Then And Now Photos Of London Show Capital Changes

By M@

Last Updated 20 June 2024

Then And Now Photos Of London Show Capital Changes

Niki Gorick has been photographing London for a quarter of a century. In that time, she's returned to the same sites many times, capturing changes in the streetscape.

A new gallery on her website includes 25 pairs of 'Then and Now' photos. Some pairs show the same location separated by a couple of decades, while others change the scene but reference one another through a constant or contrasting theme.

We've picked out six pairs below, which exemplify the collection.

1. A Thames view

A view of the Thames in 2003
Thames view in 2003
View of the Thames in 2023

London's ever-changing skyline is not so apparent from this vantage point near Millennium Bridge. It is only to the extreme right that we see Tower 42 and the Gherkin — the City's two tallest buildings in 2003 — utterly swallowed by loftier buildings in 2023. Meanwhile, the saplings in front of Tate Modern have grown to mostly obscure the bridge.

2. Waterloo Bridge book sale

Looking down on Waterloo Bridge book sale, 2000
Looking down on Waterloo book sale, 2023

The second-hand book market beneath Waterloo Bridge has served generations of Londoners. These two shots, almost a quarter-century apart, perhaps suggest a change in tastes, with a rise in genre fiction and comic books.

3. Camden Market

Camden Market 2000
Camden Market 2023

A slightly different location here, I think, but the emphasis is more on the crowds, the fashions and the behaviours. We can't know for sure, but the earlier image looks like it's populated by Londoners browsing the market and heading for a gig (in Kiss makeup); the more recent image looks much more touristy.

4. Covent Garden phone kiosks

Covent Garden phone boxes, 2000
Covent Garden phone boxes, 2023

The famous row of K2 telephone kiosks along Broad Court have gone through a very obvious change in recent times, in celebration of LGBT rights. The kiosks have always been popular with photographers, but are now something of a tourist destination in their own right thanks to Instagram and TikTok.

5. Westminster Bridge

Bus and taxi on Westminster Bridge 2005
Modern buses on Westminster Bridge 2023

A classic view, which any visitor has on their phone. Here, the photographer has got lower to the road to accentuate the vehicles — classic Routemasters in the top image and the so-called New Routemasters below. The latter are now themselves an endangered species, and may not be visible on London's roads after another interval like that between these images. Meanwhile, the Westminster Clock Tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower (in 2012), with a smartened up clock face from its recent refurb.

6. Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station, 2003
Battersea Power Station, 2023

Few areas of town have changed as radically as Battersea and Nine Elms. Here we see the power station photographed from the foot of Battersea railway bridge, two decades apart. The power station's once derelict shell is now a swanky shopping mall, surrounded by expensive flats. All four of its chimneys were rebuilt during the restoration. Note, too, the old gasometer in the 2003 image, which has now been demolished.

See more from the gallery on Niki's website. Her recent photographic book, Dock Life Renewed, shows how London's once abandoned docks are thriving again in many unexpected ways.