Uncovering the Mutations of the Past
06 Nov 2016
Having retired from architecture, Peter Luck is a photographer and researcher with particular interest in the lower Thames and its hinterland. He works as a volunteer cataloguer of photographs for the Robert Elwall Photographs Collection at the RIBA, is an active member of London Independent Photography and chairs the Enderby Group, formed to ensure a future for Enderby House relevant to its history in the undersea cable industry, and to the many other significant industries of the Greenwich Peninsula.
His photographic activities include setting up the Swanscombe Project, a group project to communicate the richness of an abandoned landscape where a theme park is proposed. The project includes an account of the industrial history of the site. Currently he is a member of the Transition Group of photographers concerned with changes in the urban environment with particular reference to housing. Past exhibitions have been of, and in, Balfron Tower and Robin Hood Gardens.
The walk begins at Charlton station and ends at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich (or possibly a little earlier at the Cutty Sark pub). The route will be largely on the Thames Path but with diversions, some deliberate and some enforced by temporary closures of the path. The opening move will be to look at Charlton football ground as the quarry it once was.
This is the key to the purpose behind the walk: uncovering the survivals and mutations of the past. We will be traversing a zone in which the industrial past is of great significance but is already largely obliterated. A small boat repair and aggregate depots remain. Gas works, power station, glucose works, ship building, undersea cable manufacture are all gone (though there is still work in connection with cable). I will not be saying much about photography except to dwell on its task of revelation / preservation of the public memory. The means by which the photographer, acting alone or in collaboration with others, may be effective in this task will be discussed along the way. I will make some use of archive material both from the Greenwich Heritage Centre and my own.
a camera and suitable outdoor clothing and walking shoes/trainers.