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.

That Other Blog

Many of you already know that I have another blog. It is very different to beetleypete.

I only dip into that blog occasionally, usually when I feel the need to rant about the Royal Family, Politicians, or some world events. What I have to say there can possibly offend or upset many readers, but in some ways, that is the point of it. To generate heated debate, hear the opinions of others, and to be deliberately controversial.

Some posts on there have hardly been viewed, let alone commented on. So by way of advertising that blog to anyone who would not be too upset to read it, here is a link to a 2013 post that has an element of nostalgia and reflection to it.

Spying for a living

Rhapsody in Blue

More timeless music from 2013. Hardly anyone has viewed this before.


Most Classical music is very old. When it was written, it was the ‘pop music’ of its day, and predominantly admired by the wealthy, and patrons of the arts. Everyday folk had to be content with their folk songs and hymns, as they were unlikely to ever be in a place where Classical music was performed, or even heard.

Most of us can recognise the better-known Classical pieces, such as ‘The Planets’, or ‘The Four Seasons’, and some composers, like Handel, have distinctive styles, and preferred instruments. Much of this recognition is down to the use of music to accompany films, and TV advertisements; we hear something pleasant, delve a little further into its origins, and discover the composer’s other works. Modern composers of Classical music are few and far between, and often less well-known, without the same wide audience.

In 1924, George Gershwin, the American songwriter and composer, wrote…

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Concierto de Aranjuez

Reblogging an old music post from 2013. Something timeless for you to listen to over the weekend.


This is a concerto for guitar and orchestra, written by the Spanish composer Rodrigo, in 1939. It has a classical feel, but is not Classical Music, so please do not be put off, if you are not a Classical fan. You may think that you have never heard it, but I am certain that you will recognise it immediately, as it has been  used in many soundtracks, TV advertisements, and covered in many and diverse ways, by numerous other artists.

I first came to this work by buying a Miles Davis record, called ‘Sketches of Spain’. I had long been a fan of this legendary Jazz trumpeter, and got this record some years after its 1960 release. I was immediately captivated by the first track on side one, which lasted for almost 17 minutes. It had the feel of the music heard in western films, when they are in Mexico…

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Some Comedy films

Another old film post from 2013 that no current followers appear to have seen. (Except Eddy) Unusually for me, this one is about comedy films.


Some time ago, my friend Jim Medway (look him up, very talented cartoonist) asked if I was going to post some suggestions for comedy films that I would recommend. I had feared that someone would make that request, as Comedy is my least favourite genre, when it comes to films. It is not that I don’t find things funny, far from it; just not the sort of things that are commonly called ‘comedy’, by film-makers.

I could barely raise a chuckle at the big box-office successes starring the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Steve Martin. It is also highly unlikely that I will ever want to watch a teenage ‘rom-com’, or one of the cruder attempts at being funny, that seem so popular in the multiplexes these days. I will confess that some parts of ‘There’s something about Mary’ made me laugh, but not enough to get it…

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Some Musical films

Another film post reblog from 2013. This time it features some musicals. Hardly anyone has seen it before, except Eddy and


I am not generally a fan of musicals, especially theatrical ones. I have never seen a Lloyd-Webber, and have nothing good to say about ‘Les Miserables’, or ‘Moulin Rouge’. However, there are some film musicals that I do like, and it is those I recommend here. Most, if not all are well known, so nothing to surprise the reader.

The Producers. This original 1968 version, written and directed by Mel Brooks, still makes me laugh 45 years later. The story is about an unscrupulous Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) duping old ladies into backing a production that is designed to be a failure; then all the backers lose their money, and the producers of the title clean up. At least that is the plan. He recruits a shy accountant (Gene Wilder) to fiddle the books, and buys a sure-fire disaster of a script from a Nazi fanatic, entitled ‘Springtime for…

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Some films about Art

Another film post from 2013 that hardly anyone has seen. This time it is about famous artists whose lives were filmed.


You know the old  quote, ‘I don’t know much about Art, but I know what I like!’ Well, I only know a bit about Art, but quite a lot about films. Here are some suggestions that manage to combine the two, providing visual delights, exciting action, and some great acting in the process.

Caravaggio. Whatever you think of the controversial English film-maker, Derek Jarman, don’t let it put you off this 1986 work. Despite the quirky additions to the story, ( a typewriter in 17th Century Italy!) strong performances by a very good cast make this well-worth watching. The story of Carvaggio is told both on film, and by his paintings. His love interest, played by a younger Sean Bean, is an integral part of the plot also, with Bean taking hold of the film for the most part, and overshadowing Nigel Terry, in the lead role. What makes it…

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Films that I don’t like

Another film post from 2013 that only Vinnie appears to have seen. More unpopular opinions from me about many much-loved films. As always, feel free to disagree.


Having listed numerous films that I do like, in my tour around the World of Cinema, I thought it appropriate to also let you know about the types of film that I never watch, and just don’t like. These choices are unlikely to gain me many friends, but I will stand by them, and try my best to plead the case for the prosecution. No clips with these, as they are generic, not specific.

Comic Book Franchises. I do not refer to the recent trend for filming graphic novels, as seen in ‘Sin City’, and ‘300’. This is an entirely different subject, and I have some time for these efforts. In particular, I am launching my attack at the filming of the heroes of Marvel, and DC comics. The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Superman, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Captain America, and of course, Batman. There are many others, and you will no…

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Some Polish films

Yet another film reblog from 2013, this time featuring films from Poland. Only Eddy has seen this one before.


Poland has a long tradition of film-making. Whilst not having a huge output, some of the films from this country are highly acclaimed, and many have won awards. On this list of recommendations, I have taken the liberty of including two films from the same short series, as I could not choose between them. I have deliberately left out the famous ‘Three Colours Trilogy’, as it is so well known, and also omitted anything by Roman Polanski, for the same reason. I will be doing another post on cinema from Eastern Europe, but felt that Poland had enough to offer on its own. Besides, I sort of owed it to Eddy Winko…

Europa Europa. Strictly speaking, this is a French/German/Polish co-production, but don’t be misled. It is in every sense a Polish film, about the experience of Polish-born Jews during the Second World war, and directed by a famous woman…

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Some more films I don’t like

Another 2013 reblog, one that only Eddy has seen before. This time it is a somewhat confrontational post about the type of films I don’t like. If it upsets you, feel free to tell me off in the comments!


I got clean away with the first post on this. Not a comment, no tirade of abuse, no petitioning from fans of LOTR, Harry Potter, and all the other stuff I castigated. I was pleasantly relieved, although I suspect it is just because nobody can be bothered to read it. As a result of this unexpected escape, I decided to have another go, and slam into some more established films, that I think are overrated, pointless, or unnecessary. I have not added clips, as there are too many to choose from!

James Bond Films. In 1962, there may have been understandable justification to make a film like Dr.No. There had been nothing really similar before, and the tongue-in-cheek spy thriller, filmed in exotic locations, was a refreshing change for many. The books had sold well, and though Sean Connery was an unlikely and unconvincing Bond, there was a ready market…

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