Beside the River Thames: Clink Street to Butlers Wharf, a set on Flickr.
As part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, and my recent promise to publish a series of photos showing London in autumn, I’m following up on photos of Halloween and of the turning leaves in Hilly Fields, my local park in Brockley, south east London, with two sets of photos recording a bike ride I took with my son Tyler on Sunday October 14, 2012, along the river from Waterloo to Brockley.
This first set of photos — the 53rd photo set in my project — begins at Clink Street, near London Bridge, and records our journey to Bermondsey, just to the east of Tower Bridge and Butlers Wharf, via The Golden Hinde, Southwark Cathedral, Tooley Street and the More London complex, Shad Thames, the Design Museum and the community of barges and boats by Reeds Wharf.
This is a collection of sites of historical significance rubbing shoulders with more showy modern developments. As with everywhere in London today, some of the historical fabric of this part of the city — all of it in the London Borough of Southwark — is at risk of destruction, as developers and those bankrolling them ( as well as complacent council officials) seem to care little about London’s heritage, preferring to steamroller over everything with any trace of history. In case anyone has been in outer space recently, those driving the seemingly endless developments on London’s skyline are, on the one hand, the hypocritical Tory-led coalition government claiming that there is no money in the national coffers, while continuing to spend with reckless abandon (after the orgy of the Olympics) on massive infrastructure projects, and, on the other, the bankers who have not been held accountable for their dangerous and illegal activities that nearly bankrupted the world four years ago.
The next set records the rest of our journey through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, as the sun fell, and includes a delightful diversion on the shore of the River Thames, untouched by the predatory nature of modern development, but for now I hope you enjoy this set, which revisits the fascinating area east of Blackfriars Bridge that I recently covered in the sets, “Between Bridges: Wealth and Loss in Bankside, Between Blackfriars and London Bridge” and “Eating and Commuting: Borough Market and London Bridge.”
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, when I publicised this photo set, I wrote:
OK, so, you know, if you’ve voted, or if you’re not American, or if you’re not particularly interested in the US election, take a trip with me through Southwark – Clink Street, Southwark Cathedral, the overbearing More London complex, and on to the riverside by Tower Bridge and Butlers Wharf. I hope you won’t be disappointed. The evening breeze can blow away the cobwebs, and no one will be lying and/or shouting to get your vote!
On Facebook, Rachel’s Page wrote:
i love that walk , your photos are fab it was pouring with rain the day i last went there so i was unable to get many photos
Thanks, Rachel. I’ve been enjoying your photos too! I tend to go out whatever the weather these days, as I’ve found that I can manage to take photos in everything but the most torrential rain, and I’m enjoying adapting to the seasonal changes.
Sylvia Martin wrote:
Thanks for that different perspective, Andy. Quite refreshing actually.
Thank you, Sylvia. Lovely to hear from you.
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