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  • Museum Meals – Wellcome Collection – IanVisits
    Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life A first museum meal of the new year and as with all new year resolutions time for something annoyingly healthy to offset the excesses of the past month As such and as I was in the area off to the Wellcome Collection to try and get a bite to eat there It s a difficult one to eat in though as on several occasions I have been in to see exhibits or use the library and the cafe is packed This time just enough space tables and shortage of queue to take the gamble that at least one table would be free by the time I am paying for my food It s a cafeteria type service where you collect food and take it to the table Lunch today was a spinach quiche and a lentil beetroot salad And obvs a coffee It turned out to be a cold quiche which isn t a huge problem but I prefer them hot Then again that would have worked against the salad which was not bad at all Actually I ve made a mental note to make it at home Huge chunks of betroot in a sea of lentils and small amount of feta cheese The small amount of cheese not doing much to sate my passion for sharp cheeses and with the soft flavours of the rest of the plate maybe more cheese would have sharpened it up a bit It was an odd meal Pleasant enjoyable nice But oddly unfullfilling Maybe I ordered a salad when I probably wanted a hot stew Needed something more filling and warm A cold quiche and salad on a cold day is very

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/11/museum-meals-wellcome-collection/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The time when London’s streets were paved with wood – IanVisits
    a layer of planks is placed upon the concrete and upon these the blocks are set upright in parallel rows across the street Initially pine was used for the blocks and a mixture of asphalt and pitch poured into expansion gaps between the rows of wooden blocks In 1873 the City of London Police tested the performance of wood vs asphalt and found over a 6 month trial that horses travelled further over wooden blocks before stumbling in the wet and that the stumbles caused fewer injuries to the horses The momentum in favour of wooden blocks was growing As an aside one of the other factors affecting the choice of road surface was the ability to clean it Remember horses leave muck and lots of it After rain that muck and mud renders roads almost impassible as they became incredibly slippery Various attempts were made to improve the cleaning of the roads including an early attempt at an automatic road washer developed in the 1890s Another problem was while wooden blocks were quieter than granite they smelt worse Some of the wooden blocks had a tendency to absorb what fell upon them mostly horse urine and on hot days the stench was said to be noxious 7 It was that tendency which would later lead to roads being paved with different sorts of wooden blocks with harder denser wood being used in posher areas and the poor getting well poorer quality wood that more inclined to soak up horsey fluids Another problem noted by the impressively named Metropolitan Committee on materials and means of paving the streets of London complained that water could build up underneath the blocks and cause them to expand and become a trip hazard Despite that at the time wood was seen as the least bad option for paving the streets of the major cities not just in the UK but the method was to be found across the world And wood for streets was a global trade Wood from Canada from Scandinavia and best of all from Australia could be found on London s streets Australian Jarrah proved to be the most durable road surface being both hard wearing and resistant to absorbing horse urine So desirable was the Australian wood that in 1898 the Jarrah Timber and Wood Paving Company was set up with the specific purpose of buying up forests in Western Australia and shipping the timber back to London for use in road blocks Of course having imported wood for use on the roads it had to be cut and as early as 1903 there were automated wood block cutting machines in use in most major cities A report 8 in 1908 talked about a wood cutting contraption that was 100 feet long which divides each plank into 16 blocks by means of 17 circular saws the machine can saw 25 planks per minute As each plank furnishes 16 blocks the theoretical output of the machine in a day of 10 hours is 25 x 16 x 60 x 10 240 000 blocks One of the more curious experiments was the use of rubber for coating the tops of wooden blocks either individually or in sheets lain over the road While it offered many benefits in terms of reducing slipping by horses and was exceptionally quiet rubber wore out equally exceptionally quickly It is worth thinking though that we still today rely on rubber for our street surfaces though just the other way around from how the Victorians used it We use it on the wheels of the motor vehicles instead So while rubber as a road surface failed in the guise of the tire it has lived on In fact ground up tires are sometimes used as aggregate in new road surfaces so the Victorian experiments continue As the motor car started its inexorable takeover of the roads tire manufacturers would also advertise the merits of their products on wooden blocks such as this advert from 1922 There has been some doubt at times as to how widespread wooden blocks were in the major cities The popular image of stone cobbles being so predominant in the mind that wooden blocks must have been a mere afterthought These does seem to be supported by various reports that wooden blocks were only used in areas where quiet roads were essential such as hotels and hospitals However a map of London by Bartholomew s in 1928 shows clearly the expansive reach of the wooden block road paving method In the map excerpt below the yellow roads are all paved with wooden blocks Only the blue road are where the more familiar stone cobbles can be found The splashes of green are asphalt You can see from that not only were the majority of paved roads lain with wood but that there was a huge variety of road surfaces even along a single road Modern Times In case you think this is all a bit olde worlde and from times in the deep and distant past wooden blocks could be found throughout London until just 50 years ago In 1930 Regent Street was completely re laid with wood blocks creosoted Deal wood 9 based on the Firmosec system In fact when the new Chelsea Bridge was opened in May 1937 the road surface was lain with wooden blocks made from Canadian Douglas Fir 10 The Improved Wood Pavement Company s accounts for that year noted that the company was still stable and performing well Production of wood blocks for use on roads continued right up to the 1950s However they were a dying material and most of the old blocks in situs across London were lifted in the post war rebuilding of the city and the blocks used to heat homes the smoke from the burning tar and creosote supporting London s reputation as The Smoke As it happens Lord Alan Sugar started his entrepreneurial career salvaging wooden blocks from roads in Clacton that

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/10/the-time-when-londons-streets-were-paved-with-wood/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Last day of the old TCR tube station entrance – IanVisits
    The hypnotic tunnel soon to be no more Hopefully no werewolves involved this time Facebook 0 Google 4 Linkedin 0 Reddit 0 Twitter 32 32 36 tottenham court road 10 thoughts on Last day of the old TCR tube station entrance Sean Durrant says January 9 2015 at 5 28 pm It will be sad not to be able to use the station any longer It was always a great opportunity to even briefly step back in time Keep up the good work really enjoy the Blog Sean Reply Ben says January 9 2015 at 5 49 pm I ll be really pleased when the new station opens and have no affection for the old one at all Trying to help my immobile parents navigate those corridors with hundreds of people pushing past in narrow corridors with slippery floors is a nightmare Time for it to go Reply Alexander McKenna says January 9 2015 at 7 18 pm I was trying to figure out where the old main entrance tunnels went Under the pavement mainly or under the actual road What will happen to the disused parts Especially the NW corner subway entrance Will they be filled in or kept as secret hideaways Reply ianvisits says January 10 2015 at 9 38 am Mostly under the road the winding tunnel and the old staircase are likely to be filled in as unused tunnels have to be looked after which costs money Reply Chris says January 10 2015 at 10 31 am Most likely will be altered and closed to become an emergency exit like on similar jobs Reply Josh R says January 9 2015 at 7 31 pm How things change I remember when the new entrance was the site of Dionysus great late night chippie Reply LadyBracknell says January

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/09/last-day-of-the-old-tcr-tube-station-entrance/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    having a heart attack London24 Chesham tube passengers warned about paying a peak time fare for an off peak journey GetBucks Balfour Beatty lands 11m London Underground power work Construction Index Unauthorised anarchist posters took over London underground trains featuring quotes taken from an article in Strike Magazine Campaign London Underground Tube delays worst on Central Jubilee and Victoria lines as overcrowding strains network CityAM A proposed extension of the Bakerloo Line may be at least 15 years away but it is already needed and should connect to Bromley town centre a council says News Shopper Greenwich Power Station which was built in 1906 to provide electricity for London s trams will receive up to six new gas engines to power the underground network and provide heat for 20 000 homes Reuters A new 80 space car park at Theydon Bois station would set a dangerous precedent for further development of the green belt according to campaigners Local Guardian Crossrail TfL has awarded a contract to Costain Skanska joint venture to design and build the Paddington link tunnel CareerStructure Momentum builds behind Crossrail 2 London First Construction arrangements for Crossrail in Shenfield approved Brentwood Gazette Mainline Overground Andrew Adonis The future of south London s rail network has to be orange Evening Standard Overground trains out of West Croydon should run through the night to complement the launch of 24 hour tube services according to Croydon s Greater London Authority member Steve O Connell Croydon Advertiser Network Rail apologises for fourth consecutive night of chaos at London Bridge Evening Standard Miscellaneous Green Party pledges average 10 cut in rail and bus fares BBC News How To Get A Guaranteed Seat On The Tube Londonist The image above is from July 2012 A new type of tube train is shown off

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/09/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-79/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Visit the Barbican’s garden conservatory – IanVisits
    25 26 27 28 29 15 More Blogs Brixton Blog Cabbie Blog Christopher Fowler City Metric Diamond Geezer Edith s Streets Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life Although as much loved as loathed for its expansive use of brutalist concrete the Barbican is a surprisingly green place with lots of open spaces and gardens It also boasts London s second largest heated conservatory sitting right on top of the Barbican arts centre Unlike its larger counterpart down in Kew its not open every day but when it is open it s totally free to visit Finally after years of forgetting I managed to synchronize being in the area for something else and visiting the conservatory Up three floors to the art gallery and no not into the garden room but go outside and there you will see the entrance to the conservatory and just push on the fire exit doors to get inside A solitary chap sat under a heater to keep an eye on arrivals but otherwise save a few visitors the place was almost totally empty And this on a cold winters morning when visiting a heated greenhouse might have been more appealing The conservatory wraps around the huge flytower that supports scenery for the theater beneath your feet and while the concrete of the Barbican is still very evident it adds to the overall effect Imagine a city centre abandoned by humans and overrun by plants and that s what you are walking through when you visit A dystopian film maker s paradise One half is lain out in even blocks dictated by the light wells from below but a wander around the corner through a concrete alleyway and there is a

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/04/visit-the-barbicans-garden-conservatory/ (2016-02-16)
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  • As the walkie-talkie prepares to open to the public… – IanVisits
    top floor and have a look at the views without forking out for a meal at the same time Quite how that works seems difficult to find out for a building which is due to open to the public tomorrow FT or next week Guardian What they do agree on is that we mere mortals will need to book at least three days in advance for permission to ascend to the top of the building Sadly if the first day is tomorrow then no one will be going up there as the booking page seems conspicuous by its absence see the edit below this article The original garden concept of a presumed row of grass terraces to lounge on is also now absent having been replaced by a much smaller stepped terrace of managed planting to walk past and do not linger Less garden and more restaurant Original concept The actual Skygarden The booking page will have to appear at some point though as public access of some sort was a condition of the planning permission The planning permission being controversial due to the overwhelmingly unique shape of the building I was wary at first as often computer renders overplay the benefits of buildings but this time I have been won around The detailing in the fins that run up the side help to thin down the design bulk while emphasizing the taper I also prefer the newly added fins on the main side of the building to reduce its notorious solar glare In fact I think they enhance the building which was a bit too much of a vast sheet of glass otherwise Obviously the top of the building is defined architecturally by the curved roof which sits slightly apart from the rest of the structure Some many have bemoaned the impact of the building on the skyline with views of Tower Bridge ruined by the new skyscraper although if you take a photo of Tower Bridge from the other side you get two rather ugly tower blocks in the background which isn t much of an improvement The building will be a marmite structure I like it many wont The way it bulks up as the floors ascend is a consequence of financial constraints higher floors command higher rents and larger floors up high command even higher rents The view from the 36th floor taken in Sept 2012 It s almost fully let though with most of the available space lower down in the less desirable floors While most of the fuss will be about the top floor I suspect that the majority of local workers will benefit far more from what happened at ground level The upside down taper of the design makes it top heavy but also narrower at the base than the rectangular block it replaced A narrow city pavement is now three times wider than it was in the past and that is probably of more benefit to more people than the carefully controlled

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/04/as-the-walkie-talkie-prepares-to-open-to-the-public/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Tube tunnel sized sewer planned for Kensington – IanVisits
    Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life One of London s lost rivers could get a tube tunnel sized bypass under planned announced by Thames Water The Counters Creek bypass would see a 4 metre diameter tunnel running from Shepherds Bush down to the Thames and a consultation on the plans is taking place later this month What makes this particular lost river more interesting is that a stretch of today s London Overground railway runs right on top of the buried river To see how that happened we have to go back to 1827 when the river was converted into the Kensington Canal That canal proved to be a commercial flop so in 1859 63 the canal was covered over and a railway lain on top of the now covered canal It s been there ever since trains running directly on top of a lost river However heavy rains from Camden way can an hour or so later overload that lost river sewer so Thames Water plans a new bypass channel A 280 million scheme that will dig a 5 kilometre long tunnel slightly larger than needed for a tube train It s not a drain though but a giant reservoir which will absorb surplus water until there is enough capacity to drain the rain water into the rest of the network The motivation for the new tunnel is to alleviate flooding of the sort that hit the area in July 2007 and September 2005 which particularly badly affected basements There are over 37 000 basement properties in the Counters Creek area all of which lie within the flood plain of the River Thames Many of these basements have only become habitable since the reduction in risk of fluvial flooding due to the construction of the Thames Barrier in the early

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/02/tube-tunnel-sized-sewer-planned-for-kensington/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    do in London in Apr 2016 London Calendar Jan Feb 2016 Mar 2016 Apr 2016 May 2016 Jun 2016 Jul 2016 Aug 2016 Sep 2016 Oct 2016 Nov 2016 Dec 2016 Jan 2017 Feb 2017 Mar S M T W T F S 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 15 More Blogs Brixton Blog Cabbie Blog Christopher Fowler City Metric Diamond Geezer Edith s Streets Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life A weekly round up of London s rail transport news London Underground The New Sub Surface Timetable As Good As It Gets London Reconnections TfL has retained NCP to manage its 61 London Underground station car parks TransportXtra London Underground application recognised by NI Electronics Weekly Central Line Trains cease to stop at Tottenham Court Road BBC News Scunthorpe firm lands London Underground contract Scunthorpe Telegraph Crossrail Angel s landmark Co op building could go if Crossrail 2 scheme goes ahead Islington Tribune and Soho d Curzon cinema Telegraph Mainline Overground Investigation launched into railway chaos after thousands of Christmas travellers faced delays Evening Standard and everyone else Heathrow Express trains were cancelled for nearly three hours after a train hit a metal trolley which had been left on the track by Network Rail engineers Telegraph Timelapse film of the works at London Bridge station IanVisits Miscellaneous A historic building on the grounds of Loughton s first railway station is set to face major renovation work in the new year Guardian Series Network Rail s Mark Carne has told Sky News he will forego his bonus after passengers endured totally unacceptable

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/01/02/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-78/ (2016-02-16)
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