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These then-and-now photos show how London has changed since 1988

Written by
James Manning

Bishopsgate in 1988

Photograph: Tim Brown

As a tube driver in the late ’80s, Tim Brown had a front-row seat as east London was remodelled from post-industrial backwater to Thatcherite boom town. His Kodachrome photographs, unpublished for 20 years, document the city on the brink of transformation. This picture of Bishopsgate, just north of Liverpool Street station, shows two remaining Victorian and Edwardian buildings (including The Hand Pump pub) on the verge of demolition, surrounded by cranes heralding a new era for the yuppified City of London.

Soon after Brown’s photo, the Broadgate office development swallowed up the whole west side of Bishopsgate. As Shoreditch (just to the north) became a hub for fashion, tech and silly haircuts, skyscrapers such as the Principal Tower joined the street’s skyline.

Bishopsgate in 2019

Photograph: Andy Parsons

Now Broadgate owner British Land is redeveloping neighbouring Norton Folgate too, with the much-loved Water Poet pub recently going the way of The Hand Pump – and all the other storied places lost to London’s shifting sands. 

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