Amazing colour film of London in the 1920s

London is the last stop in an epic trip across Britain filmed in remarkable early colour and restored by the BFI National Archive. London was the final stop in a marathon journey around Britain filmed as a series of cinema travelogues. Pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene brought these picture-postcard scenes to life with a specially-devised colour film process.

Old Hungerford Market, London, 1805

Hungerford Market was a produce market in London, at Charing Cross on the Strand. It existed in two different buildings on the same site, the first built in 1682, the second in 1862. The market was first built on the site of Hungerford House, next to Durham Yard, the town house of the Hungerford family. The house had burned down in 1669 as is recorded in the Diary of Samuel Pepys. It was replaced by a new Italianate market building by Charles Fowler, which opened in 1833. The new market was unsuccessful. It was damaged when the adjoining Hungerford Hall burned down in 1854, and was sold to the South Eastern Railway in 1862. Charing Cross railway station was built on the site and opened in 1864.

Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament, London by Louis Grimshaw

Louis H. Grimshaw (1870 – 1943) – The son of the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893), Louis Grimshaw was born in Leeds and brought up at the family home, Knostrop Hall, a subject often depicted by his father. Louis studied as a pupil of his father, collaborating with him on a number of works typically painting the figures while John Atkinson Grimshaw would execute the sky and backgrounds. Both father and son had an abiding interest in photography, the father using photographs of subjects in his early years in order to portray scenes with exact detail and precision, in later life, from 1890-93 both father and Louis were members of the Leeds Photographic Society.

Following the death of John Atkinson Grimshaw, Louis Grimshaw continued his career as an artist. He painted predominantly moonlit city views, amongst others Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Durham but above all London, many views of the latter being commissioned by the art dealer Jackson in the 1890’s. In 1902 he produced a series of views of the capital decorated for the coronation of King Edward VII.

The precarious nature of an artist’s life however, persuaded Louis to abandon his career; he joined the Manchester Guardian as a cartographer in 1905. He left a small corpus of high quality works comparable to those of his father. Another brother Arthur abandoned his burgeoning career as an artist for his first love music, becoming the organist for St. Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds.

6 breathtaking scenes from the state funeral of the Duke of Wellington, London 1852

Above: Fleet Street – The Civic Authorities in the procession

On 18 November 1852, The Duke of Wellington, was laid to rest in St Paul’s Cathedral. He died on 14 September, aged 83. Over a million lined the route of Wellington’s funeral cortege which ran through the City to St Paul’s.

The preparation of St Paul’s took six weeks. Scaffold-borne tiered seating increased its capacity to over 13,000 as the cathedral was festooned in black crepe. The service was delayed by an hour owing to the slow progress of the vast cortege through the streets of London. Eventually, the Duke’s coffin was lowered into the crypt of the cathedral where it remains to this day in a Cornish porphyry sarcophagus.

This image shows the incredible detail in the Illustrated London News illustrations.

The New Law Courts 1882 (The Royal Courts of Justice) and 2015

The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is a court building in London which houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Designed by George Edmund Street, who died before it was completed, it is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882. It is one of the largest courts in Europe. It is located on the Strand within the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar). It is surrounded by the four Inns of Court, King’s College London and the London School of Economics.

Scanned from ‘Old and New London – Its History, its people and its places’, published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.