Sunday, November 01, 2015

'Dockers' by Les Johnson

London The Unfinished City
Holland, Ringwood and Tibbs.

Sunday November 1, 2015.

It was a particularly foggy Sunday November morning, in the Unfinished City, as I strolled around the old Royal Docks. Still, this helped to take some dramatic and atmospheric shots, as the area was pretty much deserted. 

This image of The Dockers, with the cranes disappearing into the fog, became one of my favourite shots of the morning.

Old Billingsgate Market

London The Unfinished City
Old Billingsgate Fish Market.

Sunday November 1, 2015.

I had seen this building from the south bank, and had always been fascinated by it. 

So, on a remarkably warm November afternoon, as I was walking along the north bank, I found myself in front of this remarkable building. 

One of the first things that struck me were its arches and ornate ironwork.

London The Unfinished City
A Free and Open Market for all sorts of fish whatsoever.

Millennium Mills

London The Unfinished City
Reflections on the Past.
Sunday November 1, 2015.

My first visit to London's Docklands was back in 1988. Saturday October 8, to be precise, to see Jean-Michel Jarre's Destination: Docklands concert. Jarre, his orchestra and choirs were situated on a 1,000 ton floating platform, while the freshly painted Millennium Mills acted as a screen for the various images and lasers.

London The Unfinished City
The rear of Millennium Mills

The grandstands, where the 200,000 spectators sat, have now been replaced with the ExCeL Centre, while the mills themselves are still awaiting a much needed makeover.

Back on the evening of October 8, 1988, the weather had been windy with a slight hint of rain in the air. Sunday night's show would be downright water-logged. The day I took this photograph, however, it was decidedly foggy, which made the derelict buildings seem even more forgotten by time.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Crystal (City Hall 2022-)

London The Unfinished City
London's most sustainable building.

Saturday June 27, 2015.

My annual September walk, through the Unfinished City, saw me traverse the capital from the Royal Docks through to Whitechapel, via the Thames Path

Travelling above the River Thames, via the Emirates Air Line, gives you a great perspective on a truly unique building, named The Crystal.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Roman Bath

London The unfinished City
Roman? Tudor, more like!

Saturday June 6, 2015.

This is one of the more unusual, hidden gems of the Unfinished City, that I had been eager to see for quite a while. The National Trust, who look after the Roman Bath, state that the you can visit at any time between 09:00 and dusk, to view the Roman Bath through a grill, but viewing of the interior must be made by contacting Westminster Council.

However, having visited on a number of occasions, the door has always been locked, except one time. On that visit, the window, through which you can view the interior, was so grimy that I couldn't make anything out. There is a light, that works on a timer, to illuminate the interior, but this was out of order. Maybe next time will be better.

'City Beyond the Bridge'

London The Unfinished City
City Beyond the Bridge.
Saturday June 6, 2015.

On one of my annual late Summer walks, around the Unfinished City, I dropped down onto the River Thames foreshore and stood beneath Tower Bridge. The summer sun, partially obscured by clouds, caused some great shadows to be cast, allowing me to take this shot.

With the City of London and the Tower of London, in the background, and with waves gently lapping against the foreshore, this a great place to grab some unique shots.

'HMS Belfast'

London The Unfinished City
Gateway Services: Targeted.
Saturday June 6, 2015.

It was while walking around the 
Unfinished City, and its environs, that I managed to grab yet another image of this iconic piece of Royal Navy history. Thankfully, the sun was just right and the crowds were few, which allowed me to get this shot, with the Tower of London in the background, rather than the standard shot of H.M.S. Belfast with Tower Bridge. I have clambered under, and over, her decks on a number of occasions, but on this visit it was purely for the photograph.

'Stompie': The T-34 Tank

London The Unfinished City
Stompie's Stomping Ground.
Saturday June 6, 2015.

For this walk around the Unfinished City I began my journey at Borough Market, where I had a late breakfast, before heading down the Old Kent Road, towards Mandela Way. 

I had heard so much about 'Stompie' that I wanted to see her for myself, so that I could mark it off my 'to see in London list'. I was not disappointed. 

The land that 'Stompie' resides upon is only partially fenced, so you can get up close and personal with this piece of military history.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tower Bridge Exhibition

London The Unfinished City
Built to last.
Saturday March 26, 2015.

For a birthday treat, I went to the Tower Bridge Exhibition, as I was eager to see the newly installed glass floors. I had last walked across the pedestrian walkways in 1982, when I was 10.

The sheer scale of the bridge, and its inner workings, are amazing to behold, considering what tools they had to use, back in the 1880s.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BBC Broadcasting House

London The Unfinished City
This is the BBC.
Wednesday March 18, 2015.

It had been a nice stroll around the Unfinished City's West End, and as I was heading back towards Baker Street station, I found myself in front of BBC Broadcasting House. With a lack of traffic and pedestrians, to spoil the view, I managed to take this shot, of the oldest part of the BBC Headquarters.

London The Unfinished City
Night falls at the BBC.

Since, at he time, the building was open to the public, I decided to go inside.

Inside and to the right of the  main entrance was a mock-up of a news studio, where you could pretend to present the news or deliver a weather forecast. 

Heading left you could stand beside a Dalek and the T.A.R.D.I.S., from Doctor Who, before heading into the canteen. 

London The Unfinished City
A Dalek from the TV series Doctor Who.

London The Unfinished City
Doctor Who's T.A.R.D.I.S.

The canteen offered views down into the bowels of the building, where journalists and support workers busied themselves. 

London The Unfinished City
Looking down in to the heart of the BBC news centre.

You could just make out the studios, from where news programmes were broadcast, and, looking across, you could see the BBC weather presenters and forecasters.

London The Unfinished City
The weather today is...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Memorial to Heroic Self-sacrifice

London The Unfinished City
More than just a park.

Saturday January 31, 2015.

It was during a wet Saturday morning, in January, when I found this quiet little park. I had been enjoying a stroll from St Paul's Cathedral, through Paternoster Square and up to Greyfriars Church Garden, when I noticed a gate leading into a small park. So, I went in to see if there was anything of interest. And, boy, was there. 

The park appears, at first, to be simply a small patch of grass, surrounded by paving slabs and benches, with a few trees and bushes breaking up the space. As you move further into the park you notice a sundial and a small fountain. 

The memorial
A very sombre place.

However, it is not until you enter the park proper that you notice a small, covered area, with ornate tiles affixed to a wall. The legend, written on the timber, says, "Commemoration of heroic self-sacrifice."

The tiles all commemorate local heroes who lost their lives while saving others.