London Timewarp #7

By M@ Last edited 132 months ago
London Timewarp #7

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.

Last Updated 17 April 2007

Mark Walley

If that interests you, you probably want to be looking at (and adding to?) the Flickr Wonderful London group, this thread makes sense of it all.

Eddy Lambert

Always find it fascinating just how much advertising there was in pre-war London. Commercial messages were crammed into every available space and in this case directly over the top floor windows. Every time I hear people moaning about how marketing and advertising are taking over our public spaces I think of scenes like this. Suppose the real difference is that modern ads are so dull and soulless compared with these old masterpieces of typography.

Agree with you about that bridge. More iron bridges in front of big cathedrals - it should be the law.


Photographic evidence that the number of cyclists per square mile has remained constant over this period in London's history :)