There was another London, before clean air, before the Blitz, before post-war reconstruction. It was a night time London.
It was a city of alleys lit by dim lamps.
Grand but mysterious arches leading to dark halls and obscure institutions.
Forbidding locked doors in isolated precincts
Deserted back streets.
Gardens you should never enter.
Cul-de-sacs in which someone is waiting for you.
Dark alleys, barred windows. Whoever is in upstairs won’t let you in.
There is an occasional welcoming light indicating a place of refuge and a waiting getaway car.
A few signs of a new order.
But in most of the city the dark rules. Down long staircases you go.
To a place of ancient brickworks, hoping for refuge or an exit.
Just walk into the light. Will you find release?
“Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light? Or just another lost angel…City of Night?”
Pictures from London Night – John Morrison and Harold Burkedin 1934
Quotation from Jim Morrison 1971
Quite a few people have looked at this post, rather more than I imagined. So my thanks to you all and here is a more definite set of captions to the images;
1. Grange Street, the Strand. The original Charing Cross Hospital in the background.
2. The Gateway to the General Post Office
3. Middle Temple Hall
4. The Sanctuary, All Hallows, Lombard Street
5. Path outside St Paul’s Cathedral
6. The Royal Exchange
7. A street in the City
8. Villiers Street, Charing Cross
9. Cul-de-sac, Brompton Road
10. Black Raven Alley
11. Cottage Place, Brompton
12. 55 Broadway, London Transport Headquarters
13. Essex Stairs Temple
14. Adelphi Arches, the Strand
15. St Bartholomew’s Hospital
How many of them did you know?
More Dark City pictures here.