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.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Wandering in and Around Bideford, Devon (part 2)

Happy New Year 2018. I don't really make New year's resolutions any more, but let's just say I have an intention to blog more than I did in 2017.

Following on from my previous Bideford post which covered a cycle ride along the Tarka trail, the second part will cover a few other aspects of Bideford, mainly the area to the east of the River Torridge, called East-the-Water. Once the only way to cross the river, this magnificent bridge is still in use today but fortunately the majority of the traffic is now carried by the Torridge Bridge (the A39) further to the north.

Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon
Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon

Looking north from the Old Bideford Bridge, the Torridge Bridge can just about be seen in the distance.

Looking north from the Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon
Looking north from the Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon

As we crossed the bridge to East-the-Water and wandered along the road, one of the first sights that greeted me was the wonderful ghost sign.

BRUNSWICK WHARF.
I. BAKER & SON
GENERAL BUILDING MATERIAL
&COAL MERCHANTS.


I. Baker & Son ghost sign in Bideford, Devon
I. Baker & Son ghost sign in Bideford, Devon

Just along from the Brunswick Wharf building was the site of another former wharf, Queen's Wharf. Ripe for redevelopment it still displays the Queen's Wharf name on the pillars either side of the gate.

Queen's Wharf, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon
Queen's Wharf, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon


This next picture was taken from the Tarka Trail, looking down into East-the-Water, just to the south of the Old Bideford Bridge. Presumably these buildings were also parts of a former wharf, but now looking a bit worse for wear and adorned with street art.

Street art, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon
Street art, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon


Originally built as a Collar Factory, and later as a furniture store, the building still bears its name and purpose.

BLACKMORES DEPOSITRORY

Blackmore's Depository ghost sign, Bideford, Devon
Blackmore's Depository ghost sign, Bideford, Devon

After a very wet day, the skies cleared in the early evening as we made our way down into the town for dinner, treating us to some lovely cloud formations. This first picture is taken from the west side of the River Torridge.

Looking down towards the River Torridge from Bideford, Devon
Looking down towards the River Torridge from Bideford, Devon

Looking south from the Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon
Looking south from the Old Bideford Bridge, Bideford, Devon


Looking towards the River Torridge from East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon
Looking towards the River Torridge from East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon

Looking towards the River Torridge from East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon
Looking towards the River Torridge from East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon

Once again, not having kept a meticulous record of where I took my photos, and my memory failing me, I am really not sure where these next two pictures were taken. Given the date they were taken, I am very sure they are in and around Bideford, but exactly where I cannot tell. If I had to guess then I'd say they were taken from the Tarka Trail as we cycled along it north from Bideford to Barnstaple and Braunton.

Somewhere along the Tarka Trail, near Bideford, Devon
Somewhere along the Tarka Trail, near Bideford, Devon

Somewhere along the Tarka Trail, near Bideford, Devon
Somewhere along the Tarka Trail, near Bideford, Devon

    

Thanks for reading. This is the last of the two posts I'll be doing on Bideford. I still have some archive material from last summer to post, so that will probably feature next, but hopefully I'll get an opportunity to explore more this year and post accordingly.


Friday, 29 December 2017

A Weekend Break in Bideford, Devon (cycling the Tarka trail from Bideford to Meeth, and back)

As mentioned a few posts ago, I have a wealth of material from earlier in the year which I didn't have time (at the time) to process and post, but with a few days on my hands before going back to work, and still trying to fight off the man-flu, it's about time I put that right. The first of these retrospective posts will focus on a weekend break we had in Devon, Bideford to be precise, and the first of the Bideford posts will focus on a cycle ride we did along the magnificent Tarka Trail, a former railway now converted into a quite wonderful cycle path.

I must however first start with a small apology. We actually did two rides along the Tarka Trail from Bideford. The first was south from Bideford, which is covered by the majority of the photos, but we also cycled north which for some reason only seems to have a few photos where I'm sure I took more. The apology is that I fear I may have mixed some of these up and am not sure of the location of all of them - I think these are all from the ride between Bideford and Meeth. I'm very clear on the first one however, this is the old bridge carrying the former railway into Bideford station.

Former railway bridge, now home to the Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon
Former railway bridge, now home to the Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon 

Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon
Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon

Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon
Tarka Trail cycle path, Bideford, Devon

This next picture shows one of Bideford's two former railway stations. Although not very far from the main station, the Royal Hotel had its own station allowing guests easy access. Both platforms remain and are in reasonable condition, although the one opposite the hotel is a little overgrown.

The former Royal Hotel Station, Bideford, Devon
The former Royal Hotel Station, Bideford, Devon 

The former Royal Hotel Station, Bideford, Devon
The former Royal Hotel Station, Bideford, Devon

This is Bideford station proper, parts of which have now been restored (see pictures further down in this post).

The former railway station, Bideford, Devon
The former railway station, Bideford, Devon

Where parts of the railway has been preserved, there is some wonderful railwayana (is that a word). This is a restored but disused signal just south of Bideford. You can also just see some re-laid tracks in the foreground, but these peter-out before long and I think are only there to allow the carriages which house the museum and tea rooms to have somewhere to sit.

Restored but disused signal, Bideford, Devon
Restored but disused signal, Bideford, Devon

This is where things begin to get a bit blurred. This is definitely on the route south from Bideford to Meeth, but not sure exactly where. Still, it's another fine example of a disused platform.

Disused railway platform, Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford
Disused railway platform, Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford

Along the side of the former track bed there were some wonderful Gaudi-like sculptures, depicting animals from Tarka the Otter.

Sculpture along the Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford

Sculpture along the Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford
Sculpture along the Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford


Cycling the Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford
Cycling the Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford

Disused railway platform, Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford
Disused railway platform, Tarka Trail, somewhere south of Bideford

I'm pretty sure this is just outside Meeth, which was as far as we cycled south along the Tarka Trail.

Cycling the Tarka Trail, former railway platform just outside Meeth, Devon
Cycling the Tarka Trail, former railway platform just outside Meeth, Devon

There's no mistaking this one though. This is the truly wonderful Puffing Billy café, situated at the former Great Torrington station. It was so good that we stopped for a bacon sandwich on the outward ride in the morning, and again for a cream tea on the return leg. Good for railwayana fans and cream tea connoisseurs alike.

Cycling the Tarka Trail, Puffing Billy Trading Station, Great Torrington, Devon
Cycling the Tarka Trail, Puffing Billy Trading Station, Great Torrington, Devon

Of all the picture I took during our 40 mile round trip, this one is probably my favourite. Ok, so it's a bit staged with the milk churns there for historical purposes only, but I felt it captured the essence of a branch line railway quite well. Nice sky too.

Cycling the Tarka Trail, milk churns at the former Bideford station
Cycling the Tarka Trail, milk churns at the former Bideford station

I managed to take a picture of the restored signal box on the same evening.

Cycling the Tarka Trail, restored signal box, Bideford, Devon
Cycling the Tarka Trail, restored signal box, Bideford, Devon

I think these final two pictures must have been taken on a different day as the weather and light are both quite different. They both however show the restored railway carriages sitting on some re-laid track in the former Bideford station. Inside the carriages are a museum and tea-room.

Cycling the Tarka Trail, Bideford station, Devon
Cycling the Tarka Trail, Bideford station, Devon

Cycling the Tarka Trail, Bideford station, Devon
Cycling the Tarka Trail, Bideford station, Devon

 I do have some more pictures of Bideford off the Tarka Trail so to speak, so I may get around to sharing those in the next few days.,

    

Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my post, I hope you enjoyed it. As usual, comments are always welcome and appreciated.

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