Saturday, 7 June 2014

An Urban Wander around Hampstead, London NW3 (part 1)

I've not made the trek out from Central London to Hampstead for quite a while now, so with a few hours to spare last week, and still inspired by two of my recent reads, Psychogeography and Edgelands, I hopped on the number 46 bus from Paddington to start my drift. This really was a drift as I had no plans at all as to which way I would wander when I alighted the bus, and I simply walked down whichever street, alley or lane took my fancy. I was also not really sure what I was looking for. Would I see abandonment and ghost signs? Unlikely I thought but as you'll see I stumbled across quite a magnificent ghost sign. And later in the wander as I made my way back to Paddington I found a couple more, but you'll have to wait to a subsequent installment of this post for that. Other than the ghost sign, there's doorways, narrow alleyways and streets, stairways, street lamps and wells, although not all necessarily in the first part.

First up we have a pair of brightly coloured doors. When I started my wander, it was raining slightly and these doors stood out beautifully against the wet, brown brickwork.

Brightly coloured doors, Hampstead, London NW3
Brightly coloured doors, Flask Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

Not as bright as the previous doors but there was something I can't quite put my finger on about this one that caught my eye.

Doorway, Hampstead, London NW3
Doorway, Hampstead, London NW3

I saw the reverse side of the well first as I approached it from the alleyway behind it. It was not until I was on the return leg that I actually realised it had a front to it as well, and was more than a simple drinking trough.

The back of the Chalybeate Well, Hampstead, London NW3
The back of the Chalybeate Well, Well Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

The Chalybeate Well, Hampstead, London NW3
The Chalybeate Well, Well Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

Well, I promised a ghost sign, and this is it. Don't get me wrong, I love trees, but this one was in the wrong place and somewhat spoils the photo. Still, I guess it's only going to get bigger each year, meaning that getting a photo of the complete sign will become harder and harder as the years go by.

THE WELLS AND CAMPDEN BATHS AND WASH HOUSES 1888

No longer a bath house, but apartments I think.

Wells and Campden Bath Houses, Hampstead, London NW3
Wells and Campden Bath Houses, Hampstead, London NW3

I have to admit that I am always a bit self-conscious when taking pictures in residential areas and often do not take time to note down the name of the road, so unfortunately this is just a narrow lane in Hampstead.

Narrow street, Hampstead, London NW3
Narrow street, Hampstead, London NW3

Brightly coloured door, Flask Walk, Hampstead, London NW3
Brightly coloured door, Flask Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

I think I have enough pictures for 3 installments, so I'm going to end part one with a shot looking back along Flask Walk towards Hampstead High Street.

Flask Walk, Hampstead, London NW3
Flask Walk, Hampstead, London NW3


Hopefully I'll get the next part of this drift posted later this weekend or early next week.

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