Past meets Present in London

Following the challenge set by Becky on It caught my Eye in Portugal this is my second Past Meets Present post but I've moved it across, more appropriately, to this blog.

I have many old postcards and photographs of parts of London and I can never resist using my phone for snaps when I travel into town, so here are a few locations to compare.

Building Tower Bridge
I like to think of my Grandmother, who lived nearby, watching Tower Bridge being erected.  She was 2 years old when they started and 10 when it was completed.

Southwark cathedral in the 1950s

The Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie only became a Cathedral in 1905.  Although frequently thronged with visiting tourists, this lovely building on the South Bank is well worth visiting.

When I took this photograph, the Shard was not quite finished.

St Mary-at-Lambeth next to Lambeth Palace in the 18th century

Now the Garden Museum in Lambeth
You can read my blog about finding my ancestors in St Mary's churchyard here.

 St Katharine's Docks were built after the monastic hostel of St Katharine and 1250 houses were demolished.  Opened in 1828 they were severely damaged by bombing in 1940.  In 1968 the Docks closed but St Katharine's Marina opened in 1973.  It is a lovely spot to walk around, eat or shop.  I go to see the beautiful Thames Barges moored there.

St Katherine's Dock

St Katharine's Marina

The Thames Barge makes this picture special.

From this angle you can avoid seeing the high modern buildings.

Doon the Watter #Nostalgia on the Clyde

Leaving the Broomielaw about 1900

The pictures in this post come from “Clyde Water” by Maurice Lindsay published in 1958. 
Dunoon in the 1840s
Mansions and marine villas in Dunoon and other seaside villages in the firth of Clyde were built by merchants, self-made men who dealt in tea, tobacco, soap, coal, iron and steel, ships and railway engines.  During the 1930s houses on the west coast of Scotland were still being taken for the summer as they had been at Bournemouth in Edwardian times.

In his book, Maurice reminisces on his childhood memories of trips, “Doon the watter,” in the 1930s.
He describes his first voyage on RMS Columba from Broomielaw in Glasgow thus,

‘We set out on the first of July; mother and father, nurse, four children, dog, cat and goldfish.  A great deal of luggage had to be taken.  We got up at five in the morning and a horse-drawn cart arrived at six to carry the luggage down to the quay.  I was given the job of guarding the cat while the luggage was being grunted and manoeuvred round the bends of the staircase.  The cat had the idea that if he managed to escape he would not have to undergo his ordeal of transportation by basket.

The Columba had two red and black funnels and huge gilded paddle-boxes.  She smelt of heated engine oil, good galley cooking and well-scrubbed cleanliness.  We established ourselves in the saloon where there were a number of seated bays lined with dark red velvet plush, richly draped with similar hangings.  The cat remained obligingly silent, but at the entrance a liveried steward looked at me with an air of hostility. “What’s in that basket?” he demanded.  “Provisions,” I answered.  He grunted and let us past.

Up on deck the Captain took a final look at his watch, another at the quay, then pulled the clanging brass levers by his side.  The paddles began to thresh the water, nosing the ship’s bow towards the centre of the river and we slid slowly forward, past miles of shipyards, resounding with the racket of the riveters welding the rusty hulks of the ships, past towering ocean-going liners and rusty old dredgers squatting in the middle of the river."

The Lord of the Isles arriving at Rothesay in 1900
After a morning’s sail to Dunoon past Greenock and Gourock, the sail to Innellan took 20 minutes.  A taxi hurled us along the shore road to the house, which stood at the foot of a terraced hill garden 200 yards from the shore. A horse and cart bearing our heavy luggage crunched its patient way up the garden path.  Once unpacked, it was time for High tea and then for the garden.”

The Waverley arriving at Rothesay about 1950