Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Rural Wander along the Hockley Viaduct, Winchester, Hampshire

Having spent the day down near Hamble, and wanting to avoid the M27 and M3 on the way home, we ended up on the outskirts of Winchester and came across this former railway viaduct, the Hockley Viaduct, that I'd often seen from the M3 but never been up close to before. This magnificent viaduct is to the north of Winchester and used to carry the line south from Newbury, past Burghclere and Highclere, which I have blogged about previously. The weather was decidedly gray on arrival, but fortunately brightened up towards the end of our wander. 

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Probably my favourite picture in this batch. I have fond memories of telegraph poles from my childhood where my Gran used to live alongside a railway, in a road called Telegraph Road which was, of course, lined with telegraph poles.

Telegraph Pole on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Telegraph Pole on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Such a shame it's no longer an operating railway and that you can instead hear the roar of the M3 running close by, but at least it's still accessible and is now a cycle path, affording wonderful views like this.

View from the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
View from the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Signal on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Signal on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

We weren't quite there on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, but pretty close. Hard to believe that 16,000 trains used this route in the 12 months leading up to D-Day.

D-Day memorial plaque on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
D-Day memorial plaque on the Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

A final view of the viaduct as we made our way back home.

Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire
Hockley Railway Viaduct, near Winchester, Hampshire

    

Sunday, 22 June 2014

An Urban Wander around Maida Vale and Little Venice, London W9

With yet another sunny lunchtime on my hands, I braved the midday heat for another urban wander around the Maida Vale area of London.

First up we have some wonderful street lamps. Well, actually they are not street lamps but more likely lamps to light up the entrance to the various houses along this tree-lined road.

Street lamps, Maida Vale, London W9
Street lamps, Maida Vale, London W9

This next picture is one of a set of two mews which are either side of Maida Vale underground station. At first I didn't think they were similar but on closer inspection they are almost identical apart from the colour of the brickwork, suggesting that the entrance to Elgin Mews North may have been restored recently. I think the church that can be seen framed by the archway is St. Mark's on Hamilton Terrace.

Elgin Mews North, Maida Vale, London W9
Elgin Mews North, Maida Vale, London W9

Maida Vale underground station looking slightly squat and awkward between its larger, neighbouring buildings.

Maida Vale underground station, London W9
Maida Vale underground station, London W9

Maida Vale underground station, London W9
Maida Vale underground station, London W9

And on the southern side of Maida Value underground station is Elgin Mews South.

Elgin Mews South, Maida Vale, London W9
Elgin Mews South, Maida Vale, London W9

I particularly like the foliage above the doorways and windows. Just a shame that the view down the mews is, temporarily, spoilt by some renovation work.

Elgin Mews South, Maida Vale, London W9
 Elgin Mews South, Maida Vale, London W9

Heading back towards Paddington, it's always a wonderful walk along side the Grand Union Canal. I probably could have taken hundreds of pictures of the barges.

Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9
Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9

Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9
Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9

Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9
Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9

Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9
Barges on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, London W9

    


Saturday, 14 June 2014

An Urban Wander through Kilburn

After finishing my Urban Wander around Hampstead I drifted in the vague direction of Paddington to make my way home. Spotted a couple of ghost signs along the way. The first one is slightly curious in that it appears to perhaps have been recently revealed as the paint flaked away. However the paint above it appears new, so perhaps it has been recently pained but deliberately leaving the old sign visible.

LADIES
GENTS
TAILOR

Ghost Sign, Kilburn, London
 Ghost Sign, Kilburn, London

A bit further down the same road, there is almost nothing remaining of this ghost sign - I wonder what it once said.

Ghost Sign, Kilburn, London
 Ghost Sign, Kilburn, London

Having walked around Hampstead for over an hour, and then down to Kilburn, my feet were beginning to ache and I needed to get back to Paddington to catch the train back to the country pile, so hopped on the tube at Kilburn Park. Couldn't resist a quick snap of the station before I went underground though.

Kilburn Park tube station, London
Kilburn Park tube station, London

As well as the more than impressive outside of the London Underground station, the inside had a great skylight above the escalators.

The view looking up from the escalators, Kilburn Park tube station, London
The view looking up from the escalators, Kilburn Park tube station, London

    

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

An Urban Wander around Hampstead, London NW3 (part 2)

Reasonably hot on the heals of part one of my Urban Wander around Hampstead is, as you might expect, part two. This part of the wander features the landscape as I drifted in a south westerly direction in a loose attempt to get back to Paddington. I could easily have spent hours here, looking at each street, alleyway, lane, yard, house and doorway in more detail. The selection below is by no means exhaustive and has whetted my appetite for a return visit, hopefully with a more striking sky.

Ginsberg Yard, Hampstead, London NW3
Ginsberg Yard, Hampstead, London NW3

Golden Yard, Hampstead, London NW3
Golden Yard, Hampstead, London NW3

Golden Yard, Hampstead, London NW3
 Golden Yard, Hampstead, London NW3

I'm always a bit of a sucker for outdoor stairways. Shame about the over exposure on this one but I was taking the picture in to the weak sun. Somehow the view from the top of the stairs didn't look so appealing.

Flight of Stairs, Hampstead, London NW3
Flight of Stairs, Hampstead, London NW3

Narrow passageway, Hampstead, London NW3
Narrow passageway, Hampstead, London NW3
  
A cheeky peak into someone's garden, from the road of course.

View into garden, Hampstead, London NW3
View into garden, Hampstead, London NW3

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

Alleyway, Hampstead, London NW3
Alleyway, Hampstead, London NW3

Holly Berry Lane, Hampstead, London NW3
Holly Berry Lane, Hampstead, London NW3

My favourite of this part of my drift. I'm not sure whether these doors had all been recently painted, or just well looked after, but they were a striking sight on this rather dull day.

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

Holly Walk, Hampstead, London NW3
 Holly Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

Holly Walk, Hampstead, London NW3
Holly Walk, Hampstead, London NW3

    

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.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Ghost signs of Woolhampton, Berkshire

Only a few miles from where I live is the village of Woolhampton, on the A4 between Newbury and Reading. I must have driven through Woolhampton tens, if not hundreds, of times, but it was only very recently that I noticed the ghost signs. So, with an hour on my hands between drop-off and pick-up of one of the kids at one of their various after school activities, I managed to have a wander around and get some pictures. For such a small village I was quite astonished to find four separate ghost signs. I assume there are so many as, at the time, the A4 would have been the main road between London and the west of England, so would have attracted a reasonable amount of passers by.

This first ghost sign looks like a double. The words

HOVIS
TEAS

are clear and bold, so I assume these are one of the signs, but behind these words I can just make out

EST 1975
GOLDEN
BROWN

Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire
Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire

Continuing on the bakery theme, we have

H.S.WARNER
BAKER & CONFECTIONER

Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire
 Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire

Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire
 Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire

Not sure how old this next ghost sign is. I would imagine it'd more recent that other in this post, but a ghost sign nevertheless.

NEWS

Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire
 Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire

And finally, my favourite of the batch

THE OLD
WOOLHAMPTON BAKERY
EST 1875
FOR
HOVIS

Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire
Ghost sign, Woolhampton, Berkshire


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