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memories

Memories No 03 – from Walthamstow Central to West Croydon

My third blog outlining the stories behind my ‘Pictures of the Day’. For this week’s review, I travel to the ends of the DLR, Overground, Tfl Rail, Tram and the Victoria lines through July and into early September 2018.

An exciting couple of months through the heat of the summer months in 2018, and one when I was introduced to the magic of expressive art, colour and wonderful people. People ranging from a bespoke tailor, wall artists and security professionals.

Please tell me which is your favourite picture, and why through any of my social media platforms.

So here goes for week 3. Please let me know what you think.

#15: Walthamstow Central – ‘The Birds’

05/07-2018 – This is taken inside the beer garden to Mirth, along Hoe Street. The doors are open so I take a peek inside and given the time of day (early morning), there’s no trading taking place so I can walk through uninterrupted.

This painting/wall art/mural is deep inside the alleyway, but it’s vibrancy and bird motifs gives it a somewhat garish look. The birds maybe crows or ravens, certainly some type of carrion chasing the skirted woman is very reminiscent of a scene from Hitchock’s The Birds.

I’ve converted the picture into black and white but I can’t decide which image is best, so I’ve decided to include them both. Maybe you can decide…message me and let me know

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5; Shutter Speed – 1/125; Focal Length – 39mm; Film Speed – ISO400; Google Photo Filter – None (Colour), and Vista (B&W)

#16: Stratford International – ‘Bruno’

12/07/2018 – Meet Bruno, a two year old guard dog; part of Westfield’s security patrol. His handler explained he’s a cross between a Malinois and a dutch hunter. The Malinois is a medium-to-large breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog rather than as a separate breed. The name “Malinois” is derived from Malines, the French name for the breed’s Flemish city of origin, Mechelen. (This is an update from my original blog as I had misheard the breed name as ‘malinmor’ and couldn’t find any reference).

Both handler and dog were very friendly but I have no doubt Bruno would quickly jump into action on his handler’s instruction. I decided not to test this out.

I couldn’t quite get him to look straight into the lens as he averted his eyes; trained I guess to keep watching out, but this shot gives a very good impression of his poise, discipline and strength.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ4.5; Shutter Speed – 1/125; Focal Length – 33mm; Film Speed – ISO1o0; Google Photo Filter – Alpaca

#17: Wimbledon – ‘Release’

19/07/2018 – On the side of Wimbledon library in Compton Road, there’s a very interesting sculpture by Mohammed Sheibani entitled ‘Release’. It’s a composition of three murals depicting books on bookshelves made out of bricks or terracotta tiles.

It’s an imaginative representation stylised to blend into the red brick wall. A simple piece, but one that speaks volumes. It’s a shame it’s on the side of the building as many passers by will miss it, and even though it’s just around the corner from the main entrance, if you have no reason to go into the side road, then you’ll miss it.

The only enhancement to the picture is that I’ve applied a green filter (Alpaca) to help with contrasting the ‘books’ within the shelving.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5; Shutter Speed – 1/125; Focal Length – 25mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Alpaca

#18: Paddington – ‘Hidden Rainbow’

02/08/2018 – This is taken under the Bishop’s Bridge Road flyover as it crosses the Paddington Basin just north of the station. An otherwise dark and gloomy underpass en route to several restaurants and where you’ll also find one of the Paddington Bear statues dotted around the area.

This colourful metal display has been erected to brighten up the area, and it does do that. A little difficult to capture as there was a stream of passers by making their way to/from the restaurants, or generally milling around. The first few shots using a flash failed to capture the true colour but I persevered and only slightly enhanced it with a green filter in post production to heighten the colour range.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ6.3; Shutter Speed – 1/200; Focal Length – 53mm; Film Speed – ISO500; Google Photo Filter – Alpaca

#19: New Cross – ‘Life Saver’

14/08/2018 – Just outside the station, I’m reminded of my childhood days when I see what I consider to be an iconic vision of an NHS pharmacy. Maybe it’s a reminder of a pharmacy I used to see in my parental hometown, I can’t remember, but nevertheless the image is worthy of capturing as it happens to be the NHS’ 70th anniversary year.

I waited for someone to walk past, to contextualise the scene, and in some way to create a reference point showing that the pharmacy is used by those walking past. 

And as I update this blog in April 2020, it’s a poignant reminder of life’s frailty as we isolate ourselves during the current world Coronavirus pandemic 

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5.6; Shutter Speed – 1/250; Focal Length – 36mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Reel

#20: Highbury & Islington– ‘Inside 1 Coopers Yard’

29/08/2018 – This shot is from within the Charlie Allen’s display window looking outwards with the tailored garments in relief. I wanted to highlight this bespoke tailor’s location and how its fashionable interior contrasts with its hidden surrounds: that of a back street opening onto Upper Street, one of London’s main arterial highways.

I had thought of cropping out the car, but that would have given a narrow view and the picture would have lost its sense of belonging. After all, the location is how I stumble across this gem, and that’s part of the memory. I’ve applied a slight blue filter to help enhance the cobble path.

Alternate picture names have been suggested by Twitter followers as follows: ‘Highbury One’ and ‘Man-nequine explores Islington’

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5.6; Shutter Speed – 1/200; Focal Length – 18mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Reel

#21: West Croydon – “I have myself…”

07/09/2018 – This is one of the many wonderful public art on display throughout Croydon as part of the 2018 Rise Festival. A wonderful innovation bringing art to the masses on a grand scale, which really made my day. Not only for the diversity of art on display, but also for the opportunity to meet and talk to several artists who were preparing their own murals.

As soon as I saw this piece, I was in awe of its scale, message and simplicity which is the trademark of its creator – David Hollier; a Wolverhampton born fine artist who now works out of New York.

I stood for quite a while reading the passage, which comes from Sir Winston Churchill’s famous ‘We’ll fight them on the beaches’ speech given to the House of Commons on the 18th June 1940. Quite moving, despite standing on the corner of street in Croydon in 2018. The words make up the final two paragraphs of the peroration.

The only adjustment I’ve made to the shot is to apply a Vogue black and white filter to help contextualise the piece back into the 1940’s era.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ10; Shutter Speed – 1/500; Focal Length – 30mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Vogue

Categories
victoria

#15: Walthamstow – 05/07/2018

Another sun baked day with relentless heat, and today it’s a day out at the northerly end of the Victoria line at Walthamstow Central. The station also serves the Overground, and just a few minutes away, a separate Overground line via Walthamstow Queen’s Road, which happened to be my arrival point.

I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve only driven through parts of Walthamstow before, but the landscape looked unfamiliar to me at these stations as they are some way away from the main A503 Forest Road which I was more familiar with. Nevertheless, this was a surprising day, which started slowly but one that built up to be quite a rewarding, yet tiring day.

The walk from Queen’s Road to Walthamstow Central is somewhat intimidating as it takes you through a tired social housing area, and leads you through a building site. However the building site is part of Waltham Forest’s regeneration plan for the area to make the transition between stations more pleasant…time will tell, but as you arrive at the Central station, and you look closely, you’ll notice the wall mural that clearly tells you where you are.

Walking up to Hoe Street, which is the main route through the town (I think I can call it a town), I first turn right heading south but quickly realise there’s little to offer and u-turn to walk in a northerly direction along the length of Hoe Street. And this is when I find the real Walthamstow.

The town’s beauty is revealed through it’s hidden historical features, diverse eateries, it’s vibrant and extensive market in the area known locally as ‘the village’, it’s colourfulness seen through its myriad of wall paintings; be they murals, graffiti or information, and it’s slightly retro feel through its architectural style.

The shops and places of interest unearth some local history with most older buildings having been converted into bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The Mirth, a converted cinema, looking dull and uninteresting during the day, but comes to life in the evening, with its doors open revealing the grandeur of a 1920’s cinema auditorium, beautifully lit and decorated where guests can enjoy its opulence.

Next door, a former dairy where a wall plaque records it as a place where Herbert Llewelyn Walton once worked as a milkman, but now a discrete bar with some interesting artwork (see my Picture of the Day).

Adjacent is the entrance to Tramworks, converted mews that amongst other things once housed stables for horses pulling trams through Walthamstow. It’s modern diversity is somewhat epitomised by a simple logo on one door advertising an online travel app sn-ap.

Further down the road I chat with a worker in Ruby Stables who was busy reclaiming a decorative garden urn, and returning towards the town, I’m struck by the artwork on display outside the Le Delice Italian Bakery. I end up spending some time chatting with the baker and shopkeeper (Manola) and I was tempted by the array of breads on display. This is a shop worthy of visiting if Italian bakery is your pleasure.

The market runs for a kilometer all the way from High Street, outside the Empire Cinema, through to St James Street and adjacent to its station; and in a way connects the two stations. But a walk through the market on a busy day is not for the faint hearted as the walkway between the stalls is full of shoppers determined to get the day’s bargain. As with all open air markets, I find the display of foods and clothes are always colourful, as indeed are the market traders themselves; some of whom challenged my taking pictures until I explained what I was doing and shared my ‘business card’ with them.

Having walked the full length of the market, I have it in mind to head for the William Morris Gallery but I underestimated the distance via Blackhorse Road especially in the heat of the afternoon sun. Nevertheless, I encounter some more visual treasures along the way

When I finally arrived at the gallery it was about to close, so that will be a visit for another day, but still there was plenty of time to enjoy the surrounding gardens and views of the house from different perspectives.

I hope you enjoy Walthamstow as much as I did and here are some more samples of the artwork seen around the area? I include them not only as as a record of my visit, but because they represent a statement of the people and their surrounds.

For more info, look up Walthamstow on Wikipedia

Picture of the Day

This is taken inside the beer garden to Mirth, along Hoe Street. The doors are open so I take a peek inside and given the time of day (early morning), there’s no trading taking place so I can walk through uninterrupted.

This painting/wall art/mural is deep inside the alleyway, but it’s vibrancy and bird motifs gives it a somewhat garish look. The birds maybe crows or ravens, certainly some type of carrion chasing the skirted woman is very reminiscent of a scene from Hitchock’s The Birds.

I’ve converted the picture into black and white but I can’t decide which image is best, so I’ve decided to include them both. Maybe you can decide…message me and let me know

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5; Shutter Speed – 1/125; Focal Length – 39mm; Film Speed – ISO400; Google Photo Filter – None (Colour), and Vista (B&W)

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