London Riots by Marc Gascoigne in London, UK

We didn’t go to sleep on the night of August 7, 2011. The rioting that had begun in Tottenham two nights earlier had spread to our own suburb of Ealing, so we stayed awake throughout the night nervously watching for any signs of trouble outside. It was a relief when dawn broke the next morning. I grabbed my camera and went to see the damage for myself.

This photo was taken as the sun rose on a warm summer day, next to a line of badly damaged shops on Ealing Green. These may be pictures of destruction but if you look around that you can still see some of the things that make this part of town special, like the small independent shops and quiet parks. It was a real shock that the riots came to “leafy Ealing”.

In the late 19th century Ealing was known as “the Queen of the Suburbs” and was popular with people who wanted to be near the centre of London while still living somewhere that had a countryside feel to it. Today it is a lot busier, but it’s still famous for being one of London’s greenest (and safest) boroughs. The riots are well and truly over now and life is quickly getting back to normal.

Name:Marc Gascoigne

Place you live: London, UK

Place your photo was taken: Ealing town centre

Occupation: Communications

Preoccupation: Photography

What is a perfect day in London? If the weather was good I’d spend it in one of London’s Royal Parks – lots of people head there on sunny days which makes for a good atmosphere. If the weather isn’t so good there is always something interesting at the National Portrait Gallery or British Museum.

A little known fact about London? Ealing Studios are the oldest continually running film studios in the world.