18 April 2021

Saloons – Everyone's gone to the pub or the hairdresser

Here in the UK, some restrictions as regards social distancing have been lifted – pubs with outdoor table space are open again and hairdressers are busy attacking our lockdown barnets*

It occured to me that both are historically linked by the word 'saloon' so I've pulled some pics together in my old montage-stylee showing a selection of lovely signage across London.

Most of these are pub signs but, as you can see, some are on hairdressers and barbers. Perhaps you recognise some of them or know of some other beauties...?

The separate rooms for saloon, lounge, public, private, snug and offsales is a thing of the past these days, harking back to a Victorian era of class and gender segregation. However, a few pubs in London still have the original walls/dividers and others have reinstated them. This latter section includes The Princess Louise in Holborn, the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street and the Angel at Rotherhithe. 

Never mind sitting outside a pub; that's just not for me. I am looking forward to getting back inside; to stand at a bar or sit on a barstool; to read a newspaper in a comfy chair by a real fire; to talk to barstaff and locals... sigh.

Barnet Fair = hair (London Cockney rhyming slang)

7 April 2021

I have been otherwise occupied

Oh my good... look at the date on my last post – the middle of January!!  And now we are fast heading for the middle of April. Whoosh! How did that happen?! 

Although I have been almost constantly collecting ideas for this site, I have been filing them away in a 'To Do' folder and can now see that I haven't actually been sharing them with you. I will make a big effort next week as there are a few good things I have noticed or been alerted to these last few months.

The thing that has kept me so busy lately has been designing, researching and hosting virtual tours (online presentations via Zoom) in lieu of leading actual guided tours on the streets being as that's still not really possible yet due to the pandemic restrictions. 

Presentations need good pics and reference, so I've been out and about in London's empty streets, wandering about in beautiful winter sunshine, snapping away with my camera to make the slides that accompany my talks. 

London is Lovely
I am really pleased how the presentations are going – lots of people come back to me time and again, and from all over the world – how lovely. And I will continue to do these going forward.

Find out more about my tours and talks at www.janeslondonwalks.com or simply click here for the upcoming schedule which gives more info about each one.

13 January 2021

You need hands

Inspired by the pointing hands in a recent post, I have collected some more hands that please me. 

You might recognise some of them.

The centre pic was taken at the lights festival that usually happens around Canary Wharf in January. I use it for my Facebook avatar sometimes.



7 January 2021

On the tiles at Doulton Lambeth

Happy January everyone.

Let's start the year by looking at some gorgeous tiles.

If you walk five minutes from the south side of Lambeth Bridge and head down Black Prince Road, you will see a Victorian Gothic masterpiece coming in to view. This was once the ofiices and manufactury of Doulton, Lambeth, later to become Royal Doulton.

At the time this building was constructed, Doulton's style was earthy blues and ochres, with the emphasis on good quality workmanship. This is evidenced on the building itself which is cleverly designed to be a street-facing advertisment, showing off a cross-section of some of the syles of designs that were on offer at that time, both glazed and unglazed. Beautiful examples are arranged around the windows and doors as well as higher up the building. Sadly the letters thet spelled the comapny's name have been chipped off. I know not whay, or where they might be now. Do stop for a closer look next time you are in the area.

I have created this montage of the tiles that run underneath the street-level windows (not shown in the pics above) – they look marvellous all together – tiletastic!

I've written about Doulton's work at other locations here.