My Photographs

I first photographed the Lee Navigation in the early 1980s, when a few commercial barges were still in use. Within months they had gone.

It was also a time when many of the larger manufacturing industries which had occupied the Lea Valley were closing down, as Thatcher closed down our productive base and shifted decisively towards the UK as a service economy. At times I very much felt I was recording a post-industrial wasteland.

Since then, I've returned to the Lea Valley and photographed it again at some depth at roughly ten year intervals. I've worked in both black and white and colour, and, more recently using panoramic cameras and, in the past few years working with digital.

With the redevelopment of the lower Lea Valley to accomodate the needs of the 2012 London Olympics, much of the unique nature of the area and its rivers is likely to be lost, covered in acres of concrete and much of the smaller rivers encased in conduits. The current time seems a particularly important one to record, and I've made several visits to the Lee Valley in recent years. Some of the pictures from these are already on line in My London Diary (find them by typing 'Lea' into the search box on that site.)

Picture sections

1980-92 b/w  

1980s colour (this page)

2000 to date colour


All photographs on this site are
© 1980-2010 Peter Marshall.

Pictures are available for commercial use - please email me, for terms.

Permission is normally granted for suitable non-commercial use without cost - please email the above address. I also welcome comments and questions about the work.

Workshops beside the Lee Navigation at Ponders End

Timber was carried by barge along the Lee Navigation to timberyards, such as this one in Edmonton.

You can see more or less the complete set of colour pictures I took in 1982-3 in two galleries. The selected pictures on these pages (more) are included there.

1982 colour pictures

1983 colour pictures


Home    All pictures © 1970-2005, Peter Marshall. Contact me for permission for use, high res files and fees.

The River Lea

London's Second River

The River Lea (or Lee) from source to mouth