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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London Starts Here

Just outside Victoria Station is an information stand that is funded by local businesses, and it appears well used and appreciated. It did amuse me, though, that one of the assistants was Joe, probably from London, the other was Paolo, who was definitely not. They're right - London starts here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Monday, July 30, 2012

Catering Concession

In a time when what you can eat inside the Olympic Park is governed by how much the provider has paid for their concession, it is a relief to still see Billy Bunter's 24 hour food stall still operating in the Mile End Road

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hello World

And welcome to London. On Saturday night, I and around half the UK population tuned in to see the opening ceremony for the Olympics, it was an absolute triumph. It must have been absolutely fantastic to be there, but it was also designed to be televised; by Danny Boyle who knows a thing or two about these things. Do yourself a favour, if you haven't seen it, watch the torch lighting part, if you have just watch it again, here: Genius.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?

It was the Queen's Golden Jubilee that saw this installed, ten years ago. A sundial, you stand nearest the date indicated and read the time off on the outside. Of course you then have to adjust for BST, but people seem to mind - especially since there is sun rather than rain at the moment.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beware the One Eyed Monster

The Olympic mascots are popping up all over the place. I'd love to say I've changed my mind and think they are endearing, appealing or in anyway sporting, but I haven't and I don't. Still, I suppose we have to have a mascot (why? - oh yes, so we can sell them) and at least this can be used to threaten little children with.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Smile for the Camera

I've noted before how some visitors from Asian countries, apparently on their honeymoon, seem to recreate their wedding photos in and around Westminster. Not sure why, but it looks fun for all concerned. The gent appears to be in uniform, possibly air force (I can see wings in the original), from the way they are sitting apart, I'd guess Malaysia, but I may be way off the mark. I didn't notice when I was taking the shot how much she seems to be enjoying the moment.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Westminster Cathedral

Many think that Westminster Abbey (in yesterday's photo) is Westminster Cathedral, but it isn't. The Cathedral is a little down the road, just here. The Abbey dates back one way or the other to 1042, this Cathedral to 1895. I confess I can't think of Westminster Cathedral without thinking of the tune Winchester Cathedral (watch the video for some interesting "digital" effects to his voice). Of course, the Cathedral is more properly famous for the choir and various other God stuff.

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Westminster Abbey

Somewhere along the line I've avoided a straight shot of Westminster Abbey, now fixed. I was there on Sunday with tourists streaming around like ants. However, the bells were ringing, which made it so much better. I took a short video so you could share that. The bells you can hear are actually in St Margarets Church next door. You can't have enough churches (it would appear)

St Margarets Church Bells, Westminster from Ham on Vimeo.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Precious!!!

Those rings, eh? It's almost upon us, riding through town on Sunday the huge number of out-of-towners is becoming evident. This is goign to be good.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cityscape - Docklands from Bow

Just a picture from London.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Something for Everbody

..Or nobody.

The kids looking through playstation games, the dodgy print, the naked dolls. Sunglasses. It's all fair game at a market. There's always a sense that interesting stuff happens in a market, and nowhere more so than Brick Lane, or the side streets off.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunday in a Park with George

Wandering around the streets behind Brick Lane one Sunday, I came across this gent and his dog, he was paying rather well. It reminded me of the Sondheim Musical, based on the Seurat painting. I love both.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Door To Nowhere

Safely fenced off from the Crossrail works behind, this doorway in Stepney Green is all that's left of.... something, I don't know what. I'd like to imagine it might take you to Narnia, but the nearest to makebelieve in the hereabouts are the train timetables in the stations.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Come on Baby Light my Fire

The entire length of the bridge taking people into the Olympic park has been covered with images of people enjoying the Olympic torch relay and... a certain brand of fizzy drink. A respected commenter pointed out yesterday that alleviating costs from the public purse should surely be a good thing. Well, yes. But I can't help but think that a soul has been sold here, and quite cheaply. You can't buy tickets if you don't have our magic card. You can't buy food if it isn't out branded goods. We ARE worth more than that. And if you are asking yourself, I can see no trace of fizzy-drink-brand here, I did have to work to take it that way.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

YOU looking at ME???

Amusing, but eminently practical, there are people standing all around the way to the Olympic site whose only job it to point the way to the Olympic Park. Of course it would be uncharitable of me to think that, had the way to the park not been to funnel people through a labyrinth of shops they wouldn't need any of this...

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stairway To Heaven

The Bethnal Green Disaster of 1943 is still remembered by quite a few, to quote:
On 3 March 1943 a crowd of people entered Bethnal Green tube station which was used at the time as an air-raid shelter. After the searchlights went on and an anti-aircraft battery a few hundred yards away in Victoria Park launched a salvo of a new type of anti-aircraft rockets the crowd surged forward. Someone tripped on the stairs causing many others to fall. 300 people were crushed into the stairwell within a few seconds, 173 of them died and over 90 were injured. The worst civilian disaster of the 2nd World War.

Soon, there will be a memorial to replace these ad hoc tributes.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jubilee Year

You'll find this inscription just outside St Pauls, as it is where Queen Victoria stopped when she was celebrating her jubilee. You might think that is curious language, but in contrast to the current monarch, she wasn't well enough to get out of the coach, so all it did was stop.....

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Story of a Squat

There's no question that some sqatting is plain wrong, but sometimes you can't help but feel a bit of sympathy.

This elegant building (Bedford House in Quaker Street, E1) was built by a Quaker who had formed "the Society for Lessening the Causes of Juvenile Delinquency", much work was done to alleviate poverty among the local population and educational courses, lectures and religious meetings were held here. They moved out, it was converted for industrial use for several years but has stood empty for decades.

Last year a group of responsible squatters moved in, and undertook a lot of repairs. They turned the building into a cultural centre once again. Didn't take long though, until they were thrown out.

Now it stands empty again.

posted by Ham at 07:33 -- Comments here: 2

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hygiene is Important

As I've noted before, there is a resurgence of creative graffiti about town. Not that sure what all of it is about but it is fun.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arnold Circus

It's not very often I watch TV, but I caught a program "The Secret History of our Streets" which fascinated me. The subject this week was Arnold Circus, how it came into being and how it has changed over the last 120 years. Let me whet your appetite: It was the first Council Housing Estate in the country; built with sufficient homes to house all of the slum dwellers that had lived there previously, none did.

You can watch the program for the next seven days here, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'll have a half

I was stopped off in the Three Crowns behind Jermyn Street today (a traditional vennue in the heart of London, to be recommended), when I came across this pair of octogenarians - nonagenarians? - having a quiet half. They are probably local residents, and have quite possibly been doing the same for some years.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pop Up Art

Just in time for the Olympics, there are pieces of public art popping up all over the place. You wouldn't guess that this was Bow, would you? I'm sure it's better than nothing (actually, I'm not) but it does smack of desperation - "Quick lets get some Art here" On the subject is there any other word as short that is so well used with such disparate meanings? Bow: A knot, bending from the waist, front of a ship, a weapon/used to make sound on strings, a place. More meanings than letters.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Monday, July 09, 2012

St John on Bethnal Green

Yesterday's artwork can be found just inside St John on Bethnal Green church. This church speaks to a time back in 1826 when Bethnal Green was more substantial an area. This Grade 1 listed building was designed by John Soane, it is hard to imagine the building being filled these days; they are clearly searching for ways to make the church relevant today. You can read a brief history here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Where do you think this is?

I was surprised to find this where I did, and I thought it made for a great image. I will reveal all tomorrow.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Pepys' Pew

If you needed another reason to get to St Olave's, then it might be to see Pepys' Pew. This was his church, a Navy church, and you can rest your posterior in the same place. Gives a great sense of continuity, that. While it has very recently come to an end, the re-run of Pepys' diary as a blogger can be found here and is very entertaining, I would recommend a browse of the archives..

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Friday, July 06, 2012

Carving out a Niche

If you get as far as St Olave's Church to look at the bones above the door (yesterday), do take the time to go inside. It is, to use a hackneys phrase, a little gem. This here is the lectern, said to be carved by Grinling Gibbons at the beginning of the 18th Century. Me? I'm not so sure. Although the work is astonishing, it looks as if it might have be done by one of his students to me. Maybe I'm being a bit unfair, what do you think?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Dem Bones

If you come across this entrance to St Olave's Church in Seething Lane unprepared, you may be a little surprised. They are here because the churchyard was used to bury Plague victims - look at the date and you will see that it pre-dates the Great Plague - there were too many, then.

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

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I'm getting excited

I've now got all my tickets, for the Olympics and Paralympics, and I'm really getting excited. The idea of being able to walk from my house to the stadium with the eyes of the world watching is rather fun. This is going to be great!

posted by Ham at 01:03 -- Comments here: 7

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Phone Box Art

The BT ArtBox project is commemorating 25 years of Childline, one of the very best charity organisations giving children a voice, and an ear to listen. There are a number of artworks inspired by the phonebox all around London, they are all available to buy.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Monday, July 02, 2012

Clocking Off

This magnificent clock is to be found on the Express Newspaper building in Fleet Street, arguably one of the best Deco buildings in London. The paper is no longer here, but the clock is, and the time is correct, too.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Sunday, July 01, 2012

July Theme Day - Chimneys

It's the first of the month, and so another worldwide city theme day. Unfortunately, due to unfriendly people the portal is down, so it's hard to link to others. Try some of my links on the right (a lot of which may well be outdated) for a journey round the world. Edit: is the place to find others for the theme day this month.

This "Chimney" is the ventilation shaft to a deep level shelter in Southwark, which also commemorates the story of Violette Szabo, a real-life spy whose story is stranger than fiction.

posted by Ham at 00:05 -- Comments here: 5

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


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