987

I came across two dogs in Westminster, looking to me rather snooty. But I’d failed to note down their exact location and it took me a long time to hunt them down again – but they are still there in Sussex St.

Romany Hotel, Longmore St, Guildhouse St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-62-positive_2400
Romany Hotel, Longmore St, Guildhouse St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Romany Hotel is that it is still there as the Romany Hotel, though the signage has changed and now includes an e-mail address and a fairly discrete extra floor has been added on top.

But in keeping with today’s theme is the bird in flight at the top left corner. Although I’m no ornithologist at first glance it looked like some bird of prey, but I think it is really just a pigeon doing a good impression.

1987 London Photos


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

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.


London Protests: 17 November 2018

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Saturday November 17th 2018 saw the start of Extinction Rebellion’s beidge blocade in central London, bringing the city to a standstill by blocking Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark bridges. I joined them for the first couple of hours on Westminster Bridge.

From there I went to pay brief visits to three of the other four bridges that XR had blocked, choosing those downstream which were relatively easy to reach on foot.

I didn’t go to Lambeth Bridge, upstream from Westminster, as I ran out of time before another event I wanted to cover. It would have meant too long a walk as the nearest tube station is some distance away and there were no buses able to run. Later I found that it was at Lambeth that the police had been more active in making arrests and attempting to clear the bridge.

I arrived too late for the start of the march organised by Stand Up To Racism, co-sponsored by Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, and supported by many other groups and individuals including Diane Abbott MP and John McDonnell MP against the against the rising threat of Islamophobia and Antisemitism by far-right groups in the UK.

It was a large march and had gathered outside the BBC in Portland Place because the organisers wanted to point to the failure of the BBC to recognise the threat of these extremist groups with a level of support for fascism not seen since the 1930s.

The BBC does appear to have a policy limiting reporting on issues such as this, and of ignoring or minimising protests in the UK against failures of government. When they have reported, they have often talked of ‘hundreds’ of protesters when a more objective view would have said ‘thousands’ or perhaps even ‘tens of thousands.’ They do a far better job in reporting protests in foreign cities than in London.

Half an hour after I began taking pictures the marchers were still walking past me, but I thought that it was nearing the end and I left, not to go to the rally in Whitehall but to return to Westminster Bridge for the Exctinction Rebellion protest where there were speakers from around the country and around the world, some of whom travelled to speak on several of the five blocked bridges. After the speeches there was a Citizen’s Assembly but by then I was tired and left to go home, edit and file my pictures – more hours of work.

Protests by XR have done a little to shake the complacency of our government and others around the world and move them to action to avoid the rapidly approaching climate disaster, but it remains a case of too little, too late. Certainly so for many countries in the global South already suffering dire consequences, but probably also for us in the wealthier countries. Covid-19 has shown that governments can take drastic actions, (if ours cost many thousands of lives by making decisions too late and avoiding basic precautions) but it will need a similar upending of priorities and changes in our way of life to avoid the worst effects of climate change – and there can be no vaccine to end climate change.

More about the events and more pictures on My London Diary:

Extinction Rebellion Bridge blockade starts
Extinction Rebellion: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo
Unity Against Fascism and Racism
Extinction Rebellion form Citizens’ Assembly


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

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.


XR Rebellion – Day 3

Friday, October 9th, 2020

On 9th October 2019 I was with Extinction Rebellion outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Perhaps not surprisingly, this protest organised by Lawyers for XR had a rather different feel to most other XR events. The ‘All Rise for Climate Justice’ event stressed the need for a law against ecocide to protect the planet.

Rather a lot of people, many of them lawyers and including some distinguished name, were crammed into the relatively small area of pavement in front of the courts. This made it a difficult event to cover as it was hard to move around much without being obtrusive.

The event launched the ‘Lawyers Declaration of Rebellion’ and copies of it were handed out rolled up an tied with pink ribbon in the traditional manner used for the bundles of papers taken into court by defence barristers. Pink ribbons are now used to distinguish briefs from private citizens from those from the Crown which are tied with white ribbon.

As the event at the Royal Courts of Justice ended I left quickly and rushed down to Victoria St where Axe Drax were protesting outside the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) calling for an end to the subsidies given to fossil fuels and biomass which produce climate destroying carbon dioxide. They called for the closure of Drax power station which burns wood pellets and coal, pointing out the absurdity of paying them £2 million a day in ‘renewable’ subsidies taken from our electricity bills as thepower station is the greatest single producer of carbon dioxide in the UK.

Usually I would have taken a bus for the journey, but the centre of London was still blocked to traffic and I had to walk – with a little running now and then – covering the mile and a half in 15 minutes. Even so I arrived halfway through the protest, but was pleased to be in time to hear Mayer Hillman, 88 year old Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute and a leading Green campaigner for many years speaking.

After that protest ended I walked around the other sites still occupied by XR. Although police were continuing to force them off some locations, trashing some tents and making more arrests, there was still no traffic in key locations and workshops and other events continued, with protesters still in fine spirits and something of a festival atmosphere. It isn’t every day that you get your beard pulled (gently) by a giant wallaby.

XR were not the only protesters in Trafalgar Square, and I was also able to cover a protest by Bangladeshi students demanding an end to violence on campus in Bangladesh universities after the beating to death of student Abrar Fahad by leaders of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology on 7 Oct 2019.

It was another long day for me as I then went on to meet friends at the launch of Paul Trevor’s book Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane‘, before wandering down Brick Lane and taking a few photographs on my way to the tube. It was around 2am before I finished processing and filing my pictures for the day, and I needed to take the next day off to have a rest.

Many more pictures on My London Diary:

Brick Lane Night
Bangladeshi students protest campus violence
Extinction Rebellion Day 3
Biofuel Watch – Axe Drax at BEIS
All Rise For Climate Justice


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

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.


XR October 2019

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

A year ago in October I was having a busy few days covering Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion in London. The event had started early on the 7th October when XR supporters occupied eleven locations at government ministries, outside Downing St, on The Mall, and blocking both Westminster and Lambeth bridges, bringing traffic in that area of central London to a halt. Outside the actual areas blocked, traffic was also largely gridlocked over a much wider area.

For the next couple of days the only ways to get around in the area was by tube and on foot. Police were initially overwhelmed by the sheer number of campaigners and the area covered by the protests, and added to the chaos by themselves closing off some routes to traffic and pedestrians.

The protests of course got considerable coverage in the press and broadcasting media, mainly around the disruption the protest was causing with rather less attention to the reasons why XR felt their actions were necessary to try and get our government to take the actions we need to avoid disaster and possible extinction of human life.

Probably few who only followed the media reports would have become aware of XR’s three demands, that the government tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency, act to halt biodiversity loss, reduced emissions to net zero and create and set up a Citizens Assembly to ensure that proper action is taken. Our democracy is failing because politicians serve the sectional interests of the powerful few rather than the needs of us all.

I didn’t quite manage to get to all eleven of the occupied sites on Monday, though I did visist and photograph most of them. The highlight of the day for me was the wedding in the centre of Westminster Bridge between two campaigners, Tamsin and Melissa. I’d first photographed Tamsin when Climate Rush re-enacted the 1908 Suffragette storming of Parliament on its 100th anniversary and had got to know her better during later protests including those against the third runway at Heathrow, but hadn’t seen her for five years.

A year ago today, October 8th, was the second day of XR’s protests. By now the police were beginning to take back parts of the area, having made many arrests overnight.

I think many of the protesters were shocked as I was at the deliberate violence and destruction of property when occupied areas were trashed by police, and for some it perhaps made them question the XR policy of non-violence. Standing and shouting ‘Shame on You’ as police assaulted protesters and trashed tents and food stalls turned out not to be very effective.

The day turned out to be a long one for me, as after spending my time with XR I made my way to Camden for a protest by Architects for Social Housing (ASH) outside the champagne reception at the Royal Institute of British Architects awards ceremony for the Stirling Prize. Architects, like our politicians, are largely the servants of the rich and the awards reflect this. ASH were particularly angered by the new Neave Brown Award, supposedly honouring the recently deceased champion and architect of council housing at the Dunboyne Road Estate (formerly known as Fleet Road) and Alexandra Road Estate both in Camden, being awarded to a scheme for a commercial company owned by Norwich Council which demolished council housing to build properties which will not be offering secure council tenancies, with nothing to stop the company raising the service charges or converting the few social rent homes in it to so-called ‘affordable’ rents in the future.

The images here are a small and fairly random selection from the many that I took, and you can see more of them and read more about the protests on My London Diary:

Extinction Rebellion continues
XR Rebels marry on Westminster Bridge
Extinction Rebellion occupy Westminster

Stirling Prize for Architecture


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

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 Bayswater etc 1987

Monday, September 21st, 2020
Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7d-66-positive_2400
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom (Hagia Sophia), Moscow Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

It’s hard to know where Paddington ends and Bayswater begins, or where Bayswater become Notting Hill. There are two Westminster borough wards called Bayswater and Lancaster Gate which I think most would consider Bayswater, and Notting Hill comes under Kensington & Chelsea, but popular perceptions usually don’t follow local government boundaries – and estate agents have remarkably elastic definitions of areas.

Brunel House, Westbourne Terrace, Orsett Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster 87-7e-22-positive_2400
Brunel House, Westbourne Terrace, Orsett Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

My walks by 1987 were generally planned in advance, obviously with a starting point from some Underground or Rail station, but also with an intended destination, and places that looked to be of interest from maps and books marked on an enlarged copies of A-Z pages. But the actual routes I took were subject to considerable deviation from plan, with decisions made at crossroads as to which direction looked more interesting – and I didn’t always end up at the planned destination. I kept notebooks to record my routes and some details of what I photographed, transferring the route to the map copies when I got home and some details to the contact sheets after I developed the films.

Brunel House, Westbourne Terrace, Orsett Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster87-7e-55-positive_2400

When putting the pictures on-line I have tried where possible to verify the locations from the pictures themselves. Some include street names and or house numbers, shop names. My contact sheets usually also have street names and grid references and web searches and Google Streetview or Bing Maps usually enable me to positively identify buildings which are still standing.

Prince of Wales, pub, Cleveland Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7e-32-positive_2400
Prince of Wales pub, Cleveland Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

But where my pictures show only small details, it has sometimes proved impossible to be sure of the exact location, and this is often also the case in those areas which have undergone extensive redevelopment. But for areas such as Bayswater, where many of the properties have been listed and relatively little has changed it is generally possible to find exact locations.

Bishops Bridge Rd,  Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7e-52-positive_2400
Bishops Bridge Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

During the 80s and 90s I sold several hundred pictures to the National Building Record, including of a number of buildings that were either already listed when I took their pictures or had been listed after I photographed them. I think there were just a few that I brought to their attention which had previously been unnoticed, mainly in the outer suburbs.

Gloucester Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987  87-7e-66-positive_2400
Gloucester Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

But my work in London came at a time when the worth of many buildings was being recognised both by me and those responsible for listings, which had previously largely concentrated on genuinely ancient structures and some public and ecclesiastical buildings, largely ignoring commercial buildings and those from late Victorian, Edwardian and more modern times. It was a prejudice even reflected in great works such as the many volumes of Pevsner’s The Buildings of England.

Dawson Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-13-positive_2400
Dawson Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

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

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.


Another side of Marylebone

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Paddington Green, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-15-positive_2400
Paddington Green, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

There is another side to Marylebone, particularly to the north of the Marylebone Road, around Lisson Grove and Edgware Road. The trees are still there on the Green, and I think my tilted camera was an attempt to maximise their effect. The tower blocks at right, Hall and Braithwaite Towers, both 22 stories were commissioned by Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council, more or less identical blocks by R A Jensen, completed in 1966 and still standing, each with 80 flats, but Paddington College, opened here in 1967 was replaced by a new building for what is now City of Westminster College in 2011.

Ralfe Electronics, Transept St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-42-positive_2400
Ralfe Electronics, Transept St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Ralfe Electronics was indeed ‘The “Famous House” for Electronic Components‘ and a company of that name still exists, but is now in Watford. They were at 10 Chapel St, on the corner of Transept St, just a few yards from Edgware Rd (District) line station. Electronics geeks used to come from all over the country, if not the world, to shop here.

Bookmakers, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-15-positive_2400
Bookmakers, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-15-positive_2400
The Christian Union Almshouses, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987  87-3c-26-positive_2400
The Christian Union Almshouses, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

The bookmakers was in Crawford Place, a short street off the Edgware Road in the rather plusher area south of the Marylebone Rd, close to the Christian Union Almshouses. This building is still there, and in very much better condition. Built as a small hospital for the elderly and inform in 1899 it was converted into a dozen self-contained flats a few years after I took this picture. It still provides housing “for older or retired people in housing need, who are of the Christian faith“, particularly those “who live in, or have a strong local connection to the Boroughs of Westminster, Camden, or Kensington & Chelsea.

Ken's Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-21-positive_2400
Ken’s Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987
87-3b-36-positive_2400
Lisson Grove Cottages, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

The date on the houses in this small street off Lisson Grove is 1855, and they were Grade II listed a few months after I took this photograph. I think I was aware of these artisanal dwellings and Bell St from the drawing and writing of Geoffrey Fletcher – these cottages are drawn on p51 of his London Souvenirs (1973).

It was easy to walk past the entry to them without noticing, and I think it is now behind a locked gate.

Bookseller, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-23-positive_2400
Bookseller, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

Bell St here now has a very different character, with most of the shops including this second-hand book dealer now converted to residential properties. Back in 1987 it was difficult to walk along this street without being diverted into browsing the extensive stock in search of a bargain, though these were hard to find.

The first Turkish Bath in London was opened in this street by Roger Evans in 1860, but the area was described at the time as being densely crowded with a population lower than the ‘decent poor’ on the east side of Lisson Grove, with Bell St “the main stream of a low colony, with many tributary channels.”

Stirling & Sons, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-12-positive_2400
Stirling & Sons, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

One of my favourite pictures from this area shows the street and pavement outside Stirlings at 54 Bell St, a junk and scrap metal dealer with an extensive range and whose premises appear to need scaffolding. But it is the group of people in the doorway that provide much of the interest, as well as their backdrop.

Numbers on the street now go direct from 52 to 56, with no 54. The space of this shop and that on its right are now the Lisson Gallery, built to the designs of Tony Fretton shortly after I made this picture. The concrete pillar at left, part of a run-down single-storey building, continued to deteriorate until around 2010 when it was refurbished and in 2015 had two storeys added in a late Victorian manner that could be original.

More pictures of various areas of London in 1987.


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

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.


Marylebone musings

Sunday, August 9th, 2020
Joseph Bros, Textiles, Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-45-positive_2400
Joseph Bros, Textiles, Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

Joseph Bros (Textiles) Ltd according to Companies House is dissolved, last filing company reports in 2006, though some online directories still list it at an address in Finchley which appears to be a garage. But the building is still there, with its ground floor occupied until recently by an “avant-garde” cosmetics company claiming inspiration from Salvador Dali claiming a “cosmetic artistic approach to stop time and restore youthful appearance.” Seeing what Dali did with clocks in his ‘The Persistence of Memory’ and other works, I don’t think I’d want to entrust my own ‘clock’ to them.

Park Crescent, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-21-positive_2400
Park Crescent, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

John Nash’s Park Crescent, built in 1812-21 for the Prince Regent and still owned by the Crown Estate is of course Grade I listed, although only its facades are orginal, everything behind them having been restored in the 1960s. They had been badly damaged by bombing in 1940.

According to John Summerson‘s classic work ‘Georgian London’ published in 1945 (my copy is of the 1947 reprint though bought a little later) “Nash inaugurated the real stucco age with the building of Park Crescent in Parker’s Roman Cement in 1812“. He also comments that “the simple appropriateness of Park Crescent with its Ionic colonnades is beyond criticism“.

All Saints Church, Margaret St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987 87-3e-02-positive_2400
All Saints Church, Margaret St, Fitzrovia, Westminster, 1987

All Saints Church in a kind of fantasy gothic called for a very different treatment. It was designed by William Butterfield in 1850 and completed in 1859. Another Grade I listed structure it has been described by Simon Jenkins as “architecturally England’s most celebrated Victorian church” and was pioneering in its use of brick rather than the traditional gothic stone. It set a style that would be much copied for the next 20 years though largely less flamboyantly.

I’ve always felt it would be a good location for a horror film, but is actually a leading centre for Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England.

West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-52-positive_2400
West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Quite in contrast is the West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, opened in 1870. The congregation had split away from the Sephardi and Ashkenazi synagogues to worship as “British Jews”, adopting a practice based on the “written Torah”. In 1940 they becamae a part of mainstream Reform Judaism.

The architectural style of the building, by Henry David Davis (1838/9-1915) and Barrow Emanuel (1841-1904), is described as Neo-Byzantine, and is certainly unlike their other works I’ve been able to identify. As well as some artisanal blocks of flats for the East End Dwellings Company they also designed the City of London School for Boys still on Victoria Embankment. The synagogue seems to me a slightly odd amalgam of a fortress and a triumphal gateway.

Off-licence, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-51-positive_2400
Off-licence, Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

I was amused by the shop sign and not at all sure that I understood it when I took this photograph of what appears to be a rather up-market off-licence. I’m still not sure about it, with a star, arrow and what seemed to me half a lyre with the text ‘E du V’. Doubtless there is some obvious cultural reference which is lost on me, and hopefully someone will point out my ignorance in response to this post.

The reflection in the window clearly indicates it was on a corner of Upper Berkeley St, though I’m not sure on which corner, possibly of Seymour St. It is surely long gone.

St Mary's Church, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987
St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s School, Wyndham Place, Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

The church, listed Grade I, was designed by Robert Smirke and built in 1823-4. There is a very full description of the church in ‘A Topographical and Historical Account of the Parish of St. Mary Le Bone’ by Thomas Smith, printed and published in 1833 by John Smith and available at the Internet Archive. The descirption ends on p105-6 with these comments:

It would have been desirable, if possible, to have procured a site for this church in a more central part of the District than that which has been assigned to it. In short, it should almost seem as if the greatest possible pains had been taken to select a site, in all respects the most inconvenient for the majority of the congregation ; it being surrounded by streets of worse than a second rate description.

If it be said, that the accommodation of the poor has been principally consulted the answer is the poor are always sure to fill the free seats allotted to them wherever the service of the Church of England is decently and impressively performed. The tower and cupola of this church form a tolerably picturesque termination to the view from Cumberland Gate, Hyde Park.

Internet Archive
Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3d-21-positive_2400
Bryanston Square, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987
St Mary's School, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987  87-3d-11-positive_2400
St Mary’s School, Wyndham Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

TQ30

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
Shop, Brixton Hill, Brixton, 1991TQ3074-001

Back in 1986 I began a serious attempt to photograph London. Serious but not entirely credible I set out the photograph the whole of the city. Of course I never thought I could photograph everything, but set out a number of principles or themes that would govern my project, or rather a series of projects that I continued to work on for the next ten or 15 years.

Streatham High Rd, 1990 TQ3071-002

The larger part of this work was in black and white, and concentrated on buildings and streets, the physical infrastructure of London, with the goal of photographing every built structure I thought significant, as well as representatives of the typical across the city. You can see a little of this on Flickr in the album 1986 London Photographs, which contains over 1300 photographs, perhaps a third of those I took in the first six or seven months of the project.

Heads & Dummy, Shop,Streatham High Rd, Streatham, 1990TQ3072-010

In colour I was largely concerned with a more intimate level, or how individuals arranged their surroundings and how this reflected their differing social and cultural values. Some of the more obvious reflections of this came in small businesses with the face they displayed toward the public, particularly in shop windows and interiors, which feature strongly in this work.

Bedford Rd, Clapham, 1992 TQ3075-025

The previous year I had abandoned colour transparency and moved to working with colour negative film which provided much greater flexibility. For some years this was entirely trade-processed, and to cut costs (I had a young family to support) I used cheap processing companies aimed for the amateur market. Technically these were rather variable (even from the same company) and the prints I received back, usually 6×4″ ‘enprints’, were extremely variable in quality.

Shop, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, 1989 TQ3077-005

As the stack of fat envelopes containing the negative strips and prints grew I wondered how to make some order of them, and came up with the idea of a traverse of the city with pictures filed together representing a number of ‘vertical’ north-south 1km wide strips of London based around the National Grid.

Cafe, Plato Rd, Brixton, 1989 TQ3077-009

Prints from negatives that interested me were then filed in a series of A4 files, labelled with the first 4 digits of the six figure grid reference which I had begun to mark on the prints. The pictures in this post are all from ‘TQ30’, and the 1km wide strip starts at Streatham and goes north from there. I started scrap book style, pasting the prints onto cartridge paper, but soon moved to using plastic file pages which held four prints on each side, arranging the prints roughly in order of their ‘northings’ in kilometre squares.

From these albums – a longish row of A4 files on my shelves – I was able to select images that were worth printing larger, keeping costs down by printing and processing in my own home darkroom. I’d discovered that Fuji colour paper not only gave cleaner looking prints but enabled the kind of dodging and burning that I’d become used to in black and white without the unwelcome colour shifts of other papers. I’ve had one set of prints from a show in the mid-80s framed on the wall beside the stairs since that show. They are out of direct sun and 35 years later show little of no sign of fading.

Bicycle, Shop, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, 1989 TQ3078-005

I began putting images from this project on Flickr several months ago, and at the start tried to replicate the layout of the albums – and the vagaries of the prints in terms of colour balance, exposure, saturation etc. Having done several 1km strips like this I’ve decided it doesn’t really work to well, and although I’m still scanning the prints in their sheets of four have separated them into individual images – still roughly in the same order – for TQ30. And while some of the defects of those trade-processed prints are still evident (and occasionally rather a lot of dust on the plastic sleeves) I’ve tried to improve the colour balance etc where necessary. But they are still showing enprints enlarged on screen and this makes some problems more visible.

So far I’ve put just over 100 prints into the album TQ30, from Streatham to Westminster, with another 250 or more to follow, taking the ‘slice’ north to Hornsey. You can view them on Flickr.


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

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.


On the Third Day

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

The rather tense stand-off between police and Extinction Rebellion protesters who were still blocking much of Westminster continued, with the police at times adopting rather rougher tactics, including the deliberate destruction of tents and other property as well as making arrests.

XR’s protest continued to be rather remarkable, with street performers, music and mimes including Charlie X as well as XR’s red and green robed troupes.

People were still determined to continue their protest and it was clear that the police were coming under increasing political pressure to end them, though quite a few officers seemed rather unhappy at what they were being ordered to do.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had attacked the protesters, insulting them as ‘crusties’ but was still failing to take any action. XR’s demands remain, calling for the government tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency, act to halt biodiversity loss, reduced emissions to net zero and create and be led by a Citizens Assembly.

There were many arrests during the day, with XR’s non-violent approach being maintained, and police succeeded in clearing some of the areas.

Extinction Rebellion Day 3


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

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Rebellion continues

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

The second day of Extinction Rebellion’s shutdown of Westminster was in some respects a disturbing one for those of us who believe in civil liberties and the rule of law, with the police moving in at times like a group of thugs and deliberately destroying the property of the protesters.

XR have a dedication to non-violence and made no attempt to stop the police or to resist the arrests that took place, and the use of force seemed quite uncalled for. Of course large scale acts of civil disobedience do cause inconvenience and annoyance to others, but the response of a civilised society should be to try and resolve the issues rather than to attack the protesters.

Those who break laws can and in the case of XR do expect to be arrested but should not be assaulted and too many arrests that I saw seemed to involve an unnecessary use of violence and deliberate infliction of pain.

One new banner read ‘CLIMATE STRUGGLE = CLASS STRUGGLE’ and it is perhaps hard not to see the police as a force being used by the small group of those who are rich and powerful to protect their own narrow interests at the expense of the rest of the people. Their more vigorous response on this second day of protest can only have been a result of considerable political pressure on them to subdue the protests. They clearly came not to keep the peace but to try and win a battle.

As you can see from my pictures, the protests were still continuing at various sites around Westminster and the general atmosphere was something of a festival. But a festival with a great deal of commitment by people desperate that our government take effective action against the most serious problem faced by the country and the world. We are just beginning to see a government forced into taking belated action against the threat posed by COVID-19, but we need a similar level of action against climate change that otherwise will be even more catastrophic.

‘Everything Will Change’ whether we like it or not, but we have a choice to make changes which may avert the extinction of our species. But our government continues to fiddle while the planet burns.

More at Extinction Rebellion continues.


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

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.