London Then And Now: 1973-2013

A collection of photographs taken almost 40 years apart show how London’s streets have changed. (Or in some cases, hardly at all) In 1973, civil servant John Hutchinson photographed areas in London which were under threat of redevelopment. He feared the Victorian buildings that had survived the Blitz would be lost forever, so he set out to photograph them for posterity.

The modern photos at the same locations were taken by Rosie Hallam / Barcroft Media.

South side, Piccadilly Circus.

North side, Piccadilly Circus.

Romilly Street, Soho.

Covent Garden Market interior.

Tottenham Court Road, under redevelopment in 2013.

The Trocadero building, Coventry Street.

Gerrard Street, Chinatown.

Old Compton Street, Soho.

Rules, the oldest restaurant in London. Covent Garden.

The Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus.

The Coliseum Theatre, St Martin’s Lane.

Covent Garden Underground Station.

Cecil Court, WC2.

42 thoughts on “London Then And Now: 1973-2013

  1. Wow! Most businesses have changed but some buildings seemed to have stopped aging… I have something similar happen to my hometown. There was once a lot of trees and open spaces. Now, there are only buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool contrasts for sure, Pete. Back in 1973 I was stationed in Iceland and took a three day R&R to Scotland. Never made it to London back then.. but Glasgow was so cool. I was 23 at the time and thought those three days were super cool given my affinity for the Brits… and just being on British soil was a kick for me given all the history. Your pics illustrate to me what once was at a time I can identify with. Now I feel old. 🙂

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    1. I was 21 in 1973, and felt very ‘grown up’ in London at the time. It always felt like a cool city to live in, right up to the time I left to retire to Beetley.
      Best wishes, Pete.


        1. We have a 3-bed detached one-level house (bungalow) with a smallish garden, garage, parking for 3 more cars off-road, kitchen/diner, one bathroom. It is currently worth around £302,000, more if we modernised the bathroom. (We paid £147,000 in cash for it in 201l)
          These are some houses for sale locally. Compared to Greater London/Home Counties, they are probably one third of the prices 120 miles or more to the south.


          1. Thanks for the link! Interesting that our values are quite similar given the type and size of property (in other words, pretty pricey). Although… I can see there are a number there of what we here might call the “quaint country cottage”, although it seems by you those are actually refurbed and quite nice looking. Here that definition is a bit questionable at times. Thanks for that.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Something similar closer to London would be £1-2 million pounds, Doug.
              Beetley is considered ‘cheap’ by southern counties standards, but ‘expensive’ by Norfolk standards. 🙂


            1. Not far from where we live, but two things I don’t like.
              1) It’s on the 70 mph main road that leads to from Dereham to Holt.
              2) It is semi-detached, in a small complex of coverted farm buildings. I wouldn’t want to pay half a million for semi-detached.
              Lovely inside though.
              Best wishes, Pete.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to see the majority of these buildings still exist. My ‘foodie’ cousin took me for lunch in Balans Cafe a couple of years ago. Very expensive and not really my thing – I’d have been happy with a couple of ham sandwiches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much of London has remained unchanged since late Victorian times, Patti. Most of the areas that have changed completely were as a result of the heavy bombing the city sustained during WW2.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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