Sunday, 29 June 2014

Here and There

This week I was mostly photographing Barbican, but on a few occasions ventured around a bit. First of was Whitecross Place, just off Finsbury Avenue Square. I saw a really nice picture of this place (better than mine) on the Flick Bleeding London group page, and realised that I hadnt photographed it, even though I had marked it off on the map. Thus I thought I had better shoot it quick.

On the same morning, before I work, I finally photographed Great Winchester Street (GWS). GWS is almost opposite where I work and is the location of Deutsche Bank; there are lots of security guards here, mostly by the goods entrance, and although not intimidating, I did think they would try to stop the shot I had in mind. In the end I went for something different, the entrance to the bank, with no bother at all.

The next day I had a meeting in Canary Wharf and got the DLR to Bank station on the way back to work. On the way back to the office I managed a couple of quick shots. The first is of the bank of England on the corner of Prince's Street and Lothbury; I not actually sure which of the two this is actually on, but since I have already photographed Lothbury, I am counting it as Prince's Street. This shot is merged from two separate shots, one exposed for the building, the other exposed for the sky. I then used layers and a mask to merge the two in Photoshop Elements.

The other shot I managed on my way back to the office was of St. Margaret's Close, which is gated closed. The close runs up the side of St. Margaret's church and there has been a church on this site since the 12th Century. The current church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1692, the previous one having been destroyed by the Great Fire of London.

Friday was the sort of light I had been hoping for when photographing Barbican - strong sunlight and no cloud which would cast some great shadows from all the concrete pillars. However I wanted to get home a little earlier and I knew I would get too consumed by photography at Barbican, so I decided to walk to Tower Hill, picking out a few streets on the map prior to leaving the office. First on my route was Hartshorn Alley, an unusual alley that runs between Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street. It is obviously one of those old alleys that has been preserved even though a new building has been erected over it, which I think is great. What is strange though is that on the Fenchurch Street side there is a Coral Bookmakers that seemingly has no entrance. The entrance though is about half way down the alley, and in my picture below, the man is checking his betting slip or winnings having just come out of the shop.

Directly opposite the bookmakers on Fenchurch Street, was the scene below. It was the first sign of sleeping rough that I had seen since I started this project and I felt compelled to take a shot of it, though I think I had already included two shots of Fenchurch Street previously.

Down the side of this empty shop is Northumberland Alley. The shot below was taken here but is actually a side alley of sorts connecting to Lloyd's Avenue - I did check and it didnt have its own unique name, but I do have another shot of Northumberland Alley just in case!

The Fratres Cruciferi (Brethren of the Cross) are a Roman Catholic religious order. There were four main independent branches of Fratres Cruciferi, one of which is Cruchted Friars. Some settled in London in 1249 giving there name to a Street which still bears the name today. 

Next up is the wonderfully named Savage Gardens, which as you can see by the map below, looks like it should really be two separate streets.

I did take a shot on each section though. The first is at the corner with Crutched Friars.The big arrow is on the side of a Hilton Hotel.

The second shows a statue on the side of Ten Trinity Square; a Grade II listed building formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority.

Last up is Trinity Square, and number 10 itself.

Tomorrow is the last day of the month, but I will not be able to take any photos I have updated the map which I will also show here.

Friday, 27 June 2014

The Barbican - Part 2 1/2

This week I spent most of my (photography) time in the Barbican, and will be hoping to complete it in the next week or so. I don't feel as though I can write that much about the individual streets and "highwalks", and in most cases will leave the pictures to do the talking. But I will start off with a little history and information.

The city of London suffered a lot of damage during the second world war. The Cripplegate ward was almost entirely destroyed and it is here where the Barbican estate was built in the mid sixties and early seventies. The estate was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in the brutalist style, and was Grade II listed in 2001. As well  as a residential complex, the Barbican also contains the Barbican Centre, a public library, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Museum of London and the City of London School for Girls. There used to be a YMCA which I photographed previously, but this has closed down.

I have taken a few pictures of Barbican previously, which is why this isn't part one, so perhaps I should have introduced it before. Anyway...

Moorfields Highwalk - this goes from Moorgate into the main estate, crossing Moor Lane.

Brandon Mews

Speed Highwalk

Cromwell Highwalk

Breton Highwalk

John Wesley Highwalk

Seddon Highwalk


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Filling in some gap and the other side of Barbican

Most of the week was spent around Barbican but I had a few streets between Aldgate and Tower Hill to finish off, so I will begin with those. On my way towards Aldgate I stumbled across a small lane, Aldgate Avenue that is not on any of the online maps, but I does have name, so here it is. There is not much to say about it except that it has a closed off entrance to the Aldgate Subway.

Behind where I was standing for the above photograph is Middlesex Street, which I had photographed previously, at the other end. I wouldn't go out my way to photograph a street again, but I was rather taken by the colourful shutters spelling out Happy (and I have been singing that song  by Pharrell Williams quite a lot since).

Haydon Street is one two that runs between Minories and Mansell Street that I didn't photograph when in this area before. The following picture shows the side of the Ibex building which as I mentioned in a previous blog is supposedly where Hitler would have had his headquarters had he successfully invaded Britain; years ago when working in the City previously I used to go the gymn here, when it was a "Holmes Place".

The other street I missed previously, on the other side of the Ibex building is Portsoken Street.

Back up towards Bishopsgate and just off St. Mary Axe is Bury Court, which isn't much of a court. It does have a fairly interesting modern narrow building though, in which there was a great reflection of both Tower 42 and the Gherkin.

Back up to Moorgate (on another day) and to New Union Street, where I saw a rather strange group of items - a road sign, beer barrels, wooden pallets, tables and a shopping trolley.

Off London wall and running up the side of the Barbican Centre is Fore Street. Here I took two similar photos that I both like, so am putting them both in; I love the shadows and patterns in these;

At the end of Fore Street is Wood Street. There is a lot of building work here, running between Fore Street and London Wall and St. Alphage Highwalk has been demolished. St. Alphage Garden seems to also be heavily affected, though may just be partly blocked off, but the streets sings were missing when I visited so I will have to go back.

Almost opposite here on the other side of Wood Street is Monkwell Square, which has some interesting gardens with an obelisk, that my picture probably doesn't do justice to.

From Wood Street I went up onto the "Highwalks" of Barbican. I only covered a small bit but will aim to complete in the next week or so. First up was The Postern.

I then went back down to street level and back up for some reason (can't remember why) and missed a bit between The Postern and Bastion Highwalk, so will have to remember to go back. At Bastion Highwalk I really liked the way the light was falling on a particular section and took a few pictures - here are two of them.

The London Museum is just up ahead, in the two pictures above, and my last picture is just round the corner for there, Nettleton Court, where I again I got a lovely combination of light and shadows.

Very few of the Barbican Streets and "highwalks" are marked on Google maps, so I'm not yet sure how I will mark them off on my map. They do all seem to be on bing maps, so at least I can use that for reference purposes.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Around Barbican again

This week I managed to get out a a few times after work, mostly around Barbican, of which this and another post will be focused on.

First up is Silk Street which is on the edge of the Barbican Centre. I couldn't choose between a few photos so post them all.

Just off Silk Street, opposite the roundabout in the above pictures is Milton Street.

At the end of Silk Street is Beech Street, where there is a road tunnel leading towards Barbican Tube.

To the north of Beech Street there are a few streets I missed out when in this area previously. About halfway through the tunnel on the right is Bridgewater Street, of which there wasn't much of interest to photograph. In fact the same could be said about the next few streets.

At the end of this street is Bridgewater Square, which was just as challenging, and I didn't come away with much of a picture.

Sometimes at first glance a street doesn't look to have much photographic opportunity but there is often something that can be turned your advantage. The following picture of Brackley Street is a case in point, where I made good use out of the concrete bollards and textured paving tiles. If I didn't have the scale of this project on my mind, then I would slow down and come away with better pictures in some of the more challenging streets,

Viscount Street, despite its grand name, was also not the most interesting of streets. A lady stopped me as I was photographing here to enquire what I was taking a picture of. She couldn't understand what I might find interesting enough about the street to photograph it, pointing out that the ex-YMCA building around around the corner was much more interesting.  I had a nice chat with her, so if she finds this blog, the picture didn't turn out too badly did it?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

A short One

A Very short entry, with yet more streets around Bishopsgate (only one or two left). First up is Broad Street Avenue, which doesn't look like much of an Avenue, certainly at present; the building work that can be seen is due to the Crossrail development, and which when completed will enable me to get straight into the City without having to get off a train and onto a tube at Paddington.

Next up is New Broad Street, which connects Old Broad Street to Bloomfield Street.

This leaves only one Street left off Broad Street left to photograph; Great Winchester Street. Great Winchester Street is almost opposite my work and I must have walked past it a hundred times since I started this project, but only down it a couple of times. On it is a goods entrance to Deutsche bank, and there are always three or four intimidating looking security guards. One one occasion I asked if I could photograph one of the guards, who politely refused, and I haven't managed to photograph it since. I guess I can photograph it any time, since it is so close, but I must try and do so soon.

Last up on this entry is Great St. Helen's, and not a very good photograph.St. Helen's church dates from the 12th Century and is the largest surviving church in the City. I dont feel like I have done it justice in this picture.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Aldgate to Tower Hill

This week I extended my coverage of the east of the City, down to Tower Hill, and covered most of the streets on/near that border, on two separate evenings.
Starting off at Aldgate, which is a surprisingly short stretch of road, sandwiched between Fenchurch Street and Aldgate High Street - there isn't much to say about this picture.

On the south side of Aldgate High Street there are two roads that arc similarly but in opposite directions, One is Little Somerset Street which leads to Mansell street which is a bit dilapidated looking.

The other leads onto Minories, and has only a bus station/depot. It has no visible name,isn't named on Google maps and isn't even on Bing Maps. I therefore chose not to photograph it. Minories and Mansell Street run parallel to each other and both lead down towards Tower Hill, with several street joining them. The next picture is of Mansell Street, taken under a railway bridge carrying trains to/from Fenchurch Street Station.

Next up is Minories, where there is a rather nice 1930's Art Deco building, "Ibex House". Legend has it that Hitler wanted Ibex House to be his command Centre after an invasion.

At the north (Aldgate High Street) end of Minories is a tiny alley called Golden Fleece Court, that isn't on Google Maps, and which I nearly missed. It doesn't go very far and the picture below shows about all there is to see, which isn't. 

A bit further down Minories is India Street, where I struggled to get an interesting photo.

Just off of India Street is Vine Street. Here I was taken in by the numerous signs on this building as well as the mess caused by what I assume is the condensate pipe from a boiler.

St Clare Street is another street off Minories and another one that I struggled with, and probably the reason why I left a couple more of the street off Minories for another day.

I did manage to get decent shots on the last two streets connecting Minories to Mansell Street, in my opinion anyway. The first is a subway going under Goodman's Yard.

Second up is Shorter Street, and this picture is actually the wall of Minories Car Park.

The last picture of this blog entry is also my favourite, taken on Tower Hill. Only a very short section of Tower Hill, perhaps 30 metres, is within the boundary of the City, and this is possibly one of the most unusual photos probably taken of Tower Hill, especially given the millions of tourists that walk along here each year. One of the things I try to do in this project though, is not to take the obvious picture.