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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

Another London trip with Fujifilm GFX 50R

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

It was a couple of years ago that I last took my GFX down to London for a day trip. This time around I made the mistake of taking the 32-64mm plus the 100-200mm lenses with me. On my first trip I just took the 32-64mm which was manageable for the day. This time after walking for several hours with camera and both lenses I wished I had stayed with just the one! It was a fairly hot and stuffy day so I tired quite quickly. Lesson learned.The GFX 50 R is quite portable especially when equipped with the 50mm. However trying to carry several bulky lenses in a shoulder bag was not a good decision.

Statue of John Betjeman St Pancras Station London
Sir John Betjeman

First stop was Kings Cross St Pancras Station and a picture of Sir John Betjeman's statue. By the 1960s, British Rail made several attempts to close and demolish the Midland Grand Hotel which was being used as offices. However, Betjeman and his colleague Jane Hughes Fawcett (1921-2016) at the Victorian Society led a campaign to save the Victorian building. Subsequently in 1967 it was listed as a Grade 1 protected building. The whole station and hotel underwent a huge renovation project after the turn of this century and in 2007 the former Midland Grand Hotel became the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. When St Pancras International was reopened Sir John was commemorated with this bronze statue by the artist Martin Jennings.

There is another statue on the concourse beneath the clock entitled "The Meeting Place" by Paul Day Many years ago in A Previous Life I used to photograph couples mimicking that pose beneath the statue, corny I know. However on this visit my attention was drawn to the bronze relief frieze around the plinth. This seems to depict many different mini sculptures quite diverse in nature. Truly fascinating.

My journey took me off down past Euston Station and into Russell Square and Bloomsbury. An area of London I had never explored before. Eventually I hit Tottenham Court Road and photographed this scene opposite Heals furniture store. Heals is famous for it's circular staircase, a favourite with photographers and Instagrammers. So I couldn't resist the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.

Heales staircase London

As I wearily headed back to Kings Cross I took these two shoots featuring the Post Office Tower, now called BT Tower. It opened in 1965 and I do remember it as a tourist attraction when I started work in Holborn in 1966. It took five years to complete compared to two years for the Gherkin and twelve years for the Shard. It looks positively ancient compared to some of London's more recent landmarks however.

Reflection of BT Tower in office building

Sadly I didn't enjoy my trip as much as my last outing to photograph London but hopefully my next one will be more eventful.

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