25 August, 2005

Advance to Mayfair

An idle half hour near the Curzon Cinema in Mayfair yesterday led to a wander round the Shepherd Market. It is everything. Run down and upmarket with council flats and tesco near posh restaurants and Annabels night club, right near Park Lane. My guidebook from the seventies adds that it is noted for its friendly, if acquisitive, ladies. There was some evidence of this.

20 August, 2005

the historic city of London

The new camera arrived so took it out for a run round the city, especially the historic bits around St Barts Hospital. The weather was a bit dull (partially wet) but got some good shots of St Bartholemew the Great church, St John of Jerusalem gate and other historical views in the city including a good one of St Pauls framed by a narrow street. A worthwhile morning out.

St Bartholemew the great is one of the oldest churches in the city and is very atmospheric and meadieval. Worth a visit.

No pictures until I get them developed and (hopefully) scanned.

13 August, 2005

Upminster, Hornchurch, Barking and Rainham


This should have been a trip to try out a new camera but the new camera has not yet arrived…

Upminster

This town looks as though it was developed in the 1930s and not redeveloped since then although there are some modern buildings. The church is very old with a tower held up by wooden beams and this contains six bells.
The highlight of Upminster is its windmill. The picture shows the windmill. This is one of the few windmills left in Greater London and is quite a sight. I imagine a good view can be obtained from the top as it is set on a hill but it was closed when I passed on Saturday afternoon!

There was a cricket match in progress on the recreation ground and I paused to think of those immortal lines- does the church clock still stand at ten to three and is there cricket still for tea?

Oh for the sound of willow on leather.

Hornchurch

Busy suburb town with a Woolworths and olde inne (lots of new ones too). People in Hornchurch like to drink, play bingo (the Mecca Bingo Hall was open when I called) and have homeopathy, these being a few of the services on offer in the main street. There is also the Queens Theatre.

Barking

Nobody smiles in Barking.

Rainham

A pleasant surprise! A little 10th Century church, the peace memorial is striking - a truncated clock tower and there are two old inns and Rainham Hall, only open on Saturdays by written appointment with the tenant. I could not get into the church as there was a wedding party when I called but the outside is a gem. There were also lots of wild blackberries but the best I saw were on the railway cutting and thus inaccessible.

07 August, 2005

Brighton Pride

An exhausting day!

I went to Brighton Pride to help on the Co√∂perative Group’s stall there as well as for the fun of one of the best free festivals around. The stall was decorated with nude pictures of head office staff with the words “altogether different” (geddit?) obscuring the important places and we volunteers were given a t-shirt with the same slogan. There was a free dance mat machine. This was being used enthusiastically and hilariously before we opened by head office staff (not in the altogether) and this proved a popular attraction during the day. However it was not as popular as the fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate and biscuits offered for tasting samples and the bottles of orange juice for sale! There was a prospect of a protest by Christian Voice at our stall- they never turned up. I suppose, like all bullies they would not have the courage to turn up where they’re hopelessly outnumbered.

My task (in two hour shifts) was to encourage people to enter the prize draw for a holiday in Sydney at Mardi Gras 2006. There was no catch to this but getting people to fill in the form was hard work although it was easier if someone had had some chocolate etc first! We were giving out pink wristbands for Smile- the Internet Bank and these were popular too.

The festival dance tents, fairground and market areas were all very busy and I managed to make a few interesting purchases as well as get some useful information from the Police and Fire Brigade.

I saw a few people I knew including Chris from the DCA Rainbow Network- Hello everyone!

All in all a fun but exhausting day.