London Railings

London Railings
You see them at elegant terraces and squares. To me they are almost “Iconic” of London.
They are the cast iron railings, painted in a glossy black. They spread out from the elegant front doors and as often they are guarding the steps leading downstairs (the servants access)
During the second world war most of them were removed to be used in the war effort. As it turned out, the authorities had overestimated the need for iron or some administrator had fouled up. I have read stories about them being dumped at some lonely coastal area. In my latest search on the net I found, that many were dumped in the Thames estuary in such quantities that Tugs had to be used to navigate, as the huge quantities of cast iron threw the magnetic compasses out. whatever happened to them, they are back again in all there glory and together with, the now rare red telephone booths, say welcome to London.

King’s Cross Station

When we visit London, we like to stay at The George Hotel in Bloomsbury. To get there we catch the Piccadilly Line from terminal 5 at Heathrow. We will get off either at Russell Square or King’s Cross Station. Russell Square Station is crowded and serviced by slow lifts, whereas King’s Cross, recently refurbished, is spacious and effective. The modern concourse is buzzing with people filling the shops and restaurants. This is a shot of a few of the travellers spending time on the mezzanine floor under the large domed roof.

A day in London Town

London Town
I do love going to London. For various reasons my wife and i have not been able to visit for a couple of years, so the next best thing is to look at photos from previous visits. This is from Piccadilly Circus looking down Regent Street to the column with the Duke of York perched on top. The Palace of Westminster is in the background. It was a typical London day in 2008 and the light in the sky appealed to me. http://www.thelostphotographer.dk

 

Phoenix Garden

I discovered it by chance on the net and we determined to look for it when next in London. Phoenix Garden https://www.facebook.com/thephoenixgarden/ is situated between Soho and Covent Garden. We found it after some searching. It is a little oasis in the middle of the busy city.It is bordered by Large apartment buildings, The Church of St. Giles in the Fields and the Phoenix Theatre, and yet is utterly peaceful. It is purposely laid out to encourage wildlife and insects, with dense bushes and the odd pile of bricks. Frogs spawn in a little pond and comfortable benches invite visitors to rest in peaceful surroundings. We have returned there many times

The Legal District

One morning we walked from our hotel to Russell Square along Southampton Row. At High Holborn we turned left, passing the beautiful “Half Timbered” Staple Inn, one of the few buildings that survived The Great Fire of London. In Chancery Lane we passed The London Silver Vaults. We have yet to explore that. From here we made our way to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. What a haven of tranquillity. Great expanses of lawns, Maple trees dropping their golden autumn leaves, imposing red brick buildings with windows and doors trimmed in sandstone and a singular lack of tourists. We passed entrance doors to Barristers offices with name boards of the occupants. There were a small number of Sirs, but mainly Mr. It seams to be a male dominated profession. From one place we could see The Old father Thames. We shall return there one day.

Case files

We sat one morning at Cafe’ Apostrophe enjoying our cups of Cappuccino. It was with amusement that I watched suited businessmen enjoying their plates of hot oats porridge.
On the other side of the street, outside The Royal Court of Justice, legal staff wheeled trolleys of case files. The amount of paperwork lawyers have to go through is staggering.

The Reading Room

Close to our usual Bloomsbury Hotel is the British Museum. We often pop in for a cup of coffee and a bun in the Cafe’ and than have a short look around. The centre court is occupied by the circular building, that used to house the British Library’s Reading room. Over the years it was used by Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Mahatma Gandhi, Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Vladimir Lenin,Virginia Woolf, H: G: Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle amongst many other notable Persons. It reeked of history. On one visit I was determined to visit it and to find the regular seat of my favourite South African author Lawrence G. Green, but sadly the interior had been gutted to make space for the exhibition of the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors. There was talks of it eventually being restored to its original glory, but this has sadly not happened.

The Umbrella Shop

When visiting London we like to stay in bloomsbury. After a solid breakfast in our hotel we often walk to the centre passing through Soho. At New Oxford Street we pass “The Umbrella Shop” James Smith & Sons. James Smith & Sons was founded in 1830 in Foubert’s Place. In 1865 it moved to its present place in New Oxford Street and has remained there almost unchanged. Apart from umbrellas, it makes and stocks Gentlemen’s canes and shooting sticks. The Umbrella Shop is known by all the Black Cab drivers, who learn its position as part of “The Knowledge”

Cittie of Yorke

At one of our early trips to London we visited the old pub Cittie of Yorke on High Holborn.
Cittie of Yorke has Britain’s longest bar and private booths along one wall. These booths are often occupied by the legal professionals from the nearby Grey’s Inn. It is heated by a large triangular iron fireplace. The fireplace has no chimney but flues that run below the wooden floor. It was build in 1920, but there has been a pub on this site since 1430

In a London park

We love London and go there as often as we can. We are long past going to the tourist sights and now enjoy the parks and the London life in general. We visit our favourite restaurants and Cafes and generally watch life go by. We are often there in autumn when red and golden leaves decorate the parks. we enjoy passing the many institutions in Bloomsbury where our usual hotels is situated. I shall use the next few posts on London pictures