On living in an old country
April 16, 2004 4:13 AM   Subscribe

Derelict London. A gently melancholy collection of photographs of abandoned shops, hospitals, housing estates, public lavatories, and much more. See also Britannia Moribundia, on the national obsession with dinginess and decay. This is where England most truly excels: in all the characterful shabbiness of its drizzled parks, soiled launderettes, frayed tailors, abject chemists .. and cowed solitary cafes.
posted by verstegan (13 comments total)
Damn. If only he was using super-wide film stock I could have had myself $25m.
posted by ed\26h at 5:04 AM on April 16, 2004

ed, am I missing the joke? Surely that's E1, as in the E1 postal code area?
posted by twine42 at 5:26 AM on April 16, 2004

Not to nitpick, as I think this is an excellent idea (I have half assembled a similar take on dilapidated elements of the Southern New England coast-line), but I wish his technique were better, or this might be truly outstanding. The composition of these shots really isn't very good, mostly kind of half-assed... but given his subject, maybe that's the point?
posted by psmealey at 5:29 AM on April 16, 2004

The graffiti ed/26h is referring to has definite racist connotations, E1 is a postal code where you may find amongst other bits and pieces Brick lane, home to a large asian diaspora and an excellent place to go to procure a cracking curry. However, I enjoyed that website immensely, celebrating everything that is shitty and dilapidated 'bout london.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:37 AM on April 16, 2004

I'm with psmealey: the idea is good but the photos unfortunately mediocre. It's interesting to see that Chambers Wharf is still derelict. It was built by a great-grandparent of mine, and no-one in the family seems to know why this potential goldmine is still undeveloped, given the now-ludicrous property prices in the area.
posted by cbrody at 5:47 AM on April 16, 2004

twine42: Yeah I know... The joke relied on there being, just out of shot, the remainder of a full postcode.

It was crap though, yes.
posted by ed\26h at 5:51 AM on April 16, 2004

I like it - thanks.
posted by plep at 5:51 AM on April 16, 2004

Nice, cheers verstegan; I liked the waterways section, used to explore these myself when I was living in London.
posted by carter at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2004

cbrody, wow small world, and I can't understand why It's not used still either, I remember wanting to squat it back in 93... a great space.
posted by dabitch at 6:19 AM on April 16, 2004

If you have enjoyed this thread, you might enjoy New England Ruins :: Photographs this thread too. The photos are quite nice there.
posted by dabitch at 7:16 AM on April 16, 2004

Gods, I miss London. I really do. This was fun to skip through, but I agree with other posters, the composition and technique don't strike me as artistic, but they do strike me as a "walking down the street" view...which may be what the photographer was shooting for. (no pun intended)

There are huge swaths of London where I've thought "damn, I could really do something with this space", and wondered why it hadn't been developed, or fixed, or maintained.
posted by dejah420 at 8:11 AM on April 16, 2004

just think, if something had been done with those spaces where would Bodie, Doyle, Carter and Regan have had to skid their cars?
posted by johnny novak at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2004

Cool link. I love these kind of photos.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:52 PM on April 16, 2004

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