Thursday, 23 July 2015

Watford Chemical Co. Ltd.

I've got plenty of photographs that I took during a period in my life when I had something of a fevered fascination to collect images of bygone London (then).

Back in the 1980s, I'd spend much of the time exploring my various haunts - in particular East London. Building up a private archive of places that seemed to linger forever battered and broken - and then would suddenly disappear in a blink of eye.

One such building was the headquarters of the Watford Chemical Co. Ltd. in Copperfield Road, London E3, a largely industrial street that is situated alongside the Regent's Canal. These days, it is the superb Ragged School Museum that draws visitors from all over to Copperfield Road, where they can experience the beautifully reconstructed classrooms that were designed by Dr Barnardo to educate the poor children of the area between 1877 to 1908.

The Museum opened its doors several years after the photograph was taken, and some decades on from the era when this chemical manufacturer must have been a laboratory bubbling with activity. Not sure why they were based in London E3, and not Watford in Hertfordshire?

I wonder how many people were employed at the works, and who out there may still have memories of all those emulsifying agents and chemicals manufactured on the premises?

Circa late 1980s. Where have all sundry chemicals gone?

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