my london diary

may 2003

may day has perhaps settled into a rather predictable event now. the socialist left - and what is left seems to be a few unions and a number of ethnic communist party groups - march from clerkenwell to trafalgar square, while anti-capitalist protestors do not a lot around town. i started with the old left, stopped off at holborn to meet some animal rights people, walked with them to a minor scrum at the top end of covent garden, then followed what looked like a interesting group heading east for a while, before turning back to catch tony benn addressing the socialist remnant in trafalgar square.

it really was a rather quiet may day, and as nothing much seemed to be happening i went home for tea.
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saturday we were south of the river, in kennington park, getting together for a march in favour of legalising cannabis.

as usual it was a good-natured event, mellow even, but i couldn't stay for the fun in brockwell park later.
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sunday i was on the brompton again, in kent, riding along by the thames near dartford. it was a sunny day with clear blue skies, and the riverside path was pretty empty apart from a few annoying youths on motorbikes. not only noisy, but the ruts they had made through the muddy paths made cycling or walking tough in parts. i sat and ate my lunch neat the darent flood barrier, then continued east past the bridge to crossways before cycling back to slade green.

the brompton is fun to ride, and easy to carry over the odd style once you get used to lifting it.
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monday was a bank holiday, and i biked over to chobham to take a few pictures of the preparations for the carnival parade. as often happens, the sun was in the wrong place for most of the shots. the carnival procession only had a few floats, a little disappointing but still more than some. quite a few have already disappeared and others are likely to go soon.
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on the 17th we were in trafalgar square again, this time in support of palestine. tony benn of course spoke, and as always was a pleasure to listen to, even if i don't always agree with every word. again it was good to see the ultra-orthodox rabbis supporting palestinian rights and opposing zionism.
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the fair in valentines park, ilford somehow didnt manage to gel, perhaps just that not enough was happening, not enough people were there to get it going. I walked around a few times, listened to some rather bad music, then went for a walk in the town.
ilford pictures

kingston green fair, down beside the thames on the bank holiday was better; more people and things happening. even some half decent groups and singers, though still not a great deal i could find to photograph. some people i recognise from other events or previous years. i've seen this young lady dancing here before, and cant remember if the band she is supporting still calls itself the space goats.
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a couple of days later i was cycling by the river again, just getting a bit of exercise and enjoying the sun and fresh air. many houses such as these on a small island near hampton must begain to get a bit uncomfortable when the river is in flood.

i pottered along on the brompton towards thames ditton, photographing hampton court from across the river. its a pity there isn't a proper riverside path from hampton court bridge - it needs a footbridge over the ember to take you from 'cigarette island' to the park a few yards downstream. At the moment there is a boring detour down the busy road to the level crossing, and a path through a sports ground and along by the ember to regain the thames.

turning back, i took the road through molesey to walton, passing a rather nice mural on a pub wall celebrating 50 years of mrs windsor.
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two days later i cycled to thames ditton again, this time going through hanworth and hampton, stopping to take some pictures. after a walk around the centre of ditton, I cycled back along the road through hampton and sunbury cross. i've photographed the ornate boathouse before, but the light was just right, so i did it again. bikes come in useful for photography, not only can you generally stop anywhere you like to take pictures, you can stand on the crossbar or saddle to get a bit of extra height when needed.
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the brompton came into its own again on the last day of the month, taking me from rainham via lakeside to grays and almost to tilbury and back. it's useful to be able to put it on the jubilee line to go from waterloo to west ham, where i change for rainham (on the edge of London, and as far as you can go with a travel card.)
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some of my work gets put into nice organised websites.

this isn't meant to be like that, but you can see some of the rest at

london pictures
londons industrial history

and you can read what I think about photography at


All pictures on this site are © Peter Marshall 2002;
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may day marchers, clerkenwell     more pictures

pro-cannabis march, Kennington     more pictures
Meanwhile, somewhere in north London...

dartford bridge from the south east     more pictures

carnival day in chobham     more pictures      Chobham common

demonstration in support of Palestinians, trafalgar sq      more pictures


kingston green fair       more images
house on island near hampton. more pictures

boathouse, hampton    more pictures

more pictures

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