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Port of London Authority Building c1955, London

Port of London Authority Building c1955, London

Port of London Authority Building c1955, London Ref: L1305056

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Memories of Port of London Authority Building c1955, London

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Mayfair Furrier

Mayfair 1964, London
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In 1961, I became an apprentice furrier to Brainin Bothers of New Bond Street. Brainin's owned a large store (I was told it was as big as Harrods) in Russia.They escaped the Communists and moved to Vienna, only to escape Hitler in 1938. Max and Leo were the brothers and Nat Saunders was the Master Furrier. Every monday we would fill a taxi with Squirrel, Ermine and Mink coats and stoles, and deliver them to Harrods fur department. We had to be careful as criminals were very active in Mayfair. The Jewellers under where we worked was "smash and grabbed" just before I left work at 5pm one night. Later in 1964 (photo) I became a fur pattern maker under Adolf Kroll at Herbert Duncan's in 57 South Moulton Street; our clients were Elizabeth Taylor and Ursula Andress, who I helped make the fur bikini's for "Casino Royale." I studied Fur design, pattern making, machining and cutting at the London College of Fashion four nights a week, after work. Mayfair was... Read more

Boys in The Crowd

Westminster Bridge, Queen Victoria Jubilee Day 1897, London
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My great uncle may be in this photo. I remember he told me that he and some of his pals walked from West Ham in the early hours of the morning and managed to get a spot on the Lambeth side of the bridge. They were just boys and came from poor backgrounds but had wracked their brains to come up with something that would contribute to the festive spirit of the day. The answer was strips of brown paper tightly rolled to look like cigars! So as the Queen drove by they felt like real swells cheering and brandishing their "cigars".

London,Piccadilly Circus 1951-1955

Piccadilly Circus c1965, London
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I was a young Constable in the year 1951, and fresh from Peel House, Westminster was assigned tio the Savile Row station known as CD. I lived at the Section House on Broadwick Street, Soho named after Lord Trenchard. Many times I was assigned to Piccadilly Circus, on the early turn or at 5pm to 1am for a two week period. There was the box attached to and adjacent to the stairs to the Piccadilly Tube Station and at the corner of Swan and Edgar Store. When the blue light flashed I answered the call from the station to go on details in the vicinity. Most times for street photographers. I was stationed there the day Christie was arrested for the murders at 10 Rillington Place, and for sometime during the Coronation festivities, the lines-up were around the corner from my position and on to Regent Street. After serving on the Met., I emigrated to Canada and served for 34 years from 1955-1989. My memories of the 1952 'Killer Fog'... Read more

The Bank of England

Bank of England 1908, London
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The "Bank" has occupied this site since the late seventeenth century. Although you cannot see from either this view or indeed from the street, there is an exquisite garden and lawn in the centre! The Bank underwent an extensive building programme between the time of this photograph and the second world war. There are now five floors and also three levels of vaults (I do hope that I am not giving away any secrets here!). I started my career in banking with The Bank of England in 1963. It was quite awe inspiring as a teenager to enter the massive front door being held open by a top hatted "Bank Messenger" dressed smartly in a pink coloured morning coat. He would gently tip the brow of his top hat and say "Good Morning Sir!". He only raised his topper when the Governor entered! Relics of the very early 1900's still remained in the Bank when I began work in 1963.  Many of the vaults had telephones installed and unbelievably these... Read more

My Birth Place

The Princess Beatrice Hospital c1950, London
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this is the hospital i was born in .My parents moved to london in the 50s from south wales. They have both past away ,we moved back to wales in the 1970s

Ewer StreetLaystalls Eng co Ltd

Temple Bar 1875, London
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I'm trying to find anyone who remembers the engineering firm in Ewer Street in the Southwark district or if anyone that was there during WWII, this firm made guns during the war. My dad, Fred was there and his brother Bob Jamieson, also my grandfather Harry Mather, and his daughter Vera Mather.also Alf Legget If you remember any of these people please contact me thank you.  Beryl Clark née Jamieson

I Worked Here in 1961

The Princess Beatrice Hospital c1950, London
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I was only fourteen, and wanted to be a nurse. I went to see Matron *trembles* and asked if I could do some voluntary work, which she allowed me to do for a couple of hours after school once or twice a week. I was to do drinks and flowers etc. Little did Matron know how I got sucked in because they were always short staffed. I helped the nursing staff with everything from bed baths to dressings and many other things. And yes, I did go on to be a nurse, and had over forty years service. I can still remember some of the ward names: Carisbrooke, Van den Burgh, Henriette, The Private Ward and Maternity. I also remember a couple of nurses and a delightful surgical registrar whose acquaintance I made and wonder what happened to them. There was a beautiful walled garden at the rear of the building where staff could sit on their break on a summer's day or evening. Happy, happy days.

Westminster Hospital

Westminster Hospital c1915, London
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Hello I was born in Westminster Hospital and christened in Westminster Cathedral, at the end of the war, do you have a selection of any old pictures of them both, as you will have guessed I am getting close to 70, and although I have been to the Cathedral, I have never seen the Hospital when I was born, as I believe the site has now been re developed,
I now have retired and live in France

Best Regards

Jon Oneill

Night Watchman

Bank of England 1908, London
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In the 1901 census my great-grandfather, Matthew Wise, was a night watchman close to the Bank of England at 6 Lothbury. I had found my grandmother as a child of 4 living with her mother Matilda and family in Hackney, but as initially I didn't know his first name I needed to carry out some detective work to find him! My grandmother married Sydney Lake in 1918.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar 1875, London
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Like a previous memory, I came across the Temple Bar in Theobald's Park in Hertfordshire. At first sight, I wondered what a great reproduction it was of the original Temple Bar from the Strand. But it was the real thing, taken down because of a road widening. Years later, I came across yet another copy or reproduction in the Italianate Square just off St. Pauls, only to find that again, it was the real thing, now shipped down from Hertfordshire to London. It has been cleaned and restored beautifully.

Where I Came Into This World

The Princess Beatrice Hospital c1950, London
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I was born in the Princess Beatrice Hospital on 22nd Jan 1950. It is very strange seeing my birth place for the very first time (today - 10th Aug 2012). I don't know what happened to me immediately after my birth but 6 months later I was adopted.


Albert Memorial, The Mansion House 1897, London
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I still can't work this out. Although a memorial to Prince Albert was discussed in 1861 (When Albert died) by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, it was taken over by the Palace, and as you all know the memorial was erected opposite the Albert Hall.

Alexnadra Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge c1880, London
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Seems to be before the Alexandar Bridge was added between the railway and road bridge, it carried the railway line to Holborn.

Alexandra Railway Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge 1890, London
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Alexandra railway bridge was just behind Blackfriars Road Bridge and was removed in the 1980's. I seem to remember Taylor Woodrow cut it up with machinery mounted on the rail lines, then Smit, the Dutch salvage firm came upriver and the sections were lifted over the working railway bridge into their boats. I think the Alexandra bridge had served the railway to Holborn, by the Old Bailey which was surplus, along with the bridge over Ludgate Circus and all the wine vaults under the arches towards the Old Bailey.

Forest Hill

Tower Bridge c1960, London
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My memory of Forest Hill, London, is Horniman's Museum and Horniman's Park. The museum had a wonderful, huge clock. We lived in Forest Hill from about 1952 or 53 to about 1961, I think. Someone held a fancy dress Coronation party for all the kids on the street (Benson Road). My dad worked near Tower Bridge, which he always complained went up when he was late for work.

Diamond Jubilee

Diamond Jubilee Grandstand, Whitehall 1897, London
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I disagree with the date given. I think this is 1897 and shows the temporary grandstand on the corner of Whitehall and what was to become Horse Guards Avenue. The grandstand could accommodate 4,000 persons and was built for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The site had been empty for over ten years, the previous building was called Carrington House. To the right of the photograph is the Banqueting Hall which has been covered in grandstands at several levels. Thank you for that - we are in the process of updating the date on our system. Regards, Editor.

St Peter ad Vincula

Tower of London From Tower Bridge c1890, London
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Not a memory obviously but a fact discovered when doing family research.

My Great Grandfather's eldest sister was married to a Grenadier Guard in The Chapel Royal at the Tower. Her husband Giles was stationed there at the time. The date was 1860.

Lost in A Field

Temple Bar 1875, London
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I remember coming across Temple Bar in a field in Enfield/Cheshunt whilst out for a walk as a child in the 1960s. It seemed such a strange place for it to end up. There were no explanatory signs to say what it was and why it was there. There was tall grass all around it and possibly some sort of fence; so it was impossible to get too close. Every time we walked that way, I used to wonder how on earth this lovely arch came to be lost in the middle of a field, anonymous and unloved: it seemed so strange, almost other worldly. I believe it has now made its way back to the City.

Will it be Open?

Tower Bridge c1960, London
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My family moved from Bermondsey, where we shared my grandad's house, to Enfield, where Mum and Dad had managed to buy their own house (for £2,000) in 1960. It was some years before Dad could afford driving lessons and then a car. We started with an A35 van, and Mum, Dad and 4 kids would pile in to drive over to Bermondsey or Forest Hill to visit my mum's sisters. The drive was just as complicated as it is now and my father was never really relaxed driving, so, with the end nearly in sight, he would be driven mad by us kids shouting that we hoped the bridge was up! If the traffic light was indeed on red, then that meant at least 20 minutes wait. Us kids used to love it, as the parts of the bridge which did not go up would be completely empty and this was such a novelty - but not for Dad, who was presumably by this time, gasping for a cup of tea... Read more

First Step on The Ladder

The County Hall c1955, London
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My brother and his wife, having met at 14, got married at 20. My brother was an apprentice motor mechanic and his fiance a trainee hotel receptionist, so money was tight and they had no idea where they were going to live and how they would be able to afford their own home. In order to help along their savings, they both worked in a pub in Enfield Lock, just down the road from where we lived. One evening, my brother began talking about their accommodation problems to a customer, who replied that he had just the answer for them. His mother had recently died, so her teeny, completely unmodernised, house nearby was up for sale. What's more, he happened to know that the GLC had just launched a new scheme, offering mortgages to young people who would take on an otherwise uninhabitable house! This was the absolute answer to their prayers, so, as 20 year olds, they made the journey up to County Hall and were completely overawed by its grandeur,... Read more

TV & Film Use

Castrol House c1965, London
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It was built many years before 1965 of course.

The only memory of mine is just some trivia :
It was featured in the opening sequence of Danger Man 1960 and also in Cliff Richard's film The Young Ones in 1961.

Mascot Hotel

Area Under Charing Cross Station 1964, London
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I can't help with a photo - but I can confirm that the Mascot Hotel was in York Street.

I stayed there for a couple of nights in June 1958. As I recall, the hotel was about 1/3 way down York Street on the right coming from the direction of Baker street.

John Cavill

Searching For De Keyser's Royal Hotel, Blackfriars

Blackfriars Bridge 1890, London
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Relatives of mine met and fell in love at a hotel which used to stand where the Unilever Building now stands. It was a love match which lasted for many years and in relatives who were around in my youth after the Second World War. They were a maid and pastrycook at the hotel. I would love to have a photograph as the hotel seems to have been a very splendid place. Unfortunately I have been unable to find a picture and Francis Frith's search system doesn't allow me to search in any other way than trailing through all the pictures of London.

Cooling Off

Queen Mary Gardens c1965, London
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I took my two daughters up to London for the day and we visited the gardens. It was a very hot day and they ran ahead to see the fountain. The youngest one had her sandals off in the blink of an eye and was in the fountain before I could stop her.

The Hub of My Young Universe

Charing Cross Station 1964, London
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London's main railway stations truly are wonderful and Charing Cross was the one that I frequented the most as I travelled every weekday from Woolwich Arsenal in SE London to Green Park Underground, near the great Victoria Station.

The sounds of the whistles, doors slamming, the hum of the electric trains...the overhead announcements reverberating in the cavernous domed roof... "last call for Waterloo, London Bridge, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, Charlton, Woolwich Dockyard , Woolwich Arsenal, Plumstead, Abbey Wood, Belvedere, Slade Green, Erith and Deptford"...and that recalled after 46 years !! (Says a lot for the theory of conditioning doesn't it !!)

And then the train pulls out across the old iron bridge high above the Thames, looking across to the Royal Festival Hall to the west. the mornings, after a journey crammed up against other commuters buried in their newspapers and jumping off the train as it still slowed to a stop into the station and hitting the platform running for the underground entrance.Read more

Prodigal Son Returned

Westminster Abbey c1920, London
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I think it ought to be mandatory, for every person of English heritage, to pass through Westminster Abbey at least once!

Returning from Canada and, later, the USA , for only the second time in 35 years I took my teenage son and daughter to tour Westminster Abbey. There we joined the throng as it somehow wound its way through the crowded abbey.

As much as I have become a North American, it surprised me that I was brought to tears as I touched and saw the incredible depth of history that this magnificent historic treasure holds within its walls. A very moving and self-establishing experience.

I should point out that I was well familiar with the abbey's exterior, having walked, on clear days, past it numerous times, over a 2 year period, from Charing Cross Station to nearby Vincent Square, just off Victoria Street, where I was a student at Westminster Technical College Hotel School.

It constantly amazes me how people, such as I... Read more

A Spectacular Entrance to Central London.

The Strand And Charing Cross 1890, London
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Before my time, of course, but this is still a very familiar view to me . Not only did I intern (from Westminster Technical College Hotel School) at the Charing Cross Hotel on the right but also passed through the station 5 days a week for two years.

On occasion I'd stay too late at a party on a Friday night and have to get the 'milk train' in the dawn hours. I loved walking the streets of London in the middle of the night.

I also loved coming in across the Thames into Charing Cross station on the Southern Railways from Woolwich Arsenal. To me it is a spectacular station and continues to be so even with the renovations which I explored with my two teenage kids in 2001.

Painful Memories of Paulton Square.

As a frightened 7 year old, in 1950,  I was plunged into an unfamiliar London life when my meddling and self righteous aunt unfortunately reminded my stepfather of fulfill his promise to my dying mother to 'take care of Jimmy'. He had since remarried and brought  my sister and I together again after we had spent three years apart,my sister with his parents in Chester and I, happily in Kirkbymoorside, my mother's home in the North Yorkshire Moors with my wonderful, loving, foster family, and my grandparents, three aunts, uncle and my many cousins.

We lived in Paulton's Square , just off the King's Road in an elegant , Georgian, three storey row house with wrought iron railings. In the centre of the square was a park area where I once disappeared to and was found playing quite happily, probably looking in the hedges for bird's nests, just like the Yorkshire boy that I was, much to my stepfather's disgust.

This was the beginning for a little Yorkshire... Read more

Anyone Recall The Mascot Hotel - Any Photos?

Area Under Charing Cross Station 1964, London
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Does anyone recall the Mascot Hotel which used to be it, near  Baker Street Station? It was owned by relations of my wife for a time, I believe it is no more but do any photos exist of it from the 1960s and 1970s? When was it demolished and was it always called the Mascot?

Under The Arches

Area Under Charing Cross Station 1964, London
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I remember visiting this spot when I first moved to work in London. It is described in Nairn's London, as follows:-
" A very fine passage called The Arches runs underneath Charing Cross station from Villiers Street to Craven Street. The steps at the western end announce a different world. Hungerford Lane; and this is like meeting a person five hundred years old. It starts by the Wimpy Bar in Villiers Street, and ends opposite the Strand Corner House. In between there are Piranesian brick vaults tunneled into the foundations of the station, and a crevasse running uphill to the Strand, embroidered with wine vaults and tiers of fire escapes. Where it passes under The Arches, there is just one grating - linking the underworld with the overworld which is itself under the bustle of the trains to suburban Kent. Once experienced, this threefold relationship is the kind of thing that nails you to a place. The New Towns will never have it in a thousand years."
I... Read more

A Day Around London

Piccadilly Circus c1965, London
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The day rock 'n' roll singer Eddie Cochran was killed, I went around London and had my picture taken on Eros, then in the evening I went with my friend to see Adam Faith on stage.  It was a sad day because of the death of Eddie C. but we did enjoy Adam F.
I also took a picture of a young 'bobby' which I still have to this very day.
I was a teenager at the time.
Great memories!


The George Inn c1900, London
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The George Inn in Southwark was one of the favourite watering holes and eating houses for the young men of the accounts department of Borax Consolidated Ltd. in Victoria. In those days the serving wenches were all dressed in Dickensian costume and we would order a steak and kidney pudding. I don't mean individual puddings but a large one set in the middle of the table which were of scrubbed pine. It was terrific food and the atmosphere was great. Sadly the atmosphere is no longer the same. Such is life.

George Inn

The George Inn, Southwark c1875, London
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I was general manager of the George Inn from 1984 to 1998. I made many friends in the Borough, it was like a small village.

Early Career Memories at Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus c1965, London
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I started my career in January 1959 as a young bobby at West End Central Police Station Savile Row.  The trestles positioned to the east of 'Eros' which cordon off the road suggest the photograph was taken when the Piccadilly one-way system was being introduced.  I remember the elegant stonework of the County Fire Office benefited from the recently enacted 'Clean Air Act'.  Much of the grimey architecture in the area was scrubbed by a water process from scaffolding usually by a firm called 'Szezelmy' (or a very similar spelling).  Just right of the 'Skol' advert the low hoarding hides a wartime bomb site.  Just around that corner was the Windmill Theatre in Great Windmill Street where many stars of radio and stage began their careers.  In the early 60's (before the introduction of police pocket radios) there was a 'police post' near the traffic light bottom left of your picture.  A PC was detailed to stand near the post.  He usually stood close to the display window of 'Swann... Read more

'London Remembers Charlie Chaplin' - Video

This short video I wrote and directed in 1989 celebrates the birth in Lambeth, London of the world's most famous funny man - Charlie Chaplin. It's now free to view on my YouTube channel at

Hackney in The East End of London

My nana was born in Hackney in 1907. She was born to an unmarried mother in the Salvation maternity hospital for unmarried mothers on Mare Street, Ivy House to be precise. She stayed in Brent House mother and baby home just around the corner.
Does any one out there know of anyone else who was born in this hospital?
I would like an old photograph of Brent House as it was at the time when it was a home for unmarried mothers. I have a photograph of the building as it is now, I was in Hackney at the beginning of this year and took a photogragh of Brent House. It is now luxury flats, and it was refurbished.
Please can anyone help? I would be very grateful.

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