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Special places: England

March 2009


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These deadpan mugshots of darkrooms in London, by photographer Richard Nicholson, brought forth feelings of nostalgia in me, reminding me of time I have spent in other darkrooms. I have especially fond memories of these:

The cramped under-the-stairs darkroom in a neighbour’s house in Dorking in Surrey, UK, where I made prints to show at meetings of the Ockley, Capel & District Camera Club.

The darkroom I made in my bedroom at home, with Masonite blackout panels over the windows, where I made prints for a school magazine.

The pleasure of using a Leitz Focomat enlarger in a darkroom in a certain government department in Brisbane, through the kindness of the father of a friend at university.

The chaotic darkroom at the Architectural Association in London, where I printed photos for my travelling companion Jon Parker. That’s Jon’s Olympus Pen half-frame camera I’m holding in this picture.

The old caravan I converted into a darkroom, equipped with a Leitz Valoy enlarger, and dragged from house to house in the 1970s.

Enough of my reminiscences. Here is part of Richard Nicholson’s explanation of his project:

This project, shot on 4"x5" film, documents London’s remaining professional darkrooms. It is based on my nostalgia for a dying craft (there are no young printers). It is in these rooms that printers have worked their magic, distilling the works of photographers such as David Bailey, Anton Corbijn and Nick Knight into a recognisable ‘look’.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Photography
October 2007

Nothing to see here

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This website takes the form of a blog, with short posts about obscure places. It’s the work of Anne Ward and a group of collaborators. The about page cautions that attractions that may not be all that attractive, among other delights, can be found here.


Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Scotland + USA
January 2007

Tin tabernacles and other buildings


Alasdair Ogilvie’s delightful photo essay for Pentagram Papers shows an aspect of corrugated iron prefabricated buildings that is new to me​—​the use of these buildings at home.

In Britain, between the 1860s and the Great War, the coun­try underwent extensive increases in the production of coal, iron and lead, triggering large population movements into previously isolated and rural areas, such as South Wales and County Durham.

With no existing infrastructures, these newly created com­mu­ni­ties had an urgent need for churches, chapels and schools. Corrugated iron buildings fulfilled this demand. The quantity of “Tin Tabernacles” built also reflects the missionary efforts of the Anglican Church, at the time in competition with the Nonconformist movements​—​Meth­od­ist, Wesleyan and other dissenters.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Wales + Architecture + Photography
October 2006

Walking the Circle Line

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Instead of the standard graphic abstraction of the London Un­der­ground, here is the view from above the ground. Rob Gar­diner takes us on an observant walker’s tour with his ru­di­men­ta­ry camera.


Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Photography
March 2005



David Nightingale lives and works in the English seaside town of Blackpool. Each day in his photoblog Chromasia he publishes a photograph of the people, objects and places around him.

These are not the grey pictures I associate with the English seaside, thanks to David’s graphic sensibility, and his willingness to tinker with contrast and saturation.


September 2003

Moving here

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Billed as the ultimate database of digitised photographs, maps, objects, documents and audio items recording migration experiences of the past 200 years, this website tells the stories of Irish, Indian, Jewish, Carribean and other people who migrated to Britain. Many of the stories are about the places they came from, and the places they came to.


July 2002

Public lettering: a walk in central London


Enjoy a rich variety of public lettering found along a route from the new British Library to the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon are your expert guides.


Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Architecture
November 2000

A picture of Bradford

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Young people photographed their home city, to create a picture of Bradford, England. This web site presents 150 of the pictures and invites you to browse and select your favourite four.


Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Photography + Urban life
November 1999

Shakespeare’s Globe


A web site about building a replica of William Shakespeare’s 1599 Globe playhouse near its original site in London. It’s packed with material about the theatre​—​its history, its cultural legacy and the reconstruction project now finished after a long campaign.


Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Timber buildings
August 1999

Spon End

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About an area in Coventry, England, with its medieval timber houses, and the trust that’s working to conserve it.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Timber buildings

On this page
Nothing to see here
Tin tabernacles and other buildings
Walking the Circle Line
Moving here
Public lettering: a walk in central London
A picture of Bradford
Shakespeare's Globe
Spon End

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