Monday, 24 June 2013

Urban Wandering: an afternoon in Salisbury, Wiltshire

With a forecast for rather mixed weather over the weekend, we decided to go somewhere not too far from home, and also somewhere where we could seek shelter if it did start chucking it down with rain again. Our town of choice was Salisbury, Wiltshire. I used to visit Salisbury quite regularly as a young child as my grand parents has a house overlooking the railway station and yard, where my grand father used to work. Despite only visiting there until I was about 5 or 6, I can still remember where their house was, although it's barely recognisable today.

Anyway, on to the urban wander itself. Our first stop was to get some lunch but I managed to get side-tracked by this ghost sign. It's quite hard to make out but it's between the two rows of windows and reads

BENNETT WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE ...
Ghost sign in Salisbury, Wiltshire
Ghost sign in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Although not strictly a ghost sign, I did particularly like this one, which reads

STEAM PRINTING WORKS
WILTS COUNTY MIRROR
SOUTH WILTS EXPRESS 

Old sign in Salisbury, Wiltshire
Old sign in Salisbury, Wiltshire

And again this one is also not a proper ghost sign, but is most definitely a sign of the past

MENS WEAR

 As we moved away from the main town centre and headed out to where my grand parents used to live near the station, I spent a few minutes wandering around what I thought was an old goods yard, most of which is now a car park. However, a bit of research though has shown that in fact these platforms were probably part of the old Salisbury GWR station.

Goods Yard at Salisbury Station, Wiltshire
Goods Yard at Salisbury Station, Wiltshire
 
Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire
Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire

Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire
Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshir

Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire
Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire

As we wandered back into the city centre, I came across this ghost sign, well in fact it's two adjacent ghost signs, or even three ghost signs as the one on the right looks like it may be one sign written on top of an earlier one. It's situated high up on the side of a building next to the railway bridge. This was the closest I could get, but the gap between the building and the bridge was so small, that I doubt a better photo opportunity is available. Initially I thought this was a curious place to display and advert but then it dawned upon me that it was probably intended to be seen by passengers on the trains which crossed the railway bridge. Unfortunately I'm a bit lost to even suggest what these two signs might say.

Platforms from the former Salisbury GWR Station, Wiltshire
 Ghost sign in Salisbury, Wiltshire

And as we finished our wander for the day, we came across this impressive old shop facade. It's now the home of Foxtrot Vintage Clothing, but was formerly

Knight & Company Poultry & Fish Game Market

I particularly liked the green, ceramic tiles and can almost imagine the various wares that were displayed in the windows.

 Knight & Company Poultry & Fish Game Market
Knight & Company Poultry & Fish Game Market

Oh yes, and there's a huge cathedral in Salisbury too ... but I'm guessing you all knew that.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Urban Wandering: the towers of London W6

Having recently moved into some new office premises near Hammersmith, I found myself with a whole new playground to explore at lunchtimes and after work. It's not really an area I've given much attention to in the past, as it's largely residential, but a quick explore earlier in the week revealed quite an interesting feature in that the area between the Hammersmith Road and Barons Court seems to be scattered with towers. I'm not talking about industrial towers, or water towers here, but instead towers built as part of the residential landscape. These are mostly on corners of properties, but some also seem to spring up in the middle of terraces. Again, as with many of my urban wanders, I probably only scratched the surface here, and the sky was grey, so definitely another place to return to on a sunny day.

Towers of London W6
Towers of London W6


Towers of London W6
 Towers of London W6

Towers of London W6
 Towers of London W6

Towers of London W6
 Towers of London W6

Towers of London W6
Towers of London W6


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Urban Wandering: a return visit to the north of King's Cross

Having been hugely impressed with what I discovered on my previous Urban Wander to the north of King's Cross, and with the weather as good as it was during my first visit, I decided to make a return trip. I am fascinated by the building in the middle of this picture, but have absolutely no idea what it is. I found something similar in Tower Hill which turned out to be a hydraulic accumulator tower, but I'm not sure this is the same at all.

St. Pancras Basin, London
St. Pancras Basin, London

And here we have the mystery building again, but from the other side. If anyone knows what this might be, please shout.

St. Pancras Basin, London
St. Pancras Basin, London

Further along the Regent's Canal, past the now completely redeveloped Granary Square, which I blogged about last time, I spotted these two buildings which were presumably part of the former King's Cross goods yard. The red roofed building on the right looked particularly impressive from a distance.
 
Buildings undergoing redevelopment, King's Cross, London
Buildings undergoing redevelopment, King's Cross, London

Unfortunately this was the nearest I could get to the red roofed building from the other side as the site is all boarded up as part of the ongoing King's Cross redevelopment.

Buildings undergoing redevelopment, King's Cross, London
Buildings undergoing redevelopment, King's Cross, London

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Urban Wandering: an evening stroll around London W10 and W11

Once again I seem to have managed to get out of sync with my blog postings. These pictures were taken last week during a brief,evening stroll around London W10 and W11. Again, as with many ghost signs, I must have walked past these countless times before I became obsessed with the things.

The fist picture is slightly odd in that the lettering on the right hand side appears to be of different sizes, or so I assumed at first, but then I realised that what I thought was an "E" is in fact and "E" followed by an "L", but the middle bar of the "E" is hard to see. Similarly with what looks like a "T" is in fact "T" followed by "I".

PRINTING
CARNIVAL NOVELTIES

Ghost sign on Kensington Park Road, London W11
Ghost sign on Kensington Park Road, London W11

This next one is a bit of a mystery. I'm really struggling to decipher any of the words. Does anyone have any ideas?
Ghost sign on Cambridge Gardens, London W10
Ghost sign on Cambridge Gardens, London W10

Ghost sign on Cambridge Gardens, London W10
Ghost sign on Cambridge Gardens, London W10

This next ghost sign is my favourite of this particular urban wander in that it was in a tunnel leading from the main road into a smaller mews. Unfortunately because it was beneath a roof, in a restricted space, it was pretty hard to photograph. I had two attempts at it, one from either side, but neither really helps with the full wording. Open to suggestions.

?ILES KER?S????RROUN

Ghost sign, London W10
Ghost sign, London W10

Ghost sign, London W10
Ghost sign, London W10


Monday, 3 June 2013

Rural Wandering: a cycle along the old Newbury to Winchester railway

With just a short period of time on my hands before I had to drive off to a family birthday party yesterday, I decided to take myself off on a more modest bike ride than my 57 mile epic of last week, and head out to the disused Newbury to Winchester railway for both some cycling and some rural wandering. Closed to passengers and then freight in the 1960's, much of this old railway has now been used to for the Newbury bypass, but there are some sections remaining which have been converted into footpaths and cycle paths, and fortunately some of these sections are close to where I live. This set of photos comes from the section of the line between Burghclere and Old Burghclere.
 
Approaching Old Burghclere station
Approaching Old Burghclere station from the north

Platform at Old Burghclere station
Platform at Old Burghclere station

Looking north through Old Burghclere station
 Looking north through Old Burghclere station

In this shot the platforms can still both be clearly seen, and the station building itself, now converted into a house. As I cycled past I caught a glimpse of people, presumably the owners, sitting at a table on what once was the platform, having a coffee.
Old Burghclere station
Old Burghclere station

Just to the south of Old Burghclere station is an abandoned signal box. When I've cycled along here previously, the signal box has largely been obscured by bags of some sort of farm produce, but today these had been cleared away, giving a near perfect view. This signal box would presumably have been used to ensure safe movement of trains through the station and also into and out of the goods yard.

Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station
Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station

Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station
Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station

I even managed to sneak inside briefly.
Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station
Abandoned signal box just south of Old Burghclere station

This next picture is again of Old Burghclere station itself, but this time from the front.

The front of Old Burghclere station
The front of Old Burghclere station
 
And further along the bike ride, we have the somewhat confusingly named Highclere station, which is actually in Burghclere. This is also a private residence now and only the front can be seen from the road. A great place to live I should imagine.

The front of Highclere station
The front of Highclere station

    

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Coastal Wandering: a day out in Lymington, Hampshire

Today I found myself with a whole day to do as I pleased as all the other members of my family were otherwise occupied. I toyed with the idea of going Urban Wandering around London, but as the weather was magnificent I decided to head to the coast instead. Typically when we go to the cost it's to Swanage, and although it's one of my favourite places in the UK, the journey can be slow sometimes. So, in an attempt to search out some closer coast line, I decided to head to Lymington. I have definitely been there before, but honestly I reckon it was 35 years ago on a Scout trip to the Isle of Wight. The journey down from Newbury was pretty good with just a short delay in Lyndhurst where the traffic is light-controlled as it snakes through the town's narrow streets and corners. On arriving at Lymington I was pleased to find it was market day, which meant the high street was bustling with market stands of all sorts. Before I headed off to the coast I wandered up and down the high street, taking the odd diversion down an interesting looking alley or side road. Needless to say I found a couple of interesting ghost signs en route.

The first two come from the former E.R.Badcock Furniture Depository

E.R.Badcock Furniture Depository building, Lymington, Hampshire
E.R.Badcock Furniture Depository building, New Street, Lymington, Hampshire


E.R.Badcock Furniture Depository building, Lymington, Hampshire
E.R.Badcock Furniture Depository building, New Street, Lymington, Hampshire

I caught sight of this next ghost sign as a I drove up the main road looking for somewhere to park, and knew I couldn't let myself get away without treking back and take a picture, or two. My biggest challenge was that this particular sign was in quite a narrow road, with the sun peeking out behind the sign, so not an easy shot, which is why I have included two pictures. And as with a few ghost signs I've seen recently, this one also has signs of previous lettering beneath. The main sign however reads ...

RAND & SON
GENERAL DRAPER
LADIES & CHILDRENS OUTFITTERS
SPECIALITY
DRESS
MATERIAL

Ghost sign on the High Street, Lymington, Hampshire
Ghost sign on the High Street, Lymington, Hampshire

Ghost sign on the High Street, Lymington, Hampshire
Ghost sign on the High Street, Lymington, Hampshire

Having walked along a reasonable number of the town's streets, I eventually headed off for the coast. I was not expecting to find beaches as I knew this was more of a port, so it was not until I had walked for 20 minutes or so past the ship yards that I eventually found the sea, but it was definitely worth the wander. There are plenty of cycle paths and foot paths that skirt around the coastline, offering views out to sea over the Isle of Wight and, inland to what I assume is some sort of managed(?) wetland habitat for birds. I took plenty of photos as I wandered along the coast, but these two showing signs of coastal abandonment are my favourites.

Abandoned jetty, Lymington, Hampshire
Abandoned jetty, Lymington, Hampshire

Remains of a small boat, Lymington, Hampshire
Remains of a small boat, Lymington, Hampshire


    
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