Sunday, 15 November 2009

Halloween in the East End

Well, it's been a while since the last update to this blog, so I thought I'd mention that there are now some new photos on my Flickr page of the East End of London, taken on 31st October on my last trip to London.

Although the focus of many of the locations is still that of Jack the Ripper, I now find myself becoming more and more interested in the general history of Whitechapel and Spitalfields. This is reflected in the images I have uploaded this time round. In particular, there are views of the Pedley Street railway arch, which had it not been for my excellently knowledgeable friend John Bennett, I would never have found.

Here, we have an isolated rail arch, favoured by film producers looking for that elusive "typical east end" shot. Two films that have utilised this location, are "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", and the very underrated 1999 film "Tube Tales". The rest of the viaduct that the arch once formed a part of, has been demolished to make space for the new embankments and bridges of the East London Line Overground extension, due to open in May 2010. For some reason though, this one photogenic arch has been spared the attentions of the demolition teams, and so still offers excellent photographic opportunities!

I'd met up with John Bennett once before, to do some night photography of various Ripper related locations, but this time round, we tended to favour more general locations, such as the arch. John's an expert when it comes to local history, his book "E1 A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields" is excellent, and I can very much recommend it to anyone wanting to read an overview of the area's history. The accompanying photos in the book are very atmospheric too.

I'll be heading off down to London again on new years eve, and I intend to continue documenting the area before it gets gentrified beyond all recognition! Some of the shots I take will be added to the "Whitechapel 2010" Flickr group, set up by Louis Berk to document the changes to buildings and streets in the locale.