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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dem Bones

Last Friday in the month? it's Critical Mass bike ride once again. In anticipation of Halloween this skeleton turned up. You might be interested that he and some friends are going to try cycling 1,000 time around Parliament Square on Monday. I confess I can't remember quite why - fundraising for a charity I think - but I thought you might like to meet him.

posted by Ham at 00:42 -- Comments here: 9

Friday, September 29, 2006

All in all, it's just another ad on the wall

This wall outside Andy's guitars is a free space for people looking for a band, and bands looking for people. Bet you'd forgotten all about Sigue Sigue Sputnik, eh? Remeber how bad they were now? This shot gives you a better view of a larger proportion of the wall.

Little bit of trivia? Denmark Street was named in honour of Anne of Denmark, who was imported to be the Wife of James the 1st in the early 17th century. (I think I've got the right one!)

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

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tin Pan Alley

Today and tomorrow I'm going to take you down London's Tin Pan Alley - Denmark Street, Today's shot is inside one of the oldest shops in the road, Andy's Guitar Shop. This is where to bring your guiitar to get it fixed, properly. I bought my own 1950's Eko Maccaferri copy here 25 years ago (gulp - looks like I may have a bit of a classic on my hands). Here, it's all about music. Want to see one of their rare guitars on sale? This is one made by Chris Jagger, Mick Jagger's brother. Yes, that one.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Leopard

London has quite a few odd little sculptures, and this is one of my favorites. Located near St Pauls, this leopard (by Jonathan Kenworthy) sits in splendour high in a small triangle of luxurious planting. I don't suppose most people have noticed it, let alone considered the incongruity.

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Marble Arch

Marble Arch is a god forsaken traffic island with little to commend it. It is the site of the Tyburn Gallows where public hangings took place to the end of the 18th century, and it is a landmark at the end of Oxford Street. Normally, I'd be confined to showing you a picture like this, which is frankly boring.

However, it is also the focus of this week's "The Way We See It" - a weekly assignment where people submit up to three photographs for publication, so if you would like to see my and others interpretation of the site, head on over here (I post photos as "Ham"). I'll be trying to join in this project every week from now on.

posted by Ham at 00:04 -- Comments here: 0

Monday, September 25, 2006

Boot fairs - and a happy ending

In and around London, up and down the country, for many years the boot fair has featured large. Flea market? no - nothing that interesting. But come rain come shine, people turn up to sell and buy - - - stuff.

And here is one such ... stuff. Doesn't the poor soul look apprehensive? What is going to happen to me? Have you ever seen such a worried hippo? The end of the story is here.

What are the flea markets called in your part of the world?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 9

Sunday, September 24, 2006

LIFFE Trader

Whem the sculpture of this futures trader was commissioned, in 1996, I wonder if they realised just how obsolute the phone would look ten years later? You can find this in the street opposite Cannon Street Station. I'll have to try to get a picture of a real live trader for you guys. Here is a short explanation of what futures are.

posted by Ham at 00:09 -- Comments here: 6

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Technology while you wait

A few days ago Eric showed you the A Parisian bus stop, with its fashion display. In London, we are into technology. We just show you the way to the nearest pub. Thought you might be interested in this touch screen computer built into the bus shelter, near Tottenham Court Road.

posted by Ham at 00:24 -- Comments here: 9

Friday, September 22, 2006

No I won't get fooled again!

This shot is taken inside the The Who Shop, East Ham, and the Daleks are plastic, so no need to go and hide behind the sofa. This sort of shop is so typical of the esoteric, individualistic shops that used to proliferate in London, but are now few and far between.

Of course, I'm of that generation that can't think of a Who Shop, without thinking of The Who in general, and Who's Next? specifically. Now doesn't that bring back memories?

posted by Ham at 00:51 -- Comments here: 7

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You can't even give it away.....

London is in the throes of a newspaper war. We are now .... blessed... with three afternoon papers, two of which are free. (review of all three). The consequence? people are now employed to give them away - and they can't even do that.

posted by Ham at 00:51 -- Comments here: 7

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Justice must be seen to be done

Which is why anybody can walk in to any court, any day. But on the weekend, I could take my camera in as well. The Royal Courts of Justice is where civil cases are heard (and the criminal court of appeal).The court notices summarise people's lives, hopes and fears in a couple of lines.

posted by Ham at 00:50 -- Comments here: 8

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Daily Express Building

I took the opportunity of this last weekend's "Open House" to visit one of the most significant Art Deco sites in London, the old Daily Express building at 120 Fleet Street. Other bloggers went elsewhere, but for me, the lure of being able to see inside outweighed all else.

Are you wondering what you are looking at? It's the view of the staircase, not often photographed because of the delights in the hallway. I like it, though.

posted by Ham at 00:35 -- Comments here: 21

Monday, September 18, 2006


Not what you might expect in London. I took this picture today at my local Wanstead Festival, not a country village produce show. Lots of stuff and stalls to see, music to hear and Stan's guided tour around was fascinting and informative.

Postcard prize goes to whoever can identify the most different items of produce in the display.

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 10

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Thames Festival

Today was the first day of the Thames Festival which is one of the best free events of the year. What should I use as the picture? A flowery sculpture? A penguin? A barbecue? No, I thought, the German Beer Tent. Not sure why....

Public service announcement: Anyone living near East London can come along today, Sunday 17th September at 14:00 hrs at Wanstead station for a FREE Blue Badge guided walk in celebration of National Walking Day. Should be fun!

posted by Ham at 00:08 -- Comments here: 12

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A small shrine

London streets are dangerous, like any other city these days. After each accident, flowers seem to blossom overnight, and then slowly wither over the ensuing years. Strapped to lamposts and railings they look like sacrifices to the unheeding gods.

This one is a little different. Paper boy William was knocked off his bike and killed three years ago, but every time I go past there are always fresh flowers. Tonight as I drove by, there was a lit candle as well so I stopped to capture it for you. As I was taking the photo a stranger came up and shared the story of his young nephew, who died in a road accident in Liverpool. So spare a thought for William and his story, and take care.

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

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mr or Miss Whiplash

Today, we're back in the East End, in one of the "Ragged Schools", the building was recently saved and opened as a museum. This is where the kids without shoes went to learn, so they could better themselves from the deperate existence of their parents.

The museum is open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays (some Sundays) and worth a visit, if only to talk to the volunteers who staff it. Here are two more pictures from inside, that may stir one or two memories.

That cane wan't just for show. People say "I was given the cane in school and it did me no harm" (I was too, and I don't think it did). On the other hand, it may not have done much good. Do you think we're better off without corporal punishment?

posted by Ham at 01:32 -- Comments here: 13

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Along Hatton Garden

These figures can be seen as you walk down Hatton Garden, London's gold and jewelery sector. The building has quite a history. Built as a church after the Great Fire in 1666, it became a charity school around 1700, from when these children in 18th Century costume date. The building was damaged in WWII, but the statues had been sent away for safe keeping. the building has been restored, and the statues returned. I don't know if you'll be able to make out in the large photo, but the boy is holding a bible and the girl a piece of writing. The building is now offices.

Another take on charity schools tomorrow.

posted by Ham at 12:02 -- Comments here: 4

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dah'n the Roman

The Roman Road market is in the heart of the East End,and used to be THE place to buy cheap fashion. These days, it's about as good as its website - nothing much there. You'll find few stalls as long standing as this one, when a while ago it used to be normal for father to hand over to son. The other thing that surprised me on Saturday, was that there were no market cries. Times change.

Poking around for this post, I did find Barry Oneofff's site blog and East End Forum. He seems to be the real thing, an old time East Ender.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Multicultural London, No 2 in a series

I have no idea what this shop does, or what it sells. I know some of you speak Russian - put me out of my misery. Do other cities have shops that are signed completely in a foreign language?

posted by Ham at 12:04 -- Comments here: 15

Monday, September 11, 2006

A striking picture

I don't suppose that I'm the only one to be amused that one of the first strikes was at a match factory.

Only, if you worked there, you didn't have much to laugh at. You earned around 6 shillings (less than £15/$20 at TODAY'S rates) and you worked in filthy and dangerous conditions. You may have been one of the outworkers who made matchboxes, in which case you had to make around 1,000 a day for that money. The story is told of a mathbox maker giving evidence in court - she couldn't stop her hands going through the motions of making the boxes, folding and folding. This page has an image of a family making matchboxes.

So, here is the old Bryant & May match factory in Fairfield Road, which finally closed down in 1979. It has now been converted into luxury flats. With a "leisure Centre". How times have changed.

As ever, the Diamond Geezer got there first and has written a good precis, and has some interesting links, I'd urge you to read some.

Here is a picture of the girls from that time. Notice their hats. One lovely bit of London Trivia is that for all their poverty these girls used to join what were called "Feather Clubs", into which they would pay. When the fund had enough money, they would buy a hat which would then be shared around. And not just ordinary hats, but grand, flowery ones. I like that. Read about the Match Girls here.

Two more pics.

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

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Covent Garden, some years on

In one of my very first posts on this blog, I used a picture I had taken in Covent Garden about twenty years ago. I went back recently and tried to recreate it, here is the result. I prefer the old one - what do you think?

posted by Ham at 23:36 -- Comments here: 16

Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside

Or, Doing the Lambeth Walk, or Following the Van - you name it. Tonight, Mrs Ham & I went to our local amateur dramatic society (the Aldersbrook Players) Old Time Music Hall night. A good time was had by all and I have posted all the pictures here

posted by Ham at 02:06 -- Comments here: 1

Friday, September 08, 2006

How to park your police car

Riding to work this morning I came across this scene and had to share it with you. The police car was driving down the wrong side of the road when the woman in the blue car turned right in front of it. You can see what happened next.

posted by Ham at 12:03 -- Comments here: 15

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What's it like to own the world?

Or to be known as Britain's richest individual? The Duke of Westminster is the only one who knows. The following is on the plaque of his ancestor's statue in Grosvenor Square.

In the seventeenth Century, Sir Thomas Grosvenor married Mary Davies, a London Heiress. Her dowry was part of the manor of Ebury - the land devloped by their successors as Mayfair in the Eighteenth Century, followed by Belgravia and Pimlico in the nineteenth century.

In 1979 Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor became the 6th Duke of Westminster. He comissioned this statue in 1997.

The hounds on the monument are talbot dogs, introduced to this country by the Normans as hunting dogs. Now extinct, they were the ancestral stock of the modern bloodhound.

Talbot dogs were added to the Grosvenor coat of arms in the seventeenth century. The gold wheatsheaf, known in heraldry as a 'Garb' appeared on the coat of arms for the first time in 1398.

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

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Victoria and Albert

Yes, this is the Albert Memorial. Queen Victoria went in for grand gestures in a big way, and her love for her cousin and husband is marked in many places throughout London.

This memorial summarises the whole of the Victorian era, with its obsession with image and with Empire. The statue groups on each corner are representative of Europe, America, Africa and Asia (the Elephant)To put the perspective on this, Asia and the elephant is one of the outer groups of staues,in this picture on the far right.

Oh yeah, this is right in the heart of London.

posted by Ham at 00:03 -- Comments here: 7

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

London's Elephants - No 9 in a series

Todays elephant post is going to be a small quiz as well. If you are a Londoner, or even if you have visited London you have probably seen this elephant without realising it. But where is it, do you know? A London Daily Photo Postcard Prize to the first with the right answer. A second Postcard prize to anyone who knows the four letter word associated with this. More general pic and info tomorrow.

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.

posted by Ham at 00:55 -- Comments here: 10

Monday, September 04, 2006

Now that's what I call a back garden

If you are the Queen, St James' Park is your back garden. Often overlooked by visitors and Londoners alike, it is the most peaceful and pretty of London's Parks. I'm not the only one who feels that way.

posted by Ham at 00:50 -- Comments here: 6

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Somewhere, anywhere, in London

Round the corner from the demo, across from the Houses of Parliament, were these two Sudanese gents. I thought it made a good photo.

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

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Have you seen this criminal?

Because he started his protest before the time on his permit. Makes it sound as if I live in a tin-pot dictator state, doesn't it? Friday night I joined in the first Mass Lone Demonstration in Parliament Square. Under a new law, anyone who protests within a kilometer of the houses of Parliament, without a permit, can be arrested - and people have been. It would appear that the Police also deemed a cake with "Peace" on it a political statement and insisted it be removed. So, to highlight its absurdity and the erosion of our civil liberties, over a hundred people turned up at a police station and applied for individual permits to demonstrate between 6 and 7 last night.

The comedian Mark Thomas started this campaign against SOCPA legislation, I saw it picked up by Rachel, and there are many others who also feel strongly about this.

I have a series of pictures from the event here, but there are quite a lot. A small selection of the more interesting ones are on My Other Stuff

posted by Ham at 02:09 -- Comments here: 10

Friday, September 01, 2006

Theme Day - Doorways!

(Anyone looking for the Mass Lone Demo stuff, come back tomorrow or visit Gub Gub's Blog

Today's theme for the City Daily Photobloggers is Doorways.

I thought about what to do for this theme day, and suddenly it came to me - I had to show you the Famous London Doorway I couldn't photograph - 10 Downing Street! I think I must be showing my age by remembering when you could walk right up to it.

(Later: Realising that some may not know where No. 10 Downing Street is, here is the view along the street. This is just the barrier that stops you entering the road.)

44 ummm 45 Awww.... Lots and lots of Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st September theme, please use the links to below to visit them.

Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.

1 Porto - 2 Copenhagen - 3 Trier - 4 Hyde - 5 Greenville - 6 Trondheim - 7 Manila - 8 Stayton - 9 St Paul - 10 Alexandria - 11 Kuala Lumpur - 12 Guadalajara - 13 Szentes - 14 Sydney - 15 Buenavista del Norte - 16 Sharon - 17 Albuquerque - 18 Washington - 19 Chattanooga - 20 Antigua - 21 Rotterdam - 22 Portsmouth - 23 Ryde - 24 Saarbrücken - 25 London - 26 Newcastle - 27 Singapore - 28 Aliso Viejo - 29 Seattle - 30 Delta - 31 San Diego - 32 Jakarta - 33 Vallauris - 34 Brussels - 35 Freemont - 36 Stavanger - 37 Paris - 38 Sainte Maxime - 39 Hong Kong - 40 Oulu - 41 Trujillo - 42 Berlin - 43 Vanta - 44 Melbourne - 45 Edinburgh - 46 Nottingham - 47 Dubai - 48 Budapest - 49 Santiago

posted by Ham at 00:41 -- Comments here: 17

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


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