Blue Skies and Golden Light: The River Thames in September, a set on Flickr.
After my recent five-part series of photo sets from south east London — my home turf — in November, I promised to publish some photos from September, from the huge archive of photos I’ve been building up over the last five months, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, and also to publish photos from further afield in London.
In the first of five previously unpublished sets from September (and the 66th set overall in my London photo project) the photos here are from a journey I made by bike on September 6, a gloriously sunny day, when I took my son Tyler and his friend Louis to the South Bank and back, travelling there via Greenwich Foot Tunnel and the Isle of Dogs, and returning via Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, a great circular tour of the River Thames to the east of central London, which involves two of my very favourite journeys in the whole of London. Read the rest of this entry »
From Deptford to Bermondsey: A Summer Journey Through London’s History, a set on Flickr.
After posting five set of photos of autumn in London, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, I’m briefly returning to summer to post five of the 46 sets I have from July and August that have not been published yet, containing over a thousand photos.
I have thousands more photos from September, October and November, from al parts of London, and will return to more recent photos after this reminder of summer, but for now, please join me on July 24, 2012 (a hot Tuesday), when I decided to take a visit to east London — and, specifically, Commercial Road, which runs from Aldgate East to Limehouse, and was built by the East India Company 200 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
The River Thames: The Solace of the Shore and the Fire of Sunset, a set on Flickr.
This is the 54th photo set in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, capturing the second half of a journey I made with my son Tyler from Waterloo, back to our home in Brockley, in south east London, on Sunday October 14, 2012.
The first set is here, and it is also part of a series designed to capture glimpses of London in autumn (or fall, as my American friends describe it), which I began with photos of Halloween and of the turning leaves in Hilly Fields, my local park. Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
The Old and the New: A Journey through Waterloo, Borough and Bermondsey, a set on Flickr.
These photos are the last in a series of photos from Friday August 31, 2012, when, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, I cycled through central London and back to my home in Brockley, in south east London, after attending a protest in Triton Square, just off Euston Road, outside the offices of Atos Healthcare, the multinational company that is running the government’s vile review process for disabled people, which is designed to find them fit for work when they are not. See the Flickr set here.
After the protest, I cycled through Fitzrovia to Oxford Street, and then on to Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross and the Southbank Centre. The previous Flickr sets are here, here and here. Read the rest of this entry »
Real London: New Cross, Bermondsey and the Old Kent Road, a set on Flickr.
“Real London” is a short-hand, of course, for a London that is not the shiny one of glass and steel built and sold by property developers, and bought by those in the top few percent of earners — as well as by foreign investors. It is a world of workers, some of whom live in their own houses, having secured mortgages before the boom that began in the late 1990s, and often well before that, when it was still affordable for working people to take out mortgages and be able to repay them. Others live in social housing, built by local councils and run either by the councils or by housing associations, or, less frequently, owned or owned and managed by co-ops, and others have to cope with the increasingly greedy, unregulated private rental market . And amongst them, of course, are the unemployed — part of the current total of two and a half million unemployed people in the UK as a whole. According to the London Skills and Employment Observatory, 1.38 million people are currently either unemployed or “economically inactive” in London, and the unemployment rate is 8.9 percent.
These workers and homeowners were, perhaps, on salaries between the median and the average — currently £14,000 and £26,000, as I discussed in my article, The Housing Crisis and the Gulf Between the Rich and the Poor: Half of UK Workers Earn Less Than £14,000 A Year — but whereas in the past it would have been possible for a household on average or below average wages to buy a house, now it is completely impossible.
As I explained in a recent article, Unaffordable London: The Great Housing Rip-Off Continues, on a multiplier of three times earnings, which was how the housing market functioned before the Blair and Brown boom years, a couple buying a house in London for the average price — £388,000 — need a combined income of nearly £130,000, or something slightly less plus a whopping great deposit. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in May, when the sun started shining again after long weeks of relentless rain, I found myself unable to stay in my apartment chained to my computer, and took to the roads of London on my bike, with my camera, to take exercise and get fit, to explore this extraordinary city that has been my home for the last 27 years, and to capture London at this strange transitional period in its history — with great wealth still apparent on the one hand, and with deepening poverty on the other, as the Tory-led coalition government’s savage austerity cuts, aimed at the poor and not at the rich, for malevolent ideological reasons, begin to bite.
That first journey — an appetiser — was around Greenwich and Deptford, close to home, and I followed it up with a ride through Nunhead and Forest Hill to Dulwich Park and back. A few days later, on May 16, 2012, I decided to follow the river from Deptford to Tower Bridge and back, mostly along the route of the long-distance Thames Path — or rather, that’s how it turned out, but when I set off I had no firm idea of where I would go or what I would do. Read the rest of this entry »
Bermondsey and the River Thames, June 2012, a set on Flickr.
This set of photos, recording elements of a journey I made by bike on June 28, 2012 from south east London to the West End and back, is the third set of photos of London that I’ve uploaded to my recently established Flickr account, based on my newly-discovered means of escape from the chains that tie me to my computer and my work as a freelance investigative journalist — cycling around London with a camera, recording whatever captures my attention: buildings old and new, the sky, the river, trees and parks, and street art.
I’m also drawn to signs of emptiness, untidiness and decay that stand in contrast to the shiny new corporate buildings and endless “luxury” housing developments that are still springing up as part of a rigged economy, and that stand in such marked contrast to the savage age of austerity to which London’s poorer citizens are being subjected. Read the rest of this entry »
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