The London Flood of 1928


On a recent visit to the Tate Britain gallery, on the north side of the Thames, we saw the excellent Ruin Lust exhibition, which charts artistic reactions to ruins, and the idea of ruins, through time. One of the show’s most striking pieces is Joseph Gandy’s Destruction of the Bank of England, a mammoth pen and ink drawing of 1830 which imagines Sir John Soane’s bank fallen into desuetude at some future point in time. Fascinatingly, Sir John commissioned the work himself, in what is usually considered an assertion of his own greatness as an architect. It is thought to have been a way to tell the world that he was worthy of consideration alongside the greatest designers of classical antiquity.

Joseph Michael Gandy, Destruction of the Bank of England, 1830. Joseph Michael Gandy, Destruction of the Bank of England, 1830.

After the exhibition, we visited the Tate’s fine subterranean restaurant, which boasts a famous four-wall mural by Rex WhistlerThe Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats. The mural, which dates from 1927, is a light-hearted celebration of…

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2 thoughts on “The London Flood of 1928

  1. I can remember my grandparents referring to this. They lived very near the river at the time, in an area called ‘Dockhead’, on the south bank, not far from Tower bridge. My mother was only four or five, and didn’t remember it. Those who live in the capital today have much to thank for the Thames Barrier!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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