Wednesday, 30 November 2016

All Hallows by the Tower

Air pockets to a life gone by and easily overlooked are the churches that sit in the City of London.
Here's a closer look at  All Hallows by the Tower  which features a crypt museum that has some interesting and macabre stories to tell...

It's behind you. All Hallows by the Tower 
Cherub rock
Hey ho, let's go. The crypt museum awaits...  
 Life before Instagram with an original Roman floor
I live by the river. Londonium calling
Great Fire and loathing with William Penn. A good friend of Samuel Pepys who noted that they watched the Great Fire from All Hallows bell tower. Penn, also founded Philadelphia and pretty much planned out the idea of the European Union, all this back in the 17th century
Young gun William Penn who was baptised here back in his indie days

Proof that Hipsters date back to Medieval times with these stylish tiles  

The crows nest from Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, Quest.  This was on the ship for Ernest's last Polar voyage and an unexpected highlight to the crypt's museum
Third battle of Ypress1st Battalion Welsh Guards 1917 

All Hallows by the Tower crypt. Back in the day the crypt would have been used to store the recently beheaded from the tower of London 
My given name is Dickie, I come from Billericay
Gilbert and George inspired Stained glass 
All Hallow's holds lunch time recitals and I'll be looking forward to hearing these being given a good airing 

More macabre adventures to follow and an update once I've listened in to a recital...

Recital update
I dropped by on Thursday with organist Jonathan Melling on keyboard duty. I got to hear
Bach, Nicholas Lebegue and Alexis Chauvet and If you're a fan of Arcade Fire and the Horrors then do give Chauvet a listen. As lunchtime gigs go this is a sublime way to spend it and you can find out more about their recitals here

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Slender Man

There's still time to catch the last rays of autumn and a good place to see this is Epping forest, which sits near the end of the Central Line. Whether or not I caught a glimpse of Slender Man, who can tell. 

An autumnal day in Epping Forest 

Friday, 25 November 2016


Another shed selfie, this time with a pair of Homebase shears. There's not too many of these winter-warmer days left so I'll be popping down here when I can to keep it ticking over for 2017 

Shed selfie, down on the allotment 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Danke schoen

Well you wont be seeing much of this chap for a while as Mitch is heading home (New Zealand) for a while. To celebrate the bearded man drinks were held at the King Stores, E1. 
Adios amigo: Mitch has left the building 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Walthamstow Pictorial project

Fired up an old hard drive as I need to find some hi-res images for part of my Walthamstow Pictorial project. Here's a shot of Walthamstow Dogs stadium, circa 2008. It's now a load of swanky flats. Original blog post is here DOGS.  Not too sure if these will make the project as I don't want to fall into the then and now world. 

Walthamstow Dogs Stadium 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Yes, yes, yes it's my autumn almanac

Welcome to the new allotment. If you're familiar to Walthamstow, then you might just recognise the location. And inbetween sticking photos on the internet,  hopefully I'll be growing some vegetables. 

Here we go again with a new allotment 

Couch grass roots. You can make tea from this stuff. I'll try this one day.  

The shadows. Me with my grandparants spade. Spade is circa 1940s. The shed is from another plot

If in doubt, cover it with cardboard 

Hopefully this should supress the weeds 

Compost bin in the making

Friday, 11 November 2016

First impressions to the new West Ham digs, aka the London Stadium

I caught the West Ham v Stoke (3pm kick-off 05/11/2016) match. I was sitting in the East Stand, block 233, so here’s my first impressions to the new stadium. Oh and I’ve put together a twee timeline to the existence of the stadium too.  

We decided on a pre-match pint at Leyton Technical pub, then took the Central Line one stop to Stratford

Arrival: From Stratford station you have 2 options, follow the man with a placard or cut through the shopping centre

We took the latter but I’m guessing It won't be too long before fans of the beautiful game will be about as welcome as the Blues Brother’s last visit to a shopping centre

Last stop saloon. Cheeky pints at the Tap East

I think this is the "West Ham Way" that people keep talking about

Through the turnstiles, mind your pees and queues

Beer and Loo queues weren't too bad. Shame they only seem to sell Heineken at £4.60 per bottle. It wouldn't hurt to stock up on some London Pride or Guinness even. I only noticed hot dogs for sale and a Nathan’s Pies stall would be very much appreciated in this new environment

Hey ho, let's go...

Inside the stadium: It’s big, it’s impressive. I didn’t know we had that many fans...  

It was great to hear “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”  blasting out of the new trendy sound system. As for pre-match music, i'd like to hear the likes of Ian Dury and Dizzy Rascal’s “Bonkers” added to the mix, shouldn’t we be celebrating that local heritage

Crowd control: Going by the size of the place the recent agro is very much a minority thing and let's hope it gets nipped in the bud. We've paid to watch football not a WWE wrestling match

Greetings from the heavens of the East Stand. And when we where up, we were up

A little snoop under the retractable seating at half-time. Exciting 
Fire up the floodlights and on with the show. Sitting up in the East block heavens the game started to look like a computer game. Catching the highlights on TV later it did feel like I had witnessed a different game, that'll be the live experience for you. Keeping it live, Stoke's away fans where singing away, testing out the acoustics of the place. Do we need more songs or perhaps something good to cheer about, come on you Irons 
Don't panic. This isn't a conga, we haven't hit "save our season" just yet. This is the leaving part, post extra-time
The great escape: We worked out that it took a good half an hour (leaving the Olympics took about a hour and a half) to get back to Stratford station. Remember, there's quite a few more of us these days so be patient 

Unfortunately I didn't stick around for a post-match beer so I'll put together a proper reccy of the local pubs at a later date. As for the new London Stadium, looks like it will take a while to settle in and no doubt we'll see big name players and managers come and go along the way. And on that note I'll just park this picture here. Caption as follows... 

England and West Ham's Booby Moore * trains alone at a deserted Upton Park on a Sunday morning before flying out with the England team for the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile. 

* * *

A twee timeline to the London Stadium's existence

Bear with me on this as it seemed like a good idea when I started it.

July 6, 2005: London
wins Olympic bid…  

"It's not often in this job that you punch the air and do a little jig and embrace the person next to you," Tony Blair on speaking to the press

7 July 2005:  The following day saw the 7/7 London bombings...

2005:  West Ham gained promotion back to the Premier League

Blog Post: West Ham v Burnley FA cup match 

July 12 August: The London Olympics 2012 and Paralympics commence…

Blog post: Olympics Technical Rehearsal

The Olympics: Team GB win a whole load of medals and with Danny Bole’s vision we witness David Beckham driving a boat up the Thames, the Queen jumping out of a plane bound for Stratford and West Ham fan, Russell Brand takes part in the closing Olympic ceremony....

Roll out the Russell Brand, Olympics 2012

    9 December 2012: The Following week West Ham lose 2–3 at home to Liverpool

Blog Post: West Ham UTD v West Bromwich FC.

07 May 2016: West Ham’s penultimate game at the Boleyn lane losing 1-4 to Swansea

Blog post: West Ham's Penultimate game

10 May 2016: The last first-class match played at the Boleyn Ground, winning 3 -2 to Manchester United

May 2012:  West Ham finish 10th in the Premier league table.

Blog post on Mark Noble's Testimonial 

August 04 2016: West Ham play their first match against NK Domzale at the London Stadium winning 3 - 0 with Cheikhou Kouyate  scoring the first goal.