A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Shard of glass

Posted by Alan on December 23, 2010

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Shard

I’m pretty lucky in that my job requires me to move around a bit and calling off at Borough Market for lunch can be part of my daily routine (at least on a Thursday or Friday!). Before the snow arrived, I managed to get these shots of the shard of glass, London latest skyscraper, en route for lunch. When finished, at 87 floors, it will dwarf anything London has seen before…

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Looking up

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Cripplegate Free Library

Posted by Alan on October 12, 2010

Cripplegate Free Library, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Tactful, caring Victorians?

Spotted near Barbican.

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York

Posted by Alan on August 27, 2010

Old City of York

Old City of York

Yesterday I went for an epic trip to York to meet up with Rodge who I haven’t seen since he got married earlier this year.  (Well its not like you can really talk on a wedding day!).

We strolled round the city centre, found a greasy spoon (Jorvik Cafe) for lunch before finding the York brewery. After a successful piss up in a brewery…we wandered round the walls for a bit finding a couple more pubs to try out before I had to head back on the train around 7pm. (More on the pubs over at East London Drinker in due course!)

It was a long day out but well worth it.

Brewery visit: Success!

Brewery visit: Success!

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Around London Bridge

Posted by Alan on May 21, 2010

As I was running late to meet the CAMRA ‘crew’ anyway, I wasn’t exactly in a rush. This opened up a few opportunities for photos! At Kennington, I found a house missing:

A missing house in Kennington, London

A missing house, Kennington

I hope someone didn’t wake up one day and discover next door had just disappeared!

Moving on towards London Bridge, I came across this view:

Natwest Tower/Tower 42 from the peabody estate, London

The view from the outside

London is an utterly strange place in many ways. Poverty and riches often live side by side. It’s surprisingly green and some areas are surprising quiet. Just round the corner is the Lord Clyde – next stop for the CAMRA folks.

The Lord Clyde

The Lord Clyde, Borough

A fairly standard London boozer. Nothing out of the ordinary beer wise – good, proper bitter served well. Next up was the Gladstone arms.

The Lord Gladstone

The Lord Gladstone

This place is much smaller than it looks. With 10 (ish) of us, we took up 1/3rd of the seating in the pub! There was live music promised (we ducked out halfway through the second song – 0ops, mustn’t have been a good for confidence!) and an interesting menu with pies from pieminister of Borough Market (mmm). Somewhere to check out again when not in a rush perhaps.

With the light gone there aren’t any photos from the next pubs. The Royal Oak was nice but expensive (as usual) – good to see Fullers Hock back again (a lovely dark mild), the Market Porter was really busy hence we skipped on to The Rake. I wholly agree with the philosophy of the Rake – ‘No crap on tap’. They’ve just started a blog (at http://therakeblog.wordpress.com/) and combined with their twitter feed you can check out what beers they have. I’m not going to pop in for x,y,z beer but it’s nice to see what I’m missing out on.

Enough drivel for now. Early start tomorrow!

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Arundel Castle

Posted by Alan on May 3, 2010

This early May bank holiday saw Simon, Emo and I take a trip down to Arundel castle, about 4 miles north of Littlehampton on the south coast. Arundel castle is actually two castles – the stately home built in Victorian times (when castles were all the rage) and the actual castle a mott/bailey fortrification surviving (with modifications) through the civil war to this day.

Arundel castle, stately home

I'm not sure that turret could actually hold a cannon worth using...

The place reeks of power and status. There are many grand rooms full of large paintings of the Dukes of Norfolk, who still retain this as their home today. No pictures allowed inside of course – I don’t mind that since I can imagine how much flash might damage fragile paintings and also revenue from the tours must go some way to keeping the place…

Arundel castle, mott & bailey

The real castle

As well as the paintings, stuffed animals and trappings of gentry, the grounds includes some well kept gardens and the Fitzalan chappel.  The chappel is unusual as it is actually two churches stuck together – a Catholic side and a protestant/Anglican side but neither connected bar a single door in the main area of the chappel. In fact, the Anglican side is outside of the grounds!

Inside Fitzalan chappel, looking towards the protestant side

Looking towards the protestants

Photography was allowed in the chappel so I got to have a bit of play with the EOS…

Praying monk

Praying monk

close up of angel wing and blurred photographers

Winging it for the angels

Praying for the next life - grave statue

Praying for the next life

Next up were the gardens – unfortunately a day for frequent heavy showers meant that most of the flowers had closed up, but there was plenty of colour available to enjoy.

A splash of colour - red flowers

A splash of colour

Pink rose

Pink rose

spots of rain on a green leaf

Drip drip

We probably spend 4½ hours all told wandering around – very enjoyable.

Next up – the pub and eventually Sussex pub crawl… to be continued.

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Secret Nuclear Bunker

Posted by Alan on March 20, 2010

Today we took a trip out to the secret nuclear bunker near Brentwood, Essex. Brentwood is just outside of Zone 6 so not too far into deepest darket Essex to scare us much!

The bunker itself is much less secret that it used to be.

Subtlety defined eh?

About 14 quid north of Brentwood by taxi we found ourselves next to what appeared to be a farmhouse with a few ex-military things littered around the yard.

A Tractor & Green Goddess sleep peacefully

A peaceful missile

Bunker History

From here on in it was stranger still. The museum was largely based on what felt like 1980s technology and honesty. On entering the unassuming looking door, we picked up a red handset about 30 cm long. Not too dissimilar to an early 90s telephone this was our guide for the next couple of hours.

There was no attendent.

There was no cash desk.

There were plenty of signs however…

Photography from here on in was only allowed with a permit – but since I am still awful at low light photography I decided to give that a miss, especially after we had found someone who appeared to be staff to ask and he presented us with many forms…

The bunker itself is very interesting. Many fittings and fixtures have been put back representing it’s varied life – from radar station to government emergency HQ. I’m not sure how well I would cope in a small windowless concrete box shut off from the world for up to 3 months – the designed life span in the event of a nuclear attack. In it’s role as government HQ up to 600 people would have been incarcerated here – with just 200 beds. And I complain at having to hot desk sometimes!

Helpfully, plenty of videos and the wry humour of the red phone commentary reminded us how much devestation a nuclear attack would cause and how unlikely that if a HQ had been setup here there would have been much left to return to after 3 months.

After ending up in the gift shop, returning the red phone and paying for the trip we headed back to closest village to find some food & beer.

Kelvedon Hatch

The Eagle provided us with decent enough pint of Doom Bar and a chance to watch Scotland win a 6 nations match – their first this season!

All in all a cracking day out.

State of Security

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Cemetery Gates

Posted by Alan on February 1, 2010

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people all those lives
Where are they now?
With the loves and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived and then they died
Seems so unfair
And I want to cry

* * *

I haven’t really done any proper new year’s resolutions for years now. Probably just a lack of willpower but I tend to flunk them before February has started like most other people. But I do try have a ‘theme’ (or vision if you want to be caustically corporate). Last year this was achievement. Targets included getting a good job (tick), finding a better flat (tick) and reading more (sort of achieved…).
This year, arguably, the theme is consolidation (yeah, I *do* know that doesn’t sound awesome). Essentially though doing more with what I have achieved and being a bit better at delivering anything I promise. So, this weekend when we got invited to wander around the cemetery at Nunhead I jumped at the chance. Time for the new camera to come out to play and also chance to learn a bit more about the city we live in.
It also helps that Ruth has a strange obsession with death from her archaeology days.

Cemetery Gates

We'll meet you at the cemetery gates

Nunhead is in South East London, about 5-6 miles from the centre and we took the 2.15 tour from the gates. It is sister cemetery to Highgate (where Karl Marx is buried) but being South London it doesn’t boast the same kind of clientèle Highgate aspired too. Not that there aren’t famous people buried there, it’s just they have faded from memory as time has passed.

Cemetery Chapel

Nunhead Cemetery Chapel

The cemetery was hit several times by bombs during WWII, which has led to gaps in the trees/monuments. Some 250,000 people are buried here so the gaps are very misleading!

Amongst the formerly famous were several local philanthropists and also a Labour MP responsible for introducing the first old age pensions back in the 1930s.

It’s quite forested place – during it’s heyday some 200 people were employed to maintain the grounds but as death became less profitable the numbers dwindled and eventually nature started to claim back the land. Today it’s maintained in part by the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery who also run the tours.

Silhouette

Silhouette

The cemetery boasts a view of St Pauls from the top of the hill. Sadly I don’t have a lens capable of really showing that view!

Sculpture

Sculpture carving

There are some fantastic examples of carving amongst the memorials. Sadly, during the 1970s many were vandalised and removed. Those that do remain are often missing limbs, noses or unrecognisable. This one was very lucky indeed.

So. If you have some time on a Sunday and are inclined either to play with photography or learn a bit of history go find it! We plan on Highgate sometime later this year (maybe when it is less cold!)

The trip was rounded off by a pint in the Market Porter and in the Royal Oak (Borough). Also worth a look in if you fancy a pint though weirdly the Royal Oak was still full of xmas decorations…

The Market Porter, Borough

The Market Porter, Borough

Enough drivel for now. To finish with the start…

Cemetery Gates – The Smiths (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people all those lives
Where are they now?
With the loves and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived and then they died
Seems so unfair
And I want to cry

You say: “ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn”
And you claim these words as your own
But I’ve read well, and I’ve heard them said
A hundred times, maybe less, maybe more

If you must write prose and poems
The words you use should be your own
Don’t plagiarise or take “on loans”
There’s always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Who’ll trip you up and laugh
When you fall

You say: “ere long done do does did”
Words which could only be your own
And then you then produce the text
From whence was ripped some dizzy whore, 1804

A dreaded sunny day
So let’s go where we’re happy
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Oh Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day
So let’s go where we’re wanted
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
But you lose because Wilde is on mine

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Blackpool Rock

Posted by Alan on October 31, 2009

So, last weekend I also headed out to sunny Blackpool. In fact to start with – it was sunny!

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

Having taken the train over the hills I could really see the draw back in the days of satanic mills and wakes weeks. I started the in the Calder Valley where all the houses are dark, the light is shaded by the steep sides and the air is always just a bit too moist. Climbing out and into Lancashire the weather did improve as did the terrain – by Blackpool it’s flat, open and relatively light even in the October light.

(I was also recovering slightly from the night before which may have had something to do with it).

South Pier?

South Pier?

Blackpool was still really quite busy during the daytime despite it being out of season. I did see a couple of the ‘notorious’ stag/hen parties out there, mostly from the safety of the tram or the other side of the street though! 🙂

However the weather didn’t hold out for all too long…

The Promenade

The Promenade

Big Wheel

Big Wheel

Just before the lights

Just before the lights

So came the dark. And the lights. This is really why anyone goes to Blackpool in the autumn…

Tower at Night

Tower at Night

This is probably the last real trip out for the Powershot S3 as I’m intending to actually buy that SLR very soon – got a couple in mind so just need to try and buy!

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The view from the afternoon…friday afternoon

Posted by Alan on October 26, 2009

On Friday we had half decent weather down here in London town. As I had my camera with me and I’d mentioned to Jon at work that many of the top brass were taking photos of the view before the office move, perhaps it was my turn.

I’m now splitting myself in two between North Greenwich and Victoria (which is fun) but really it isn’t so bad. I have a choice of lunch for a start. Enough wibbling… here’s the views.

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CentrePoint – The Centre Point

Posted by Alan on August 20, 2009

If you’ve been following my twitter lately you’ll have seen a couple of pix from CentrePoint.

Well… here’s a few more. I may not get to travel out of London – but sometimes the London opportunities are fascinating enough.

The City

The City

The British Museum

The British Museum

Westminster

Westminster

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