Friday, 30 April 2010

A London #wander

I had to go to London for work today. I normally work in Nottingham, but our head office is in the capital. It was the announcement of our 6-monthly financial results, and frankly, they were rather reassuring. Phew.

Anyway, despite the fact that I've been to London dozens of times (my lovely wife and I did most of our courting there), and also my deep distrust of Southerners (except for my Southerner father, natch) I always feel rather excited at the prospect of going to 'That London'.

There is something special about London. It is filthy and expensive, and fights you at every turn, but it is exciting, historic and exotic, and has a strong pull on us parochial boys. I've spent the last 15 years living in a city that makes my hometown look like a backwoods hamlet, but London blows Nottingham out of the water.

If I ever get the chance, I'll do you a London #wander - including the London Stone.

It was only a very short #wander. The office is VERY close to the train station, and Kings Cross really isn't an area where a clever person walks about with a camera in his hand. So, here are a few shots from my walk there, and back. I will try and annotate them properly in due course.

My destination...

And home again...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Wander with a camera

This was a Twitter squeezed in between other tasks. Despite it being a great day, I had lots of other things to do, so couldn't #wander about in the surprise sunshine.

I also brought my proper camera with me. Not a fancy SLR or anything, but a proper megapixel one instead of the dreadful iPhone camera... because I wanted to take 'bigger' shots, and encompass larger street vistas.

Below is the corner of Thurland Street and Pelham Street in Nottingham. Although not especially photogenic, I love the jumble of different building styles and sizes - I suspect this took the best part of three centuries to achieve.

The view down Pelham Street, towards Market Square

At the top of Goosegate, this building has obviously seen better days - it looks like it was shuffled and never put back together properly.

This building on Fletcher Gate, built at the height of the property boom, has carried TO LET signs ever since. The design is a refreshing change though.

Dating back to the 16th century, The Old Angel has, at different times, been a brothel and a chapel. It stands above extensive rock-cut cellars, and has been the site of 2 murders... though not recently.

Along with a lot of the Lace Market, the Adams Building stood under used and neglected after the decline in lace manufacture in the 1950s. Luckily, it was restored in the late 90's - and some great examples of stone masonry were saved.

The imposing front entrance of the Adams Building on Stoney Street.

Less lucky, but (in my opinion) far more beautiful are the buildings on Broadway. Befalling the same fate as the Adams Building, but without the philanthropic rescue. They stand today, externally water damaged, and internally chopped up into many small business - given only the minimum amount of maintenance.

The view Broadway, along Stoney Street - with a Watson Fothergill building in the distance.

Short Hill looking down towards Hollowstone. This used to be an important, but very steep, entrance to the city. The line of basements show where the road was 'eased'. The resulting openings, as with the caves on Hollowstone were used for brewing.

St Mary's Church on High Pavement. 

A great little door at the side of St Mary's. I assume that the difference in the level between the road, and the church is also a result of the levelling of the road from Short Hill.

A view though to a dingy courtyard behind the otherwise rather posh High Pavement.

This plaque from 1897 celebrates the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria - Empress of India.

Victoria Street - I just like the gentle curve of the buildings.

Great looking building.

Another great looking building.

Brian Clough..

That is all. Thankyou.

Bolton #Wanderer

DSC00958 The streets of Bolton are paved with quotes. Quotes from famous Boltonians (if that’s the word), unheard of Boltonians, and from Boltonian schoolkids.

The one on the right is from a famous Boltonian steeplejack, who I’m sure you all remember. For the few of you who are either too young or have crap memories, there’s a fairly unrealistic statue in the town centre -DSC00206

But I’m getting ahead of myself – we haven’t even got there yet. First, we shall drive along the daff-lined Bolton Road…DSC00987

DSC00985 … and past the shop with arguably the best name in the world (although it does face strong competition in these parts from such establishments as the bakery “Nice Buns Big Baps” and the Chinese restaurant called “Wok This Way”.


DSC00954Walking past this stream hidden way down in an apparently inaccessible culvert we get to the Parish Church. It sits impressively atop a hill with high retaining walls, and towers over visitors as they enter the town.







Equally impressive, but for entirely different reasons, is Ye Olde Pastie Shop, first established in 1667 (a year when Dutch troops attacked Royal Navy ships in London and burnt them), which does serve the best pasties in Bolton.


A short way up the road is The Old Man and Scythe hostelry (which actually is old) next to “Ye Olde Wench & Trinkets” (whish isn’t).DSC00959 

DSC00977A sign above the pub tells us that this happened in 1651. The Earl was executed because of his part in the Bolton Massacre.

Just up the road is the Prestons Jewellers building, which is in itself pretty impressive, but also notice the golden ball thingy on the very top. It is on rails, and has a cable with which it can be raised and then dropped. I have NO idea why, or when it might be used.DSC00960 

Bolton is full of animals, too – here’s a Town Hall lion, together with his own quote…DSC00963


… and a couple of elephants:DSC00971 DSC00970






No pigeons though, for they value their undercarriages -DSC00968 

DSC00967I enjoyed the back of this statue, particularly the care the artist had put into the folds of cloth -

This little carving was at the side of the Town Hall:DSC00964







Oh and look, a Woollies!