Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Piccadilly, Then and Now


Here's another old postcard from my collection. This one was mailed to my grandparents from one of my great-uncles. Apparently he and his wife were in London visiting their daughter, who had either already moved to England permanently or would eventually do so.

From the caption, you'd think the Regent Palace Hotel was the big white building in the middle, wouldn't you? But no -- it's tucked down at the end of that little street at the right. It closed in 2006 after 91 years in business.


Even in 1948, the government was trying to inspire more people to be nurses! (And who signs a postcard to his brother "cordially"?)


Anyway, I went down to the West End on Sunday for a photo walk, and decided to check out the same scene for comparison's sake. Obviously the postcard photo was taken from a higher vantage point, but all in all, things haven't changed a whole lot. Just traffic patterns and advertisements! (This is a heavily landmarked area and all those buildings are protected.)

I had a good walk, from Green Park all through Soho, and then up Tottenham Court Road and through Regent's Park and St. John's Wood to home. It prepared me for yesterday, when we had some heavy rain in the afternoon and going out wasn't really an option. I stayed home and finished "The End of Eddy," Edouard Louis' compelling book about growing up gay in blue-collar rural France. Great book, but the guy pulled no punches. I wonder if anyone in his hometown is speaking to him now?

10 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I have the feeling that you are getting to know London better than most Londoners. You are like a secret agent strolling around, absorbing everything you see. Do you like your martini shaken not stirred?

Ms. Moon said...

Reminds me of Havana, how the buildings just haven't changed in centuries. Yorkshire's right- you are getting to know London better than most natives.

e said...

I have fond memories of visiting that area to see live theatre...

ellen abbott said...

looks like the biggest change is making it a pedestrian mall or else everyone is walking around in the street.

Red said...

Interesting comparison and probably one of the few places that is little changed over such a long period of time.

Sharon Anck said...

I love that post card comparison. Great job. What a long walk you had! Sounds perfect to me.

37paddington said...

I have a picture of myself at age 5, standing on the steps of the central monument, seeds in my hand, waiting for birds to alight in my palm and feed from it. My upheld palm is empty, while beside me, my brother, on the same errand, has two birds feeding from his palm. I am looking at him with bald envy. It's rather a funny photograph. Maybe I will dig it out and post it on my blog! Thanks for the memory!

jenny_o said...

What gorgeous buildings! I love seeing comparison shots of places, past and present.

Sharon Anck said...

I just went over to the Abbey Road webcam site to see what the weather was like in London today and I see they've painted a mural over the wall by the gate. They must have gotten tired of repainting that wall all the time. It looks like it might be a scene from Sgt. Pepper's....

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful post!

Cordially,
Elizabeth