Lost London 1870-1945 (book #90)

Philip Davies, 2009.

With author comments.
Review by John Carey.

Short clips of television interview with Davies.

Blog entry in Russian about the exhibition that accompanied the book, with more of the images. Google translation.

I wasn’t clear from the book what the source of the photographs was – the reviews give different versions. At times it seems to be some sort of attempted comprehensive survey – pictures of adjoining buildings as if they are doing the whole street. Some of the pictures are certainly from the London County Council Photograph Archive, wch is online.

Arch, Shepherd’s Place, off White’s Row, now Tenter Ground, Spitalfields, 10th May 1909. Tenter Ground was bought by Tracey Emin in 2008. This planning application made by her says “at the start of the 20th century much of the housing around Tenter Ground was destroyed to allow the construction of social housing by the LCC”.

Arch of Shepherd's Place, 1909, with local people.

Evans and Witt, Stationers and Bookbinders, Booksellers and Tobacconists. I didn’t note the date of this image, but think it is 190x. There is still an Evans and Witt going, in Long Lane. This may be the same site – I didn’t note that either, but will check.

Evans and Witt, Stationers and Bookbinders, Booksellers and Tobacconists

Cloth Fair, Smithfield, 16th May 1906.
The view from Schoolden Street showing a small 17th century house against the walls of St Bartholomew’s Church. Cloth Fair in this context is a street name, not an event. Schoolden Street doesn’t seem to exist now.

The view from Schoolden Street depicting a small 17th century dwelling against the walls of St Bartholomew’s Church.

I like the little girl with her doll and wearing what looks like an adult’s hat. What are the things that look like cables and an aerial on the roof?

There is a photograph in the BL archive of 1880 of nearby streets. And if you have £6 million you could buy the oldest house in London, round the corner in Cloth Fair.

House with shop. Neglected to note date and location of this one too. 190x again I think.

House with shop

8 Bow Churchyard, Cheapside, 30th August 1908 – near St Paul’s.
17th century house. Someone can be seen peering through the second floor windows on the right (not very visible on scan).

17th century house

The Foundling Hospital, c 1912
The Boys’ Dining Room with bench seating.

Foundling Hospital, boys' dining room

The chapel.

Foundling Hospital chapel

Trafalgar Square, 31st July 1896.
Looking south from the National Gallery. Panoramic photograph on two pages in book.

Trafalgar Square

Printing press, 20-22 Millbank Street, 21st May 1906.

Printing Press

34 Albury Street, Deptford, 30th April 1911.
Nursery in ground floor rear room. Note wooden horse at end of table and copy of Goosey Gander on mantelpiece.

Nursery, Deptford

This one is fascinating. Deptford was a very poor area at the time. I wonder what this nursery was – a private enterprise for working parents (Wikipedia says that girls and women were employed at the butchery in the docks, but I don’t know if this would have included women with children) or some kind of municipal or charitable enterprise (possibly a residential nursery / children’s home). This article from 1934 says that the building is being used as a “baby hospital”, wch I guess could mean almost anything. This site, wch in passing trashes the Nelson myth in the 1934 link, says

In the early twentieth century, nursery pioneers the McMillan sisters held a Boys’ Night Camp at number 24. It provided poor children with the opportunity to wash and get clean nightclothes (the girls’ camp was in Evelyn Street).

The McMillan sisters (and more detailed link about one of the sisters) worked in Deptford from 1910, so the image could be of a nursery run by them, though I can’t see confirmation anywhere online.

The same house in 1935, looking pretty poverty-stricken, and the street in 1906 (scroll down).

Bear Yard, c 1906.
In 1850 Bear Yard was a slaughterhouse. In 1889 the last of the trades connected with this closed. The child appears to be removing a stone sheep, a symbol of its former use. (Caption by Davies.)

Bear Yard - child with stone sheep

Bear Yard, 11th June 1906.
Family outside their home.

Bear Yard - family of chimneysweeper

13 and 14 Archer Street, 20th May 1908.
The upper floors of many Soho houses were given over to workshops, often for the larger West End stores, particularly the rag trade. In this case the women are engaged in upholstery and trimming for the furniture trade. (Caption by Davies.)

Archer St  - inside

This seems odd to me as in fact the women are spinning – despite the sign on the houses that, as Davies says, suggests it’s upholstery work.

Outside of the building, 15th March 1908
Two artisans’ cottages of 1700.

Archer St - outside

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