Thursday, 21 September 2023

St Botolph


St Botolph's without Aldgate Church stands at the edge of the City of London. Aldgate was the Eastern gate if the Roman City of Londinium and beyond it in the area around St Botolph's was the Romans' Eastern Cemetery. There has been a church on this site for over a thousand years. The church that we see today was built in 1744.

Inside the church were some interesting memorials. Some of which are written in old English and predate this church.

This was an interesting notice placed in a niche inside the entrance.

The organ at the back of the church is England's oldest working church organ c. 1705. It predates the current church and is attributed to the organ builder Renatus Harris.

You can't see the large stained glass windows behind the altar which is a shame.
This memorial caught my eye with the phrase'dying in want'. Although he had some success in his life with the construction of the first steamboat, a courtcase towards the end of his life meant he died in debt.
This is a painted cartouche recording the gift of an organ to the church in 1676. 

This post had a will of its own and I just couldn't put the photos in the order I wanted.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023

The BT Tower


This weekend was Open House weekend where you can visit buildings not usually open to the public. I applied for tickets to a few buildings which are allocated through a ballot. I was successful in one of them to go and see the BT Tower. Opened in 1965 as a telecommunications tower, it was known as The Post Office Tower. One year later the revolving restaurant on the 34th floor 'Top of the Tower' was opened to the public. A public observation gallery was also opened with more than 50,000 people visiting in the first three weeks. It was a very popular tourist attraction. But then in 1971, a terrorist bomb exploded on the 31st floor. Thankfully, no-one was injured but the damage to the building took two years to repair. Public access to all areas ceased and the restaurant closed its doors in 1980. So today was a huge thrill for me to finally have access to this building.
In the entrance hall are these quirky pieces of art based on telephone boxes.

This one is covered in pennies.

Another made a  very comfortable seat.
It was a hot and hazy day and unfortunately I couldn't see much in the distance but it was still exciting for me to see views from this part of London. In fact I took so many photos of what I could see outside the windows that sadly I didn't take any of the floor we were on which used to be the restaurant. The lift which is one of two that go up through the centre of the tower took less than 30 seconds to get us up here. I know newer buildings do go faster than that but it was fast enough for me. This is the only building in the country that allows evacuation by lift. Parliamentary legislation was required to allow this oddity.
For a large city, London is very green and from up here I had a good view over Regent's park and could also see lots of the rooftop gardens. The floor rotated whilst we were there as it would have done when the restaurant was open. It revolves 2.5 times per hour.

The green in the far right of the picture is Hyde park.
Another odd thing about the Tower is that it was classed as an official secret on its completion. Taking or possessing .photos of the Tower was technically an offence under the Official Secrets Act. The Tower was not marked on Ordnance Survey maps eventhough it was obviously there for all to see. It wasn't until 1993 when a member of parliament officially confirmed its existence that it could then be recognised as a national monument by English Heritage and was given Grade II status in 2003.

A  close up of Regent's Park with the semi circular John Nash terraced buildings. 

Friday, 8 September 2023

The first auction

 The first of the auctions took place on Wednesday evening. If you are interested in how much the lots went for then click on here Auction

In the first of six auctions, Freddie Mercury’s hand witten song lyrics were auctioned as well as a number of other items.

His piano which he used to compose most of his songs.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Freddie's photos and trinkets.

 Following on from my previous post, here are more items from the Sotheby's auction of Freddie Mercury's possessions.