A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

Archive for the tag “‘Boris Bikes’”

A hot summer’s day in London Town…

For those of us whose homes lie on the Northern Line of London’s Tube network, we’ve been experiencing a lot of weekend engineering work this year, and that was true again this weekend, with no trains running on the Northern Line between East Finchley and central London (on the High Barnet Branch) nor any trains running between Golders Green and central London (on the Edgware Branch). So it was, I found myself on a crowded Replacement Bus Service between East Finchley and St Pancras today, and once we’d all been disgorged into Midland Road, I decided I’d take a nostalgic ramble southwards towards the river, taking a few pictures along the way…

First stop was a visit to the courtyard of the British Library, which is just to the west of St Pancras Station on the northern side of the Euston Road. Here, I stumbled across a display by some Morris Men, as part of an event called The Full English Discovery Day…

BritishLibrary0

BritishLibrary1

BritishLibrary2

Along with the Morris Men, other displays included as part of this Full English Discovery Day, were traditional English entertainments such as Maypole Dancing, but as I was intending to pay a visit to Trafalgar Square for the day’s event there, the London Evening Standard’s ‘Readathon’, I left the courtyard soon after the Morris Men finished their performance. However, before leaving, I took a couple of photos of Eduardo Paolozzi’s 1995 wonderful statue of ‘Newton, after Blake’…

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Newton2

Then, across the Euston Road, for a photo of St Pancras Station, before continuing the journey southwards..

One of the glories of English railway architecture, St Pancras Station, as seen from the far side of the Euston Road...

One of the glories of English railway architecture, St Pancras Station, as seen from the far side of the Euston Road…

Given the day’s heat, at some point in the afternoon I would inevitably be taking some liquid refreshment, but as tempting as it was, I gave ‘Mabels Tavern’ a miss, as I wanted to make sure I got to Trafalgar Square by four o’clock or soon after…

'Mabel's Tavern' a Shepherd Neame (a Kentish Brewer) pub on the corner of Mabledon Place and Flaxman Terrace...

‘Mabel’s Tavern’ a Shepherd Neame (a Kentish Brewer) pub on the corner of Mabledon Place and Flaxman Terrace…

I must confess here that until today, I had never even heard of the man celebrated in this statue in Cartwright Gardens, but he was evidently a man way ahead of his time in his political opinions :)…

John Cartwright (1740-1824), an English political radical...

John Cartwright (1740-1824), an English political radical…

On I rambled southwards, stopping off in Brunswick Square to buy some food and water in Waitrose, before continuing on past Russell Square, to Holborn Tube station, at the top of Kingsway. Between 1988 and 1996, Kingsway was my working address, and I have many happy memories from those years :)…

The door of St Anselm and St Caecilia's Roman Catholic Church in Kingsway, London, WC2

The door of St Anselm and St Caecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Kingsway, London, WC2

When working in this area, I spent countless lunchtime hours visiting Covent Garden to the west, either for lunch or visiting the market stalls there, and the following building, is on the Covent Garden side of Kingsway, at 1, Kemble Street. It’s called Space House, and is a Richard Seifert building dating from 1962…

Space House, as seen from the west...

Space House, as seen from the west…

And in nearby Wild Street, I found this vehicle parked…;)…

Pink Limousine, Wild Street, London, WC2

Pink Limousine, Wild Street, London, WC2

And a few more WC2 places in the vicinity…

Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2

Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2

Some 'Boris Bikes', awaiting hirers...

Some ‘Boris Bikes’, awaiting hirers…

'War Horse', Parker Street, WC2...

‘War Horse’, Parker Street, WC2…

Ballet pumps, in a shop window of one of the many shops selling dance-wear in the Covent Garden area...

Ballet pumps, in a shop window of one of the many shops selling dance-wear in the Covent Garden area…

Monmouth Street, WC2, in the heart of London's Theatre-land...

Monmouth Street, WC2, in the heart of London’s Theatre-land…

I eventually wended my way down to Trafalgar Square, arriving well after four o’clock, and just managed to capture this shot of the author Kathy Lette as she was leaving the ‘Readathon’ stage…

Kathy Lette, saying her farewells after doing her bit for 'Readathon'..

Kathy Lette, saying her farewells after doing her bit for ‘Readathon’..

The following photos show the cast of ‘Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain’ (Benedict Martin and Lauryn Redding) doing their performance of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on the ‘Readathon’ stage. The two are currently performing ‘Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain’ at the nearby Garrick Theatre, at the bottom of the Charing Cross Road…

Henry and Anne get introduced to one another...

Henry and Anne get introduced to one another…

Some kind of wooing going on...;)...

Some kind of wooing going on…;)…

...but all good things come to an end... :(...

…but all good things come to an end… :(…

Methinks it'd take more than a sparrowhawk to frighten this pigeon away from Trafalgar Square..;)...

Methinks it’d take more than a sparrowhawk to frighten this pigeon away from Trafalgar Square..;)…

Two double-deckers, one old, one new, in front of Charing Cross Station...

Two double-deckers, one old, one new, in front of Charing Cross Station…

Embankment Tube Station, at the southern end of Villiers Street...

Embankment Tube Station, at the southern end of Villiers Street…

The band performing in the 'With Love from Lambeth' festival in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, late on Saturday afternoon...

The band performing in the ‘With Love from Lambeth’ festival in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, late on Saturday afternoon…

Alas, I never discovered the band or this singer's name, but she did some good covers of stuff like 'Summertime (When the Living is Easy)' and Etta James' 'At Last'... :)

Alas, I never discovered the band or this singer’s name, but she did some good covers of stuff like ‘Summertime (When the Living is Easy)’ and Etta James’ ‘At Last’… 🙂

A model of the 1951 Festival of Britain site, near the front of the Royal Festival Hall...

A model of the 1951 Festival of Britain site, near the front of the Royal Festival Hall…

Overlooking the Thames at the Members' Bar at the Royal Festival Hall

Overlooking the Thames at the Members’ Bar at the Royal Festival Hall

Another view from the Members' Bar...

Another view from the Members’ Bar…

A bronze head on a wall of the Members' Bar...

A bronze head on a wall of the Members’ Bar…

Duly refreshed, I went outside to have a look around the South Bank towards the London Eye...

Duly refreshed, I went outside to have a look around the South Bank towards the London Eye…

In the foreground, a modern sculpture called the 'Jubilee Oracle', and in the distant yonder, The Houses of Parliament...

In the foreground, a modern sculpture called the ‘Jubilee Oracle’, and in the distant yonder, The Houses of Parliament…

Susana Silva, a Portuguese singer, and South Bank busker...

Susana Silva, a Portuguese singer, and South Bank busker…

The said Susana, in her South Bank context...

The said Susana, in her South Bank context…

The work of a portrait sketch artist on Hungerford Bridge...

The work of a portrait sketch artist on Hungerford Bridge…

View upstream from Hungerford Bridge...

View upstream from Hungerford Bridge…

And finally, Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20, which I wandered through after catching a number 34 bus to Barnet Church, from Arnos Grove Tube Station on the Piccadilly Line...

And finally, Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20, which I wandered through after catching a number 34 bus to Barnet Church, from Arnos Grove Tube Station on the Piccadilly Line…

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A snowy walk from London Bridge upstream…

I was up with the lark this morning, to accompany my partner to Gatwick Airport, for her midday flight to Beijing, to see in the Chinese New Year with her family. After we’d said our zai jians I caught a train up to London Bridge, and then wandered westwards, upstream towards Charing Cross, which is a pleasant ramble through some historic parts of London…and the falling snow was no deterrent at all ;). So here we go :)…

Standing on a deserted London Bridge, looking towards The Shard, London's tallest building, which opens its viewing platforms to the public next month...

Standing on a deserted London Bridge, looking towards The Shard, London’s tallest building, which opens its viewing platforms to the public next month…

Misty view downstream from London Bridge, towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge...

Misty view downstream from London Bridge, towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge…

St. Paul's Cathedral, as seen from the east...

St. Paul’s Cathedral, as seen from the east…

The following picture deserves a few lines of explanation; you’ll see three people at the bottom left of the photograph. One is a young Japanese (I think) tourist with a camcorder, and to her left is her companion. The third individual, the chap being filmed, was actually doing a performance of ‘Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)’ from the film ‘Mary Poppins’, so I’ve provided the lyrics to the same, directly after the photograph…

St. Paul's Cathedral, as seen from the top of Ludgate Hill...

St. Paul’s Cathedral, as seen from the top of Ludgate Hill…

‘Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
“Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you.”
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
“Feed the birds,” that’s what she cries,
While overhead, her birds fill the skies.
All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares.
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you:
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you:
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”‘

At the bottom of Ludgate Hill, beyond Ludgate Circus, lies Fleet Street, and Valentino, is the first shop on its northern side...

At the bottom of Ludgate Hill, beyond Ludgate Circus, lies Fleet Street, and Valentino, is the first shop on its northern side…

By now, the snow was coming down rather heavily, so I took refuge for a while in an Irish pub,’The Tipperary’, opposite Valentino’s, on the southern side of Fleet Street…

A pint of ale called Doom Bar, and a packet of Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps ;)...

A pint of ale called Doom Bar, and a packet of Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps ;)…

At the western end of Fleet Street, stands a rather splendid church called St. Clement Danes

At the western end of Fleet Street, stands a rather splendid church called St. Clement Danes…

...and here's St. Clement Danes, as seen from the west...

…and here’s St. Clement Danes, as seen from the west…

A bit further along the road, I caught sight of both bird and human footprints in the snow :).

A bit further along the road, I caught sight of both bird and human footprints in the snow :).

Beyond Fleet Street, lies The Strand, and at the western end of it, opposite Charing Cross Station, are these four red telephone boxes...

Beyond Fleet Street, lies The Strand, and at the western end of it, opposite Charing Cross Station, are these four red telephone boxes…

Alongside Charing Cross Station, running down to The Embankment is Villiers Street, and this is the entrance to Victoria Embankment Gardens, as seen from the bottom of Villiers Street...

Alongside Charing Cross Station, running down to The Embankment is Villiers Street, and this is the entrance to Victoria Embankment Gardens, as seen from the bottom of Villiers Street…

Within Victoria Embankment Gardens, are several statues, and this is part of one dedicated to W.S. Gilbert. The engraved quotation , copied below, comes from 'Yeoman of the Guard'...

Within Victoria Embankment Gardens, are several statues, and this is part of one dedicated to W.S. Gilbert. The engraved quotation , copied below, comes from ‘Yeoman of the Guard’…

‘Is life a boon?
If so, it must befall
That Death, whene’er he call,
Must call too soon.’

Cleopatra's Needle, on the Victoria Embankment...

Cleopatra’s Needle, on the Victoria Embankment…

One of two Sphinxes, guarding Cleopatra's Needle...

One of two Sphinxes, guarding Cleopatra’s Needle…

Having now crossed the river to the South Bank via Hungerford Bridge, here is part of the Albert Embankment, in front of the Royal Festival Hall...

Having now crossed the river to the South Bank via Hungerford Bridge, here is part of the Albert Embankment, in front of the Royal Festival Hall…

The London Eye, unsurprisingly less busy than usual today...

The London Eye, unsurprisingly less busy than usual today…

...and finally, not far from The London Eye, a row of 'Boris Bikes', doing even less business...

…and finally, not far from The London Eye, a row of ‘Boris Bikes’, doing even less business…

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