Saturday 24 January 2009


One of my favourite Christmas Presents was a copy of Time Out's London through a lens, a unique take on the British capital from the viewpoint of photographers across 150 years.

Selected from the Getty Images Archive, this is hidden, lost and forgotten London: whippet racing and jellied eels, fairs and funerals, Rolls Royces and skateboards, Teddy Boys and Bunny Girls, debutantes and dancing bears...

Plus the Beatles, the Krays, Michael Caine, Barbara Cartland and Barbara Hepwoth, Jack the Ripper's first victim and Alfred Hitchcock floating in the Thames.

Though clearly an unrelated incident, there are also people diving into the Thames in 1934 (cover image, above) and a crocodile of London tykes (below) following a Covent Garden busker in 1952...

A wonderful cache of memorable images, often stunningly juxtaposed: an East End family in 1912, cheek by jowl with Caribbean immigrants in 1956; a parade of swim-suited bathers at the Serpentine Lido in 1937 walking away from the Rolling Stones as they stroll through Hyde Park in 1967.

Constantly diverting, historically important, visually stunning: this London is truly unmissable. And it has provided me with a photo 2009's first


Snapped in 1930, these two phlegmatic British workers are cleaning up one of the ichthyosaurs in the Crystal Palace's dinosaur park - about which I wrote a few months back.

So, what do you think they are saying to one or another - or, of course, to the creature in the care...?

As ever, all (and multiple) submissions welcome. Closing date: 31 January.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In French, a dentist has the initials "LSD" after his name, standing for "licencié en science dentaire" (license in dentistry). I think that's what these people are on!
leudi: a state of mind brought on by the lack of pictures of men in underpants