London Street Scenes: 1920-1933

George Reid took over 700 photographs of London over the course of a decade, from 1920 to 1933. He died before his work was completed.

All photos are © George Davison Reid.

A busy street close to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Sailing Barges on the Thames.

Fleet Street. Once the home of every major newspaper in England.

Children sitting under Southwark Bridge.

Visitors walking up the steps into the Tate Gallery.

Whitehall, with The Cenotaph war memorial in the background.

Carters watering their horses at an animal’s drinking trough.

The view from Tower Bridge.

The Hippodrome Theatre.

Selling toys on the street near Trafalgar Square.

40 thoughts on “London Street Scenes: 1920-1933

  1. (1) How many people buy postcards depicting judges?
    (2) I would name my barge Simpson, and paint it blue.
    (3) Is the Daily Telegraph building near where Sweeney Todd practiced his barber(ian) skills?
    (4) I’m trying to decide whether to shower those children with candy. But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
    (5) The Tater Gallery is in Idaho.
    (6) I hope those are statues on the ledges of Whitehall. Because if they’re people contemplating suicide, no one will them notice them until after they jump.
    (7) After quenching their thirst at the drinking trough, the horses satisfied their intellectual curiosity by reading the Apostrof, a Romanian literary magazine.
    (8) Meteorologist, viewing the sky from the Tower Bridge: “Today’s forecast: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs!” (I hate to rain on his parade, but…)
    (9) After reading reviews of Equus in the Apostrof, the horses decided to put on a two-act play at the Hippodrome Theatre.
    (10) Is the man selling razor toys? Because that might be a razor toy factory in the photo’s background.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating the way you can go down a rabbit hole wondering about the names on the theatre for instance.
    Love the women’s hats, Po Hats Mum said they used to call them when she was little, not sure if that was a family joke, upside down potty, or a general nick name. Cloche would be the more elegant name of the style.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I see pictures of people from that era I can’t help thinking about what was coming for them a few years hence. I love the famous photograph of St Paul’s in the Blitz. I remember those steps that went down to the Thames. I used to love going to the river. Great pictures. It’s too bad he did not get to finish his project.

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  4. I’m old enough to remember the availability of postcards deserving a sign. I’ve seen the “Sons O Guns” promo reel that was shown as an advertisement in theaters as part of a history of cross media marketing of entertainment. Hey you, movie people! There’s a live variety show at the Hippodrome! Hey you, TV people! There’s a (sporting event, concert, vacation spot) you need to see! And every newspaper in one building? Where’s the photographic history of the third floor fist fights? Oh, that’s right. People used to have manners.


    1. I am guessing it was in or near Albert Embankment Gardens, but I can find no reference to it at all. Perhaps it was an industrial chimney that was later demolished?
      Best wishes, Pete.


    2. It is looking towards Lambeth Walk & about where Pedlars Park is now. There was an old school on that site so this chimney would be about adjacent. Its not the Archy of Cantys home no. Wonderful pics Pete

      Liked by 1 person

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