Soho's oh so different! Photographs show how world-famous London district has changed in the last century
- Photographer Carl Court has recreated historical pictures of the area to show how much it has changed
- He was inspired after learning the story of London's smallest shop, a tiny cobblers on Bateman Street
- Shaftesbury Avenue's theatres and Berwick Street Market are quite recognisable from their former states
- However, Piccadilly Circus has been transformed and almost every shop has failed to stand the test of time
The soul and essence of Soho - renowned for its nightlife, culture and eateries - has been fairly consistent in the last 100 years but a photographer has returned to the scenes of historical pictures in order to capture how much the area's external appearance has transformed.
The images have been collated by Carl Court after he learned the story of London's smallest shop, a 6ft x 5ft x 2ft space on Bateman Street that was occupied by a cobbler underneath the window of another business.
These days, the entire unit is occupied by a Vietnamese restaurant but other images, some of which date back to before the First World War, show that while some traces of yesteryear remain intact, much of the landscape has changed dramatically.
Places like Piccadilly Circus have been completely modernised, with the former neon lights used to advertise Bovril and other businesses being replaced with a giant electronic screen.
Other places, such as Berwick Street Market and the Carnaby Street shopping area show how many former independent traders have been replaced, often by international chains.
In the old image from circa 1953 shows Mrs Thurtell, a cleaner employed by Boots the chemist, can be seen on her hands and knees, scrubbing the pavement outside the firm's all-night shop in Piccadilly Circus. Although the corner was still used as an advertising space back then, the neon lighting has been replaced with one large electronic scree, as can be seen in the modern image of people walking through the same area on September 30 of this year
A bus and cars travelling down Shaftesbury Avenue in front of an illuminated Lyric Theatre during the night of September 29, 1954. While the Lryic and Apollo theatres have stood the test of time, the shows are now very different. Robert Morley's Hippo Dancing, which has largely been consigned to the history books was showing back then. In the moderb it is Thriller, which is based on the work of Michael Jackson,who was still four years away from being born when the old picture was taken
The bustling market on Berwick Street, in the heart of the district, is still selling fruit today. However, while the photo from 1933 the crowds absolutely pack the pathway as they inspect the goods on offer, the modern day photo shows are far sparser crowd. The shops on the street have also changed dramatically��
This photo from 1910 shows the inspiration for Mr Court's gallery.��The smallest shop in London, occupied by a cobbler on Bateman Street, can be seen under the window of another business. It was six feet long, five feet high and two feet deep, with rent of three pounds a week. It was occupied for over twenty years. Now, the entire front ha s been changed noticeably and is occupied entirely by a Vietnamese restaurant
Window shoppers looking in the Lady Jane clothes shop, which was the first women's boutique shop in Carnaby Street, August 1974. In homage, The lead female character is called Lady Jane in the musical Carnaby Street, which opened at the Hackney Empire, London in 2013. The premise still operates as a place to buy garments, but is now occupied by chain Lambretta.
Both of these images show people walking along Carnaby street. In the top image, taken in February 1966, shows a Mod sweeping his cloak around him after getting out of a sports car. As is visible from the bottom image, the road has now been completely pedestrianised
In the top image, shoppers can be seen walking on Carnaby Street, in October 1973. None of the shops have remained the same in last month's bottom image, and the large arch saying 'Welcome To Carnaby Street' has also been added as a major feature of the fashionable area
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