Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
-T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
When I lived in London from late 2014 to October 2016, I worked in London Bridge.
I spent a couple of years in London, searching for something I could never quite name.
– Suki Kim, Without You There is No Us
I felt positively unhinged when hearing about what was happening to the city, watching the vision of police cars swarming around the streets that I once walked down every day. Ex-colleagues and good friends were working nearby at the time. Any one of them could have been involved in the incident that happened on the 3rd of June, 2017. None were, thank goodness, although my heart goes out to those who were injured.
As more and more of these sort of events take place, it’s pretty easy to switch off, to become immune to them. This one however, hit a little too close to home.
I don’t want to go on a spiel of “what is happening, world gone mad, etc, etc.” There is a deep, inbred violence and hatred in some people and that’s the way it has been throughout human history. It’s something that many of us will never understand.
On many instances during my time in London, I’d take an hour out of my working day to stretch my legs, get some sort of fresh air and go for a wander around London Bridge (around Borough Market and Southbank), Southwark and often, beyond. Sometimes, I’d take my camera with me.
These are some of the photos I took during those walks around SE1 and as far beyond as my little legs could take me within the confines of a lunch break.
It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed.
– King George VI
I like the spirit of this great London, which I feel around me.
– Charlotte Brontë
My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.
― Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho