Photography group record Staines’ architecture

By | April 2, 2022

This item had to be moved from April’s Newsletter Extra post.

Following last month’s meeting where we viewed several YouTube videos on techniques for photographing architecture, the Photography group set off to record what Staines has to offer, old and new.

Three members of the group had agreed to meet in The Bells for lunch before we got down to the business of recording some of Staines’ architecture in the afternoon. This was an idea we thought worth repeating when ‘on location’, now the group has moved to an afternoon slot on a Monday.

From The Bells, we ventured to St. Mary’s church across the road, which is an architecturally interesting building comprising many replacements and extensions over the centuries it has stood here. From the tower ‘built’ by Inigo Jones, the design apparently dating from 1651, to the main chapel structure rebuilt in 1828, which has evidence of structures both functional and artistic, added since. The church yard allows a peek at the rear aspects of several houses along Church Street – they don’t build them like this any more.

Walking along Church Street to Hale Street capturing modern and mid-twentieth century buildings on the way, plus the very new Strata Business Centre. As we approached Staines bridge, we took the stairs down to river level, with a very empty lower car park and after a brief foray upstream, we turned about to get back to the town centre. Passing under Staines bridge we emerged to a view across the river to the Swan Hotel and the houses along ‘The Hythe’, then we ambled past some ‘ancient’ viewers from the balcony above the ‘Slug & Lettuce’, arriving at the “bird sculpture”, where the River Colne merges to the Thames. Continuing along the bank until we reached the landscaped park adjacent to the old Staines Town Hall area, the latter dating from 1880.

Market Square brought us out to the traffic of Clarence Street and the retail premises along there and into the High Street. In common with many a high street, Staines has some empty retail properties awaiting new tenants or redevelopment. Also similar to many retail streets, looking up above the modern shop fascias reveals a view of times past, but that many of us local to the area might still remember from when we were young – we provide a small sample of what we photographed below.

It was about 4pm by the time we reached the railway bridge, which in itself was of distinct interest since Network Rail had been replacing it over the weekend. Although the trains were running, there were still a couple of massive cranes in attendance, one helping disassemble the other, with huge jib pieces being loaded and driven away on several lorries. The windows of the Premier Inn providing a photo opportunity to ‘double’ the spectacle. Photos below by Debbie Gowing, Jackie and John Wiggins and Dave Humphries. Click/tap the first photo to open the album and scroll through them all.

My thanks to all contributors,
Dave Humphries.