Monthly Archives: December 2015

Concrete Bull In A Monochrome China Shop

Bull Ring Shopping Centre, Birmingham (D1-1)

In 1968 I went to live in Birmingham for a year. These two photographs were taken during that period and feature what was, at the time, the modern shopping centre at the heart of the city : the Bull Ring Centre. The Centre was all blocks and concrete, passages and steel. overpasses and underpasses. It was a delight for the monochrome photographer – but not for much else.

Bull Ring Shopping Centre, Birmingham (D1-1)

The old Bull Ring Centre has been demolished now (replaced by another one which has imaginatively been called Bullring) I have not been there yet, but I suspect that it will not provide the same inspiration.

Picture Post 1405 : An Old Trouper Begging For Coins

Wimbledon Palais (B1-5)


I must have taken this photograph of Wimbledon Palais in the 1970s. By then it was in terminal decline, and moving through the end stages of life of all great venues : from bingo hall to furniture store to builders’ rubble. Forty years earlier it had attracted dancers from all over London with the largest sprung dance floor in Europe. Even ten years before this photograph, the likes of the Beatles, the Stones and the Who had graced its stage. In this photograph it is like an old trouper begging for coins on a street corner.