Saturday, 24 February 2018

A wander around Abingdon, Oxfordshire (looking for signs old and new)

A different destination for today's wander. Looking to go somewhere different from home, but not travelling too far, we decided to stop off at Abingdon in Oxfordshire for a few hours. Our wander started with a short and muddy walk along the Thames path, which was pleasant enough, but soon we ended up in the town, with scenery more fitting for my blog.

Starting off with what I originally thought was a bit over over-officious policing of the waterway, but then realised it had a more humourous tone to it.

Sign at Abingdon lock, River Thames. Oxfordshire
Sign at Abingdon lock, River Thames, Oxfordshire

Sign at Abingdon lock, River Thames. Oxfordshire
Sign at Abingdon lock, River Thames, Oxfordshire

In to the town now and pleasing to find not only an old sign / ghost sign on the Oxfam shop, but also two doorway mosaics there too. The sign reads

LANGFORD & SONS CORN & COAL MERCHANTS

Old sign for Langford & Sons Corn & Coal Merchants, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Old sign for Langford & Sons Corn & Coal Merchants, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Following the doorway mosaic at the Corn and Coal merchants, I found another just a little further down the road. This shop threshold also had some ornate tile work.

Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Doorway mosaic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Ornate tile work, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Ornate tile work, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Good to see the sign for the FREE LIBRRAY is still in situ, even if the library itself is long gone.


Old sign for former Free Library, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Old sign for former Free Library, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Old sign for former Free Library, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Old sign for former Free Library, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

A short visit to the town, which we rounded off with a quick visit to the museum. These two pictures are from the roof terrace which is open upon request for a small fee.

View from the rooftop of the Abingdon Museum, Oxfordshire
View from the rooftop of the Abingdon Museum, Oxfordshire

Zooming in a little and the horizon is pretty much filled with what remains of Didcot Power Station.

Didcot Power Station from the rooftop of the Abingdon Museum, Oxfordshire
Didcot Power Station from the rooftop of the Abingdon Museum, Oxfordshire


    

That's all for today. Thanks as always for reading. Comments welcome.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

A lunchtime wander around Notting Hill, London

For my lunchtime wander today, I decided to drift off towards Holland Park and Notting Hill. Again this is somewhere I've been before but not for a while now, and as with many places I visit there are always either new sights to see and photo, or vistas I have previously missed.

One thing I do particularly like about this area of London is the curved buildings on many of the street corners, mainly I suspect as a result of the roads not being a grid system like some other parts of London.

This first building has all the hall marks of being a pub at one time in its life. From similar buildings I have seen, I can imagine a sign with the pub name at the very top of the building and a list of various ales on the long grey plastered section. It looks like it may have had an entrance too which has now been covered. Worried that I may be completely wrong, I decided to conduct some internet research and came across this wonderful site called Lost Pubs in London which revealed that this indeed used to be a pub, called The Unicorn but has been a residential dwelling for some years now.

The former Unicorn Pub, corner of Princedale Road and Penzance Place, Notting Hill, London
The former Unicorn Pub, corner of Princedale Road and Penzance Place, Notting Hill, London

I was also curious about what this building, also in Penzance Place, could have been, but was not able to uncover any information.

Unidentified pink building, Penzance Place, Notting Hill, London
Unidentified pink building, Penzance Place, Notting Hill, London

Again I'm quite sure what is now The Cross was something in a former life but despite doing, admittedly only a little, research I was unable to uncover anything on this one either.

The Cross, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London
The Cross, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London

Fortunately what is now The Cowshed was easier to discover its former function. This was also a former pub, called The Portland Arms.

The former Portland Arms pub, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London
The former Portland Arms pub, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London

The area in and around Clarendon Cross has some wonderful shop fronts or which these are only a couple.

L Maison shopfront, Clarendon Cross, Notting Hill, London
L Maison shopfront, Clarendon Cross, Notting Hill, London


Summerill and Bishop, shopfront, Clarendon Cross, Notting Hill, London
Summerill and Bishop, shopfront, Clarendon Cross, Notting Hill, London

This area also boasts something of a more industrial past, with a pottery and this former brick works, now a residential dwelling. The name of the building is clear to see, but look about half-way down and there are also the words BUILDERS and CONTRACTORS in the brickwork.

The former Clarendon brick works, Notting Hill, London
The former Clarendon brick works, Notting Hill, London

The former Clarendon brick works, Notting Hill, London
The former Clarendon brick works, Notting Hill, London

As I made my way back down Portland Road, I spotted this old shop sign above a restaurant, for James Bricknell, decorators.

Old sign, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London
Old sign, Portland Road, Notting Hill, London


Finally on this wander, I found this wonderful, and very much in use, butchers. 

Lidgate butchers, Holland Park Avenue, London
Lidgate butchers, Holland Park Avenue, London

It's hard to make out in this picture but the LIDGATE is actually a mosaic.

Mosaic, Lidgate butchers, Holland Park Avenue, London
Mosaic, Lidgate butchers, Holland Park Avenue, London

    

Saturday, 27 January 2018

A lunchtime wander to West Brompton

Despite the grey skies, and menacing clouds, I braved the elements and ventured out. A round trip to West Brompton is just about possible within a lunch hour, and there are fortunately various routes to get there, so plenty of scope for wandering along new roads. I have previously visited West Brompton but I think only from the opposite direction.

London has plenty of Peabody housing, courtesy of social visionary George Peabody. As well as being architecturally striking, many have interesting signage. I'd like to have taken a few more pictures here but I felt I was intruding too much into people's personal space.

Signage on the Peabody houses, Lillie Road, London
Signage on the Peabody houses, Lillie Road, London

Along the same stretch of road was a former school, with the segregated school entrance signs still visible. Just a few yards away from the Girls & Infants entrance was the Boys entrance.

Girls & Infants entrance to former school, Lillie Road, London
Girls & Infants entrance to former school, Lillie Road, London

When I first saw this ghost sign, I had assumed that I'd seen it before, but then realised that the one I had seen was at the other end of Lillie Road. I can only assume I'd never spotted this massive one before as I had always walked in the opposite direction. Quite pleased with my find though.

Brymay safety matches ghost sign, Lillie Road, West Brompton, London
Brymay safety matches ghost sign, Lillie Road, West Brompton, London

With the Empress State Building to the left, and the London Overground railway approaching West Brompton station to the right, this piece of open land is in the process of being redeveloped. I'm sure next time I visit it will look completely different.

Wasteland between Empress State Building and London Overground line, West Brompton
Wasteland between Empress State Building and London Overground line, West Brompton

On my return route I spotted this ghost sign on Chesson Road. I am fairly sure I had walked this way before but never noticed it. On closer inspection though, the fact that the main part of the sign is a different colour to the rest of the walls suggests it has, until recently perhaps, been covered by a more modern billboard. Unfortunately I cannot make out what it says. Maybe the last word is Hall?

Ghost sign, Chesson Road, Fulham, London
Ghost sign, Chesson Road, Fulham, London

As often seems to happen, when I'm out hunting for ghost signs, almost anything can look like one. I originally took this photo to showcase the boarded-up shop, but also noticed above the shop what could perhaps once have been a ghost sign. Having blown the picture up though, I now think I was imagining it.

Boarded-up shop, Turneville Road, London W14
Boarded-up shop, Turneville Road, London W14


    

Sunday, 21 January 2018

A lunchtime wander around Brackenbury Village, London

It's all too easy to allow work to overtake my intentions, and once again this has happened in terms of finding time to dedicate to this blog. Admittedly it's only a couple of weeks this time, unlike the months of absence I saw last year, but I had intended to blog at least weekly. Last week was manic at work, but fortunately I did manage to escape the office one lunchtime when I was up in London. I must have walked pretty much everywhere within a lunch time's walking distance from the office, so decided to re-visit somewhere I'd not been for a while ... Brackenbury. Brackenbury is essentially a London village, situated between Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park. Despite being situated between some fairly major roads, it still has a village-like feel, although some of what I assume used to be village shops are now tastefully converted into residential or business premises, rather than being boarded-up and run down, which would almost certainly be the case in some of the neighbouring areas.

I've performed a quick internet search but couldn't find any information to suggest what these buildings used to be.

Brackenbury Village, London

They are however beautifully preserved, or should that be restored?

Brackenbury Village, London
Brackenbury Village, London

Even the Christmas trees are stacked neatly, on a spotless street, awaiting collection.


Brackenbury Village, London
Brackenbury Village, London

Brackenbury Village, London
Brackenbury Village, London

This was the only building that I had any success in determining it's former purpose, which was apparently a bakery. I was hoping that what appears to be two ghost signs on the building would reveal more, but unfortunately any lettering is long gone.

Former bakery, Brackenbury Village, London
Former bakery, Brackenbury Village, London

Ghost signs on the former bakery, Brackenbury Village, London
Ghost signs on the former bakery, Brackenbury Village, London
Continuing on my loop, to the eastern edge of Brackenbury, I came across again what I assume was a shop at one time, on Hammersmith Grove, with it's original sign maintained.


Former shop, Hammersmith Grove, Brackenbury Village, London
Former shop, Hammersmith Grove, Brackenbury Village, London

These lovely Hindustan Ambassadors were a surprise. Beautifully restores and now part of Karma Kabs.

Hindustan Ambassadors, Brackenbury Village, London
Hindustan Ambassadors, Brackenbury Village, London

This building has all the signs of having been a pub, but again I can't find any information.

Former pub(?), Brackenbury Village, London
Former pub(?), Brackenbury Village, London

One of the striking features about Brackenbury Village was the tiling that many of the houses displayed.

Brackenbury Village, London
Brackenbury Village, London

Now a pilates studio, I wonder what this building was previously. The ghost sign above the door is more readable than on the bakery but still not quite readable enough to be able to decipher.

Ghost sign, Brackenbury Village, London
Ghost sign, Brackenbury Village, London

Having spotted a few books on London Villages, I think I'll do some research over the next few remaining weeks of winter, and when the evenings become longer maybe start exploring some new places.

    

Thanks, as always, for reading. Comments welcome and appreciated.


Sunday, 7 January 2018

Wandering along the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Here's another collection of pictures from one of our summer breaks. This one features photos taken along the former railway line, the Camel Trail, at Padstow, Cornwall.

On arrival at our B&B we were greeted with this wonderful view of the Camel Estuary at very low tide, from the bedroom window. The Camel Trail is just the other side of the houses.

View from the B&B, overlooking the Camel Estuary, Cornwall
View from the B&B, overlooking the Camel Estuary, Cornwall

Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

The Camel Trail and Estuary, Padstow, Cornwall

Boats on the Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Boats on the Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Boats on the Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Boats on the Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall


Just outside Padstow is this wonderful iron bridge. Although sadly no longer carrying steam trains full of excited holiday-makers, or hauling trucks full of freshly caught fish, it has been converted into a recreational route for walkers and cyclists.

Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

The view from the bridge is quite stunning too.

Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Iron bridge, Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

The main reason for the bridge it would seem was to cross Little Petherick Creek.

Little Petherick Creek from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Little Petherick Creek from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

A little way outside Padstow beyond the iron bridge, at low tide the views both ways along the estuary open out into wide expanses of sand.

Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Looking back towards the iron bridge on the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Looking back towards the iron bridge on the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall
Camel Estuary from the Camel Trail, Padstow, Cornwall

    

As usual, thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity for some more urban, suburban and coastal wandering over the coming weeks, with more posts to follow.

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