30 May 2014

Who's giving me the eye?

Can anyone help with this?

This Eye of Horus is embedded in the pavement on Hampstead Road, near Mornington Crescent Station. Find it in front of Harrington Square's* railings, directly opposite the Art Deco Carreras building.

I am thinking that due to its locations and the arrow, which points north, it might be part of an Egyptian-themed trail/route.
I have tried to find out more about this but have so far hit a brick wall.

Incidentally, why is the Carreras Building still registered as Greater London House, even though Ken and the boys were only in there for such a short while and moved out decades ago?!

*Harrington Square is triangular

29 May 2014

Holloway Festival – 1st–8th June

This Sunday 1st June sees the start of my local arts festival in Holloway.
Organised by Rowan Arts, it's jam-packed of things to do and see.
I'm involved this year and as well as being one of the featured photographers on show at The Postcards From Holloway exhibition I have produced smaller mounted prints and collections as per the one below, echoing the groups I put together here on Jane's London, and these will be for sale from my stall at the Hornsey Street Festival and the Big Day Out in Whittington Park on Sunday 8th.
Hope to see you there

27 May 2014

Mount London – Ascents in the Vertical City

There are some great views across this fair city from high points such as Crystal Palace, Ally Pally and Richmond Park. Plus some fantastic vantage points from man-made constructions which include Hornsey Road's 'Suicide Bridge', BT TowerThe Wheel and the The Pointy Thing.
But on a smaller scale, London exists on a series of hills and mounds and this can be seen in the names of the streets, such as Saffron Hill, which to us today seems like a little blip and not worth mentioning.
Mount London is a collection of thoughts and observations by twenty-five different writers about these geographical ups and downs.
Published this Wednesday 28th May – more info here.
Below are some of my own observations on London's hills.

Corn, Denmark, Lavender, Rosslyn.
Stamford, Notting, Highgate, Crouch End.
Muswell, Haverstock, Primrose, Tower.

20 May 2014

Bankside _ a Southwark Patchwork

A few months ago I was walking to London Bridge from Lower Marsh via Southwark Street.
Just south of Tate Modern, at the junction of Hopton Street I stopped to stare across at the old alms houses which are surrounded on three sides by huge glass monsters*.
I stood and surveyed the view for quite a while and, without moving from that spot, I took a series of photographs to illustrate all the different types of buildings.
Metal, glass, UPVC, more glass, cladding, some Meccano clips and a bit of brick.
This montage of selected images makes the area look really interesting, but in reality the it resembles some kind of architectural testing ground and I don't like it one bit.
  *I am building up quite a collection of these saved, yet smothered gems, so watch this space.

13 May 2014

How to make a cup of tea

We are awash with branded coffee shops offering all sorts of different types from skinny latte decaf to double espresso. Yet the staff in these shops, who have managed to master the complexity of the barista machine, seem to lack simple tea-making know-how.
Often I have have purchased a much-needed cuppa only to lift the lid and discover a pale milky concoction with a teabag festering at the bottom; the tea having been made by adding the milk (often way too much of it for my liking) almost immediately after the hot water, therefore making the tea-brewing process redundant. It's barely possible to get more tea flavour out of a bag once the milk has been added. You wouldn't add milk into a teapot, so why put it in the cup?
And for this service they charge at least £1.50. It's so disappointing. And a rip off to boot!
To make tea – add boiling water to tea bag, let it rest/brew or squish the bag a bit, and then add milk if so desired. Satisfyingly simple!

Tea-related things in London

9 May 2014

Museums and Heritage Show, Olympia 14th & 15th May

This show, taking place over two days within the West Hall at Olympia, will be packed full of cultural, archaeology, heritage and historical info.
Free to enter – pre-register on the M&S site.
Find me at stand L2.
And speaking of history, there is a fabulous old shop just around the corner, at the eastern end of Blythe Road. Now sadly closed, it's a mix of Edwardian, Art Deco and the Swinging Sixties:

7 May 2014

That's the way to do it (again)

Another year has whizzed past and it's Punch's birthday again.
As per last year, the celebrations take place in St Paul's church garden, Covent Garden.
Fun and puppets and food and stuff for all the family.

5 May 2014

The Sunlight Laundry

How on earth had I never seen this before?

Because, dear reader, I don't tend to use this part of Pimlico Road preferring, when heading to Victoria Station, to cut down Ebury Road.
Approaching from the west, the blue tiles caught my eye at first so I stopped to take a few snaps wondering what the original shop might have been.
Well, wonder no more Jane, because on the outside of the shop's eastern wall is a huge metal sign for the Sunlight Laundry alongside the original painted metal downpipe complete with a fancy hopper.
This old launderette comprised one of the part of the ground floor of the block of Peabody's Coleshill flats. The sign and the blue tiles are in excellent condition.
I am assuming the name Sunlight ties in with the lemon soap of the same name which also can be seen on a few faded wall ads in London.
Sunlight has been making soap since 1884 and is now a part of Unliver.

1 May 2014

Montague Burton, The Tailor of Taste

Back in the 1930's almost every decent high street in the UK had a branch of Burton selling menswear. So popular were they that it's said that pre-1950 25% of British men were wearing their clothes.
The company's large statement stores featured lots of lovely Art Deco motifs as well as the company's distinctive logo. A few buildings are still occupied by Burton, as at Tottenham Court Road Station, but most have long gone. Some details still remain on the old stores – iron grilles at foot level, doorway mosaics, faux temple columns and, as in Streatham (and Belfast), elephants' heads, a popular motif in that era.
Date stamps can be found on some of the buildings in the granite footings; it was only a few months ago that I noticed that McDonald's near the Nag's Head junction of Holloway was originally a Burton branch, s opened in 1929 by members of Montague's family. Odd that I hadn't spotted the marks when I was writing about the shop next door. More date stamps here.

Back in the 80's I bought in a Burton's three-piece wool de-mob suit in dark brown with a grey chalk stripe from Black Out II, an excellent vintage shop that I am glad to report is still trading today.
I made a few alterations to the suit because the original owner must've been short and er, squat. I took down and steamed out the turn-ups, took in the trousers' waist, moved the buttons on the jacket etc. I wore the suit Kim Wilde style with white shirt and sparkly jewellery. Though I did hear that wearing it caused some blokes to assume I was a lesbian (idiots, but phew!).
The suit had Burton's labels inside the jacket and waistcoat, which I loved, plus the original owner's name written in ink, which I have now forgotten. Back then I assumed suits like mine must have been commonplace, so I didn't consider it to be anything special. I don't recall when I got rid of it – I expect I gave it to a charity shop in the 90's.
But now I am a little annoyed with myself because having searched the web for reference of the same I can't find a pic of a similar suit, or even the label.
You'll just have to make do with this snap of me at a wedding, as it appears it's the only photo I have of it.
Ah well.