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Shadwell Promenade: June 2023

(Note: Clicking on an image will take you to a larger size hosted at Flickr)

(Above: Platform, Shadwell Overground Station, East London, England)

I have not ventured onto the street of the East End for many months but seizing an opportunity the other day, of being down near Shadwell I decided to take my Ricoh GRIII camera along with me looking for photographic opportunities. 

All the photographs here were taken with the Wide Angle adapter for the Ricoh GRIII, This converts the standard 18mm fixed lens (equivalent to 28mm full frame) into a 13.5mm lens (equivalent to 21mm). To my eye the use of the adapter does not compromise image quality, at all and adds to the versatility of this tiny camera.

Whitechapel Station - remade for the 21st Century

During the past 12 or more years I have been photographing Whitechapel Station in London's East End. This period has seen the old Victorian station transformed into a new 21st century interchange hub for the Hammersmith & City, District Line, Oveground and the Line. Selected photography is now published in a gallery at my Flickr account. Click on the photograph above or the link here to view the photographs.

Gilding at Bevis Marks

Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London is not only the oldest synagogue in the UK but the longest continually operating one. It is currently undergoing restoration and the addition of a new visitor centre open to all faiths and none which will house exhibits and provide space for educational and other activities.

Bevis Marks Synagogue: Restoring A Grade I Gem

A dramatic view of the birdcage scaffold erected inside Bevis Marks Synagogue to allow repair and refurbishment

Bevis Marks Synagogue is the oldest continually operating synagogue in the UK, opening in 1701, since which time apart from short periods of repair and maintenance services have never stopped. It is regarded by the Jewish community of the UK as the 'mother synagogue'. As a Grade I listed building, the highest measure of importance by Historic England it is a significant part of the historical fabric of the City of London. An exciting project, part-funded by the UK Lottery and other generous donors, will allow the synagogue to continue its religious function while at the same time creating a new museum and educational programmes for visitors, not just in the UK but worldwide. Although inevitably delayed by the current pandemic, work has now commenced on the restoration of the synagogue and the transformation of the former annex and undercroft into a museum and educational space for opening in 2022.

In this article I will take you inside the synagogue to see the current refurbishment activities as well as into spaces which are rarely seen by the members, let alone the public at large.

The Ricoh GR, “If Carlsberg Did Cameras…”

In this article I discuss why I am such a big fan of the Ricoh GR cameras and explain why I believe that “If Carlsberg did cameras, they’d do the Ricoh GR.


How the UK's oldest synagogue and community are responding to social distancing.

Bevis Marks Synagogue entrance, with a clear reminder of social distancing.

The synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community at Bevis Marks, within the square mile of the City of London, is the oldest in the UK. Constructed in 1701 during the reign of King William III, the architectural and cultural significance of the building is recognised by having a rare Grade I listing.  In this time of Pandemic how is the building being managed to maintain social distancing?


The third part of my travels through a small planet with a film camera

Walking across Altab Ali Park (January 2010, Leica M7, Fuji 400H)
In the last two blog posts I have shown the result of my travels through the ‘small planet’ of Whitechapel with film cameras. The ‘small planet’ is a reference to the semi-autobiographical novel by Emanuel Litvinoff (1915-2011), the author and a famous son of Whitechapel, who wrote so eloquently of his life there. 
In this article I conclude my travels with film cameras with colour film photography from the central area of Whitehapel.


Wandering the back streets of Spitalfields with 120 colour roll film

Dog Legs of the East End #42: Sclater Street and the junction of Brick Lane (April 2011, Hasseblad SWC, Kodak Portra 160NC)
A lot of photography of the East End is in monochrome which captures the strong character of the people and places. I, on the other hand, have always seen the bold and often garish colours in the urban landscape.


Film photography in the footsteps of Don McCullin

The photographs in this blog post are all from a period in 2009 when I made a foray into the back streets of Whitechapel, Spitalfields and Bethnal Green armed with a film camera. The inspiration for this process was reading the veteran photographer Don McCullin’s autobiography, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’.

The entrance to Altab Ali Park (October 2009) with the distinctive bell tower of the German Church in the distance, which appears in several McCullin photographs of the area. 


The Great Synagogue and the East London Mosque in Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel

The Synagogue and Mosque Dome in 2009. As the mosque exapanded over the next few years this view disappeared.

This is a story based on my photography about two different religious communities that co-existed for more than 60 years in Whitechapel. Both have seen dramatic changes in the size of their communities and the impact on their places of worship.


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