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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Streetlamps in St James



If you visited Paris yesterday, you would have learned that they have 82,000 street lamps and they are all electric. You might even have managed to see streetlamps in Torino, Mazatlan or Hamburg.

So it looks like London's the only one with real gaslights still. Oh good.

posted by Ham at 00:34 -- Comments here: 7

Friday, March 30, 2007

A day without laughter is a day wasted



That's a quote from the man himself. I could have cropped tight on the cane and you would still have recognised him. A candidate for London's most famous resident (yes, british NOT american), Charlie Chaplin is commemorated by a statue in Leicester Square. If you don't know about his story, take a moment or two to read up about him - I think you may be surprised.

If you have a moment, YouTube have the last silent film he made, Modern Times, here are the segments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I'm not saying that they aren't dated in places, but he is still funny.

A more general view of the statue on My Other Stuff.

posted by Ham at 00:05 -- Comments here: 10

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hope for peace



Looking for something to mark the news from Ireland, I thought of this piece of graffiti, in the passage just opposite the last Banksy I posted.

I remember London being torn apart by the troubles. It's good that it's over.

posted by Ham at 00:59 -- Comments here: 6

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

St Mary's School, Rotherhithe



I make no apology for staying in Rotherhithe today, as I suspect that many didn't realise how important and vibrant the area once was. Close by the Mayflower are these buildings - St Mary's School dating from 1613 and the Watch House. This school was built to educate the sons of seamen.

What makes me smile is that it seems there was someone churning out statues of children for schools by the hundred - I've already posted two, one here and one a few days agohere.

BBC have a 360 panaroma here.

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 6

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Mayflower Public House



Brunel's engine house is a worthwhile pilgrimage for those so inclined, but this is the real draw for me. A pub with its own lifebelts. That's my kind of place.

I'd vote The Mayflower to be one of the best located pubs in London, and one that most tourists won't find, either (possibly some connection, there). Here is their drinking deck (lifebelts are on the wall) and here is their hearth. When I first came here [hurrumph] years ago, there were cheese rolls behind the bar; these days: Asparagus Quiche and Tempura Prawns. Times do change.

Actually, I came down here hoping to take a picture of what used to be an exceptional restaurant 100 yards away, housed in the ground floor flat of a block of council flats. Run by an american, it served Creole food when most people would have had to look that up in a dictionary. You ate sat around one large table, with the menu passed round on a blackboard, amended as the night progressed. His son took over, but now you could not even imagine council flats here.

Diamond Geezer visited Rotherhithe last June.

posted by Ham at 00:03 -- Comments here: 6

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Man Who Built the World



Isambard Kingdom Brunel spanned the world with his bridges, tunnels, ships, docks - the list goes on, for too much for this short paragraph. This is the view inside the Brunel Museum, tucked away in Rotherhithe. An odd little place, worth a visit, if only..... but that's for tomorrow (yes I know some of you will know).

posted by Ham at 00:03 -- Comments here: 5

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bang the drum for Zimbabwe



Ever since 2002, there has been a vigil each Saturday outside the Zimbabwe embassy in the Strand..... until there are free and fair elections.

I don't know about you, but Mugabe's rampage through his country's inheritance has left me disbelieving. These days, there seems to be a glimmer of hope - I do hope so. there was a joy to the people singing and dancing that is often absent. I hope that by the time you come to look, there is no more vigil. I fear there may be for a while.

posted by Ham at 00:16 -- Comments here: 5

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paternoster Square



Paternoster Square used to be one of the most dreadful spaces in London. A dreary void inbetween 60's office blocks was in such stark contrast to the glory of Wren's St Pauls. Thankfully, they have torn the old down and turned it into a truly human space. Hemmed in on all sides, it's another of London's Hidden spaces. Do look it up if you are in the area.

This statue of shepherd & sheep was created byElisabeth Frink.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Friday, March 23, 2007

Little Britain... US Style



(Anyone visitng arriving looking for words about Adam Regis, it's on March 20)

Little Brtiain is in London at the moment, but there may be one soon in New York. The Campaign For Little Britain in Manhattan appears to be gathering strength, and I hope they get it, sign their petition here

posted by Ham at 00:06 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happier Times



(Anyone coming here looking for Adam Regis, look two days down for the first post)
About one hundred metres from where fifteen year old Adam Regis' life was brutally ended is this statue of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hirst and Martin Peters. - England's Greatest (ever?) Moment, the '66 world cup. Match days, they are at the heart of the drunken revelry. They are looking the other way from where Adam died. How apposite.

Show you care, leave a comment here. Talk about it on your website, let me know and I'll link to it. Let's link around the world.

posted by Ham at 00:28 -- Comments here: 5

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nature Calls



If you are looking for nature in London, an organic lettuce is a good place to start - at least, it was for me today. We've hit the Spring equinox, nature is bursting forth and so are blogs. Or, at least, one particular Daily Photo Blog - London Daily Nature Photo. Not satisfied with his prime blog, Planarchy, Nic (a regular comentor here) has started this one. I have to tell you, his photos are really quite good and likely to be well worth the entry price (your time).

I also love the idea of meeting the bits of London's nature scene I mostly tend to pass by.

posted by Ham at 01:29 -- Comments here: 5

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In Memory of Adam Regis



The dark side of London surfaces from time to time - what happened last Saturday night was dreadful.

A fifteen year old boy, Adam Regis, was murdered.

What an utter waste.

Take a minute out your day, think of Adam, a boy you never knew and now never will. Think of what it takes for a society to value life so cheaply. If you carry a knife because you think it protects you, or to make yourself feel bigger, think about this.

The story is here. Why does it feel worse that it was three miles from where I live? Is it better that a fifteen your old is murdered hundreds of miles away?

Another, poignant, photo showing some of the messages from his classmates is here.

===
(next day) It looks like Google have done their stuff and people are coming here to find out about Adam. I'd like to do something, so if you were a friend, or just have something to say, do make your voice known in the comments box. Anonymous comments are fine, I won't censor anything. If you have a website, I'll add a link here. Let's remind people Adam was a real person, not a statistic:

Jay's site

Memorial Site
Lynn's UK blog

posted by Ham at 00:50 -- Comments here: 28

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Blewcoat School



Two reasons to visit the Blewcoat School, just by Victoria Station. First, it's an old building, built by a brewer to educate the poor (to 'read, write, cast accounts and the catechism') and it's free to get in. Second, the reason it's free is that it is the National Trust London shop, and they have some nice stuff if you are looking for a more unusual souvenir or gift. a win-win situation.

posted by Ham at 00:10 -- Comments here: 4

Sunday, March 18, 2007

London's Organ



Pollution melts bikes, I'm sure of it.

This does look a litle like strange organ pipes, doesn't it? However, what it is doing is measuring London's lungs - the pollution on our streets. These instruments are just by the side of Marylebone Road. Amusingly, Marylebone Road was the first bypass ever built int he 17th Century so that the steenkin' animals didn't have to go through town.

Here is the output from the site.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 4

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Molten Bikes



I'm fascinated how in all major cities, you can find molten bikes by the roadside. What causes it? I reckon it's the pollution.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Friday, March 16, 2007

The London Eye and 25,000,000 passengers



The London Eye are approaching their 25,000,000th passenger and they thought it would be a good idea to stage a photo competition to mark the event. As, along with almost all other Londoners I've taken the Eye to my heart, I confess to being chuffed to the knickers when I was included in the invite list. The Diamond Geezer has an excellent write up of the detail, so I'll just talk about pictures.

I tried to make my photos different, not an easy task with something so thoroughly photographed from every angle, it was a tough call whether this or the "zoom" one on the Eye website picture is my favourite.from the session (or maybe, the "Lighthouse" one...) There are quite a lot of rather good entries, though. The Eye has been used in several of the Londonists Touch Up London series, too.

Can I encourage you (yes, that's right, you) to upload your photos to the site? This has to be an occasion where the more, the merrier. Come on, join in the fun!

posted by Ham at 00:31 -- Comments here: 7

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Eye do not believe it!



Tonight, I was invited in the illustrious company of the Diamond Geezer and Others to an event to celebrate the 25,000,000 visitor to the Eye. However, their site is not properly online yet and I'm knackered, so I'll leave you with a picture of what you see as you walk up to the Eye for tonight, and I'll carry on the story tomorrow.

posted by Ham at 00:19 -- Comments here: 9

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let this be a warning to you



This area in Wapping used to be called "Execution Dock" and was where pirates were executed. The pub, The Prospect of Whitby keeps the gibbet maintained - I don't suppose they have much of a problem with rowdiness.

posted by Ham at 00:05 -- Comments here: 9

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Local Politics



Forget election frenzy, local politics is all about people who care sufficiently to get involved because they want to make a difference. It doesn't matter which party - left, right, centre. No glory, just hard work. Would you give up your Saturday morning to stand around to listen to people who want to complain?

(Which is what this chap is doign for the Labour party. I should point out that I think all the political parties are as bad as each other. Odd how they (politicians) always start out as people that care. Maybe they still do.)

Yes, we are still in Marchmont Street. I hope that this small photographic slice over the last three days (shot in a random ten minute session) gives you a small flavour of what the area is like

posted by Ham at 00:11 -- Comments here: 5

Monday, March 12, 2007

Well, well, well, you can never tell



Dont tell me this town aint got no heart.
When I can hear it beat out loud!

That line from Grateful Dead's Shakedown Street could have been written for Marchmont Street.

Hemmed in by corporate London on all sides, less than a mile from Oxford Street, this is one of the relics of a city mostly long gone - a place with genuine community. You saw the Ghanain community yesterday, today I've gone into "Perhaps", a small, privately run gift shop where you will find more than just the choice of Mr Hallmark, or Mrs Tie Rack. Their gift card selection is excellent, too. Marchmont Street is also this weeks TWWSI location

I used to live close by. I've watched it change - go now, see and support - before the future claims it for its own.

If you are psychic, you may see the shade of a twenty year old Ham, taking his washing to the laundrette each Sunday with his guitar, occasionally in ludicrous clothes, but that's another story.

Come to think of it, Shakedown Street could be the LDP anthem...

Dont tell me this town ain't got no heart,
you just gotta poke around.

posted by Ham at 00:07 -- Comments here: 4

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Reaching out



When I first came across this scene, with people sitting on the pavement surrounded by odd household goods, I thought I was witnessing some sort of domestic problem. Turns out, nothing could be farther from the truth. What it is, is the the Ghana community in Bloomsbury who send all manner of stuff back to the needy in their country on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they don't have a website yet.

Don't forget, you can visit Ghana too!

posted by Ham at 00:07 -- Comments here: 3

Saturday, March 10, 2007

London's Private Clubs



London used to be full of small private members clubs of varying degrees of respectability. These days, they are much rarer. One such is adverised by this discreet brass plaque - the "Club for Acts and Actors", or the Concert Artistes Association in Bedford Street, Covent Garden. The've been around since 1897. Whenever I see one of these old clubs I feel a small sadness that I'm not part of it.Checkout the website to find out what they offer behind this closed door.

posted by Ham at 01:01 -- Comments here: 7

Friday, March 09, 2007

London's Elephants - No. 14 in a series



Nobody guessed, it's elephant time again. I particularly like this one because it was a visitor to London that brought it to my attention. I had The Adelphi down to visit sometime, and knew of the friezes, but I knew nothing of the elephants. You can find them right around the building.



Click for No 1 in the series.
Click for No 2 in the series.
Click for No 3 in the series.
Click for No 4 in the series.
Click for No 5 in the series.
Click for No 6 in the series.
Click for No 7 in the series.
Click for No 7 1/2 in the series.
Click for No 8 in the series.
Click for No 9 in the series.
Click for No 10 in the series.
Click for No 11 in the series.
Click for No 11 1/2 in the series.
Click for No 12 in the series.
Click for No 13 in the series.

posted by Ham at 00:26 -- Comments here: 3

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Adelphi Building



Tucked away behind the Strand is the Adelphi Building, one of London's Art Deco gems. If you want to see it, you'll need to go looking for it - you can see it from the Southbank, but you will miss most of the detail.

I wonder if anyone will guess why I'll be here again tomorrow.

posted by Ham at 00:13 -- Comments here: 5

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fancy a pizza?



Just opposite the Crown & Sceptre pub (from a few days ago) is an Italian restaurant. I rather liked the friendly chef that was there to persuade you to come in.

posted by Ham at 01:10 -- Comments here: 10

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Drinking Troughs



As you go around London, you will often come across drinking troughs like this. They were put there by the philantropic Victorians that didn't want to see animals suffering. These days, it is hard to imagine herds of animals - cows, sheep, pigs - being driven down the roads that only cars drive down now.

This one, tastefully planted, is in Mornington Crescent, this week's The Way We See It location.

posted by Ham at 00:04 -- Comments here: 5

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunday League Footie



This is where football starts, kicking around a ball on a muddy field on a wet Sunday morning. There still a large number of football pitches around London, and a surprising number of teams.

posted by Ham at 00:13 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Those dreadful shop names



What is it that makes people choose awful names for shops? Mostly it's hairdressers - Curl Up and Dye is one of my favourites, Is this a peculiarly British foible?

posted by Ham at 00:09 -- Comments here: 19

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Handlebar Club



A special treat for those of you who still visit on weekends(yes I know a lot of you only drop in from work, that's OK by me), I present for your edification the Handlebar Club.

I don't think you could get more idiosyncratically British than this. Tonight I visited the monthly meeting of the handlebar club at the Most Excellent pub, the Windsor Castle in Crawford Street. the criteria for memebrship? "a hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities" I couldn't join myself, but I nominated my dad posthumously as a member.

A pub worth visiting any time, and particularly on the first Friday of each month. A nicer bunch of folks you couldn't hope to meet.

posted by Ham at 00:38 -- Comments here: 5

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bunhill Fields



In honour of St David's day (yes, I KNOW they are narcissus, not daffodils, it's called poetic licence) Here is a shot inside Bunhill Fields, a fascinating place that deserves some explanation.

It is the last remaining London burial ground (as distinct from churchyard), a non-conformist cemetary from the early 1700. William Blake, John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe are all buried here.

It is also another contender for one of London's most hidden spaces, you could pass by for years without knowing it is here.

posted by Ham at 01:56 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Theme Day - Men at Work



Today's theme is "Men at Work", so I thought to show you a quintessentially London scene of men at work. You can see the Household Cavalry on guard in Whitehall every day. They stand, seemingly without moving, despite all the antics of the tourists to distract them - especially in summer.

The regiment's history dates back to the 17th century, and they are the most prestigous part of the British Army. Famous Guards include James Blunt, Harry & Wills Wales.

62 Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st March theme, "Men at work", please use the links to below to visit them.


1 (Greenville SC (USA) ) -2 (Hyde (UK) ) -3 (Tenerife (Spain) ) -4 (Albuquerque, NM (USA) ) -5 (Stayton, OR (USA) ) -6 (Rotterdam (NL) ) -7 (Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) ) -8 (London (England) ) -9 (Richmond, VA (USA) ) -10 (Sydney -Sally (Australia) ) -11 (Newcastle upon Tyne (England) ) -12 (Constanta (Romania) ) -13 (Evry (France) ) -14 (Lubbock, TX (USA) ) -15 (Szentes (Hungary) ) -16 (Villigen (Switzerland) ) -17 (Mumbai (India) ) -18 (Tel Aviv (Israel) ) -19 (Twin Cities, MN [USA] ) -20 (Jakarta (Indonesia) ) -21 (Houston -Candice & Megan, TX (USA) ) -22 (Budapest (Hungary) ) -23 (Singapore - Zannnie (Singapore) ) -24 (Dubai (UAE) ) -25 (Singapore -Keropokman (Singapore) ) -26 (Madrid -Dsole (Spain) ) -27 (Mazatlan -Kate (Mexico) ) -28 (Nelson (New Zealand) ) -29 (Vantaa (Finland) ) -30 (Kyoto (Japan) ) -31 (Tokyo (Japan) ) -32 (Joplin, MO (USA) ) -33 (Auckland (New Zealand) ) -34 (Sequim, WA (USA) ) -35 (Menton (France) ) -36 (Minneapolis, MN (USA) ) -37 (Istanbul (Turkey) ) -38 (Sydney -Nathalie (Australia) ) -39 (Sharon, CT (USA) ) -40 (Seattle, WA (USA) ) -41 (Anderson, SC (USA) ) -42 (Monte Carlo, (Monaco) ) -43 (Milano, (Italy) ) -44 (Grenoble (France) ) -45 (Wailea, HI (USA) ) -46 (Guelph, ON (Canada) ) -47 (Melbourne - John (Australia) ) -48 (New York City (USA) [Ming_the_Merciless] ) -49 (Cebu (Philippines) ) -50 (Bandung (Indonesia) ) -51 (Antigua Guatemala (Central America) ) -52 (Hamburg (Germany) ) -53 (London -Jonemo (UK) ) -54 (Hong Kong ) -55 (Stavanger (Norway) ) -56 (Paris (France) ) -57 (Naples, Florida (USA) ) -58 (Saarbr├╝cken (Germany) ) -59 (Shanghai (China) ) -60 (Quito (Ecuador) ) -61 (Zurich (Switzerland) ) -62 (Joensuu ( Finland ) ) -63 (Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) ) -64 (Cheltenham (England) ) -65 (Brussels (Belgium)) -

posted by Ham at 00:07 -- Comments here: 19

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile






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