It’s those Trafalgar Square pigeons again, this time entertaining a lady from the RAF (judging from the cap badge) sometime in the Fifties. I’m picking these images up when I find them as they look great en masse. That could well be one of the square’s photographers on the right, he looks as if he is working rather than just being a tourist with a camera.
There’s another shot from the same location on the blog.
One consequence of the Walking Pictures project has been people sending in scans, wanting to know where they were taken. And while I have 101 other things I ought to be doing, I can’t resist a challenge. It’s as well Google don’t charge for their street view by the hour (but then given the tax they dodge, free is the least they can do!).
This walkie by the firm of Sunny Snaps arrived recently, sent by Peter Aylett in California. It is very typical of their output, well composed and very naturalistic. It shows his father Jim on the right, looking very dapper in his pale suit, with an unknown friend (taken around mid-day in April.) Sunny Snaps have dated this one, 1939, but not given the location, and Peter was hoping we might be able to help.
My initial thought was that this was unlikely to be a coastal Sunny Snaps walkie, but more likely to be back in London, their other main area of operation. The railway bridge was a clue, and the buildings very distinctive, but London has an awful lot of these.
From what little I know of Sunny Snaps in the city, Fulham High Street seemed a good starting point, but while a rail bridge and church there matched quite well, the buildings were not quite right. Having trawled around on street view, I gave up and went in search of an Underground rail enthusiast site and discovered District Dave’s London Underground forum (http://districtdave.proboards.com/). Their moderator Rich kindly posted the scan and within a few hours John Tuthill had recognised the scene as Shepherd’s Bush Market station on Uxbridge Road in London.
Many of the buildings have gone but he spotted the end of the Passmore Edwards library (now closed and replaced by a modern library, but hopefully opening as a theatre before long) just to the left of the fly postered telegraph pole. The bridge matches, but I could not see the church in the present day scene. John explained that the spire had been removed a few years later. The bus in the background is a new trolleybus, which had replaced the trams on this road only two years earlier.
Peter has tracked the path Jim would have taken that day in 1939 from the family home on Astrop Terrace to the point where the Sunny Snaps was taken.
This is a useful addition to the story of Sunny Snaps, who we are beginning to think had a number of photographers out and about in London in the late Thirties as well as the South Coast towns. Quite often photographers worked near their base, and incredibly the yellow fronted shop in the modern view is currently a branch of … Snappy Snaps!
Our second example was taken the same year, and shows Johnny Smith’s Grandmother, again photographed in London, and looking smartly dressed for a shopping trip. She lived on Battersea Rise near Clapham Junction in 1939 and this may have been taken on that road (or St. Johns Wood High Street which crosses it), which was (and still is) a busy shopping area, although I have not been able to make a match with the surviving streetscape yet. If anyone spots something they recognise, please let us know. That might be some sort of street market going on in the background.
You can read more about Sunny Snaps on the site, and there is another London walkie there. If anyone has further examples please get in touch. You can also join a newsletter service about the forthcoming book, which will keep you updated on progress and details of any pre-publication offers. This service is provided by the book’s publishers. Your details will be kept confidential and you can unsubscribe at any time. Click the button below for details:
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This could so easily be another anonymous walking picture, a squaddie on leave from his National Service. It’s under-developed, badly framed, out of focus and poorly printed. But the squaddie in question is Ken Hawley, who bought the walkie, sent one half back to his parents in Sheffield and kept the other, loaning it to me along with a handful of other walkies from his album not long ago (there is another on the page about Sheffield walkies.). It was taken in Coventry Street, London, March 15. 1947.
Ken’s name might not be familiar to many, but his death last week made the national papers as a result of a lifetime’s devotion to rescuing Sheffield’s industrial history (rewarded not long ago with an MBE). I actually first met Ken as a kid, when my father used to pay one of his numerous visits to Hawley Tools, an amazing shop packed with every sort of tool known to man. I still have the Stanley hammer he bought there in the 60s. When it was my turn to get into DIY I kept up the tradition until his shop eventually closed, a victim to the stupidity of people who would rather have a bargain screwdriver “made” in China that failed after half a dozen uses.
By then though Ken was on his mission, scouring old factories and chatting up retired workers to add to his collection. Sharing a similar fascination for the city’s disappearing industrial base, me and my brother would pass on any unusual artifacts we stumbled across. Only a year ago, well into his eighties, Ken was on the floor of our garage chuckling over another box of strange hammer heads and taking away a few to add to his collection. I can’t think of anyone in the city I’ll miss more.