City views from 2004

In search of worthwhile photos to show here, I find myself digging further and further back in the archives. I looked for photos taken a decade ago, but found nothing that stirred any thoughts. However, these four, from over fourteen years ago, do now seem to be worth showing.

The first is of the ghostly pillars of the old Blackfriars Bridge. These are still there, looking now just as they looked then. But, then there was no Blackfriars railway station on the more recent Blackfriars Bridge. Blackfriars Station then only happened on the far side of the river, as we look north.

Second, a rather striking view of the City Big Thing Cluster, the striking thing being that most of the City Big Thing Cluster had not yet happened. The Gherkin stands in almost perfect isolation, visible from all directions. No Cheesegrater. No Walkie-Talkie. And definitely no 22 Bishopsgate, already the biggest of the lot of them so far.

The third of these photos I include simply because I like it, or at least I like what it shows and how the photo is composed. (Technically these photos are all very blurry and primitive. The Canon A70 is the cheapest camera I have ever owned and used, and it shows.) In particular I like how we see so clearly the truncated end of the Millennium Footbridge. (I should have a go at that view again, with my current and much better camera, on a much better day.)

And finally, the grey of the dying light suddenly looks blue, as grey did look with that Canon A70. Tate Modern was there, of course it was. It isn’t that modern. But, the Tate Modern Extension, which now stands behind Tate Modern itself, is still way in the future.

I show this photo because it very clearly says “Collection 2004” on Tate Modern. Windows Image viewer, cross-examined, also says 2004, January 17th, and I am a lot more inclined to believe that, given that I know that the 2004 bit is right. I’m guessing that Jan 17 is right also. Goodness knows, it’s gloomy enough to be January. So, nearly fifteen years ago.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

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