Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wilton's Music Hall



I found this gem of a building in an Alley in Wapping close to the River Thames. I have walked around here many times and never come across it before but Open House drew my attention to the building.  For those of you who know London it is about 5 mins walk from St Katherine's Dock.

Through this door is Wilton's Music Hall and  is the oldest of its kind in the world,being the only survivor of the Grand(giant pub) Music Hall.





Originally it was 4 terraced houses built in the 1690s which had various alterations over the years, but have remained more or less unchanged since Wilton built a music hall across the backyards of the houses making them into one building in 1858. He installed the Hall with the best lighting, heating and ventilation systems available.



                                       There are twelve barley sugar columns that hold up the balcony







Seating at the back of the auditorium.











In 1888 the building was bought by the local Wesleyan Mission and used by them until the 1950s. The mission fed 2000 people a day during the docker's strike of 1889, housed the first Ethiopian working men's club in the 1920s and offered shelter during two world wars for the people of the East London.



When the Methodists left, Wilton's became a rag warehouse and was eventually left empty, falling derelict from 1956 onwards. It was saved from the slum clearance schemes of the 1960s and became a Grade II listed building. A trust was formed in 2004 to bring the building back to life.  Due to successful fundraising between 2012 and 2015 enough money was raised to sensitively repair Wilton's and from last week is now fully open with a full programme of plays and events.




The staircase takes you up to a number of small rooms which now look as though they might be used as rehearsal or meeting rooms













In the auditorium you can still see the original painted plasterwork.







 The renovation has not added any modern features and looking down on the stage and auditorium from the balcony you get a real feel for those Victorian evenings spent in this Music Hall














The building has been used in  films and this poster was part of the film set for 'Death Defying Acts' starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Guy Pearce. I look forward to seeing a production here in the future.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Above the Underground - Central Line

This is the first station travelling from East to West on the Central Line and so begins the start of my exploration of 'Above the Underground' on this line. Having completed the Bakerloo Line I am keen to see what the Central Line has to offer. The 46 mile Line travels from the Epping in the East through the centre of London to West Ruislip.






The approach to the station was through beautiful English countryside so I was already excited by the prospect of exploring a new town before stepping off the train and I wasn't disappointed. Read more here


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Balloons 2

About a month ago I published a post on a balloon installation in Covent Garden see here. I promised a number of fellow bloggers that I would return and see whether or not they had remained inflated.


 Well the balloons are still there although they look smaller to me.






 Some have that pinched look or have burst



 The installation will be removed this week after 5 weeks so actually they did quite well.






Friday, 25 September 2015

Good-bye to Lyme Regis



 The holiday is over. Here are a few more early morning reflections from the harbour.

























Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ware Barn Cottage

Whilst in Devon we stayed in a converted barn on an alpaca farm.



 It was very spacious, light and had everything we could possibly need. Ian and Sue, the owners left us a welcome basket of local produce which was a delicious surprise. It made the ideal base for us all with 3 large bedrooms, one with ensuite and a very comfortable lounge.


 As it was all on one level, my 15 month old granddaughter loved the freedom of being able to wander around safely.





 There was a secluded patio area at the front and another area at the back for relaxing and sunbathing (although we didn't quite have enough sunshine for that).








 How about this for a greeting in the morning. The herd of alpacas would always amble over to say hello.



It was a fantastic place for a family holiday. If anyone wants more details   go to Ware Barn Cottage

Monday, 21 September 2015

Seaton Tramway

This is Seaton on the South West coast of Devon. A small town full of flowers.
















But Seaton has something other local towns do not have and that is an electric tramway. So Andrew at      Hign Riser these photos were taken with you in mind.


Seaton Tramway has been running between Colyford and Colyton since 1970. It is a unique 2 ft 9ins gauge system purpose built by the late Claude Lane, whose Lancaster Electrical Company in Barnet produced electrical vehicles such as milk floats in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.









There are a number of different trams and this is the tram I travelled on to Colyton. It's a 20 minute journey alongside the River Axe and two nature reserves.

Quite a tight squeeze for the driver who has to take his seat out to let passengers alight.







The weather was not good but I still wanted to travel on the top in the open air



The driver controls the traffic lights when we have to cross the road.












This is where we all got off at the terminus in Colyton.








In past centuries this Saxon village was a major commercial centre based on weaving cloth, silk, and serge as well as lace making.




The thatcher's mark on the roof of one of the cottages.

Colyton cottage dated 1610





The saxon cross inside the church dates back to 900AD








After a delicious cream tea (scones, clotted cream and jam to accompany a pot of tea) I walked back to the station to get the tram back into Seaton.




The tram I got back was even  smaller

I wonder if they only employ small people to drive the trams.