Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Direct from Graceland: Elvis Exhibition London, 2023

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From Graceland to London.

Saturday October 28, 2023.

It was a beautiful morning as my friend Len and I made our way to the Arches London Bridge, to see the Direct from Graceland: Elvis Exhibition. The exhibition was bringing some 400+ pieces of Elvis memorabilia, direct from Graceland, to London, some of which had never left Elvis' home in Memphis, before. 

We arrived a few minutes before our time-slot of 11:00, but were immediately granted access to the building. The staff were pleasant and, after asking if we wished to have refreshments, directed us to the entrance of the exhibit.

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Some of Elvis' personal items.

The exhibition began with Elvis' upbringing in Tupelo and had information boards affixed to the walls, while TV screens showed a young Elvis. clothing, worn by his parents, were in glass display cases, along with rare documents and other items.

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A model of Elvis' childhood home.

We then moved through to his first foray into music, along with Elvis merchandise and a selection of Colonel Tom Parker's personal items.

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Some of Colonel Tom Parker's personal items.

The exhibit took us through his years in the US Army, some of his favourite cars and through to a massive collection of his clothes. 

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1975 Ferrari Dino GT4.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

London's Transport Network Trivia

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History of the Roundel.

London has to be one of the most interconnected cities in the world. From its 86,000 buses to its 4,100 underground trains, you can reach every part of the capital... and beyond.

Then there is the River Boat service and the Tram network. And that is before you get on to the Elizabeth line, the interlinked London Overground lines and National Rail lines

The London Underground system is composed, currently, of 11 distinct lines, serving 272 stations over 400 kilometres (250 miles). The station of Ongar is 'point zero' for measurements along the network.

Below you will find some trivia for each of the lines. 

('Speed' is an average for the entire line).


First service: March 10, 1906

Length: 23.2 km (14.4 mi)

Stations: 25

Speed: 27 km/h (16 mph)


First service: July 30, 1900

Length: 74 km (46 mi)

Stations: 49

Speed: 37 km/h (23 mph)


First service: 1863

Length: 27 km (17 mi)

Stations: 36

Speed: 24 km/h (15 mph)


First service: December 24, 1868

Length: 64 km (40 mi)

Stations: 60

Speed: 30 km/h (18 mph)

Hammersmith & City

First service: January 10, 1863

Length: 25.5 km (15.8 mi)

Stations: 29

Speed: 25 km/h (15 mph)


First service: May 1, 1979

Length: 36.2 km (22.5 mi)

Stations: 27

Speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)

Suggested names: Fleet line


First service: January 10, 1863

Length: 67 km (42 mi)

Stations: 34

Speed: 45 km/h (28 mph)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Church of St Bartholomew-the-Less

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The entrance to the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less.

Having recently visited the Priory Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great I thought that I should make a visit to the smaller church, set within the grounds of St Bartholomew's Hospital, St Bartholomew-the-Less.

As I expected from the name this church is definitely smaller, but it still has a long and fascinating history.

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Definitely the Lesser of the two churches to St Bartholomew.

Considering the darkness that seems to have taken a hold of the interior of St Bartholomew-the Great, it was nice to enter a bright church, which seemed, at least to me, to be much more modern.

However, as it turns out, the Less is only a few years younger than the Great, having been established in around 1184.

I was thankful that it was still early in the day, so that I had the chance to explore the church without interruption. 

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Inside the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less.

After a good look around and after taking plenty of photographs I made my way out into the hospital grounds. Well, since I was there and I do work in a hospital myself it only seemed the right thing to do.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Embassy of the United States of America (2017-)

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33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US.

Compared to the old embassy building in Grosvenor Square, I find this new building rather boring. Designed as a cube, this block, which is the largest American embassy in Western Europe, has a semi-circular pond, public green spaces and entry pavilions within its grounds. 

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The north side of the embassy, as seen from the River Thames.

The lightweight 'sails', that adorn three sides of the building, stop direct sunlight hitting the interior and also make the building less likely to bird strikes.

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Here you can see the sunlight being diffused by the outer structure.

This design, however, does make for some great photo opportunities.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Household Cavalry Museum

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Keilyn ready for sentry duty.
Saturday October 7, 2023.

Once again Keilyn wanted to go for another walk, back in London. 
Knowing of her love for all things military, (she wants to join the Army Cadets when she is 12), I booked us some tickets for the Household Cavalry Museum, which is a place that neither of us had visited.

A few issues with planned closures, on our normal train route, saw us take the London Overground to South Hampstead from where we walked to Swiss Cottage and continued, via the Jubilee line, to Green Park. From there we took a leisurely stroll along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade. 

I could see on her face that she wasn't impressed, as this was a place that we had visited many times. When I told her where we going her face lit up.

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The entrance to the Household Cavalry Museum.

After showing our tickets we began our exploratory of the museum, which we found we had pretty much to ourselves.

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The uniform of The Blues and Royals.

With its glass cases housing uniforms, weaponry, medals, historical artefacts, maps and much more, we were both fascinated. 

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The uniform of a Life Guard.

After seeing the first few display cases, which were predominantly filled with uniforms, we made our way through to the stables. The wall to our right was tinted glass, as beyond were the stables where horses and guards where busy going about their preparations. To our left were stalls with various interactive screens, colouring and information sheets. There were also uniforms from various regiments, along with gloves, helmets, cuirass and more. Keilyn and I couldn't wait to try some on.

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Keilyn in camouflage fatigues.

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Sergeant Morrissey ready for duty.

From here we made our way though to the next part of the museum, which ran through the more than 350 year history of the Household Cavalry. From its humble beginnings to its current place in the British Army. Many of their exploits, achievements and characters adorned the walls, cabinets and interactive displays.

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A Napoleonic soldier.