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Images of Camden Past and Present :: Gillian Tindall

  • Burgh House New End Square London, England, NW3 1LT United Kingdom (map)

Over 50 years ago, Gillian Tindall and her husband Richard Lansdown began taking pictures of places in and around the newly-invented borough of Camden, especially in Kentish Town (where they had just bought the house in which they still live) but also in Camden Town and a few around King’s Cross. They photographed surviving old houses, small shops that struck them even then as old-fashioned, and also places they knew or suspected would soon disappear under new development. By and by they also photographed new phenomena – cafés, photocopying shops, discount stores – not in a very organised way as they were both pursuing busy careers. Over the course of 20 years they amassed several hundred pictures. They finally ran out of steam for this in the mid-1980s, by which time the comprehensive redevelopment bandwagon had done its worst and passed on, and the remaining traditional streets of Camden were beginning to look brighter and cleaner.

The photos (all in the form of transparent slides) slept in a dark cupboard for a further 30 years, till the Lansdowns decided that something Must Be Done about them. They had always intended the pictures as an archival record, so, with considerable labour and the aid of an ancient slide projector, they sorted them, keeping about 200. Gillian then spent weeks identifying the exact places, recording changes in shops and so forth, and now the whole has been given to Camden Local Studies and Archives, where they have been digitised.

The couple retained images of some 30 slides, Richard took a few more pictures of especially interesting sites to create a `Then and Now' record, which will be presented in this talk by Gillian.

The talk will be preceded by mince pies and a glass of wine or juice.

Price: Members free. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door).