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  • Museum Meals – The Southbank Centre – IanVisits
    the Southbank Centre has a semi permanent display about the history of the 1951 Festival of Britain which sort of makes at least one small corner of the estate a museum for my purposes I was actually there to see a model steam railway that is running along the riverside but more of that later As I arrived I was less interested in steam engines than in sating a raging hangover partially induced by a desire to drink away an attempted burglary into the flat the day before The Southbank centre is also one of those places that seems to have more restaurants and cafes than it has entertainment venues but just two qualify for my own self imposed rules about where to eat The famous Skylon restaurant would have to wait for less hungover times so off to the cafeteria style space occupying much of the first floor Looking very much like a sarnie and coffee venue they do in fact serve hot food and a beef stew was what the hangover needed Served rather incongruously in cardboard style tubs with a plastic lid on and with plastic spoons its evidently basic fare I do wonder about the eco credentials of using so much disposable waste though Anyway it seemed that a glass of house wine was only slightly more than a coffee and delivered a suitable hair of dog cure all An eighth of a round loaf of bread to accompany the stew looked more generous than the usual slices of bread offered by some venues The tables are municipal and could have done with more wiping down between customers During my lunch all the spare chairs were slowly denuded away by people asking if they were occupied There is however nothing quite as lonely as repeatedly saying

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/24/museum-meals-the-southbank-centre/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Regular tours starting of the “Roman baths” at The Strand – IanVisits
    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 Somerset House has long been running short tours of the building which can take you down underneath the main forecourt into the deadhouse but now they have added a new tour which offers a bit more The new tours are only on Tuesdays which is a bit restrictive for most people working in London but they do include one of my favourite bits of little known London to see The new tour explores the history of the site before the current building existed which was once the home of three Catholic queens Anne of Denmark Henrietta Maria and Catherine of Braganza and played a vital part in the crisis of the Stuart dynasty However a special highlight of the tour sees you leave the estate and head across the road for fairly rare access to the Strand Lane Baths It has always been possible to go inside the Strand Lane Baths but only by prior agreement with the council who hold the keys To be able to just turn up and go inside is quite new As I have mentioned in the past it s not a huge venue and the attribution to it being a Roman bathhouse is almost certainly wrong But it is one of the least known about bits of London history mainly because it is so damn hard to find and the effort of getting in and

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/23/regular-tours-starting-of-the-roman-baths-at-the-strand/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Double-deck trains proposed for Waterloo station lines – IanVisits
    of capacity but the exotic double deck trains are in there as well The document says that the route study also sets out a bespoke double decking option that would see some services from Basingstoke and Woking inwards operating with double deck stock The report warns that double deck services may suit operation over a limited geographical area during peak hours only in order to minimise the investment required to adapt the rail network and depot and stabling facilities Of the two proposed routes the most likely would see double deck services operating between London Waterloo and Woking and Basingstoke excluding the Alton line with seven existing high peak services into London Waterloo operated by double deck trains During off peak hours of operation when the number of passengers travelling is significantly lower it is proposed to stand down these trains at Clapham Yard before working a return journey departing London Waterloo in the evening peak That s the equivalent of an extra 42 single deck passenger vehicle arrivals into London Waterloo during the high peak hour an increase of 18 per cent Another option to expand the operation of double deck trains down to Southampton looks less likely due to the cost of tunnel works south of Basingstoke There is also a risk as double deck trains wont be able to divert onto alternative lines should the approved route be blocked or otherwise out of action Just to show how expensive it would be to switch to continental style double decker trains Stagecoach carried out a study in 2005 and just the bit between Waterloo and Clapham Junction would have cost almost 1 billion to convert for full scale double deck trains The Times June 2005 So what is needed are double deck trains that wont need a fortune spent on railway modifications However the report warned that an assessment of the suitability of double deck rolling stock currently in operation internationally has not been able to identify a vehicle suitable for use in Great Britain and as a result the report suggests that a new double deck Electric Multiple Unit EMU or an adaptation of an existing design would be required for operation on the Wessex Route A British solution is needed And provided The report has already developed an outline concept double deck train comprising three 26 metre vehicle units operating in multiples of three or alternatively a fixed formation 9 car unit with doors situated at the vehicle ends at standard floor height This concept provides an estimated 50 per cent increase in useable floor area compared to existing Class 444 and Class 450 stock deployed on the route That could see modern double deck trains operating in a manner slightly similar to an experiment that ran from London Charing Cross to Dartford between 1949 and 1971 using a customised standard train which had a smaller upper floor squeezed in In addition to the issue of developing a double deck carriage that will fit on the

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/22/double-deck-trains-proposed-for-waterloo-station-lines/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Satellite Photo Reveals Railway Under Parliament Square – IanVisits
    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 When railways or any large hole for that matter is dug underground it can often leave telltale marks on the surface Subsidence is the usual signature although these days it is less of an issue as tunneling gets better and the development of compensation grouting can replace lost soil beneath and stop the surface subsiding a bit However there is also a way of detecting sub surface works when they run under parks as they can affect the growth of plants on the surface Even grass can show signs of a subterranean structure if it is close enough to affect plants access to water during a hot summer A few years ago when researching something different I came across a photo of Parliament Square that showed very clearly the effects of a subterranean railway running underneath it I lost the document but a recent update of Google satellite photos shows the same effect That broad strip running diagonally through Parliament Square is in fact the Circle District line and you can clearly see how nearly 150 years after its construction it is still affecting how plants grow above its brick arches Facebook 0 Google 9 Linkedin 0 Reddit 64 Twitter 17 17 90 houses of parliament london underground 3

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/22/satellite-photo-reveals-railway-under-parliament-square/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    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 London Underground network marks busiest day ever with more than 4 5 million passengers Evening Standard Escalator work to start at Seven Sisters Tube station for six months Tottenham Journal Crossrail Extra 14m to make all stations step free on Crossrail Construction Enquirer Mind the Branding Gap First Crossrail Services to Launch as TfL Rail London Reconnections Mainline Overground Drop in session for residents to find out more about Tottenham High Road bridge reconstruction Press release Derby train maker signs 145m Gatwick Express deal Derby Telegraph Residents associations in Coulsdon insist there is a clear need for an under threat off peak train service to London Victoria Croydon Advertiser High Speed 2 will need an average of nearly 5 000 construction workers per month during phase one and two of construction Construction News Miscellaneous London Underground staff criticised over Bill Cosby thought for the day as comedian faces rape allegations The Mirror Britain s hardest working train Rail Magazine Transport funding reform could transform the UK economy according to a new report commissioned by TfL and TfGM Manchester Confidential Pictures Chiltern Railways timetable artworks by Heather and Ivan Morison

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/21/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-72/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Bethlem’s Museum of the Mind – IanVisits
    the nearby train station or in my case a slightly longer wander down from temporary lodgings in Crystal Palace Nearing the hospital a striking sight of a row of heavily pollarded tree stumps looking more like they were the stunted remains of a nuclear winter Doubtless the deep foliage that pollarding causes turns them into a veritable hedge during summer but at the moment they are a line of silent sentinels keeping watch on passers by Despite the forbidding image of a mental hospital entry is through wide open gates although a sign warns that photography is strictly forbidden For once an acceptable condition of entry as it is a hospital where patient confidentiality should be respected A sign notes that the museum is open as it is on the first Saturday of every month and a brisk walk to a small shed like building Ring the doorbell and a cheerful chap opened up and an introduction to sign the guest book There are usually talks on the day although I turned up unawares and really a bit too early to hang around long enough for this is a very small museum Tiny in fact Actually more an art gallery for one of the more famous side effects of mental disturbance and also one of its best treatments is a propensity for art Written sculpted or painted So within a small room stand a few works of art with small detailed cards explaining why they were chosen and the suffering of the person who created them A few bits of historic artifacts and a few boards explaining the history of the hospital and well that s about it A small gallery that might be worth popping into if somewhere convenient but hardly worth the effort even if passing on the

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/16/bethlems-museum-of-the-mind/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The airship armada – IanVisits
    spotted a number of huge airships in the distance flying over London A quick shout to whomever it was I was with at the time and we all pulled out our cameras to take photos and slowly the crowd around joined in as the fleet of airships became more noticable Planes joined them some small some larger more obvious but all a bit too far away to see which sorts I swapped over to the zoom lens which then started to jam and stick in a most frustrating manner making taking a photo of a bubble helicopter that flew really close as difficult as the target was close Suddenly in the distance we could see what appeared to be the colours of the red arrows but a long way away and unusually high up in the sky By now someone had found out that this huge armada of planes and zeppelins was a flypast going over the Oval cricket ground which was by now inexplicably directly ahead of me on the south bank facing east A fellow blogger turned up and we chatted for a bit while trying to find a better vantage point as the crowds grew and wandered over to a bridge which seemed to offer a direct line of sight down a narrow alley way towards the cricket grounds Sadly the close buildings made getting photos very difficult but a massive airship could be clearly seen hovering over the Oval A builder was working on a building site close to us and suddenly a valuable violin fell through a hole in the floor on the building site and smashed to pieces on the scaffolding Then I woke up and the dream ended Not often but just occasionally my dreams are unusually vivid and surreal A medieval IanVisits

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/16/the-airship-armada/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    will attempt to visit every Tube station in one day in order to highlight accessibility problems on the London Underground Evening Standard Northern line extension green light for spring start Construction Enquirer Campaigners fighting to get a Tube line extension built through their neighbourhood have set up a petition South London Press Brixton Commuters urged to use Stockwell Tube Station instead as escalator works expected to last until end of November Brixton Blog Crossrail George Osborne I ignored advice to axe Crossrail Evening Standard The Crossrail project is helping to foster the usage of BIM by other major infrastructure projects in the country Sourceable Mainline Overground A renewed row into the slow progress of the improvement work at Putney Station has blown up PutneySW15 The wait is over Elstree and Borehamwood station lifts officially open Borehamwood Times Giant poppies attached to First Great Western trains for Armistice Day Get West London A station underpass used daily by hundreds of commuters has become a human toilet it is claimed Local Guardian Eurostar orders seven more e320s Railway Gazette DLR Poplar woman dies after being hit by DLR train Wharf Miscellaneous The armed forces lined a platform at King s Cross to welcome the arrival of a centenary train as a tribute to the thousands of people who lost their lives in the First World War Camden New Journal Transport for London builds customer profiles using RFID data analytics Computer Weekly A new record for the highest number of London bus and Tube passenger journeys taken in a week has been set BBC News Tube controller admits turning up for work drunk after 13 hour birthday party binge Evening Standard Police hunt man after disturbing sexual assault in station toilet Haringay Independent Hunt to find fare evader who attacked Tube worker at

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/11/14/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-71/ (2016-02-16)
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