A photo a day – place, activity and identity

So Sunday’s usually mean the following for me: get the papers, avoid buying sweets, then read the papers all morning with football punditry on the TV in the background;  enjoy a family roast dinner followed my more reading and football on TV. Today’s photo speaks to that subject and the relationship of place, activity and identity.

The image was taken at the junction of Church Avenue and the High Street in Beckenham, Kent. It shows St George’s 13th-Church lychgate, said to be the oldest in England, opposite the old 1713 signpost showing  distances to London Bridge (10 miles and two furlongs) Bromley, and Croydon. I’ve known this church pretty much all of my life and even though I am an atheist, it forms an important part of my personal identity and  landscape. But more than that it represents an association I have with this bit of Beckenham that is specific to Sunday mornings.

I think photos like this grow in impact and significance with age and distance. Just now its a rather bland contemporary landscape of a South London suburb. But as the Francis Frith collection shows, the gap created by time means that some features like those determined by fashion, style and technology, have changed and locate the photo historically and so give it a new different resonance than when seen contemporaneously.

What did your Sunday consist of and was it typical or not?


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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