I am London

Historic England

'I am London' is a celebration of the city's unique and complex identity; as much about its scientific endeavour, cutting edge art, performance and design, politics and campaigning as its pubs, pearly kings and parks. It's a snapshot of London in microcosm, told through its people and places.

I am London
Historic England's exhibition 'I am London' celebrates the capital's unique and complex identity. These Londoners have been photographed at a historic building or place special to them, showing that the city can be inspirational, provocative, frustrating, fun, humbling and home.
London is contemporary, creative, inspirational, traditional and unique
KATE BARLOW, STUDENT OF FUTURE TUTORS PROGRAMME, ROYAL SCHOOL OF NEEDLEWORK. HAMPTON COURT PALACE. "I owe London quite a lot. I took a risk in coming here and I've ended up doing a job that I love. It's given me a whole new direction and a whole new life."
London is cultural, friendly, historic, international and vibrant
JOHN WALTERS, PEARLY KING OF FINSBURY. BUNHILL FIELDS, CITY ROAD. "When I was a young lad we had the opportunity to learn about our heritage and go mudlarking down by the Tower. The Thames is wonderful. This is my capital city, I'm proud of it, I'm proud of the heritage that we have in London."
London is alive, contradictory, green, historic and home
AMY LAMÉ, LONDON'S FIRST NIGHT CZAR. ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN. "My life story, the good things and the bad things, is mapped out in London and I owe London everything."
London is community, spirited, delicious, diverse, dynamic and joyful
GERHARD JENNE, FOUNDER, KONDITOR & COOK. CORNWALL ROAD, WATERLOO. "I owe London everything: I was a trained baker and pastry chef and came to London in 1982. I always had this dream of starting my own bakery. After working here for a few years I noticed that there was a gap in the market for good quality cakes and pastries. I also really enjoyed the entrepreneurial climate of the 80s. This suited my pioneering spirit and in 1993 my dream finally came to fruition. The rest, as they say, is history." 
London is buzzing, green, multicultural and a happy place
STIRLING BETANCOURT, MUSICIAN AND NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL PIONEER. POWIS SQUARE. "What do I owe London? Opportunity."
London is eclectic, entertaining, historical, multicultural and royal
JACQUELINE COOPER, OWNER, L MANZE PIE & MASH SHOP. WALTHAMSTOW HIGH STREET. "I'm proud to be a Londoner, so I owe it my pride."
London is difficult, laughter, pain, regret and surprising
SCOTTEE, ARTIST. ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN. "I owe London nothing. Absolutely nothing. London is mine and it's shown me that I can no longer be here. It no longer belongs to me; it belongs to the rich."
London is colourful, generous, noisy and overwhelmingly layered
ZAINAB RAHIM, WRITER AND EDITOR OF 'THE PLATFORM'. MINET LIBRARY, LAMBETH. "I owe London for being able to live safely and peacefully. The gatherings, friendships, events, religious education, arts scene, and causes that have helped me understand our common humanity and the need for Londoners to stand together."
London is beautiful, elegant, energetic, multicultural and opportunity
BISI ALIMI, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST, PUBLIC SPEAKER, WRITER, HIV AND LGBT ADVOCATE, AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BISI ALIMI FOUNDATION. TOWER BRIDGE. "London is a multicultural, beautiful, door of opportunity city where everyone is welcome. Americans pride themselves on the American dream. No. London is the dream, this is where the dream happens."

Going Underground with Transport for London

Following our 2017 exhibitions at More London Riverside and City Hall, Transport for London commissioned a new portrait (see next page), and an installation of thirty-three photographs from Historic England's I am London series are now on display at five London Underground stations:

Aldgate East, Barbican, Canary Wharf, St Paul's and Walthamstow Central are hosting I am London on the Underground.

Tracey Hayward, Customer Service Assistant, Transport for London
In recognition of her work championing the importance of looking after mental health among her colleagues, Tracey became Historic England's 61st 'I am London' portrait. Pictured at Canary Wharf Underground Station, Tracey has worked on the Underground since 2005. In addition to her duties on stations, she is active in mental health advocacy, sharing her personal experiences in training sessions with colleagues from across the Tube network.
Credits: Story

All photographs by London-based Historic England photographer Chris Redgrave.

Meet more of our 'I am London' sitters.

We want everyone to help 'Keep it London' – for London, its people and the future.

Discover the Historic England Archive.


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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