Sunday, December 29, 2019

'Contorted Tunnel'

London The Unfinished City
The contorted and carpeted tunnel, Hay's Galleria.

Sunday December 29, 2019.

I had long heard of a pedestrian tunnel that wound its way from the basement of the Hay's Galleria to Tooley Street, but I had never had the opportunity to look for it.

This changed on Sunday afternoon when, after taking my daughters to the toilets in the Hay's Galleria, I noticed a short brick tunnel, with offices to the right.

As soon as my girls were ready we headed along the tunnel, which took a right turn. Suddenly we were looking down the contorted, carpeted pedestrian tunnel. At the opposite end were a number of shops, all closed, and a gym that was full of athletic types, working out.

To the left were some stairs, which brought us out onto Tooley Street, almost opposite the London Bridge Underground entrance.

By the looks of the carpet this tunnel is rarely used, but, from now on, this will be the way that I will avoid the crowds, when heading to Hay's Galleria. Especially if it is raining.

'Walking with The Snowman'

London The Unfinished City
The Snowman with Tower Bridge.
Sunday December 29, 2019.

With our Christmas celebrations finished, I thought it would be nice to get the girls out of the house, for some fresh air. London seemed the obvious place to go, Especially as there were still all of the Christmas Fairs, selling their wares, and a sculpture trail celebrating Raymond Briggs' 'The Snowman' to follow.

Arriving at London Bridge station we crossed Tooley Street and immediately found Snowman number 3 (Three French hens). All of the maps, showing the route to take, were already gone, but that didn't put us off.

So, we headed into Hay's Galleria, where we found Snowman number 4 (Four calling birds). Passing through the Galleria we soon found ourselves on the Queen's Walk and headed eastward. Sure enough, as we approached HMS Belfast, we found Snowman number 5 (Five golden rings} quickly followed by Snowman number 6 (Six geese a-laying).

Snowman number 10 (Ten lords a-leaping) was found by the water fountains, by More London, followed by Snowman number 11 (Eleven pipers piping), by City Hall.

We spotted a huge crowd near Duchess Walk and headed over. It was here that we found Snowman number 12 (Twelve drummers drumming).

Realising that we needed to backtrack, we headed along Duchess Walk, to avoid the crowds, and along Tooley Street, before returning to More London.

Snowman number 9 (Nine ladies dancing) was swiftly followed by Snowman number 8 (Eight maids a-milking).

Next, we discovered Snowman number 7 (Seven geese a-swimming) on English Grounds. We now only had to find two more.

Determining that they were probably on the Queen's Walk we headed into Hay's Galleria, again, and headed westward, towards London Bridge.

Just beyond London Bridge City Pier we discovered Snowman number 2 (Two turtle doves) and, just a short walk away, Snowman number 1 (A partridge in a pear tree), just before the steps that lead up to London Bridge.

With all of the Snowmen accounted for and photographed, we headed back to Hay's Galleria to get a hot chocolate and warm up.

Empire Pool and Sports Arena (Wembley Arena)

London The Unfinished City
Wembley Arena with the fountains in the Square of Fame.

Sunday December 29, 2019.

Wembley is one of those places that I only visit if I am going to see something at the Stadium. However, it has been many years since I have visited the Arena, to see a concert.

My first memory of seeing something at the Arena was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was taken to see Holiday on Ice, by my nan.

Then, in September 1988, I saw Belinda Carlisle in concert. That December I went to my first Iron Maiden gig, there.

Since then I have seen Joe Cocker, Meat Loaf, Sheryl Crow, Iron Maiden (again) and more.

On this visit, to Wembley, it was purely to see the Christmas Lights Festival, so I took this photo, as I did not know when I would next return to the area.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

James Braidwood

London The Unfinished City
James Braidwood: Founder of the world's first municipal fire service.

I had seen this memorial on many an occasion, but could never quite work out the lettering, although the design obviously made reference to a fire. So, a little digging needed to be done.

The inscription reads;

To the memory of 
James Braidwood, 
superintendent of the 
London Fire Brigade, 
who was killed near this 
in the execution of his 
at the great fire 
on 22nd June 1861

A just man and one that feared God, of good report among all the nation.
Erected by the M. or Southwark Division of the Metropolitan Police

S. H. Gardiner, New Kent Road

Monday, December 02, 2019

'Ancient of Days' by William Balke

London The Unfinished City
Urizen in William Blake's 'Ancient of Days'.

Sunday December 1, 2019

From Thursday November 28, 2019 (what would have been William Blake's 262nd birthday) to Sunday December 1, William Blake's 'Ancient of Days' painting, was projected onto the dome of St Paul's Cathedral.

It was a cold afternoon as I, my two girls and my mum made our way along the South Bank towards the Tate Modern, and a spot where we would be able to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Arriving at the Tate Modern, we headed up to the viewing platform, which offered a more unobstructed view than from the riverside, but was far colder. After taking a few photos of the skyline, in the still light afternoon, we decided to take some shelter inside the cafe area and warmed up.

Just before 16:15, as the winter sky darkened, the painting began to emerge against the backdrop of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. The colours, becoming more prominent with each passing minute. With the wind picking up we headed down to the riverside, which, despite its openness, was less cold. Go figure.

A few more photos of the dome, the painting, the various boats and bridges were taken, before we headed back towards the South Bank Centre, in search of some hot food and a drink.

Ancient of Days at St. Paul's Cathedral
From Thursday November 28, 2019 (what would have been William Blake's 262nd birthday) to Sunday December 1, William Blake's 'Ancient of Days' painting, was projected onto the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019


London The Unfinished City
A crocodile in London.

Saturday November 16, 2019.

It was a typical walk around London with my friend, Gary, that resulted on me stumbling across this Crocodile, in Marylebone.

As with most of my walks there is little in the way of a route. Rather a meandering left here, right there, until it is time to head home.

As such I never know what I will see or discover. Such as this life-size crocodile, clambering up a waterfall from the basement of the Lacoste boutique on Duke Street.

Lacoste Crocodile London
Definitely no swimming!

To find out why Jean RenĂ© Lacoste used a 'crocodile' as his logo, we have to go back to 1923.

Friday, November 01, 2019

London Ghost Bus Tours

London The Unfinished City
Emma, Erin and Keilyn waiting to board the Necrobus.

Thursday October 31, 2019.

My wife, myself and our two daughters, who are 6 & 7, managed to grab some tickets for the 19:30 tour, on Halloween 2019, and were not disappointed. 

Our pick-up was on time and all of the staff on the street and on the Necrobus were warm, friendly and helpful. 

Being one of the first groups on the Necrobus, we were able to pick some of the best seats, which were upstairs. They were remarkably comfortable, with curtains and lamps in the windows, making it feel warm and inviting, which helped people relax. 

This sense of ease, to which we succumbed, caught us off guard as various ghostly goings on plagued our trip.

London The Unfinished City
The seats, curtains and lamps on the upstairs of the Necrobus.

Our conductor, Marcus, was very knowledgeable and obviously enjoyed his role. His stories were accurate and, equally, ghastly and entertaining. I think he managed to point out every murder site, haunted place and execution spot on the route, along with names and dates. 

Mr. Hinge, the Health and Safety officer, took his job seriously, too, ensuring that there was full disclosure about 'events' that had happened on the Necrobus, in the past. Although, it did take him a while to get all of the facts out of our conductor.

London The Unfinished City
A lamp that flickered, normally when a spirit was present.

We travelled around Whitehall, Westminster, the City of London, through Holborn, crossed the River Thames, visited Southwark and more, before heading back to our drop-off point. 

So much more went on, but I would hate to spoil it for anyone that hasn't taken the trip. Suffice to say that we will be taking this tour again.

A bit of trivia, about our Necrobus:
  • It had run on a designated route, in London, until 2005
  • It's designation was RML2528, with the registration plate of JJD528D
  • It was purchased by The Ghost Bus Tours in 2013
  • It is painted in a midnight black livery
Ghost Bus Tours London

As a side note, they also operate Ghost Bus Tours in York and Edinburgh.

London The Unfinished City
The Necrobus.

'Wellington Hotel'

London The Unfinished City
The perfect place for an overnight stay.

Thursday October 31-November 1, 2019.

Since it was half-term and we had a few things planned (London Ghost Bus Tour, British Museum), we thought it wold be simpler to stay in London, overnight, rather than travelling  back and forth to Watford.

Usually we stay at Premier Inn, but, on this occasion, we decided on somewhere different. We had walked by the Wellington a few weeks before and thought that it might be an interesting place to stay. Situated just across the River Thames, from where we were to pick up our Ghost Bus, on Northumberland Avenue, it was also close to all the transport links we might need. The Wellington was perfect.

Our check-in was at 15:00, which was the exact time we arrived. The lady at reception was friendly and efficient and within minutes we were booked in. With swipe key in hand we made our way to the top floor, where our family room was situated.

The room was quite spacious and had 'London Eye' wallpaper across one wall. All of the rooms have this sort of design, apparently. With an en-suite bathroom, desk, television, well-stocked fridge, kettle, heating, free wi-fi and more, our room was perfect. There are also other room sizes available, depending on your needs.

London The Unfinished City
Our Family Room. 
Once we had settled and watched a bit of TV, and had a drink, we made our way out for some dinner. Just around the corner, on York Road, is the 'Enough to feed an Elephant' restaurant, where we had eaten before, while waiting for our trip on the London Duck Tour. Fully fed we headed off to catch our Ghost Bus.

Following an excellent Halloween evening out, we headed back to the Wellington. With two tired girls soon tucked up in bed it was time to relax, take stock of the day and plan for the next day.

The windows and blinds were very effective in blocking out the noise from the road and train line outside, allowing for an uninterrupted night's sleep. This allowed us all to wake up fully refreshed and ready for breakfast. Hurriedly we descended the stairs to the restaurant area of the bar, where the girls tucked into croissants and cereal, while Emma and I decided on the Full English, washed down with fresh juice.

The food was perfectly cooked and served without delay. The staff, again, were friendly and helpful, making for a great experience.

London The Unfinished City
The Losers.

After breakfast we headed back to our room to pack and get ready for the day ahead. Checkout was a breeze and, after a nice and interesting chat with the landlord, who was possibly the friendliest landlord I have ever met, we headed off on the next part of our two-day adventure.

With so many great thing going for it, I don't think it will too long at all before we stay at the Wellington Hotel, again.

London The Unfinished City
The Victors.
If you are walking past Waterloo Station and fancy a really nice beer, great food and an amazing pub, you should pop into the Wellington and, at the very least, check out the murals.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

British Museum

London The Unfinished City
The Great Court, Entrance Hall and Glass Roof.

Thursday October 31, 2019.

With school half-term upon us, we decided to take the girls on a trip to London, for a few days. 

Our first stop, after lunch, was the British Museum. It was a museum that I had never visited, but had always been on my list of places to visit. As Erin (7) was learning about the Egyptians, at school, it seemed like the perfect time to visit. 

We entered from the Montague Place entrance, and headed directly into the Wellcome Trust Gallery, which had a display of 'Living and Dying'. From here went to the North America and then the Mexico collection. 

From here we entered the Great Court, now enclosed in a wonderful glass roof, where stone artefacts from Egypt and China could be seen. A cafe and gift shop, surrounding the Reading Room, were busy with customers, so we continued into the Egyptian Room. Stone tablets, bearing hieroglyphs, adorned the walls, while stone statues stood in silent majesty, gazing back at the throng of visitors. Sculptures, temples, pillars as a Sarcophagus were also easily accessible.

We then headed to the Middle East, beginning with Assyrian sculptures and Balawat Gates, before travelling through Ancient Greece. From the Minoans and Mycenaeans to the Lycia. From Alexander the Great to the Romans. Vases, sculptures, Mausoleums, monuments and the Parthenon were all on show, in all of their awe-inspiring beauty. 

Back into the Great Court, we caught a lift to the third floor, where we crossed the bridge, from the Great Court Restaurant, and entered the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Galleries, which showcased more of the Middle East. From South Arabia to Anatolia and Uratu and on to Mesopotamia and Levant, there was a lot to take in.

Then we were on to the highlight, for us, of the visit. Ancient Egypt.

Sarcophagi, mummies, burial offerings and much more were all on show. This gallery reached, if not surpassed, my expectations. Erin was busy taking photos and was completely immersed in the experience, while Keilyn was happy to wander around and look at everything, with an innocents mind.

We then headed up to the Mitsubishi Corporation Galleries, where an amazing amount of Japanese culture was on display. The collection dated from around 13,500 Bc right up to the present day. From pots to figures of Buddhist deities. From Samurai armour and weapons to wooden models of animals. Chests and clothing led on to a collection from the indigenous people of Japan, the Ainu. Photography and glassware from the 20th century were also on display.

We then headed back downstairs and into the Sainsbury Galleries and its Africa exhibit. After a good look around at the various art, relics and weaponry, we were beginning to flag. But, with so much more still to see, we decided that we would return again, and so we made our way back to the Great Court and out of the museum. So we headed down Drury Lane, in search of coffee and ice cream, before continuing to our hotel and the adventure that we had planned for Halloween night.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Foragers of the Foreshore Exhibition

London The Unfinished City
A varied selection of Mudlarking finds, from the foreshore of the River Thames.

Sunday September 29, 2019.

It was a drizzly morning as Emma, Erin, Keilyn, my mum, uncle Martin and I headed off to London, via the Metropolitan line. Changing on to a Jubilee line train, at Finchley Road, we continued our journey to Waterloo. From here it was just a short walk to Oxo Tower Wharf, and the Bargehouse, where the Foragers of the Foreshore exhibition was being held.

The exhibition had been running since the 25th, so this was our last chance to see the largest display of mudlarking finds that had ever been displayed. There were also artists and photographers displaying their work, too, which all centred around mudlarking, mudlarks and the River Thames.

Spread across three floors of the Bargehouse there was much to see and discover. There were displays of coins, medieval jewelry, pottery, keys, skulls, bones, trading tokens, weapons and so much more. These ranged from the Neolithic period, the Roman occupation and on through the centuries to the present day.

There were short videos and talks, where experts shared their knowledge and experiences, often talking about their favourite finds and those items they hoped to find one day.

Mudlarks were everywhere, with their finds on display, explaining how they got into the 'art' of mudlarking and scouring the River Thames foreshore,

Artist Ashleigh Fisk had an art installation, on one of the floors, which comprised of ceramic aretacts and finds from the foreshore, telling the story of Genius Loci of the Thames.

Hannah Smiles was on hand, taking photographs and displaying some of her favourite prints, many of which were of Mudlarks or the River Thames and its foreshore, along with some of her finds.

Adorning some of the walls were photographic portraits by the photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten, which captured the foreshore in all of its glory.

There were also artists on hand, one of whom, Nicola White, had created a piece from plastics that had been found floating in the river, While another, Ed Bucknall, had created paintings on pieces of marble, found along the foreshore.

There were many more experts, artists, photographers and Mudlarks who were easy to talk to and to ask questions of, all of which they were happy to answer.

There was an interactive area where children could make an 'artefact' from plasticine, which could then be hung, with clear nylon, in a perspex box. This simulated items being held in suspension  of the water of the River Thames.

There was also a virtual reality mudlarking box, that you placed your hand beneath. The screen then showed a hand shifting stones and such. When you were ready you 'picked up' an item and it appeared in your hand on the screen. Withdrawing your and you were given a badge, with whichever item you had discovered on it, which you took to one of the displays and the experts would tell you all they could about the item.

All-in-all it was a thoroughly informative and educational day, where much was learnt and discovered by all of us.

Monday, August 26, 2019

'The Mayflower'

London The Unfinished City
The Historic Mayflower.

It was a wonderfully warm Saturday afternoon as I, and my work colleagues, Gary and Steve, entered the historic 16th Century Mayflower pub, in Rotherhithe Village. Having heard so much about this place, it was about time that I visited it. And, I can tell you, it was not a disappointment.

Wooden beams and a small wooden bar, with various artefacts, which included books, models, flags, drawings and paintings and so much more, really gave the place a feeling of history.

Interior of The Mayflower
Behind the bar of The Mayflower.

The covered seating area, which was built on decking, stretched out over the River Thames, giving a wonderful view across the river to Wapping. You could see from the Thames River Police Museum, in the northeast to almost the Prospect of Whitby. Behind the old converted warehouses, you can make out the Walkie-talkie, the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

View From The Shard

London The Unfinished City
The View from The Shard.

Saturday, August 10, 2019.

It was a perfect Saturday morning as my wife and I made our way to The Unfinished City. 

Our first stop was Borough Market, as usual, for a look around and to find something to eat. Once fully fuelled we headed to the George Inn, for a well deserved drink, before taking a slow walk around the area, taking in the sights.

As we arrived at The Shard, the wind started to pick up speed and was now gusting at 50mph. We made our into the foyer, a few minutes early, and were ushered into the Security Area, where belts, phones and other metal objects were removed, while bags were scanned. After stepping through the metal detector, and having collected our belongings, we made our way to the first of two lifts which would take us to the viewing platforms.

The first lift took us up to the 32nd floor, at a speed of 6m/s. We then transferred to our second elevator and, within moments, we were up at the viewing platform, on the 69th floor. A few flights of stairs then took us up to the Open air Skydeck on the 72nd floor.

After snapping a few photos we decided to collect our complimentary glass of Champagne, before looking at the view properly. By now the wind was blowing a gale, which caused the structure to sway gently. As the Open air Skydeck is, well, open air, some champagne glasses were being blown from the highly polished bar, before shattering on the floor.

The views are spectacular and were, for the most part, unobscured by clouds, due to the hurricane blasting them away.

We soon made our way back down to the Indoor viewing gallery, where, now enclosed, we weren't buffeted by the wind, allowing for steadier photographs to be taken.

Before we finished our tour, we both decided to use the facilities: Using a toilet, 68 storeys up, that has floor to ceiling windows is an incredible, if peculiar, feeling.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

'HMS Belfast'... revisited.

London The Unfinished City
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 HMS 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.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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

London The Unfinished City
Potions and Dark Magic.

Saturday April 27, 2019.

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, April 23, 2019

'The Angel'

London The Unfinished City
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.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

King Edward III's Moated Manor House

London The Unfinished City
King Edward IIIs Moated Manor house.

Saturday March 30, 2019.

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.

Friday, March 22, 2019

120 Fenchurch Street Roof Garden

London The Unfinished City
The view looking south.

Friday March 22, 2019.

Back in February, 2019, a new roof garden opened, in the City of London. Situated on the fifteenth floor of a newly designed building, it offers 360 degree views of the city and its environs.

Being only fifteen storeys tall, it is dwarfed by buildings like the Gherkin, Walkie-talkie and Scalpel, but it does offer unique views of these buildings. Even on the overcast morning that I visited, I could still see the Crystal Palace Transmitter, to the south, Canary Wharf, to the east and the BT Tower to the west. Obviously, much of the view to the north is obscured by the aforementioned skyscrapers.

The planted flower beds were still to fully bloom and the creeping vines have yet to fully take hold of the upright roof supports, while the water feature, which has small fountains in a raised channel, wasn't functioning. When all of these things come together, over the next few weeks, this will be one of the most pleasant public roof gardens in the City of London.

Access to the Roof Garden is via a lift in a spacious lobby, which has an art installation in the ceiling, which shows various garden scenes and sometimes links up to a camera, situated in the roof garden, that shows Tower Bridge.

St Dunstan-in-the-East Church & Garden

London The Unfinished City
A panoramic of the Nave.

Friday March 22, 2019.

It was a cool spring Friday morning, as I took to the streets of the Unfinished City, in search of new areas to discover. Pretty soon I found myself on Lower Thames Street, heading eastward.

Since it had been pouring with rain on my last visit to St Dunstan-in-the-East Church Garden, I decided to pop in for a look around. It was perfect timing, because as I arrived a tour guide and his Spanish entourage were leaving, heading off in the direction of the Tower of London, leaving me alone among the ruins.

London The Unfinished City

Obviously, as it was still early spring, many of the flowers had yet to bloom, which gave the ruined church an even more sombre mood, especially with the overcast skies.

Considering where the ruins are located it was remarkably peaceful, even with the traffic zooming past.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Blast from the Past

London The Unfinished City
 A 1938 art-deco Bakerloo line train.

Sunday February 24, 2019.

A rare sight on the Metropolitan Line, this afternoon, a beautifully restored 1938 art-deco train, that was used on the Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

It had begun its journey from Ealing Broadway and headed to Hammersmith, High Street Kensington and then a full circuit of the Circle Line before arriving at Moorgate.

It then ran from Moorgate, along the Metropolitan Line, to Amersham, before returning to Ealing Broadway, via Rayners Lane.

We waited for it at Rickmansworth where we were in the perfect place to see it.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Kensington Gardens

London The Unfinished City
Kensington Palace and Queen Victoria's statue.

After our initial stop at the Diana Memorial Playground, we made our way south towards Kensington Palace, with the shade from the trees protecting us from the warm summer sun. A few photographs were taken before we headed towards the Round Pond.

From here we continued eastward towards the Long Water, passing the Physical Energy statue, designed by George Frederic Watts and erected in 1907. 

As we approached the Long Water a gust of wind blew Erin's baseball cap, from her head, far out into the water. To say that she was distraught was an understatement! I have never seen such an upset 6 year old. 

After eventually calming her down we continued our walk, this time heading north, passing the Peter Pan statue and continuing on to the Italian Gardens.