Tom Phillips - 20 Slideshows

20 Slideshows

08. Tony's. c. 12.25 pm.

  • 1973

  • 1974

  • 1975

  • 1976

  • 1977

  • 1978

  • 1979

  • 1980

  • 1981

  • 1982

  • 1983

  • 1984

  • 1985

  • 1986

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • 1991

  • 1992

  • 1993

  • 1994

  • 1995

  • 1996

  • 1997

  • 1998

  • 1999

  • 2000

  • 2001

  • 2002

  • 2003

  • 2004

  • 2005

  • 2006

  • 2007

  • 2008

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • 2013

  • 2014

  • 2015

  • 2016

  • 2017

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As well as becoming, in 1973, unwittingly, Site 8 in 20 Sites, Tony's won that year's Evening Standard Best Newsagent award. The shop bristles with announcements, advertisements and information and, in its special displays of souvenir brochures etc, one can often spot evidence of particular events of the year, like the Royal Wedding of 1981 and the Papal visit of 1982. Other trends also appear viz. the introduction of Travelcards in 1985 and Phonecards in 1986 and the New issue of the Highway Code in 1987. Prospectuses for the Proms come out at this time and are usually advertised. In 1988 a notice promotes the (still then illegal) sale of 'Spycatcher'.

The strange events at Magic Cleaners have however, until recently, somewhat upstaged Tony's. For ten years in an otherwise eventless window there has been a waxing, waning, shuffling and shifting play of signs advertising shoe repairs. Sometimes there is a huge notice across both windows of the frontage and at others an almost furtive sign in one window which mysteriously migrates to the other and then back again, as if there were alternate bursts and crises of confidence in their ability on the footwear front. So random and impenetrable has been the code of this display that I sometimes suspected that these were signals to some alien power. They must however have resigned as Agents when in 1984 the shop is suddenly refurbished and empty: a nurse is passing by, prophetic of its new role as the office of the British Nursing Association from 1986.

On the other side of Tony's, in the shadow of a tree, Hockins, a garment shop, is a relative sleeper though in 1982 it does become Gardner Garments and, in 1988, the more elusively named Cargo's.

People pass without there being a definite policy of placement in the photo. Often they are to do with King's College Hospital nearby. Once Tony's assistant, the non-eponymous Tony, is seen. In 1989, making another link in the web of my work, the lady in green is one of my portrait sitters, Hilary Hugh-Jones, who has also sat for Bill Hurrell.

... Interval ...

As in the Great Game a lunch interval is built in to the fieldwork. Initially I used to lunch at the Neuk Steak House outside which the photos of Tony's are taken, though I abandoned this when they introduced music in 1976. Later it became the Tandoori Restaurant. After flirting with other venues we recently settled on the Rendezvous Kebab House though this, after rough kebabs in 1988 and 1989, was abandoned. A chic wine bar (Willows) fortunately opened in 1990.