Monday, 29 September 2014

Falling behind again..

Annoyingly so.
I was on holiday during the first week of September, and the second week was split between two areas, south of Fenchurch Street and between London Wall and Gresham Street.

South of Fenchurch Street and connecting Mincing Lane with Rood Lane is Plantation Lane. The street is fairly new, existing only since 2005. A main feature of the street is artwork by Simon Patterson. There is a large wall displaying the surface of the moon, which is illuminated with different colours at various times and text representing different timelines in the pavement running the length of the street.

On Rood Lane I struggled a little for inspiration and ended up with a slightly boring picture of the 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie building. The building has become famous due to the fact that it shape is concentrating light down on the street with negative affect. It has burnt metalwork on cars and one news report was presented whilst frying an egg on the pavement.

Mincing Lane itself is in the background of the image above and noticing that most of the pavement was in shadow, I waited for someone to walk through and create a shadow in the one area bathed in light.

Walking down Mincing Lane and across Great Tower street lies St. Dunstan's Hill where the ruin of St. Dunstan's church is situated. Originally built around 1100 it suffered great damage during the Great fire of London. Repairs after the fire included a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The church  again suffered great damage during the second world war, but was this time not repaired or rebuilt. Wren's steeple remains, along with the north and south walls and the church is now a public garden. It really is a very nice peaceful place amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Me being me, I photographed something else.

I don't usually jump around chronologically in these posts, but it seems to make sense in this case. The following picture was actually taken the following day, but does actually show a little bit of the church gardens, taken from St. Dunstan's Alley which runs along the north side of the church.

The alley leads to Idol Lane, which goes back up to Fenchurch Street and St. Dunstan's Lane which leads onto St. Mary at Hill. The first picture below is of Idol Lane and the second of St. Dunstan's Lane.

Back to the other end of the Alley and opposite the church lies Cross Lane. This and two of the surrounding streets are the probably the dullest area I have come across so far in the city. I was lucky enough to come away with a half-decent shot here, but have visited the two streets off of here twice so far and not had a clue what to take.When I do return and manage to get some shots, you will see what I mean.

Cross Lane also leads down to Lower Thames Street and here at its eastern end I took the shot below, from stairs down to a car park and street level, after which I called it a day and made my way home.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

South of London Wall

I keep saying how I need to cover the streets furthest away from the office (the west of the city) before it starts to get darker earlier, but apart from a couple of outings that way I haven't really followed that plan. I will try to venture further a bit more, but perhaps I might need to take a couple of half days off work, especially once the clocks change.

In the meantime I am mostly ignoring my plan, and this particular week was no exception, when I focused on the area between Moorgate, London Wall and Gresham Street; this is an area where it is quite easy for me to get off or on the tube at Moorgate and photograph on the way to work or the way home.

Starting up with Coleman Street, a street I had photographed before, but I really liked this scene with the contrast created by the man in the suit, and his reflection in the window.

Off Coleman Street lies White Horse Yard, which is not very photogenic, but happens to have a sheltered spot favoured by smokers, which made for a slightly more interesting photograph than I would otherwise have achieved.

Following are a couple more streets that lie off of Coleman Street - Great Bell Alley which leads to Moorgate, and Mason's Avenue which leads to Basinghall Street.

There is not much to say about Great Bell Alley (above), but walking down Mason's Avenue, is a bit of step back in time, although you don't really get a feel for this in the picture. The name comes from the fact the Company of Masons were based here.After the great fire of London, there was much rebuilding work to be done, and masons would have been busy for many years, due to the banning of construction the construction of wooden  buildings. Also of note here is a pub, The Old Dr Butler's head, which gets it name from an unqualified physician who served King James I. A few more details on this story can be found here.

At the end in the picture above is Basinghall Street, where the Guild Hall takes up most of the western side of the street, part of which can be seen in the picture below.

At the junction with Basinghall Avenue the street veers left and leads on to Aldermanbury and Aldermanbury Square, the latter of which is pictured below.

The next image is of Guildhall Buildings, a large square surrounded by the buildings of the Guildhall, hence its name. The square has some really interesting paving, which makes for great black and white pictures.

the main entrance way to the Guildhall is via Guildhall Yard, where I spotted this old police telephone box. Of course since taking this picture I have seen lots of them and have probably walked past quite a few without even noticing them; that's what happens when you just rush around from the tube to work and back again, you don't take in your surroundings.

My final image of the shoot, was on Wood Street, where there an interesting modern glass and yellow painted metal building that features these colourful air conditioning vents.

That takes me up to the end of August, so now only two weeks behind. Below is the updates progress map which is also on the progress page.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pastures New

A couple of weeks ago (I am still catching up), I ventured to a new area for me - between Blackfriars and Temple, south of Fleet Street. I made the mistake of getting the tube, thinking it would be much quicker than walking, but instead waited about fifteen minutes for a train. It was one of those situations where you just have to wait, because you know as soon as turn your back a train will arrive. Anyway...

I started off on Tudor Street, where I took the following couple of pictures of the same building.

I saw a face in the image below when I shot it, but it doesn't appeal to me quite as much any more.

From here I turned onto John Carpenter Street, named after a town clerk of London during the time of Henry V and Henry VI and who wrote the first book of English Common Law. I have no idea who is depicted by the statue below, but based on the figures attire it is not John Carpenter.

A bit further down Tudor Street and parallel to John Carpenter Street is Temple Avenue, where I took this picture outside one of the many law firms in the area.

Heading up towards Fleet Street I struggled a little with some of the smaller and narrower streets, but will no doubt have to visit the area a few times to cross them all off. The following shot is of Playdell Court which is not the best picture but would have been very ordinary, had the two guys not started wheeling the large bins up the alley.

A few streets away connecting Bouverie Street with Whitefriars Street is Ashentree Court which turns into Magpie Alley. On Googling these streets whilst writing this post I came across a couple of interesting things. First of  all I came across a few crimes from the 18th Century recorded by the old Bailey, that took place on Ashentree Court. They make for interesting reading and can be found here. Secondly I found from this link that there is a crypt right below the spot where I took the  following picture of Ashentree Court, and I never even noticed it.

The following picture is of Magpie alley and you can read more about it from the above mentioned link, but the images on the right wall explain some of the history of the area.

Towards the Top end of the aforementioned Whitefriars Street, is one of my favourite street names that I have come across so far, Hanging Sword Alley, which apparently features in Charles Dickens "Tale of Two Cities".

Off here leading to Fleet Street is Hood Court, which is more of an alley, and a short one at that.

Entering Hanging Sword Alley from Whitestreet, the alley leads to Salisbury Square and onto Salisibury Court and Dorset Rise. I managed a picture of the latter, but not a very good one and it was at this point that I decided to call it a night.

I walked to Farringdon Tube Station, but on the way noticed the following on Cock Lane, which is far from being a good shot, but it tickled me when I saw it. Appropriately, in medieval times legalised brothels where situated here.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Will I ever catch up?

Yes, I hope so. I am a few weeks behind on this blogging  lark, which has been further interrupted by a lovely holiday. But now I am back and hope to be able to remember something about the pictures I took a few weeks ago.

Another trip after work around the Hoborn/ Chancery Lane area, which I first visited a while back. I really hope to cover this area and down to the river before the clocks change and it starts to get dark much earlier. First up is Staple Inn buildings, which takes its name from Staple Inn, a tudor building on High Holborn dating back to 1585.

Turning right at the end of here, leads to Southampton Buildings, which to the casual observer would appear to be two separate streets that join at right angles; they share the same name though, so one picture crosses off what I thought was two streets on the map.

Then onto Chancery Lane, famed for its association with the legal profession and boasting the Law Society as one of its residents; and all I could come up with was a picture of someone outside a ten-a-penny cafe. Oh well!

I think I must have been struggling for inspiration at this point of the evening, as from here I moved onto Fleet Street, famed for its historical association with the newspaper trade. And I photographed..

To be fair though, I did think that it might have some historical merit and worthy of preserving in some form. I have searched on the great interweb, but have not found out anything about 'Craig's'.

There are lots of little alley's of Fleet Street, most of which will be recorded on another day. One with a great name that I did manage to photograph (not so greatly) is Hen and Chicken Court.

It turns out that the wall on the right of first image is actually the side of 186 Fleet Street, the location of Sweeny Todd's barber shop. And the picture of the tiles, would be on the shop on the other side of the barbers.

From Fleet Street I turned onto Fetter Lane and photographed one of the alleys that run off it, Crane Court. Again not the best of shots.

I then headed towards New Street Square, which I had photographed before, and shot some of its surrounding streets. First up is  Great New Street.

Next is  East Harding Street, where this building (the other side of the building to the right in the picture above), seemed to be rather strangely covered in dense foliage.

And on the other side of the square is Bartlett Court, where I was taken by the light and the patterns.

The last shot of the evening left me a little bit puzzled. By my reckoning it was taken on St. Andrews Street, but the address on the office door was Holborn Circus. The latter is what I am marking this down as.