The view shows Ludgate Circus looking east towards St. Paul’s Cathedral (1931 and today)
The most impressive difference in the old photograph is the railway bridge - part of a route now taken by the buried Thameslink line. This was built in 1866, providing a cross-river route for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. Despite obstructing the view to St. Paul’s, it provided a now absent feeling of romance. Imagine how dreamy a sight it would be, to witness a heaving steam train crossing the bridge with smoke billowing from its stack. The span was removed in 1990, along with the associated Ludgate Hill Station.
With the tasteful advertising, chimney stacks and obelisk (the latter, a memorial to former Lord Mayor Robert Waithman, can now be found nearby in Salisbury Square) the 1930's view makes the modern aspect seem somewhat bland.
Much of this post was kindly provided by Joao Mario. We welcome contributions from other readers.