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  • Writer's pictureSheldon Goodman

A Bird’s Eye View

Things look better from the air.

Have a look on YouTube and you’ll find some awesome camera work of beautiful sweeping vistas of cityscapes and well known places seen from a birds point of view.

The concept of aerial photography in this way isn’t new. It was used extensively in the Second World War by both Allied and Nazi forces to target power stations, railways and other infrastructure to devastating affect. Many of our towns and cities today bear the wounds of buildings long lost to aerial bombardment.

Drones however offer an alternative perspective on a world we sometimes know all too well. There’s a brilliant video of West Norwood Cemetery which shows a birds eye view over the graves of thousands of people.

But did you know there is an older version of this?  From the late 1920’s an aerial survey was undertaken and the resulting images have been posted on the fantastic Britain from Above website. Notably, all those cemeteries that I totter around and write/tour about in look…pristine.

Highgate isn’t the wild wood that it is now. Tower Hamlets is a mass of headstones, looking like the inside of a great white shark’s mouth. West Norwood has its beautiful chapels (now sadly lost and replaced with more modern versions), towering proud over the rest of Lambeth.

Look at these places in their prime. If only they were in colour!

Highgate Cemetery, 1939

Brookwood Cemetery, 1939

Manchester Southern Cemetery, 1952

Kensington Cemetery, 1952

Brompton Cemetery, 1939

Longden Road Cemetery, Shrewsbury

Have a look at some more aerial photography on the Britain from Above website here.

#history #photography #Aerial #BlackandWhite #Cemetery #Ordanance #Survey #Plane

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