At last I've been able to photograph one of my favourite London buildings. Countless times I have passed through this red sandstone portal, countless times I have said to myself "I really must get a shot of this". Last week I managed the task, albeit not the definitive photograph I'm looking for. But this is the southern entrance to the white glazed brick Blackwall Tunnel, the first of what became two tunnels taking vehicular traffic under the Thames. And now under The Dome, with a hugh hole in its roof that's one of the ventilation shafts. This is the 1897 Southern Tunnel House, designed by London County Council architect Thomas Blashill and perched on the north western tip of what is now euphemistically called the Greenwich Peninsular. I just love it, the pavilion roofs, the fanciful turrets. And the reminder it gives of the towers of Tower Bridge, completed just three years before. To stand here waiting for the sun (that never really came), is to feel like the proverbial fish out of water. It's only just possible to photograph it without the attendant huge control gantries, and to avoid being run over or splashed with pink mud by a continual succession of giant trucks sliding about ferrying material from supply depots, under the river to the Olympic site at Stratford.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)