Tag Archives: south bank london

The Old and New London

Last week was full of interest and activity, more of which I will share during the coming week.

The highlight was when family members from Seattle, Washington took me out on the town on Wednesday evening, and then came to visit my Mother on the Thursday.

Emily and Richard took some lovely photographs from the top of St.Paul’s Cathedral, which prompted me to  pull up some older photographs of St. Paul’s, taken in the forties and fifties.   It’s fascinating to compare then and now…..

The iconic image of St. Paul’s Cathedral taken during the blitz in 1940.


An aerial view of St. Paul’s in the 1950s when London was covered in black soot.   I remember very clearly when the burning of coal was banned and all the major buildings were cleaned, revealing the lovely colour stone we see today.


One of Emily and Richard’s photographs taken from the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral.


Looking at St. Paul’s Cathedral from South Bank in the 1950s.  Note that St. Paul’s at that time was the highest building in the City.

Southwark View

Not so today….. Just some of the new buildings visible from St. Paul’s.



What you don’t see in these photographs are the hundreds of cranes dotting the skyline indicating the many more changes ahead.


Wonderful Richard and Emily who are now safely back in Seattle.



And of course a Magical Hummingbird for the day….




A Bientôt


Artists At Work – preparing for Festival of love….

On my way from London Waterloo Station, about to walk across the Hungerford Bridge….I saw this sign….Artists at Work – Preparing for the Festival of Love.    How wonderful is that?


Clearly it’s going to be a very colourful festival….

Looking down from the Hungerford Bridge to South Bank.   This was about 11.30 before the lunch time crown gathered…


Looking back at South Bank from The Hungerford Bridge.


 Maybe the whole world should be preparing for a Festival of Love….


A Bientôt

A walk around London

To get into central London from where I live is very easy.    I walk to the local train station (4 minutes) and then go direct to London Waterloo.   From there, I can walk to just about everything including museums, galleries, etc.

Last week was half term in the UK, which meant that everything seemed a little quieter than usual, and so it was when Claudia and I spent the day in central London.

This was one of those lucky moments when I photographed Claudia in font of this group of men in bowler hats and umbrellas preparing to be ‘information’ people in and around London.Image

Claudia standing In Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery.   



From Trafalgar Square, we walked to Covent Garden and then along the Strand to the City and St. Paul’s Cathedral.   The actual City of London is only one square mile.      When going there, it is key to explore behind the buildings into the ancient squares and alley ways that make up this centre of commerce.

We went into St. Paul’s Cathedral where I took this photograph, and as you can see the man heading towards me to say….’no photographs please’!   I always forget.

As a very young child, I remember vividly going up to the Whispering Gallery, and being too frightened to come down the windy narrow stairs.   I think Health and Safely has prevented people from enjoying this today!.


After leaving St. Paul’s we walked across the Millennium Bridge which connects the City with South Bank.

Leaving St. Paul’s and the City behind.


Half way across, I took this photograph of Tower Bridge.   London is full of new construction, and it’s fair to say that the skyline is totally different today from when I was a child.     I was born in London and so have known it all of my life.



Here we see the Globe Theatre, where you can enjoy Shakespear’s plays in an authentic setting. 


At the South Bank end of the Millennium Bridge, we find Tate Modern, and this walkway which takes us from the Bridge onto South Bank.    I love the constant mix of old and new, and in this case the way the walkway seems to hang in the air over the river.


Now on South Bank, with the City behind us we see more clearly the old and the new.



The Shard. – I believe the tallest building in London today….


As we walked along South Bank the sun began to shine…   There is of course so much more.    Each small area of london, as is the case with many cities, has so many hidden surprises….not just the main attractions.


A Bientôt







A walk along Southbank London

Yesterday, I met a friend at Tate Modern….here are some of the photographs I took as I walked from London Waterloo Station along Southbank.

During more recent times, Southbank has become one of London’s playgrounds.   No matter what time of year, there is always much going on….lots of music, dance, theatre, galleries, street food, restaurants, etc.

Even with the awful flooding that we have experienced in the UK, including many areas close to London, yesterday Southbank was buzzing with lots of families, as it is half term.

In this image,  we see one of London’s most important landmarks, St. Paul’s Cathedral, which still rules the skyline, although today we see many new buildings along side it.

One of my strongest child hood memories is being taken up to the Whispering Gallery at the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral and then being terrified trying to get back down again!      This was way before the days of health and safety!   The stairs were winding, narrow and steep…..


Although central London is not flooded, thanks to the London Barrage….which has protected the city valiantly during the last two months,  there were some puddles along the way, which made for excellent photo opportunities.


I always like to take a look at the young people enjoying what has become one of the more famous skate parks in the UK…although now it is under threat of development.   Personally, I think it should be spared….


The River Thames is tidal, hence the greater concern for flooding, especially when we have the kinds of extreme tidal surges experienced recently.    Yesterday, the tide was out…..which brings people onto the beaches, no matter what time of year.


As I turned a corner, I heard music being played….’When the Saints Go Marching in’ and was delighted to see these three musicians entertaining.


I was even more delighted to see this young child using her innate creativity to play drums on a rubbish bin.   Actually it sounded very good.


Then into the Turbine Hall, at Tate Britain.     This is a great space for all sorts of major exhibitions and for children to play in.   I have always loved reflective surfaces, and was not disappointed yesterday.



My friend and I had a bite to eat on the 6th floor of Tate Britain where I took these two photographs of the Centennial Walking Bridge….which connects Southbank to the square mile City of London. 




A Bientôt

The joy of colour….

I know many of my friends in the States are having to deal with relentless snow and cold…..and here in the UK we are having to deal with relentless wind and rain!    

Given that it is Friday and that we probably all need a shot of colour in our lives, I am sharing three photographs I took during the warm summer months. 

I received my first digital camera eight years ago.   Up until that time, I had never really enjoyed photography because of the long process of getting film developed, and then finding that maybe there was one decent image in the whole lot.  

 My digital camera changed that for me…I now use it along with sketch books as a tool for my work. 

This image was pure luck.   I was walking along South Bank in London, where they had a beach hut display, and happened to spy this little girl standing in front of the perfect beach hut.   I just loved the way the colours and shapes all sang out together:)



I caught this little girl as I was wondering through Brighton.   Ice cream just happens to be my favourite food, and so I couldn’t resist this opportunity. 



This photograph of deck chairs on Brighton Pier, appealed to me because of the stripes and shadows made by people relaxing in the warm sunshine. 



I hope the colour in these images has brought some joy. 

Remember to check out the wonderful art school in Portugal where I will be giving a workshop in April..http://www.artinthealgarve.com

Visit my newly revised website at http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt