London is so full of history. It isn’t just the old buildings, the iconic landmarks or the pubs that have been there for centuries – there’s an atmosphere about parts of London where you can almost feel the ghosts of the people who walked down those streets centuries before you. I feel this particularly in the evenings and at night. I don’t know why this is – it might just be the legacy of a lifetime of ghost stories.
Black and white seems the obvious choice for portraying the atmosphere and history of these places. The first image is looking down Fleet Street towards St Paul’s. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the oldest pubs in London. But of course, this is the 21st century and so a sign for one of the oldest pubs is joined by a sign for the ubiquitous Pret a Manger.
Roupell Street, just behind Waterloo East station, is one of my favourite streets in London. Most of the Victorian terraced houses are still standing along the cobbled street and there’s a wonderful pub – The King’s Arms. It feels like you’ve left the 21st century behind when you turn the corner into the street. The modern does intrude on the facades though, with the burglar alarms and television aerials. And the street is lined with parked cars which makes it difficult to get a good long shot of the terraced houses. But if you ignore the cars, aerials, burglar alarms, modern blinds, people, you can very easily imagine the street with girls in smocks playing with hoops and boys in caps swinging on the lamp posts.
This is the stage door of the Cambridge Theatre. I usually find the backs of theatres much more interesting than the front. So many interesting people have walked through these doors.