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Peta Bridle’s New Etchings

February 20, 2020
by the gentle author

Since 2013, I have been regularly publishing Peta Bridle’s splendid drypoint etchings of London and it my pleasure to present this selection of recent works, many seen publicly for the first time here today.

Commercial Taxis, Commercial Rd, Limehouse

“This taxi office once stood in a parade of little shops and businesses, facing the busy Commercial Rd. But in 2018 the terraces on either side were pulled down, leaving the cab company stranded.”

The former Kings Head Pub, Three Colt St, Limehouse

“Today it is an ex-pub painted a striking cobalt blue with a golden angel hanging over the doorway, but in the thirties it was the premises of a banana merchant, B A Lambert.”

The former Lion Pub, Tapp St, Bethnal Green

“Now converted into housing, this old pub sits on a quiet backstreet next to a railway bridge and a faded Trumans sign still hangs on the wall.”

Manzes Pie & Mash, Deptford

“A traditional shopfront in dark green with gold lettering on black glass. This shop has been in the Manze family for over a century and they still make pies, mash and liquor daily.”

Goddards at Greenwich, Pie & Mash Shop

“My daughter Daisy enjoying cherry pie and a tea upstairs at Goddards, a family run business who have been making pie & mash since 1890.”

The Regal Cinema, Highams Park

“This fine art deco cinema first opened in 1911 as The Highams Park Electric Theatre but was renamed the Regal in 1928. Over the years it has been a bingo club and a snooker hall, before finally closing as a cinema in 1971. When I saw it last, it offered an excellent perch for pigeons to survey the road below.”

Morden Wharf, Greenwich

“I passed this former warehouse with its green sign on a walk along the Thames from Greenwich. The pathway is quiet and undeveloped as yet, and willow trees and long grasses line the bank. I believe Morden Wharf takes its name from landowners Morden College, established in 1700 by Sir John Morden with a gift of land.”

Chinese Cake Selection, Chinatown, Soho

“These cakes were bought in various shops around Chinatown. They are little works of art in themselves and very enjoyable to eat afterwards! Top row (left to right): red bean chess cake, red bean mini moon cake and lotus puff with salty egg yolk. Bottom row: taiyaki fish with red bean and mini lotus moon cake.”

View over Mare St, from St. Augustine’s Tower, Hackney

“I visited St Augustine’s Tower recently. Although I do not like heights, it was worth the struggle up the stairs for the view from the top. A man sat begging under the bridge while people on mobiles walked past, red buses turned the corner onto Mare St and the towers of the City huddled in the distance.”

George Davis is Innocent, Salmon Lane, Limehouse

“This graffiti has survived under a railway bridge, adorned with metal signs, since the seventies. I like graffiti and street art because it manifests the human touch. George Davis was an ex-armed robber who was imprisoned in 1975 for an armed payroll robbery at the London Electric Board Offices. Graffiti proclaiming his innocence can still be found on walls and railway arches.”

The Poplar Rates Rebellion Mural, Hale St, Poplar

“This bold mural, painted in primary colours, commemorates the rates rebellion led by councillor George Lansbury in 1921, pictured on the wall in his hat and chain of office. Poplar Council refused to take rates money off their poor residents because they believed it was unjust. Thirty councillors were imprisoned for contempt of court but were released after campaigning and their names are listed on the wall.”

The Thames Pub, Deptford

“This derelict pub, once know as the Rose & Crown, sits on the corner of Thames St and Norway St, and has been painted a deep rose hue. It is surrounded by new building and a brand new supermarket across the road, so I think its days are numbered.”

Petro Lube, Silvertown

“This derelict building, once the headquarters of Petro Lube, stands on an industrial estate in Silvertown. Note the building works in the background – (a common theme in many of these etchings).”

Abandoned Caravan, Poplar

“This caravan had been abandoned at the side of a minor road near the tip. When I returned a few weeks later to take reference shots, I discovered it in pieces piled on top of a skip. Nothing stands still in London.”

Gasometer, Bow Creek, Poplar

“I spotted this Victorian gasometer while out for a walk along Bow Creek. It was already partially dismantled and, when I returned a couple of months later, it had totally disappeared.”

Abandoned Nissan, Chapman St, Shadwell

“This car is not going anywhere, but I found it made a good subject with its graffittied bonnet and crazed windscreen.”

Spur Inn Yard, off Borough High St, Southwark

“Borough High St was once lined with inns . The Spur Inn, first recorded on a map in 1542, was desrcibed by John Stow as one of the ‘fayre Innes for receipt of travellers.’ It stood the test of time, even though it ceased to be an inn in 1848. A huge wooden beam was set into the left hand wall as you enter under the high archway and, on the right, timber frames criss-crossed the brickwork. The cobbled yard was narrow yet quite beautiful. This is the view from the back of the yard looking towards Borough High St. The tarpaulin at the top hides the roof and chimney stack, prior to demolition. Spur Inn Yard was swept aside to be replaced by a new hotel which opened in 2017. All that remains is the timber set into the wall and the old stone cart tracks.”

Prints copyright © Peta Bridle

Some of Peta Bridle’s etchings are on exhibition at Southwark Cathedral until 20th March

You may also like to take a look at

Peta Bridle’s Latest Drypoint Etchings

Peta Bridle River Etchings

9 Responses leave one →
  1. February 20, 2020

    A brilliant, epic talent! Tried hard to single out a favourite, and couldn’t (though I could almost smell Manze’s). I’d fill my house with her work, if I could afford it.

  2. Paul Ridgway permalink
    February 20, 2020

    Can you put me in touch with Peta Bridle please?
    I have inherited some etching plates of the 1920s and need advice on disposal.

  3. Jill Wilson permalink
    February 20, 2020

    Wonderful etchings which capture so much more of the spirit of the places than photographs could.

    But the recurring themes of abandoned pubs and of old buildings being demolished makes them just a tad melancholic, and a sad reflection of all the destruction which is happening in London right now.

  4. Claire D permalink
    February 20, 2020

    Drypoint etching has a particular soft organic quality, it’s incredibly labour intensive, which is maybe why. These are very good, thank you so much Peta Bridle, this is work that should last and have meaning down the ages.

  5. William Martin permalink
    February 20, 2020

    Are these beautiful works for sale?

  6. February 20, 2020

    Evocative of then and now.

  7. Peta permalink
    February 20, 2020

    Hi Jill. I agree that my derelict buildings and abandoned places may seem melancholic. But to me they make excellent visual subjects as they are buildings with character. I kick myself when I don’t draw a place and return at a future date only to find it has disappeared! I will endeavour to draw more buildings/places that are still in use! Thank you for your comments! Peta

  8. February 20, 2020


  9. Philip Binns permalink
    February 22, 2020

    Thank you for this interesting set of Peta’s images.
    I must go along to the exhibition.
    I was particularly interested in the etching of the former Thames public house at the junction of Norway Street and Thames Street in West Greenwich.
    The building is still standing despite several attempts by developers to demolish the property and replace it with a larger development of questionable design.
    The current situation is that planning permission was granted in November 2018 for demolition at a meeting of the Greenwich Area Planning Committee despite objections from local residents, the local amenity society and the Council’s conservation officer.
    Peta’s image, thankfully, is a record of what is about to disappear.

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