Monday 5 January 2009

Kingston upon Thames! - # 09/04

Looking down from Kingston Bridge we see a collection of house boats and derelicts awaiting repair and resale. In the brilliant December sunshine the garden screen looks more Mediterranean than "England in Winter".

Across the water we see where the old industrial quays have undergone the typical make-over that swept through Europe's derelict old industrial waterside areas in the 1980's and 1990's. New "luxury" apartments and "entertaining bars and restaurants" replace the old sites of grubby labour and toil.

We are looking at the next stage of Kingston's long history that stretches back at least 1,000 years to a time when Saxon Kings were crowned at Kingston before the invasion by the Normans under William the Conqueror transformed English society and established new systems and laws we recognise even today. This invasion transformed the language into the rich mixture of old French and Anglo-Saxon which today we know as English.

Nothing is permanent. Everything changes - quickly, and suddenly.


  1. I recently moved back to the US after three years of living in England and have just discovered your blog. We lived on Richmond Hill for two of those three years and your photos have brought back so many wonderful memories of our time there. I've gotten a bit misty-eyed looking through them all....

  2. I can understand that industrial sites get redeveloped etc. But some of them are changed into housing estates that are going to be slums within about 25 years and will need to be pulled down again. Maybe that is the point. The same thing has happened down at Greenwich which I toured when I was there last October. Interesting post, 'Roon.

  3. ... and don't forget from where the Normans originally came from! :-)

  4. Heureusement que tout change sinon ce serait désespérant ! Mon père a connu les débuts de l'aviation, il a connu le rideau de fer et hélas est mort en 1988 avant la chute du mur de Berlin. Les villes évoluent. J'ai vu des centres villes sordides transformés comme tes quais en résidences luxueuses. Ce que je regrette est la séparation des personnes suivant l'argent. Autrefois du moins était ce ainsi en France et cela est toujours un peu ainsi, les étages en bas étaient occupés par les riches et les pauvres vivaient au dessus dans des chambres de bonne. Ce petit monde se cotoyait sans problème. Comme la campagne et la ville dont tu parles sur ton dernier message.

    Ps : si la mare était empty ce n'est pas parce que nous l'avons bue, à la différence de ton champagne et des bouteilles du vin de mon beau frère qui est, entre autres viticulteur (et berger et rentier aussi parce qu'il a des bois et des terres)

  5. I recently moved out of Richmond after 3.5 year. I see you are following me with pictures and getting closer and closer ;) Kingston, Tolworth, A3... When can I expect pictures from Surbiton then ? It looks like Surbiton station is architectural icon of its time.