Photographers' Blog

London’s pub culture

By Eddie Keogh

“There’s an old fashioned East End welcome waiting for you.” There’s a good chance you’ll read that quote on the pre-Olympic hype about London. But only those with a sense of adventure will really see and feel it.

Most spectators visiting the Games will enter the park via the shiny new Westfield shopping center. There you can take time out in Starbucks, Costa Coffee, McDonald’s, Nando’s, Pizza Express or even TGI Friday’s. Now I’d put good money on most of our visitors knowing these brands from whichever corner of the world they’re from. But will they have experienced The King Edward VII, The Lord Cardigan.

The Cart and Horses, The Adam and Eve or even The Bow Bells. Now that’s visiting London and the landlord’s and ladies and the people inside those pubs are the real Eastenders.

London’s first pubs appeared as public places where people could gather and drink. This dates back as far as the Romans, but are first thought to have become a common sight in the Anglo-Saxon period, when people opened their homes as alehouses. When the Romans finally withdrew from Britain they left behind the start of the modern pub and in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be one Ale House in every village in England.

But each pub has a history and a story to tell. The Bow Bells is haunted by a ghost that has a habit of flushing the toilet in the ladies when patrons happen to be sitting on it!

Olympic Dreams

By Lucy Nicholson

Sweaty burly men in photographers’ vests that haven’t been washed for days. Packed together, jostling for position. Tempers flaring in many tongues, monopods and lenses bumping against bodies – photographing Olympic athletes can be less than glamorous.

REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

It’s an enviable front row seat to the largest sporting spectacle on earth, but there’s not much opportunity for photographers to chat to athletes, or to find many unique shooting vantage points.

So when the opportunity came to photograph Olympic athletes training in and around LA last week as part of our coverage of the build-up to the 2012 Games in London, I jumped right in, literally.

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