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Old map of London’s Docklands

I was in the Surrey Quays shopping centre yesterday while visiting an estate agent, and just outside the toilets is a sign which shows some of the history of the area. It sometimes surprises people that the “docklands area” isn’t

Evelyn’s Yard

If you walk down Rathbone Place, which leads off from Oxford Street you might notice a rather fine old fashioned looking pub on the right hand side – The Black Horse. Take a closer look and notice the alleyway next

A drinking fountain on Holborn Viaduct

I have wandered along Holborn for many years and only recently started paying attention to the odd little things that line London’s streets. Right at the very Eastern end of Holborn Viaduct, opposite the Old Bailey is a church, and

Going back to the Roman Baths

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the claimed Roman Baths just behind The Strand. The baths can be opened up if a group is visiting, and as I just happened to be taking a group to visit a nearby

British Rail and the Flying Saucer

I was reading this week’s issue of The Economist and there was an article about commercial space flight, and how in the hype of the early NASA successes – companies were planning passenger flights into space. Naturally, the PanAm flight

Of Carrots, World War 2 and School Dinners

I have recently rediscovered carrots. To me, they have always been a rather bland vegetable that arrives in thin slices on the plate next to the vastly more interesting vegetables and meat dish. A few weeks ago though, feeling lazy

The Royal Courts of Justice

As part of this weekend’s Temple Open Weekend – it turned out that the Royal Courts of Justice – just on the other side of the road – were also opened up, as it was here that they were holding

An Egyptian God pays a visit to my flat

A slightly freaky sight this morning. Following an accident last night with the cooking and a bad case of negligence on my part, quite a bit of muck was on the hob – so I applied a liberal coating of

Of ancient paths, umbrellas and Chinese restaurants

The corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road is a place of considerable crush and bustle thanks to the very narrow pavement, tube entrance and market stalls trying to sell watches and tourist tatt. For that reason, when needing

Temple Open Weekend – Visit the home of the Da Vinci Code

This year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Temple in Fleet Street as a center for the legal profession – when in 1608, King James 1 granted land and buildings in The Temple, including the church to the

The world’s second oldest underground railway?

London Underground is famously the world’s oldest underground railway – but which one came second? Well, that accolade goes to the Tünel, in Turkey’s Istanbul. It is also arguably the world’s shortest underground railway, being just 571 meters in length

Of Roman Baths, Body Snatchers and Australian Convicts

Hidden away in central London is a historic bath house – originally credited as being built by Romans, although that is frankly, a rather dubious heritage. Anyhow, some years ago, I visited this spot when with a group of friends

Humanity and the Geological Record

Some while ago I was half watching yet another documentary about the meteorite impact which caused significant problems for the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. One of the big scientific clues is the layer of iridium in the rocks,

The World’s Oldest Clock Museum

I spent a rather pleasant 45 minutes at a small museum in the City of London devoted to the history of clock (and watch) making in London. The collection was begun in 1814 by the Clockmakers guild and is said

100th Anniversary of the Ice Skating Disaster

As we approach the annual ice skating season in London, it is worth recalling that ice skating has been going on in London for many years – indeed, most people will recall the stories of the River Thames freezing over