Friday, June 30, 2006

The Bath House, Dunbridge Street

This Bath House in in Dunbridge Street in the East End. It dates from the times when people did not have baths in their houses, so once every week, or maybe longer, they would visit one of hte many bath houses. Hard to imagine time like that now. Some bath houses were also steam rooms, and became a social meeting spot.

These now, are turned into private flats, you can rent one here. What they don't tell you is that rumour has it that one of the notorious Kray twins murdered victims is underneath the big chimney you can see here. You can read some more about it here, and about another place that might have a body here.

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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

String Quartet, anyone?

In Covent Garden, there are always performers of different sorts about. The cafe in the basement normally have classical music, sometimes opera, maybe guitar, today: a string quartet. A very civilised way to have a cup of tea and a cream cake in the afternoon.

Seems top-down photos are all the rage.

posted by Ham at 01:11 -- Comments here: 11

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The London Oasis

I love bringing you exiting things, and here is a one for the books. The London Oasis. It is "A kinetic structure which harnesses and recycles natural resources for the benefit of Londoners". You sit down, pull the hood down and the noise and hustle of the city are replaced by cool air and birdsong.

Do get down to Clerkenwell Green and try it out while it is still there over the next two and a half weeks.

Another pic is here.

posted by Ham at 01:08 -- Comments here: 11

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The City of London has undergone spectacular change of recent years, moving from building the dreary concrete boxes in the sixties and seventies to exciting new projects today. None more so than this building, Originally built in 67 as Brittanic House, an example of the worst design, it has been reborn as CityPoint. This shows a full view of the building - you need a serious architectural camera to take this.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Monday, June 26, 2006

London's Elephants - No. 7 in the series

London's Elephants again! This one has to be the least known, tucked away in Crouch End. This topiary elephant is so quintessentially british, I love it. Somewhat difficlut to get a clear shot with all the cars and the roadworks, here is another view.
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.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 13

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Navigator, Hays Galleria

This scuplture is inside Hays Galleria, itself a rather nice shopping and eating arcade just by the London Dungeon (and a lot of other places you've seen here).

What isn't obvious is that the paddles turn, oars swing and water sprays down like rain. David Kemp is the artist of the piece. He works a lot with found object, and his works seem always to contain humour.

posted by Ham at 00:29 -- Comments here: 3

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Who shelled out for this?

This strange hut in a very small public garden outside Victoria Station.It is one of two, and I have no idea why they are covered in shells.

("Shelled out" is colloquial English for "paid")

posted by Ham at 00:20 -- Comments here: 13

Friday, June 23, 2006

Aladdins Cave

De Winter's Upholders is a soft furnishing shop in Kensington Church Street is a true Aladdin's Cave. It's a family business that's been here for 40 years, where the only thing on the web is a spider. OK, I confess, there's a little more to it. I used to help out here in the very early eighties. and this chap came in with these astonishing designs for clothes as part of his degree, and he was looking for luxurios furnishing fabrics to make them with. I helped him find them. He was John Galliano.

posted by Ham at 01:25 -- Comments here: 5

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You've got mail

....and a Webcam and MSN.....

Top tip for the traveller in London with a laptop. Wander around in an alleyway behind offices and shops, pretty soon you'll pick up free WiFi, and off you go. I left this guy with the URL of London Daily Photo, I hope he drops by and says hi!

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 12

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Little Bit of Nostalgia

You might have thought that a shop just by Victoria station could not have avoided several makeovers through the years. But the "Belgravia Cigaretta Coy" sign looks to be from the twenties, and the cigarette ads in the top window look to date from the sixties and seventies. How much longer, I wonder?

posted by Ham at 00:28 -- Comments here: 4

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I like this detail of a discomfited Uncle Sam from the mural on the side of Cubana, a restaurant in Waterloo. A wider view is here.

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

Monday, June 19, 2006


I'm back in Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge today and showing you a display in a shop called egg, of the work of Karen Downing. Terence Conran lists egg as one of his favorite shops, "A wonderful quirky mix of objects of desire". I agree. Here is a picture of their frontage.

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

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Exmouth Market

Scott in Virginia asked for a picture of Exmouth Market, a reecntly revitalised and now trendy and bustling area of London. This is Brindisa delicatessen and Moro restaurant, a little corner of Spanish cuisine in London.
Don't forget you can visit Barcelona and Madrid on the Daily Photo Blogs without leaving your chair.

posted by Ham at 07:07 -- Comments here: 1

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Patricia Roberts

Do you knit? If you don't - don't switch off! Beacause these garments are in Patricia Roberts shop, in Knightsbridge. She creates the most exquisite garments in wool and her patterns are pure engineering; it was probably that factor that got me started as a knitter in the early eighties. The way the knitting process turns the 1-dimensional wool into a 2-dimensional fabric, and then magically into a structured, 3-d garment is a mathematical joy to behold. Two more pictures here and here.

posted by Ham at 01:25 -- Comments here: 6

Friday, June 16, 2006

Beating Retreat

I'm grateful to LDP reader Peter who was at today's Beating Retreat ceremony. It was in front of the Duke of Edinburgh, who has just turned 85. Peter sent me this photo, and I am pleased to present it to you. If you haven't heard the DofE stories before, enjoy this list of his gaffes. This was taken at Horseguards parade, where a few weeks a go the Sultans Elephant was trumpeting about.

posted by Ham at 00:23 -- Comments here: 11

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Another Good Guy

Yesterday, I mentioned Lord Shaftsbury, today meet William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. Curously, Shaftsbury hated him and labelled him the Anti-Christ, because Booth came to believe that women could preach as well as men (his wife convinced him of that!). This statue is in whitechapel Road, close by the mission.

The Salvation Army is now worldwide and continues to provide support for those without homes or hope.

posted by Ham at 00:43 -- Comments here: 4

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Little Green Huts

You pass these odd little green huts around London, and you may have wondered what they are. They are cafes for London cabbies, put up at the end of the 19th Century, by the philantrophist Lord Shaftesbury (he was really one of the good guys) and his friends. The reason that they are the size they are is because the police insisted that they could be no larger than a horse and cart. Nowdays, they are all listed buildings, but mostly still in use by cabbies. This is the plaque on this one in Russell Square, just next to Tiruvalluvar.

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 11

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast is a surprise to people, finding a warship in the shadow of Tower Bridge. It has an extensive active history, and you can visit it. If you are lucky, you may get shown round by one of the ex sailors that served on her. A couple of years back I had a private tour like that on the evening my friend had his 50th birthday party on board.

posted by Ham at 00:27 -- Comments here: 1

Monday, June 12, 2006

Village Green Cricket

Village Green cricket is alive and well. I took this picture on Woodford Green, the other end from where I took this. For those people who would like to understand how the game is played, this should help. Here's a curiosity, as far as I know, cricket is the only game to have laws, not rules.

posted by Ham at 00:18 -- Comments here: 8

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Walthamstow Assembly Hall

The Walthamstow Asembly Hall is another strong candidate for the now-I've-seen-a-picture-no-need-to-go-there gold award 2006. Set in a barren suburban landscape with little to recommned it, the thirties built building at least makes a reasonable photograph. Also, it is noted for it's accoustics, so quite a number of orchestras are recorded here.

posted by Ham at 00:05 -- Comments here: 6

Saturday, June 10, 2006


One of the things I like about doing this blog is finding out about things that have passed me by. This statue of Tiruvalluvar stands in a quiet corner by the School for Oriental and African Studies off Russell Square. I didn't know who he was or that he was a Tamil Philosopher from the 5th Century BC, who said things like "The ignorant are like useless, brackish soil, they exist and that is all". Kind of direct, eh?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 11

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rendez vous with more dp bloggers

As the Paris Blogger Bash draws closer, the stories start coming out. First, we have Eric telling three charming women to arrive on Wednesday when the party is on Friday (I'd like to state it clearly here and now that I do not suspect Eric of any nefarious motives, I'm certain it was a simple administrative error). Then Mark let slip that he'd been entertaining some bloggers. Now I find that some more bloggers, including Mr Vortigen have set up a party in Magma Books in London (must be cousins, look at the similariities). I'm confused.

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

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Can you spot the odd man out?

This scene is part of More London, a new development by Tower Bridge and City Hall. There's quie a lot to see here, so I'll leave you with this photo for today and wander back for some show and tell over the days to come.

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

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ring the changes

Big Ben fell silent today for repairs (at least the quarter hour strikes have). The people that are repairing it are those that made the bells in the first instance, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the oldest foundry in the world it has been operating in Whitechapel from 1420.You can read the history and hear the chimes of Big Ben here.

This shot is of the workshop, where the bell (actually, the bell hammer) will be fixed. I think I'm going to have to come back here and show you more.

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 7

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What's so special about this?

Well, you had to be there (Wells Street, W1) really, and I was. See that door in the middle of "SohoJapan"? It leads upstairs to some flats, including one where your very own Ham lived for a while back in the late seventies. The restaurant used to be Wolsey's Wine Bar, and the Barrow Poets used to congregate there, reciting and playing guitar until the early hours. The Pheasant Plucker's Song is probably their best known.

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 2

Monday, June 05, 2006

Brian the Snail

Today's little bit of grafitti sparks a Magic Roundabout-fest. Located in the Seven Sisters Road, I've seen it there for the past 35 years, not sure whether it is meant to be Brian. Looking around for Magic Roundabout sites, I discovered there are some strange ones (what IS going on in that last photo?) but there are also normal ones.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Greenwich Market

The Greenwich Market is one of the richest arts and crafts markets in London. I was particularly taken by these images of Buddha

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

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Now which of you around in the seventies did not have a Lava Lamp? I know I did. The Mathmos company shop is in Old Street, EC1, and their website is here.

posted by Ham at 00:27 -- Comments here: 4

Friday, June 02, 2006

Those plaques don't polish themselves

A shot I grabbed outside a grand place in Devonshore Street. What happens when the workers go home? the workers start.

posted by Ham at 12:03 -- Comments here: 4

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Theme of the day: parking charges

Several daily photo sites will be posting about their parking charges today. Now London is clearly up with NYC in the top ranks - the Congestion Charge is £8 before you start. over £40 is the norm, and I have seen car parks charging £80 a day. But this picture looks as if it is of a 4x4 getting a parking ticket? Look closer and you may notice that it is actually one of this organisation's - spoof tickets pointing out to 4x4 drivers what a poor choice they have made. This page will let you print out your own - go on, you know you want to!

In the interests of balance, this article from Nissan puts the counter argument. All it does for me is re-enforce the idea that all the rest of them are ridiculous. (The campaign suggests that the smaller 4x4's should not be targetted, nor those that are obviously/probably for reasons of need.)

Today's change is off-site, a new blog hits the streets.

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

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

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