Television Centre #366photos2020

My over riding memory of BBC Television Centre was seeing it now and again on Blue Peter when they ventured outside the studio. I never went there when I was a kid so even these days when I am in the locality I still find it exciting, even though I know the BBC left years ago for Salford.

Marylebone #366photos2020

Marylebone was for me for many years a place on the Monopoly Board, take a trip to Marylebone Station, if you pass Go, collect £200. It was only after having to travel to London a lot for work that I realised that Marylebone was more than the station and was an actual place in London.

My top ten tweets of 2019

GWR HSTLast year I posted my top ten tweets for 2018 and I did the same in 2017 and 2016 which was interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular.

The top tweet back in 2016 was this one for #WednesdayWisdom

Whilst top tweet for 2017 was this one from the 2017 ALT Conference and it was my sketchnote of Bonnie Stewart’s keynote on openness.

The top tweet back in 2018 was this one about the newly revamped WHSmith at Bristol Temple Meads complete with storage cage!

So in 2019, my tenth most popular tweet was this one about my son appearing on BBC Points West whilst working at Bristol Temple Meads as a GWR Apprentice.

In ninth place was a nostalgic tweet about a steam train visiting Weston-super-Mare ten years ago in July.

I did tweet a lot about the past this year, and will do less of it next year.

At number eight was a tweet about the phrase “digital detox” which gets bandied about a lot when people feel they need to take a break from services such as Twitter. If you feel you need to take a break, you probably do, but is it necessary to tell everyone about it?

Seventh was about about an incident at Oxford Circus. The tweet was picked up by some news outlets and my photo appeared on a news website.

The sixth tweet was about WHSmith in Bristol being covered in plastic last February.

I did find this reply amusing….

The reason was less worrying, it was because they were putting the Post Office into WHSmith.

The tweet at number five was one about  great women in edtech from March for International Women’s Day.

Fourth was another nostalgic tweet about the #140conf Twitter Conference  I attended in 2009 and was on a panel session with some great people.

And now the top three, with the third tweet was an early morning tweet celebrating that GWR were now using old HSTs as commuter trains, so we had more seats and faster trains.

At number two was a tweet about the revamped WHSmith in Weston-super-Mare.

So the most popular tweet of 2019 was this one about keeping the old Twitter.

So what does this tell us? Very little.

The Woman in Black

I saw the Woman in Black (the play) at the Grand Opera House in York in the late 1980s. It scared the hell out of me back then. The marketing for the play only mentioned the two male actors, as we left the theatre, we were checking windows as we went home.

I bought Susan Hill’s book that year and I couldn’t bring myself to not just read it, but I couldn’t even it have it on my bookshelf, it would give me the shivers, the hairs on the back of my neck would rise.

Even now just talking about the Woman in Black, gives me the chills, walking in London earlier this year I passed the Fortune Theatre on Drury Lane and they were showing The Woman in Black.

At that point I felt scared…

The Woman in Black

Don’t buy the book….

The Routemaster

The Routemaster

Though there are many new buses in London, it still gives me a warm nostalgic fuzzy feeling when I see an old Routemaster still in service, usually as I walk down The Strand in London. These classic old buses epitomise London and though the new modern flash ones are more environmentally friendly, accessible, and “better” I still have a place in my heart for these old red double deckers.

A bright sunny day in London

Whitehall

It was sunny, I had a little more time until the train, so I decided to walk from Whitehall to Paddington.

Usually I am rushing so catch the underground, so it was nice to have an extra 30 minutes, so I could walk from the conference venue in Whitehall to Paddington station.

It was cold, but the sun was out and walking in the sun was very pleasant.

Some of the buildings are incredible on Whitehall, but then again it was once a Palace.

Whitehall

I left 61 Whitehall and crossed the road to Horse Guards Parade. Outside Horse Guards were two horse mounted guards getting harassed by tourists who were taking selfies of themselves with the horses in the background.

Guard

To think it wasn’t that long ago the tourists would merely take photographs of the guards or would stand next to them as a relative took the photo. The selfie phenomena has changed all that as everyone holds their phone at arm’s length and attempts to get themselves and their family and the horse into the photo. It’s difficult, but much much easier than trying to do that with a 35mm film camera which had no screen to preview the image!

Horse Guards

I have walked through Horse Guards a few times and though I am sure I noticed the Turkish Gun before, this was the first time I went up close to get a picture.

Turkish Gun

The gun was made by Murad, son of Abdullah in 1524. It was captured in Egypt by the British Army in 1801. Now it sits outside Horse Guards the home of the British Army.

Horse Guards

Next to Horse Guards is a huge incongruous building that can only be described as a bunker. Compared to the Georgian magnificence of Whitehall this bunker is a very crude and brutal.

Admiralty Citadel

Looking up online on the train I found out this was the Admiralty Citadel. It is London’s most visible military citadel, and is located just behind the Admiralty building on Horse Guards Parade. It was constructed in 1940–1941 as a bomb-proof operations centre for the Admiralty. Winston Churchill called it in his memoirs as a “vast monstrosity which weighs upon the Horse Guards Parade”.

Admiralty Citadel

What is interesting that it was built with the plan that in the event of a successful German invasion, it was intended that the building would become a fortress, with loopholed firing positions provided to fend off attackers.

Admiralty Citadel

I did think about walking through St James’ Park, but in the end walked down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

Passing by Clarence House there were two guardsmen, who appeared to be playing a marching up and down the road game, not sure what they were trying to do, but no one was watching except me and a couple of Americans. Maybe they were stretching their legs after standing for too long in their sentry boxes.

I was then in front of Buckingham Palace. I was reminded by how effective the CGI was in the Netflix series The Crown. Their recreation of the 1950s Buckingham Palace is very accurate. It was only after watching this video that I realised how much the series was using computer graphics to recreate 1950s London and other locations.

After passing by the palace I entered Green Park and walked up to Hyde Park Corner. Now I have to admit I did think about catching the tube for the final stretch, but no decided to walk through Hyde Park.

I realised I had never seen the Serpentine before, now I have.

It was a really nice walk.

London 1920s, in colour

This film footage of London is from the 1920s.

Shot by an early British pioneer of film named Claude Frisse-Greene, who made a series of films using the colour process his father William – a noted cinematographer – was experimenting with.

Via Klay Anderson