Wednesday, 23 January 2019


On my way to London Bridge yesterday I came across this building which was being demolished. I am sure this machine has another name than just a demolition crane but I don't know what that might be.
This is a very built up area and I was fascinated to see how they were going to do it without causing damage to other buildings or pedestrians who were walking within 20 metres of the demolition. I assume a wrecking ball would not give the operator the control he needs in this kind of area.
 It was interesting to note how much water was being sprayed onto the building to prevent the dust covering a wide area. There was someone operating a hose from the ground as well as water coming from the crane.

These close ups show the massive pincers that were dismantling the building piece by piece.
It reminded me of dismantling a lego model.

Such a delicate touch.

Here was the operator, eyes glued on the job in hand.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

City of London Distillery

 Gin distilleries seem to be popping up all over. This one is in the City of London under the watchful eye of Wren's St Bride's church.

 The gin craze was immortalised in Hogarth's notorious print 'Gin Lane'. By 1730 there were more than 7000 gin  shops in the City of London. Known as 'Mother's ruin', gin was responsible for widespread alcoholism, violence and social breakdown. It wasn't until the gin act of 1751 that things started to improve. Gin could only be sold from licensed premises. It was a turning point in the social history of London.

 This distillery on St Bride's Lane is the first distillery in the City of London for 200 years. It describes itself  as a small batch distillery producing about 1000 bottles a week.

 The bar and distillery are in the basement of what used to be a restaurant. Myself and a friend went along on Saturday to a gin tasting afternoon. They produce five different gins here and we enjoyed tasting all of them.

 A particular favourite was the Christopher Wren gin. It was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Monday, 14 January 2019

HIX Award

Walking along The Strand in London I was curious about this display in the window of Coutt's bank. A closer look revealed that it is a long sheet of paper covered in very neat handwriting. It was very difficult to get a good photo because of the reflection.

A notice at the side informed me that this was the winning entry for the HIX Award 2018. Entitled  Die Liste, by the artist Elizabeth Eade, it is a ten metre long, hand written list documenting the deaths of 33,305, who died trying to reach Europe. It is very difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of the numbers of people dying as they try to reach Europe, but this made me stop and think.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 6 January 2019

'Above the Underground' update

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you will know that I write a second blog, which for the last few years has focussed on a challenge I set myself. Living in London and having the benefit of a Freedom Pass (which means I can travel around the city for free), I decided to visit each of the 270 underground stations. I wanted to do more than just speed through them so I came up with the idea of finding out what places of interest are above  ground, within easy walking distance of the station. I photograph everything I see and then come home and do some research, trying to find out as much as possible. I am fascinated by the history of the city in which I live and only wish I could remember everything I have read or written. I find it hard to believe that my first post was four years ago! I had hoped to complete this challenge within ten years but that seems highly unlikely, as I have only managed to visit and post about one third of the stations. However, I am loving the challenge and get quite excited when I am visiting a new station and area.

A number of you have suggested that I publish the posts. Being on the internet gives those who are interested access to the posts so I don't feel the need to go down the publishing route but I do get them printed for my own benefit.
I am aiming to visit 20 stations this year and am pleased that I have finished this one in the first week of the New Year. However I did visit and photograph it over a month ago. If you would like to find out more about this station and its surroundings read more here