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.