The September Set of my London photos is now available at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnshelton/sets/72157635279784215/

There are some pictures of the shops in Portobello Road. This part of London used to be a significantly West Indian area – but no more. I only saw four elderly gents debating where to eat lunch and one (also elderly) guy who was playing the steel drums. He did rather nicely from the tourists – even getting a contribution from this tightfisted Yorkshireman – but then he was a rather good musician.

Sadly large tracts of boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea have been so gentrified that only very rich people can live there – and all too many of them are foreigners who are only in residence, at best, part time. Tourist attractions like Portobello Road are very pleasant but looking increasingly rather Disneyfied and the immediately adjacent streets are now out of the price bracket of all but these new very rich people. This does not entirely make for a healthy future for London.

There is nothing new in the process of gentrification – Chelsea was at one time a run-down area – but the increasing separation of the newly gentrified areas and the old is worrying. Even in my own suburb – which used to be a mixed area (mixed in the sense of working class and middle class) is increasingly becoming exclusively middle-class and with a growing number of properties that are cut off from general society with security gates.

I have also got some pictures from the City – including some of St Stephen’s Wallbrook Church – which it is said was Sir Christopher Wren’s “model” for St Pauls – though I have seen that said about other of his churches. Anyway it’s a beautiful church – the round altar is more modern and by a more famous Yorkshireman than me – Henry Moore. It was commissioned by Lord Palumbo.

There are two pictures from St Botolph’s Without Church in Bishopsgate – a church which is opposite the Heron Tower and its next door site of the new Heron Plaza hotel for which the demolition of the old building is all but complete and the site notices say that piling for this 43 storey tower will start soon.

There are a couple of pictures of the Southbank and the river and one of the Royal Courts of Justice – a building that I never tire of – nor do lots of professional photographers – but they are there to capture somebody famous emerging from the courts!

And finally (as they say) are a few pictures of the new Walton Bridge. Whilst not strictly in the Greater London Authority area – it is in the Surrey Borough of Elmbridge – it is the first new road bridge in the London area since the QEII Bridge in Dartford in 1991. It is still difficult to get close enough to take photographs because the “finishing off” project and demolition of the old bridge are still underway, but the bridge has been open to traffic since July.

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