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Christmas in London then and now: Photographer blends retro festive images into present-day pictures

Yahoo News UK

From 1960s santas to last-minute Regent Street shopping from the 1950’s, photographer Chris Ratcliffe has incorporated the past into the present in these Christmas scenes.

Mixing elements of modern-day London life with snapshots from the last 70 years, Ratcliffe has blended archive images into current-day pictures, giving an insight into the festive season throughout the last decades.

While some elements have changed – like auctioning off turkeys on the streets – others, like the hectic pictures of present shopping, have stayed the same over time.

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Shopping time

Christmas decorations consisting mainly of snow crystal stars made of aluminium to give the effect of a snowstorm are displayed on Regent Street on 30 November, 1955 London, England. (Getty)

Carol singers

Students of King’s College sing Christmas carols outside the Old Curiosity Shop, as immortalised by Charles Dickens, on Portsmouth Street on 12 December, 1956 in London. (Getty)


Stable companions appear in ‘Song of the Drum’ at Drury Lane Theatre at Endell Street on 30 December, 1933. (Getty)

Trafalgar Square

Two policemen regard London’s 64ft Christmas tree, a gift from Norway, illuminated in Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery on 1 December, 1948. (Getty)


Christmas turkeys, hanging outside a poulterers in Watling Street in December 1923. (Getty)

Santa Claus

A group of people dressed as Santa Claus wait for the bus in December 1960. (Getty)

Arding and Hobbs

Father Christmas arrives at the Arding and Hobbs store on 2 November, 1926 in Clapham Junction. (Getty)

Houses of Parliament

The statue of Lord Beaconsfield in front of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Parliament Square, London, 24 December 1938. (Getty)


Sandbags protect a shop window at Selfridges during the first Christmas of World War II on 16 December, 1939. (Getty)

Christmas lights

Selfridges Department Store on Oxford Street is lit up by Christmas decorations on 6 December, 1935. (Getty)

St Paul’s Cathedral

The Christmas tree in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, which was brought from the royal estates at Windsor on 19 December, 1950. (Getty)

St. Margaret’s Westminster

Members of British Parliament singing Christmas carols in St. Margaret’s Westminster via BBC Radio to American congressmen in December 1945. (Getty)

Smithfield market

Turkeys are auctioned at Smithfield market for Christmas trade on 21 December, 1968. (Getty)


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