April 1, 2020
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If you were given a travel ticket at any time and place in the past, where would you go? And although we cannot say that we have invented the time travel machine, this is the closest we can get if your choice was Victorian England.

The world is evolving rapidly and the only visual reminder about the past is captured in the archive images. On Stride took it even further and juxtaposed historical photos of seven English cities of the late 19th century and modern times. By comparing photos taken in the exact same place, the project shows how these cities have been transformed in the last 125 years of lifestyle architecture and even fashion trends. Some elegant historical buildings have stood the test of time and still serve as a testimony of majestic architecture, while the “modern” touch is prominent in every photo.

Buckle up for time travel in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Scarborough, and Worthing. Which version of the same place do you prefer?

More info: onstride.co.uk

Bristol – St. Augustine Parade

Image credits: onstride

St. Stephen’s Church remains a constant on the Bristol skyline; In fact, it has been there since 1470! For several centuries, the church tower was a milestone that seafarers could use to guide themselves to the port of Bristol. Today, it is hidden behind workshop developments like Colston Tower (to the left of the modern image). But the most significant detail that has changed from one photo to another has been there even longer: the Frome River has disappeared from view since this part was covered in 1938, one of the latest developments in a long history of diversion and sewage. River to boost trade around the port.

Liverpool – St. George’s Hall

Image credits: onstride

The area between the Lime Street and St George’s Hall train station opposite (to the left of the image) is a rare example of a landscape barely changed in this part of the city. The Lime Street area around the corner of the Gothic buildings has been radically transformed in recent years, while if I turned 180 degrees and entered the commercial district, I would find it barely recognizable compared to a decade ago – before the remodeling of ‘Liverpool One’. Speaking of 180 degree turns, St. George’s neoclassical pomp remains exactly where it was when it opened in 1854 despite the persistent urban myth that it was accidentally built upside down.

London – Victoria Embankment

Image credits: onstride

There’s a surprisingly ancient piece of history in these photos: the obelisk in center-frame is the 3,500-year old ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ offered by Egypt to Britain as a gift in the 19th century AD. It remains sadly overlooked in 2019 as officials resist pressure to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the gesture. Waterloo Bridge beyond is a far newer landmark but with a more eventful history: the version in the Victorian photo was demolished in the 1930s, and rebuilt by a team of women during the Blitz (it took a while for their story to emerge due to statements like then-Deputy Prime Minister Herbert Morrison’s: “the men that built Waterloo Bridge are fortunate men.” It was the only Thames River bridge to incur damage from German bombs. More recently, it was the site of the major global warming protests of Extinction Rebellion.

Manchester – Victoria Street

Image credits: onstride

The cobblestones of Victoria Street may have long since disappeared to make way for the car, but the controversial statue of Oliver Cromwell that disappears from one photo to the next could be returning. The statue was a gift to the city of Elizabeth Heywood, wife of Major Abel Heywood of the nineteenth century, in honor of her late husband Thomas Goadsby, the oldest former in the city. But it was Cromwell’s political division as much as the serial marriage with the mayor of Elizabeth Heywood that caused him to be put on the street instead of his original destination within Manchester City Hall. Cromwell was relocated to Wythenshawe Hall in the 1980s, but it seems that it will return to city life when the area around the 15th-century gothic cathedral (right) is rebuilt and renamed the “Medieval Quarter” in the near future.

Newcastle – Black Gate and Castle

Image credits: onstride

The ‘Black Gate’ drawbridge built-in 1250, and the 842-year-old Henry II castle (built on the site of the fortress that gave Newcastle its name) are cataloged buildings, so they have not changed much between the Victorian era and now. The most significant change is the building that appeared among them in the photo, and this one is also on the list. Built-in the classic style like Northumberland County Hall in 1910 and expanded up and out in 1933, it is now a hotel. The bridge has become a railway viaduct for the mainline from the east coast to Scotland.

Scarborough – the Spa at South Bay

Image credits: onstride

The city of Scarborough can trace its fortune until the 17th-century discovery of a mineral spring with supposed medicinal properties. Word spread and the spa became a fashionable tourist destination, and for the next two centuries, a sequence of differently impressive structures (starting with a simple wooden terrace) dominated the waters. With the arrival of a railway connection, the spa complex (left) was built, and then restored and expanded after a fire in the 1880s. The key difference between the images is the Sun Court enclosure in the image later. Although the Great Hall seats 2,000, the Sun Court is a completely healthier place to see the performance of Scarborough Spa Orchestra, which has performed there since 1912.

Worthing – Marine Parade

Image credits: onstride

The wharf in Worthing was first opened in 1862, with the South Pavilion in the background of the original photo added in 1889. The pavilion survived a storm that razed much of the dock in 1914 but disappeared behind the largest and most modern Pier Pavilion Built at the end of the coast in 1926, which dominates today’s photo. In the 1930s, the South Pavilion perished in a fire and passers-by rushed to dismantle the pier to prevent the flames from spreading to the new pavilion. Subsequently, the South Pavilion was rebuilt in the Streamline Moderne style, a kind of art-nautical art. It was later converted into a nightclub, before being used again as a cafeteria and entertainment venue, while the pavilion of the modern image is mainly used as a theater.



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