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Milligen Collection

The subject matter is the enormous and largely manual task undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s to construct the UK National Grid for electricity.

When my grandfather died in 1974, I came across a large brown envelope of photographs he had collected during his time working as a foreman cable-layer in London during the 1920s to 1930s and squirrelled away. They could be dismissed as just a load of blokes digging holes in London streets, but I found them interesting as they showed the work involved in the construction of the National Grid and working methods from nearly 100 years ago.

They also created a giant puzzle as few of the photos are labelled. I like a challenge and decided to try to work out exactly where the photos were taken and what the locations look like in the 21st century. In most cases I have been successful and put together brief histories of the locations and supplemented them with maps, screenshots from Google Street View, and in some cases historical aerial photographs.

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