Shoddy goings on at the Photographer’s Gallery, London?

Goodbye Photographer's Gallery, London

The Photographers’ Gallery in London has long been one of our favourite haunts in central London but closed  last weekend for a lengthy, year-long refurbishment which will see major changes to the building.

Goodbye Photographer's Gallery, London

Before moving to their current location near Oxford Circus, the Gallery was at Great Newport Street, Leicester Square, and along with the interesting exhibitions, books and magazines on offer, a major attraction was the great cafe inside.

We’ve been going for something like 15 years and – to be honest – at times, the cafe has been the best thing in the place.

Serving up delicious home made cakes (made by the manager’s wife), freshly made sandwiches, snacks and coffee, there’s been a familiar face at the counter for the entire time we’ve been visiting, a lovely fella called Billy.

Goodbye Photographer's Gallery, London

Kicking out the staff

Sadly it seems that Billy doesn’t figure in the exciting new plans for the Gallery, and after years of service it appears that he’s not been invited back to run the new cafe.

Instead, we’ve been told that it will go to a franchise, and we think that’s rather a shame.

We’ve always liked the friendly, independent atmosphere of the cafe, and feel that without Billy and his cheery staff – and excellent food – we’re not going to find the new premises so attractive.

Goodbye Photographer's Gallery, London

We wrote to the Photographers’ Gallery a few weeks ago to ask what’s happening about the cafe, but they haven’t bothered to reply, so we can’t confirm the story.

If you’re not happy about seeing the old cafe go, why not drop them a line and implore them to make Billy and his staff part of the new Gallery’s plans?

After all, he’s helped them make the cafe a success for all these years.

Email them here:

More: Photographers’ Gallery to close down for a year, answers criticisms [BJP]

2 Comments on “Shoddy goings on at the Photographer’s Gallery, London?”

  1. . .

    Stumbled here. Saddened to read the above. Shows you how long it’s been, I didn’t even know they’d moved. Used to go regularly, 14+ years back, it had two places in Gt. Newport St. a few doors apart, saw some superb exhibitions, poignant, moving, challenging, thought-provoking. And yes, always a great cafe, the right atmosphere.

    From what you say, it sounds to me like the same patterns as always, erstwhile principles and integrity out the window, ego and greed pushing for “modernisation” which usually means Selling Out, assisted all-too-eagerly by the latest naive blinkered crop of thrusting career-building bright young things, desperate to see their their toxic clone-zone metastatic (as in cancer) formulas implemented everywhere. Money, capitalism, business mindsets. Price of everything, value of nothing.

    It’s an ideology, a faith, a Credo. What you and I might consider worthwhile, ethical or decent means nothing to these types. Real-life flesh-and-blood People with real-life feelings and emotions are nothing more than “collateral damage” casualties in their balance-sheet/ego/CV crusade. And should protest emerge, it’s no more than a minor irritation to their sort, an exercise in PR while their Machine continues to roll out The Hegemony, franchises and all. “Resistance is futile…”

    I thought they used to be some sort of “charity,” although, to be honest, these same toxic transformations have been rife throughout the sector over the last two or three decades as all-too-evidenced by the “professionalisation” of high-street Charity Shops.

    Rot, rust, cancer indeed.

    The only ones really pleased with the outcomes are the self-same incestuous crowd pushing the changes. Targets-ticked. Depersonalised unilaterally-set targets, that is.

    Shame. Sounds like “another one bites the dust..”

    The Photographers’ Gallery, RIP.


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