Friday, 9 August 2019

King Edward III's Moated Manor House

King Edward IIIs Moated Manor house.
Partial as I am to wandering and going off on a tangent, rather than sticking to a prescribed route, when visiting The Unfinished City, it is no wonder that I stumble across some interesting things and places.

Take, for instance, this Royal Residence. Had I not taken a detour then I would never have known that this piece of history existed. Obviously, there is not much left to see, and this photo does not do the place justice, but the moat and foundations are all still there.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

H.M.S. Belfast... again.

Erin and Keilyn standing by 'B' Turret. 
The guns of 'A' and 'B' turrets are both elevated and targeted on the M1 Gateway Services, some 12.5 miles away.
This is well within reach of these 6-inch guns.
Way back on August 4, 2010, I took my eldest daughter, Alysha, aboard H.M.S. Belfast. She was 14 at the time. We had a great time exploring the ship and taking in the views.

This past Sunday, August 4, 2019, I took my two youngest daughters, Erin (7) and Keilyn (6), aboard. We climbed up ladders, clambered through watertight doors and edged our way along narrow gangways, taking in all nine decks.
(I am unsure as to why August 4th has played a part in both visits).

We began our exploration on the Quarterdeck, before heading inside and into the Laundry. Then off to the Sound Reproduction Room, Chapel and Mail Room, before heading down the first of many ladders to the Boiler and Engine Rooms.

A set of ladders brought us back up to the quarterdeck, where we saw the Messdeck, Bakery and Food Stores. We then carried on passed the  Galley, NAAFI, Provision Stores, the Dentist, Dispensary and Sick Bay. This brought  us to the Arctic Messdeck and the Brig.

We then doubled back and headed down more ladders to the Forward Steering Position. Then up some ladders only to go down some more, a few moments later, as we entered the Shell Room and Magazine for 'B' Turret.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Warner Bros. Studios Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter

Potions and Dark Magic.
We visited the Harry Potter Studios Tour for my daughter's 6th birthday, and she absolutely loved it. 

After a quick coffee we began our tour.

Following the short video, in the cinema, we made our way through the doors and found the entrance to the Great Hall. As it was Keilyn's birthday, she had the honour of opening the doors to the Great Hall, allowing us to begin the tour proper.

The Great Hall was incredible to see in person and the props and costumes on display are wonderful to see up close. 

From here we went to see some of the other exhibits; costumes, wigs, makeup, Dumbledore's study, Hagrid's Hut, the Potions Lab, the Quidditch area and much more. 

We then entered the Enchanted Forest with its scary spiders that fell from the ceiling, or came out of cavernous holes.

We then found ourselves by the Hogwarts Express steam locomotive and Platform 9 3/4. We then headed to the cafeteria before heading outside to the backlot, where there was even more to see; Harry Potter's house, the Knight Bus, Hogwarts Bridge, the Potter's Cottage, chess pieces, a Ford Anglia and a motorcycle.

Soon we were back inside to see more of the prosthetics, models, costumes, artwork and more. This led us to Gringotts Bank and on to the Bank Vault, before returning us to Gringotts Bank, which was under attack from a Dragon. 

Diagon Alley swiftly followed and led us to more of the conceptual artwork and models, used in the Making of Harry Potter. 

Finally, we arrived at the largest model that I have ever seen. 

We then ended up in the Gift Shop, where you can easily spend a small fortune as the prices are anything but cheap. 

All through the tour you can play a game of 'spot the Golden Snitch'. There are 13 to find, and the last of these is the most difficult. 

All of the staff were knowledgeable, helpful and really made my daughter's birthday a memorable one. 

You will need to set aside a minimum of three hours, to get around the tour, but it is well worth it.



Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The Angel

A view of The Unfinished City, from the riverside decking of the Angel pub.
It was a glorious Saturday morning as myself and two work colleagues, Gary and Steve, met up for a walk along the Thames Path, on a journey from Borough Market to Greenwich.

Gary and I ate a hearty breakfast, from the Boston Sausage stall in Borough Market, before heading across the road to The George Inn. I chose a pint of George Ale, while Gary had a lager, as we awaited the arrival of Steve.

Once the three amigos were ready, we made our way towards Tower Bridge and Shad Thames, where our stroll began in earnest.

Passing in front of Butler's Wharf, we continued along the Thames Path, until we reached The Angel public house, where we stopped for a refreshing drink. As the pub is located opposite the ruins of King Edward III's Moated Manor house, I decided that I should have a pint of Sovereign Ale, which was very refreshing.

We drank outside, on the pub's small decking that overlooks the River Thames, and took in the views.

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