London: Twenty first century style


When I was five, and shortly after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, my family moved from the rural North Riding of Yorkshire to London, where my Polish father had found work. What a grubby, shabby place it was. The war was long over, but still streets had jagged gaps in them, with piles of rubble on which hardy buddleia plants gamely tried to put on a floral show. It was a grimy and often unlovely experience.

Many years later, long since moved away from London, my visits there revealed a city that had thoroughly re-invented itself, while leaving plenty of traces of its history behind. And there’s no better place to inspect it than from a boat on the Thames, or by walking one of the many paths alongside the river. Come and visit twenty first century London with me for Sofia’s Lens-Artists Challenge – Urban Environments. I’ve shown quite a few of these photos in the past, but for me, they bring memories with them.

Thames Barrier, Woolwich.
‘Redoubt’ tugs cargo-laden barges down the Thames. The Thames is as much a busy highway as it ever was.
The Tower of London, with the now almost equally famous Gherkin behind.

The header photo is taken – not from the banks of the Thames – but from next to the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Prime Meridian Line.