my london diary index


All pictures Copyright Peter Marshall 2019, all rights reserved.
High res images available for reproduction - for licences to reproduce images or buy prints or other questions and comments,contact me.
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À bientôt EU, see you soon

Westminster, London. Fri 31 Jan 2020

Marchers with EU staff and their banner outside Europe House
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People, many with EU flags went from Downing St in a procession to the European Commission at Europe House in Smith Square.

They went to "bid a fond farewell to our much loved friends in the EU, hoping that we will be united again one day soon". As the organisers wrote, for many this "may be a sad day but let’s celebrate the 47 years we were in the EU and all we contributed and the positive influence it has on our country."

Extreme right Brexiteers came to shout insults at them before they left and there were continued shouts from Brexiteers as they made their way down Whitehall and through Parliament Square. At Europe House staff came out to greet them as they bid goodbye, celebrating 47 years of cooperation and hoping that we will be reunited with Europe before too long. As they said outside Europe House, they are no longer remainers but rejoiners.
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Extremist Brexiteers Behaving Badly

Whitehall, London. Fri 31 Jan 2020

Brexiteers burn a European Union flag surrounded by a throng of photographers
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As supporters of the EU met to march to say goodbye to the European Commission, extreme right-wing Brexiteers came to mock and harass them.

A few tried to argue that the pro-EU protesters should be celebrating Brexit and not the EU, but more simply shouted insults, calling the EU supporters traitors and telling them they were not British, bad losers and more. Police moved most of the group away to the centre of the road where they had several attempts at burning EU flags, surround by a horde of photographers. The flags were made of nylon and didn't burn on their own and had to be assisted, mainly by a flammable aerosol spray.

The procession had been organised deliberately well before when the official Brexit celebrations were due to take place, and were to celebrate "the 47 years we were in the EU and all we contributed and the positive influence it has on our country."
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British National (Overseas) Passport Holders

Old Palace Yard, London. Fri 31 Jan 2020
A small group protest the special status passports for Hong Kongers
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Holders of British National (Overseas) Passports call for the UK government to identify BNO holders as British Nationals and grant their children British Nationality.

BNO passports were a device invented in the talks between China and the UK over the future of Hong Kong, and give no right of abode in the UK and the special status is not passed onto children.

These sham passports appear to have been a compromise driven by both British institutional racism refusing to give full British citizenship to the Chinese and Chinese nationalism wanting to keep Chinese as citizens of China. BN Hong Kongers are denied UK citizenship unless they can provide evidence of not being of Chinese origin; they say this is discrimination and a denial of their human rights.
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Brexiteers celebrate leaving the EU

Parliament Square, London. Fri 31 Jan 2020
The flagpoles all flew Union Flags and many Brexiteers came with plenty of their own
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Brexiteers, many with Union Flags, celebrate leaving the EU in Parliament Square on the afternoon of January 31st 2020.

Most of those present were in jubilant mood, though some had placards which suggested that there hopes would soon be dashed when the realities of Brexit start to be felt. There were just a few of the more lunatic fringe present and I managed to avoid them. I left a couple of hours before the square really became crowded and the more official Brexit celebrations began.
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Cargill, worst company in the World

City, London. Fri 31 Jan 2020

The doors were locked and the company name inside covered up for the protest
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London Climate Save protest outside the London offices of Cargill who they say is the worst company in the world.

They accuse Cargill of being the main climate change contributor in the entire planet, and with human right abuses which include child labour, mass food contamination and water pollution. Cargill have actively lobbied against forest conservation programme's in Brazil, where 91% of the Amazonian deforestation is due to animal agriculture they support with their soy action plan.

Wikipedia gives more detail about the companies activities in a lengthy article - and here I have extracted some of the main points:

Cargill is America's largest private global corporation, a family owned business founded in 1865 and based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware. It trades, buys and sells agricultural commodities including grain and palm oil, raises livestock and produces their feed as well as human food ingredients including starch, glucose syrup and oils and fats and salt. It also has an arm which manages financial risks for the company in commodity markets and a large hedge fund.

Cargill has employees in 66 countries, exports a quarter of US grain and supplies over a fifth of the US domestic meat market, is the largest importer of meat from Argentina and the largest poultry producer in Thailand.

In 2005 it was subject to a court case brought by the International Labor Rights Forum on children who were trafficked from Mali to work 12-14 hour days without pay, underfed deprived of sleep and frequently physically abused on cocoa bean plantations in Ivory Coast; similar allegations came in a French TV investigation in 2019, with children trafficked from Burkina Faso; Nestlé is a major customer for their Ivory Coast cocoa. It was also linked to labour violations, including the use of child labour on cotton plantations in Uzbekistan.

Oxfam has documented land grabbing in Colombia which has legal restrictions on the amount of state land which can be bought. Cargill set up 36 'mailbox companies' to allow it to buy more than 30 times the permitted limit.

The company has also been involved in many instances of food contamination, though not always entirely down to its own actions. But there have been a number of cases of large quantities of meat products having to be recalled because of E. coli and salmonella contamination. [Doubtless this is something we can now look forward to in a post-Brexit US-UK trade agreement.]

The company has also been accused of accelerating deforestation in various areas, including by growing soy in the Brazilian Amazon, palm oil in Sumatra and Borneo and cocoa in the Ivory Coast. It is also under investigation for tax evasion in Argentina.
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Twickenham walk

Twickenham, Middx. Thu 30 Jan 2020

Some of Twickenham's famous 'Naked Ladies'
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A short walk in Twickenham with a few friends. I'd chosen the location because it should have been quick and easy for me to get to, though a broken down train at Staines before mine made me late for the start.

Twickenham is a pleasant place apart from when the Rugby is on. I'd promised them naked ladies and a listed pissoir in Twickenham and our walk took us past them and along as far as Orleans House before we turned around and made our way to the White Swan. There we could have drunk a pint of Naked Ladies, one of several real ales on offer, but I chose a different brew. Later we walked back into the centre of Twickenham for a meal.
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March against fascism in India

London. Sat 25 Jan 2020

A man reads the preamble to the Indian Constitution and the crowd repeats it after him
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A march to the Indian High Commission supports the huge protests across India by students, women, Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, + workers and farmers against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of the Hindu fascist Modi regime.

The Act has led to horrific state and far-right violence against minority communities. Muslim neighbourhoods and homes have been invaded by the police and fascist mobs, young men murdered, women, children and elderly people beaten up and tortured and property destroyed.

The protesters marched from Downing St up Whitehall and along the Strand to the Indian High Commission where they stood behind a line of barriers filling up the east-bound carriageway. They shouted for an end to violence and for the Act to be annulled as it contravenes the Indian Constitution, the 50th anniversary of which was being celebrated the following day.

The protesters stressed that they were not anti-Indian but were standing up for India against the RSS Indian fascist Modi regime. They sang the national anthem and then a man led the protesters in reciting the preamble to the Constitution of India which came into effect on Republic Day, 26 January 1970 and calls for justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, reading short phrases over the PA system which were then shouted by the crowd.
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Zimbabwe Embassy weekly protest

Zimbabwe Embassy, London. Sat 25 Jan 2020

People hold posters at the Zimbabwe Embassy calling for Zanu PF to go
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Zimbabwe vigil activists have gathered outside Zimbabwe’s embassy on the Strand every Saturday since October 2002 to demand free and fair elections and an end to Zanu PF repression in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa was Mugabe's right-hand man for 40 years, and is accused of the genocide of over 20,000 Ndebeles in the 1980s. Although he came to power promising reform he has delivered state terrorism and protesters have been killed, beaten, tortured and raped by the security forces.
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Rally Against Fascism in India

Downing St, London. Sat 25 Jan 2020

'This Not the India that Gandhi Fought For - Democracy is in ICU
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A rally at Downing St supports the huge protests across India by students, women, Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, workers and farmers against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Passed by the Hindu fascist Modi regime, this Act has prompted horrific state and far-right violence with Muslim neighbourhoods and homes have been invaded by the police and fascist mobs, young men murdered, women, children and elderly people beaten up and tortured and property destroyed.

There were many speakers from Indian organisations in the UK and by recently elected Labour MP for Ilford South, Sam Tarry before the protesters set off to march to the Indian High Commission (see separate post above.)
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Resisting State Violence - Brazil to India

Brazilian Embassy, London. Sat 25 Jan 2020

People hold posters with slogans from India and Iran
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People from the UK and abroad at the Brazilian Embassy against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joining Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations.

Both India and Brazil have racist policies against minorities and face massive protests against these in Brazil and India. Speakers also covered state violence in Chile, Iran and Palestine, and there was a performance of the Chilean Anti-rape song before a march to join the later protest against India's Islamophobic Citizenship Amendment Act.

The protest was organised by SOAS India Society and International Solidarity Group and supported by others including South Asian Students Against Fascism UK.
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Brumadinho mine disaster vigil

Brazilian Embassy, London. Fri 24 Jan 2020
A speaker tells the vigil about meeting family members of the victims of the disaster
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A candlelit vigil at the Brazilian Embassy hosted by the London Mining Network was one of many around the world marking the first anniversary of the Brumadinho mining disaster.

On 25th January 2019, a dam containing mining wastes from the iron ore mine at the Brazilian town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais collapsed, releasing a wave of toxic sludge over houses and farms, killing livestock and 272 people, with another 14 still missing.

The company that owned the mine was the Brazilian corporation Vale, and employees at Brumadinho had warned the company six months earlier that the dam could collapse. Brazilian state prosecutors charged 16 people earlier this week with murder and environmental crimes. including the former CEO of Vale, 10 Vale employees and 5 who worked for the German company TUV SUD which had certified the dam to be safe.

Disasters caused by the collapse of mine tailing dams are not unusual, though most are on a smaller scale and cause less damage and fewer if any deaths and go unreported. But another dam only 75 miles away, owned by a mining company jointly owned by Vale and British-Australian mining company BHP collapsed in November 2015, killing twenty people in what was then Brazil's worst environmental disaster. The residents of Brumadinho were very aware of the dangers.

Some major investors including the Church of England disinvested from Vale after the dam collapse and began working on an initiative to promote safety of tailings dams, and the industry lobby body has also set up a committee to produce global standards, but both rely on the mining companies policing their own activities. And although some London-based investors have divested from Vale, many still have investments in BHP, involved in the earlier disaster.

Among the speakers at the vigil there was one moving account by someone who had visited Brumadinho since the tragedy and met the relatives of some of those murdered. The London vigil was organised by the London Mining Network.
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Regent's Canal panoramas

Limehouse, London. Mon 20 Jan 2020
The Regent's Canal goes under Commercial Road to reach the former Regent's Canal Dock
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More panoramas from the Regent's Canal, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary.

Over the past few years I have been making panoramic images of the canal for a small exhibition in March 2020. Although I already have far more pictures than I will be able to show, I want the selection to represent the full length of the canal, which runs from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union at Little Venice to Regent's Canal Dock, linking the Grand Union to the River Thames as an alternative to joining the river miles upstream at Brentford.

Regent's Canal Dock is now a part of the marina at Limehouse Dock, and now also joins to the Limehouse Cut leading to the Lea Navigation, though there is also a more direct link to the Lea through the Hertford Union Canal. All of these images have a panoramic angle of view, generally around 140 degrees, considerably greater than can be achieved with a normal rectilinear perspective, though where the subject demands it I have left the aspect ratio of the image at the more normal 3:2. This gives a vertical angle of view of around 90 degrees. For those that are cropped to the more panoramic 1.9:1 format, the horizontal view is around 70 degrees.
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Ugandans at UK-Africa Investment Summit

North Greenwich, London. Mon 20 Jan 2020

Protesters from 'People Power Our Power' call for President Museveni's arrest and a new leader
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Ugandans protest against President Yoweri Museveni at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in North Greenwich.

Museveni has been in office since 1986, overturning the constitution allowing only two terms in office and has pushed through an act removing the age cap and increasing the term of office from 5 to 7 years for next year's elections. This has led to widespread protests inside his own party and by the opposition. The country suffers from high levels of corruption, unemployment and poverty.

They marched to the protest behind a banner 'People Power - Our Power' condemning Musuveni's corruption, calling for an end to the militarisation of institutions and civil strife, an end to torture, freedom for all political prisoners and an end to the Appa land grab. They say Uganda needs new leadership and Musuveni should be arrester for crimes and plunder of resources in Uganda, Congo and Southern Sudan. People Power is a Ugandan pressure group led by Ugandan member of parliament Bobi Wine calling for radical change in the country.
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Egyptians at UK-Africa Investment Summit

North Greenwich, London. Mon 20 Jan 2020

Egyptians opposed to Sisi call him a dictator and murderer but others came to support him
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Egyptians for Democracy UK protest against President Sisi outside the UK-Africa Investment Summit in North Greenwich while other came to welcome him.

A thin line of police kept the two groups apart. Sisi, a general who had been Minister of Defence under Morsi led the military massacres of protesters following the military coup in July 2013 and was elected as president in 2014. By May 2016, approximately 40,000 people had been imprisoned. He has used arrests, torture and enforced disappearances against political opponents including Sami Anan, the only credible candidate against him in the 2018 Presidential election.
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Against war crimes in Idlib

Russian Embassy, London. Sat 18 Jan 2019

A woman holds a picture she has painted of Assad the donkey and devils getting oil
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Protesters stand opposite the Russian Embassy protest against the war crimes of Assad and Putin against the people of Syria in Idlib province.

Since mid-December Assad has waged a brutal and unprecedented military campaign there with air raids that have targeted hospitals and markets and killed hundreds of civilians. Over 500,000 have fled their homes but have no place to go as the Turkish border is closed.
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Earth Strike Oxford St rolling protest

Oxford St, London. Sat 18 Jan 2019

Protesters march along Oxford St behind the banner 'Climate Change is a War of the Rich against the Poor
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Protesters from Earth Strike meet at Oxford Circus and hand out leaflets before their series of protests along Oxford Street outside banks and stores involved in the exploitation of the Global South and the destruction of the environment.

Among the companies they identified and staged short protests outside were HSBC, a bank that funds many activities causing climate chaos, fashion stores H&M and Zara who advertise fashion and sell clothes that are not made to last, helping the fashion industry to be the world's second largest polluter after oil, technology companies Microsoft and ee whose need for coltan and other minerals have caused disastrous wars in the Congo and elsewhere in Africa, with child soldiers - and with children working in the mines, as well as McDonalds, the largest consumer of beef, resulting in the clearing of much forest land, disruption of communities and ecosystem and making a massive contribution to rising carbon dioxide levels which are the main cause of global heating and climate chaos.
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‘Stay Put’ Sewol silent protest

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 18 Jan 2019

People stand with posters at the vigil
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A small group continues its regular protests in Trafalgar Square in remembrance of the 304 victims of the Sewol ferry disaster on April 16 2014.

The victims included 250 high school children who were drowned after being told to 'stay put' on a lower deck. The silent vigils are now quarterly.
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Support for Anti-regime Protests in Iran

Trafalgar Square, London, UK. Sat 18 Jan 2019

Flags and posters were set up in front of a stage on the North Terrace
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Anglo-Iranian Communities in the UK and supporters of the People's Mujahedin of Iran's National Council of Resistance of Iran prepare for a rally in Trafalgar Square.

The protest was in support of the anti-regime protests in Iran following the admission that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane which have been suppressed with illegal force by the clerical regime.
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Release the Russia Report

Downing St, London. Sat 18 Jan 2020

A few protesters with EU flags, Union Jacks and posters at Downing St
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Protesters at Downing St call for the report on Russian interference in UK politics to be released.

Ready before the election, they say it was suppressed by Boris Johnson because it revealed important Russian interference in UK politics including large donations to the Conservative Party and pro-Brexit campaigns which amount to a Russian based coup.
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Fight Inequality Global Protest

Downing St, London. Sat 18 Jan 2020

A woman holds two placards at the protest
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A protest at Downing St was one of many in more than 30 countries before the exclusive World Economic Forum in Davos calling on the Government to listen to its citizens, not the wealthy elite and to demand a fairer, more equal and sustainable future.

They want good education, decent jobs, health care for all,  an end to poverty wages, hunger and homelessness in the UK, fair taxation and an economy that serves people and planet rather than profiting from environmental destruction.
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No War on Iran rally

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 11 Jan 2020

People in the crowd listening to speakers in Trafalgar Square
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Stop the War and CND rally in Trafalgar Square following President Trump's act of war in ordering the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, contravening international law and increasing the risk of a major war in the Middle East.

Speakers included Lindsey German, Steve Hedley, RMT, Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Bruce Kent, Tariq Ali, Sami Ramadani and Andrew Murray.
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No War on Iran march

BBC to Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 11 Jan 2020

Protesters kiss - but my camera had changed to an unusable high ISO
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Several thousand meet outside the BBC to march through London to a rally in Trafalgar Square in a Stop the War and CND protest against going to war against Iran

The protest was called after President Trump's act of war in ordering the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, contravening international law and increasing the risk of a major war in the Middle East.
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Act over Australian Bushfires

Australia House, London. Fri 10 Jan 2020

A protester calls for an end to killing kangaroos for pet food
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Extinction Rebellion protest at the Australian Embassy in solidarity with protests in Sydney against the government over fires resulting from decades of emissions, hundreds of years of land mismanagement since invasion and a government denial of the impact of climate change.

XR call for proper funding of firefighters, genuine relief for communities, a rapid transition from fossil fuels with support for workers and for justice for First Nation communities. At intervals some of the protesters walked out from the pavement to hold banners across the road, blocking traffic for a few minutes before moving back to the pavement. Police allowed them to carry out these short road blocks

There were speeches in the middle of the crowd, including by Dominic Dyer of Born Free.
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Justice for Cyprus Gang Rape Victim

London, UK. Mon 6 Jan 2020
Protesters pose with banners and posters in front of the Cyprus embassy in St James's Square
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A march from the Cypriot embassy demands justice for the 19 year old British woman from Derbyshire accused of 'public mischief' after she was forced by police into withdrawing her allegation of being gang raped by 12 men aged between 15-22, sons of prominent Israeli families also holidaying in Ayia Napa.

On the day before her sentencing the protesters met outside the embassy and then marched along the pavements to Downing St and Parliament Square where they held a rally. Police eventually came and told them they were not allowed to protest there, and they moved on, at first to outside Westminster Abbey before turning around and going to end the protest with a group photograph in front of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
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No War With Iran

Downing St, London. Sat 4 Jan 2020
A protester wears a Palestinian flag t-shirt and another has the message 'Not in My Name'
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Stop The War Coalition hold an emergency protest at Downing St following the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, an act of war by Donald Trump against both Iran and Iraq.

Speakers included shadow ministers John McDonnell, Richard Burgon and Andrew Murray of Unite, Former Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, Lindsey German of Stop the War, Steve Hedley of RMT union, Joe Glenton of Veterans for Peace and Kate Hudson of CND. They demanded our government completely condemn this illegal act which seems to be leading to a repeat of the disastrous 2003 Iraq War and could draw in others including Israel, Saudi Arabia and possibly Russia.
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London Images

Jan 2020
An equestrian statue with Canada House and the National Gallery
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As well as the usual images from my rail journey into Waterloo at Nine Elms and Vauxhall etc, there are aslo some pictures around Westminster, the Bayswater Road and Limehouse
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