Tuesday, 5 April 2016

In Beresford Square in the summer of 1978

Woolwich in 1979
Now I know I have posted this picture before, but I took it and I like it.

So that is enough for me.

But putting aside that demonstration of brash arrogance it is a candidate for that “lost images of Woolwich” series that I sometimes feature.

I took it with one of my old Pentax K 1000 cameras which are like the 1950s Morris Minor or the simple Nokia mobiles of the past.

All were robust, simple to use and a joy to look at and no matter what you did to them they continued to work quite happily.

My Nokia
The K 1000 had travelled all over Europe with me and took superb images on the hottest day in Athens and the coldest in Rome.   As for my old Nokia it may not have had connected to the internet, couldn’t take pictures and only played Snake, but you could drop it and it just bounced and the battery didn’t run out in an hour.

As for the Morris Minor, that was the chosen car of my friend Tony in the 1960s who maintained that given the huge number that had been manufactured he would never have a problem getting spares.

So “washing the prawns in Beresford Square” qualifies to be inducted into the same hall of fame.

Back then this bit of Woolwich was colourful and vibrant and there were always plenty of things to buy, people to watch and things to photograph.

I showed the picture to my lads who were horrified that something that you might buy and later eat was being washed in water from a standby tap in the open on market day.

Varese, 2012
When I added that buses regularly negotiated the square just a few yards away they muttered “health and safety” and returned to their prewashed, in date, packet of grapes which had some come via the supermarket in its own sealed container.

Not that this is a plea for the past or a rosy nostalgic rant for a real time when everything smelt better, tasted better and did you good.

My memories of our local grocer’s shop was of cheese which came as either white or red, fruit in tins and piles of spam and of course those open  tins by the counter of broken biscuits.

Varese 2012
That said open air markets can still be places where bargains are found, and they are not all farmers markets of those that trade as German/Italian/Spanish ones, which from my experience always seem to sell the same thing at ridiculously inflated prices.

But then perhaps I am showing my age.  That said those old fashioned markets still exist offering up fun, food and a bit of excitement.

So I shall close with my old image of Woolwich market taken on a warm summer's day in 1979.

Alas nearly all the pictures I took that day have been lost or given away and the few negatives I still have stubbornly refuse to offer up a decent print.

But they were made in that pre digital age when what you saw down the lens was pretty much what you created.

Of course there may be other people with similar views of Woolwich and I would love to see them.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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