A chance mention of the Retronaut website (www.retronaut.co) on a web forum has led me to discover its amazing fund of old photographs, many of which depict ‘the black and white years’ (i.e. how I think of the world before colour telly came in) in vivid colour. There are decade by decade sections, each containing stills from around the world. There are plenty of colour London scenes from the 1920s onwards, showing people going about their everyday business against the marvellous backdrop of the capital’s architecture. Among the collections are Soho Coffee Bars in the 1950s and Notting Hill Gate Tube posters from the same decade – truly fascinating, and a real privilege to go back in time with them (Borrowing from J.R. Hartley’s opening lines in his novel The Go-Between, Retronaut’s tag line is “The past is a foreign country. This is your passport.”)
There’s also a fascinating collection called ‘Ghosts of the TARDIS’ in which Mark Dando has melded ‘then and now’ photographs of London streets which once hosted police telephone boxes, and ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ which compares the then semi-derelict Shad Thames location of the 1980s with like-for-like shots of how it looks today. A wonderful example of regeneration!
Images below sourced from http://www.retronaut.co