Google earth photos of around Brockwell Court on St. Matthews Estate. Must be old photos because you are not allowed to park in the car park anymore where all the camper vans and things above are.
A friend gave me these scans of some negatives that he found in a soon to be demolished/turned into a supermarket building on Old Kent Road. The building must have been an old peoples home.
Brockwell Court. Where I live. Built c. 1937.
Polaroids from the same site, ‘the big house’. Taken on an SX70 land camera with Impossible Film.
A few years ago I made a Chilean friend in London. I met him where I worked, in an old Brixton pub with a beer garden that looks like Narnia in Autumn time because of the iron wrought lamp posts and the leaves that hide the fact that it is actually just a beer garden.
Every Saturday the Chileans would arrive about 5pm having just played 5 a side football over the road at a small sports ground caged in between leafy buildings and the railway line. They were old an young, very old and not so young. I liked to watch them because I was mostly bored standing behind a bar and because of the way they arrived and the way they left.
Anyway, this friend of mine lived in a squat between Brixton and Kennington. It was an abandoned old peoples home and it was enormous. He called it ‘my big house’. Half of the building was guarded by security and the other half had been lived in at various stages byt different people who had left their marks in different ways. The windows were nailed shut apart from some that were broken, and the heating was always on. Apparently there was no way for them to control it and it was unbearably hot it there. It would be interesting to know who is paying for that.
They lived in the carers flat part, it was the best condition of all the floors. Most of the rooms were barren but there was almost a whole corridor with rooms filled with beds and wheelchairs, bathtubs for the disabled and other equipment that must have been worth a load of money. Everything was thrown around and on the ground floor an Eastern European anarchist had passed through and kicked the toilet out so there was a huge flood.
The same week I went to photograph their home one of the other guys who lived there told me that back home had sent word a few weeks before that his father had passed away. He spoke to his family out there, gathered his family over here and had a wake. A few days later he was told his father was still alive, had recovered from his heart attack a few hours after they had declared him dead. They told me hospitals out there are often ill equipped and poor. They also did not have the right paperwork to bring someone back to life so his father would remain dead on paper. What the father and the son were experiencing from other sides of the world makes for an interesting parallel.
This car wash is right near my Dad’s house. He found it on our mutual mission to find the least hilly way to cycle to his house. It’s a brutal hill from all directions but if you stick left after the church on Norwood High Street and go past here then you miss the hill and having to look at the Big Yellow Storage building and be generally struggling with a bus on your tail up the mountain.
We have an old Fiat Panda car, its about 25 years old and it is a solid family member. It belonged to a woman who passed away, her daughter sold it to my Dad and its in perfect condition. It came with all the original service log books and things and she had taken it yearly to the same guy and was probably a perfect car owner like my Grandparents who get a the new Toyota Yaris every time it comes out, occasionally in a different colour.
So we take the Panda here to get a car wash on sunny weekends. My Dad likes the young guy who is in one of the photos. On his t-shirt it says ‘I’ll meet you under the mistletoe.’
35mm expired colour slide film taken on an olympus trip. the trip is a point and shoot camera with four position focus and simple functions.
Spying is very convenient.
Images from google earth of the car wash and surrounding West Norwood.