Special Post: Aldgate and Aldgate East

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series “London Station by Station”. I hope you will enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.

A FOUR WAY TRIANGLE

I am treating two stations together because they are so close to one another that one can stand o the platforms of one and watch trains pulling into the other. The title refers to the number of current lines using this segment of the system and the shape it very roughly resembles. Aldgate opened in 1876 and has been open ever since. The first Aldgate East station opened in 1884 and was closed in 1938, with the current station opening the very next day.

The confluences and divergences are as follows: at Liverpool Street the triple route of Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines diverge, with the H&C going to Aldgate East and the other two to Aldgate, where the Met terminates. At Tower Hill the District and Circle part ways the Circle continuing round to Aldgate and the District going to Aldgate East where it joins the H&C.

To assist with orientation and to finish this brief post here are my usual map pics…

DSCN8518

The full map, spread out.
The full map, spread out.

DSCN6317

King’s Lynn Transport Interchange

INTRODUCTION

This post deals with the redevelopment of my local bus station, a process which began in January, and has finally reached the stage at which all bus services will once again be departing from the bus station. You could therefore say that this is a celebration of the ending of one cause of disruptions.

THE NEW BUS STATION

APPROACHES TO KING’S LYNN

King’s Lynn is a splendid town, badly let down by the ways in which people approach it. Neither the bus station nor the train station drop people in particularly good locations, and the main approach by car, via London Road is not beautiful either. However, after almost six months of work and attendant disruption to services, at least the bus station now looks presentable. I will end this section with a link to a previous post about King’s Lynn and both sides of a new promotional document for the town…

DSCN8516 DSCN8517

THE REDEVELOPMENT

Work started on the redevelopment on January 6th, but the big disruptions did not hit until March, when services heading south started departing from Portland Street and northbound buses made use of the only three stands still available at the bus station. In the week beginning on May 18th all was confusion (we had been warned about the following week), as northbound buses started making use of two of the new stands, which were ready for use but no one had thought to advertise this! The following week was the one week in which northbound buses did not depart from the bus station – they made use of Clough (pronounced Clow not Cluff) Lane instead.

Then it was back to the bus station for good, and eventually an announcement appeared stating that all services would resume running from the redeveloped bus station from June 29th (today). I thought to myself “I’ll believe that when I see it” but decided I would call in at the bus station just in case it did happen, and it had.

THE BUS STATION TODAY

I took various photographs to show what the bus station now looks like, including threeKing’s Lynn Transport Interchange from the car park above Sainsbury’s (the most elevation I could gain). I hope that you enjoy these photos, which will conclude the post, and that you will be inspired to share…

This departure board was the first novelty that greeted me.
This departure board was the first novelty that greeted me.
The new guard fences at the new bays - interleaved pictures of the Custom House and Captain vancouver)
The new guard fences at the new bays – interleaved pictures of the Custom House and Captain vancouver)

DSCN8500 DSCN8501 DSCN8502

The board at stand D (I could not get a clear shot of the one at stand E which I shall actually be using).
The board at stand D (I could not get a clear shot of the one at stand E which I shall actually be using).
The first of two shots of the frontage of the new Visitor's Centre
The first of two shots of the frontage of the new Visitor’s Centre

DSCN8505 DSCN8506

A historical information board.
A historical information board.
A thoroughly modern map of King's Lynn
A thoroughly modern map of King’s Lynn
A circular bench.
A circular bench.

DSCN8510

Stand E, whence Fakenham buses will depart.
Stand E, whence Fakenham buses will depart.
The first of three shots from such elevation as I could gain.
The first of three shots from such elevation as I could gain.

DSCN8513 DSCN8514

A touch-screen information point
A touch-screen information point

The Day Of The Great Centenary Charity Auction

INTRODUCTION

This post is a personal account of the day of the Great Centenary Charity Auction, before I switch focus to writing some official accounts for the website. I hope that you will enjoy this post and be encouraged to share it.

THE AUCTION

My presence was not required right from the start, so I was able to get to Fakenham Racecourse at about 10:20 by taking the first bus of the day (leaves King’s Lynn at 9:25 and walking from the town centre). The first photo opportunity came long before I was at the auction venue – just after getting up I saw this little beauty…

DSCN8380

I had decided to dress up extra smartly, a decision I was to regret by the end of a hot day – although if the evidence of this photograph, the only one I shall be using today that I did not take is anything to go on I did succeed in looking smart…

Auction Underway

Here was the first sign that I was approaching the venue (not that I needed reassurance – I know that particular route and venue as well as anyone)…

DSCN8382

The venue was already fairly busy by the time I got there, but front line customer service and autistic spectrum conditions are not a good mix, so I would not have been of much assistance in that role…

DSCN8393 DSCN8424 DSCN8427 DSCN8433 DSCN8450

Although both lots 1 and 2 fared well, the auction took a while to really take off. Lot 101, a very elaborate Crimean War helmet, well displayed at the venue and well imaged previously, sold for a colossal £1,300…

This was the image that was used for the sale.
This was the image that was used for the sale.
This is lot 101 as displayed at the venue with two other lots.
This is lot 101 as displayed at the venue with two other lots.
Lot 101 in all it's glory at the venue.
Lot 101 in all it’s glory at the venue.
A close up of the badge.
A close up of the badge.

The auction ran rather more slowly than usual, so I was not able to stay right to the finish, as I had a bus to catch at 17:35. My colleague Andrew took over for the home straight (well we were at a racecourse!)

DSCN8492

As well as James and Sons employees and volunteers and the odd Royal British Legion functionary, Fakenham Air Training Corps were present in force…

DSCN8414

I departed just after seeing one final high note hit – lot 535, a collection of cloth patches expected to raise £10-15 actually sold for £50.

A second auction, for which we already have a considerable number of lots, is planned for March 2016, and I hope lots of you will attend or sign up to bid online.

I will finish by showing some pictures of the racecourse itself, looking resplendent in the sun…

DSCN8451 DSCN8454 DSCN8458 DSCN8459

Special Post: Southfields

INTRODUCTION

This is the latest post in a series I have been running on this blog called “London Station by Station“. This particular post as you will see has extra special relevance, and could only go up this morning. I hope you will enjoy it and be encouraged to share it.

THE HOME OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST TENNIS TOURNAMENT

Yes folks, Wimbledon is upon us once more. As usual, full coverage will be being provided by the BBC. Southfields, the third to last stop going south on the Wimbledon branch of the District line, opened in 1889 (so after William Renshaw’s seven titles) is the local station for these championships, as this reproduction of an old poster shows…

DSCN8495

As someone who grew up in South West London this tournament has particular meaning for me. I only got to see it at the venue once, but have always followed the tournament as closely as circumstances allow.

When I first started following the tournament in the mid 1980s a Brit in the second round was cause for banner headlines. These days things are rather different, although in the Men’s game there remains a veritable “Ginnunga Gap” between Murray and the next best Brit. Things are definitely looking up for British Women though, with Johanna Konta reaching the quarter-finals at Eastbourne last week and only going out to the eventual champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, and Heather Watson also playing well.

During the Eastbourne coverage, various displays showing people’s possible progress if all went to plan were shown, but I paid little attention because if I learned anything from 30 years of following tennis it is that one thing that does not happen is things going according to plan. If I was a betting person I would put money on at least one of the seeds being a goner by the end of day 1.

This stretch of line includes one of only two places where London Underground trains cross the Thames by way of  a bridge (the other is on the Richmond branch of the District line).

As usual with these posts I finish with a couple of map pics…

DSCN8496

The full map, spread out.
The full map, spread out.

DSCN6317

A Day Out in Norwich 5: The Cathedral Close

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my concluding post about a day out in Norwich that i enjoyed on Thursday. Previous posts about the day are as follows:

1)Introductory Post

2)Enter the Dragons

3)Lunch at the Belgian Monk

4)The River Wensum

I hope that you will enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.

THE CATHEDRAL CLOSE

It is unusual in the 21st century to find a Cathedral Close, but Norwich still has one, and there were many splendid things to photograph. The first of two dragons (note the title of the second post referred to above) was Biggles, the RAF dragon…

DSCN8255 DSCN8256 DSCN8257 DSCN8258 DSCN8259 DSCN8260 DSCN8261

There are also two statues of famous warriors, Nelson and Wellington…

DSCN8267 DSCN8280 DSCN8281 DSCN8282 DSCN8283 DSCN8284

There were also many birds around…

DSCN8266 DSCN8271 DSCN8273 DSCN8275

DSCN8301

Of course, in a place of this nature one would expect plenty of interesting old architecture, and such expectation was met…

DSCN8264 DSCN8272 DSCN8286 DSCN8287 DSCN8289 DSCN8290 DSCN8295 DSCN8297 DSCN8298 DSCN8299 DSCN8300 DSCN8306 DSCN8307 DSCN8309 DSCN8313 DSCN8314 DSCN8315

This iron sculpture also appealed, as did this chance to include a dragon and a blackbird in the same shot…

DSCN8276 DSCN8277 DSCN8278 DSCN8279 DSCN8305

My survey of the Cathedral Close began with one dragon and its with another, Norwich Serafina, the Norwich School Dragon…

DSCN8268 DSCN8269 DSCN8270 DSCN8308 DSCN8310 DSCN8311

A Day Out In Norwich 4: The Wensum

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this, my fourth post about a family day out inn Norwich this Thursday. Previous posts about this day are:

1)Introductory Post

2)Enter the Dragons

3)Lunch at the Belgian Monk

I hope that you will enjoy this post and be encouraged to share it.

THE WENSUM

The Wensum is the river that flows through the centre of Norwich. There are many fine sights to be seen along its banks. Here is a view looking along one bank…

DSCN8235

You will notice a boat in this shot, here is what it looks like closer up…

DSCN8236

Is there any information available about this riverside? You bet there is…

DSCN8239

You may have glimpsed a stone bridge in the first picture I showed. I have a close up of the centre portion and two shots showing how the smooth waters of the Wensum reflect it back…

DSCN8240 DSCN8242 DSCN8243

Here is the approach to river via Ferry Lane…

DSCN8325 DSCN8331 DSCN8324

Two pub signs on opposite sides of the river provide a fine contrast – one an unusual name in a plain style and one the commonest of all English pub names in a more elaborate style…

DSCN8341 DSCN8343

After these signs we came to a decorative wooden seat…

DSCN8344 DSCN8345

Now we come to the exraordinarily named Cow Tower, one of Britain’s oldest artillery placements, dating from 1398…

DSCN8346 DSCN8347 DSCN8348 DSCN8349

Next, one for the swan fanciers…

DSCN8351

These water lilies made for decent picture…

DSCN8353

Two more closing shots for you, from just before we left the river for the last time…

DSCN8356 DSCN8357

A Day Out In Norwich 3: Lunch At The Belgian Monk

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my third post about our family day out in Norwich on Thursday. For those who missed them, the first two posts were:

1)Introductory Post

2)Enter the Dragons

I hope that you will enjoy this post and be inspired to share it.

LUNCH AT THE BELGIAN MONK

A DELAYED START

A combination of rigid adherence to a silly rule (no one under 16 to sit in the bar area) and the fact that the place was busy meant that we had to wait a few minutes before a table large enough for five became available.

THE BEER

The beer was superb – I had a Petrus Dubbel Bruin and a Grimbergen Dubbel both of which were splendid drinks. I got some photos of logos etc…

This sign is outside the back of the pub, where we were sitting
This sign is outside the back of the pub, where we were sitting
The first beer that I drank
The first beer that I drank
The second beer that I drank.
The second beer that I drank.
My father's second beer.
My father’s second beer.

THE FOOD

My sister and my mother both opted for mussels, which come with a ‘sconce’ of chips…

My mother holding a 'sconce' of chips aloft.
My mother holding a ‘sconce’ of chips aloft.

I opted for a steak and Belgian beer pie, which was good overall but loses marks for failing to be a proper pie – it was that thoroughly annoying and difficult to eat cheat, a casserole with a ridiculously puffy layer of puff pastry on top. The chips, were excellent. Taking into account the overall quality, and inflicting three penalty points for cheating, I award the meal 6.5 out of 10.

I have a few remaining pics from the Belgian Monk to share,..

The church tower visible from the beer garden (in Norwich you are never very far from a medieval church!)
The church tower visible from the beer garden (in Norwich you are never very far from a medieval church!)
A splendid piece of wall painting.
A splendid piece of wall painting.
The Belgian Monk's account of their mussels.
The Belgian Monk’s account of their mussels.