Sunday, 11 March 2012


Back in The Land Of Hope And Glory where I now reside (as opposed to The Land That Style Forgot where I was born), the sun is shining and we have a long, hot Diamond Jubilee summer on the horizon. I've been known to doze away many a pleasant hour lazing on a sunny afternoon in Kensington Gardens. Kensington is such a beautiful part of London and its narrow back alleys still remind me of a more innocent era, sadly now confined to the nostalgic mists of history books. On one of my many charity shoppe pilgrimages (a big shout out to the ladies at the Hammersmith Amnesty Bookshoppe, purveyors of the finest second-hand books at very reasonable prices) I came across a delightful old book illustrating some lovely parts of west London. A couple of Kensington back streets (below) were included and I wanted to find out how much had actually changed since the original photographs were taken. I reshot the following images in 2010, and as you can see the basic architecture remains unchanged, only the vintage signage, clothing and the notorious London grime have been 'disappeared' by money and progress's inevitable, odious onslaught. Its interesting to note too how the Dukes Lane top windows have been reconstructed and the exterior minimalised with the removal of the shutters and the posh white paint job. My guess is the original shots were taken sometime around the 1940s. How brilliant it would be to step back in time for a day, pause for a natter in the street about hats with the local ladies and poke around this long forgotten world...

Kensington Church Walk original photograph below :

My modern reshoot :

Dukes Lane original photograph below :

My modern reshoot :

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