Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture.
I first saw it as a child, though it was to be many years before I learned that Continue reading →
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Signs.”
This week, publish an image of a sign — from the signs you encounter on the street to more personal, less obvious signs that hold meaning for you.
I often walk past this sign. I am never quite sure what to feel about it. Dismay that “for many years, the Royal Free Hospital was the only hospital in London to offer medical services to women.” (Source: Royal Free Hospital). Or something more positive, given how far we have come. Continue reading →
I find the Harry Potter series enthralling. I have read the whole series at least three times now. Generally, if I can I’ll read them one after another. I read quickly but this is still a fortnight of Hogwarts. I am currently halfway through the Goblet of Fire, episode four of the set. It is not my favourite! The first one is still the best. I just love the fairy tale quality to it, it has an excitement and innocence that I love. The wand shop in Diagon Alley is a favourite location, it reminds me of a very old shop near where I live. Though it was stacked high with small boxes of Airfix models, rather than wands. Continue reading →
Luton has an industrial pedigree to be proud of and one which has shaped almost every aspect of the town. No, not car manufacture (although that is undoubtedly important), but an older industry – hat manufacture.
The town produced as many as 70 million hats a year in the 1930s – an astonishing number, and yet Luton’s role as a global centre of hat manufacture is largely forgotten. Our new book, The Hat Industry of Luton and its Buildings, seeks to rectify this by celebrating the town’s remarkable industrial and commercial history.
Studying the drawings at HKPA’s archive last summer, I noticed this label on ‘roll 24’:
These, I discovered, are the drawings for HKPA’s in-house ideas competition for their additions to Darwin College, Cambridge (designed 1965-6, built 1967-8). It’s slightly ironic that while these have survived, the practice’s main set of drawings for the job appear to be missing (although Darwin retain a full set).
The base drawings – showing existing buildings – are dated 4 March 1965, so I suppose the competition was held a little after that date. Bill Howell mentioned an ‘office competition’ when presenting a revised scheme to the College in May. Most of the entrants had a go at the challenge of slotting a new dining hall into a narrow gap between the Hermitage (left on the photo below) and Newnam Terrace (right), ensuring privacy and security for those in the garden while maintaining visual connections…
This fine Edwardian station was demolished in 1977 despite a public outcry. The historic fabric was razed and trains on the old Great Western line to Leamington were terminated at Moor Street – originally devised as an overflow station for Snow Hill. However, the damage to cross-city services was so severe that the station was rebuilt, in a smaller, far more utilitarian idiom, in 1987 – a mere ten years after the station had disappeared.
I’ve travelled to London since I was child. Then we moved around by Tube. I think my mother felt that London was a dangerous place for young children, and thus clung to the perceived safety offered by the underground. If it wasn’t near an underground train station we simply didn’t go there.
South Kensington had a tube station, so all the museums in Exhibition Road museums were duly visited. Even better the pedestrian tunnel under the road allowed uninterrupted subterranean access. Continue reading →