Monday, 7 June 2010

Old London

Seeing this great old sign on the side of a building on Wandsworth Road in Battersea (we were heading to The Roastery - south London's best primo coffee stop!) reminded me of one of my favourite London blogs and I wanted to post the link.  It is called Faded London and it is dedicated to those bits of the past that are still visible, sometimes only just, in our 21st century city.  I love seeing old painted signs like this one (a personal favourite is the Peterkin Custard sign on Wandsworth High St) as well as street signs, lamp-posts, watering troughs - what always amazes me when I am walking to work along horrendous Oxford Street is when I look up and see these magnificent old buildings which once must have been so grand and now have to suffer the indignity of a tacky tourist shop down below, blasting cheesy Euro-house.  So next time you are walking around your part of London, look a little closer, notice the remnants of the past and if you find a good one, photograph it and send it to Faded London.  One of the things that always makes me sad and nostalgic as well (I am a sucker for nostalgia) is the closing down of old shops - thank God there are still amazing shops like James Smith & Sons on New Oxford St, but for every one of these there are five that have closed down.  I bought a fantastic book the other day that is all about just that - this guy went around in the 70s and 80s taking photos of old shops, mainly in London and recording the stories of the people that owned them or worked there.  It is just brilliant and I'm not ashamed to say it brought a tear to my eye!  It's called "Shutting up Shop" by John Londei.  OK enough about the past - time I started blogging about "now".

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