Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Abbey Road: or is it?


Above: Abbey Road, this morning, 13th August 2011.
Below: Abbey Road, errr...at some point, 30th October 1971.


Is it Abbey Road, though? On the one hand, a stupid question: of course it is. But on the other...still a fairly stupid question. However, infallible rumour would have it that the crossing, subject as it has been to numerous repaintings over the years, now sits a few feet away from its original position. Thus, if so, the unhinged hordes who descend upon it each and every day, causing fury among the local transport 'n' truckage, are actually walking over the wrong bit of tar.
Richard Oliff recently, and kindly, sent some of his snaps from autumn 1971, when there could have been no doubt as to the crossing's bona fides: this was the very same upon which they traipsed. It struck me that it might be amusing to go and take an exact "now" shot, and see how far, and if at all, the thing has shifted.
Here's the result:


I'd say it's in pretty much exactly the same position. The lamp-post has been replaced, and is now a bit to the right, and the road has clearly been resurfaced a few times, but the crossing itself hasn't moved. Unhinged hordes, go about thy business.
Next, the entrance to the studio. The bell, the railings, and probably the wooden surround survive intact. The steps may have been replaced, or just repaired. Various fripperies have been added:


So there we have it. The river, as Robert Robinson might have put it, does not, and indeed, cannot remain the same, though ever onwards it do flow, and errr...etc.
But hold yourselves a second, what's this? There's something a little odd about today's shot:


Errr...:


Many thanks to Richard Oliff for sharing his pics.

12 comments:

  1. Have you photoshopped the Maria and the VW or were they actually there? Cracking job if photoshopped and mightily cool if they were actually there!

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  2. I did not photoshop anything! There they were.

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  3. For one thing, if I'd photoshopped it, the VW would be in the right place.

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  4. That's amazing! Wonder what they were there for? Did you know they were gonna be there or was it a coincidence? All the fans there today must've had a right treat!! Love it.

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  5. There's no such thing as coincidence. (Possibly.)
    It was a little odd to see them there, but good too.
    I suspect capitalism is to blame.

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  6. I wonder if that's the VW's real numberplate. The original's was 'LMW 281F'. This 'LWW 281G' imposter smacks of amateur research.

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  7. Pray tell - why were those vehicles there? The 42th anniversary (+ a few days)? Or don't you know?

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  8. They were there as part of a film shoot which happened to be going on, possibly for an advert. (Carl is quite right, by the way - the "John" didn't even have a beard.) Still, pretty entertaining to watch a re-enactment, at least for the first 20 times or so. Most salient (and funniest) comment from an enraged local motorist, who wound down her window as she sped past yelling the word "NUTS!"

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  9. Dang ! I rarely get to London but I was there on Saturday and thought about visiting Abbey Road but chose boring MDO locations. Doh !

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  10. The drain holes also help confirm the zebra's unflinching position on Abbey Rd. I think too it's partly because people generally don't use a stepladder for their souvenir photos, so it never looks quite right. It's an illuuusion.

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  11. That VW Bug is the wrong year..

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