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  • A new book about the New Bus for London – IanVisits
    bus is a cultural landmark of London and regardless of the technical merits the replacement buses had a very utilitarian feel about them and London was fast becoming a city that was just like all the others in how its buses appeared Cheap rectangular boxes that could be found in any major city For some reason largely emotional Londoners really like our double decker buses and that helped Boris win the election and thus mandated to push ahead with the new bus Yes they could have gone with an off the shelf design but there are I think really good reasons to have not done that London s buying power in transport is huge and as such where it had been generally the bus companies that presented what they had and the buyer picked from the buffet selection TfL had the clout to turn the situation around and force a new design onto the manufacturers People will probably argue the cost issue until they are blue in the face or red in the face depending on political allegiance for this is largely a project that seems overly political Much of the hate comes from one side of the political spectrum and much of the love from the other Looking at it as a dispassionate project to deliver a new bus is rarely achieved My personal opinion is that quality costs money and if London is to have a unique bus of its own then a premium has to be paid for that We elected the Mayor on that mandate so damn the democratic process if you want The book itself does offer some interesting insights into the design process I wasn t aware that the bell pushes are wireless now Nor that the treads on the staircase are a fabric more usually found in luxury yachts The colour of the bus outside was never going to be anything but red but the colour inside has been given really quite substantial thought We probably never notice that the led lights are slightly off white to give a warmer colour to passengers skin tone but it s there Nor did I know there is a minimum radius for handrails but curiously no mandatory garish colour requirements So the new bus doesn t have bright yellow handrails all over the place The downside to the book and not one that is unexpected for an official guide is that the problems the bus encountered are mentioned barely in passing The finances with the bus operators is presented as a good idea even if the reality is unknown but suspected to be otherwise Likewise the issue of the air conditioning is barely touched upon Maybe that is the fault of a book that is supported by TfL or a realistic reflection of the impact that these issues had on it For all the mass media fuss about the air conditioning it was fixed fairly quickly and if we look back at how the original Routemaster

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/06/01/a-new-book-about-the-new-bus-for-london/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Bank tube station upgrade — consultation opens – IanVisits
    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 The last of three public consultations is opening for comment about the plans to upgrade the Bank tube station complex It s less about the actual design and plan of the upgrade as that has been pretty much decided up on than how to do what has been decided The area around Bank being quite a tight working space they have to let people know what the local surface disruptions are going to be like during construction works As reported previously there are two main working sites one which comes from the demolition of a block of buildings that will later be replaced with a new station entrance and more offices and another which sees a road sealed off to make use of the disused King William Street station site below ground Also in 2020 as works are nearing completion the Northern Line branch through Bank Station will be closed so that the old line can be joined onto the new stretch and the new documents give some insight into that For two moths in April May 2020 the entire length of the Northern line between Kennington and Moorgate will be closed The intention is to run a third more trains through the Charing Cross branch and where possible add extra facilities on buses and national rail which will have the biggest impact on people living south of the river They will also review the pedestrian route between Moorgate and London Bridge to speed up walking options The full package of documents and maps is here The consultation will open on 2 June

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/31/bank-tube-station-upgrade-consultation-opens/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Astronomical phenomena – there is no night tonight – IanVisits
    Things to do in London in Mar 2016 Things to 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 Later this evening the sun will dip below the horizon or more accurately the rotation of the earth will pull London away from the sun so that it appears as if the sun is dipping below the horizon Night will fall Actually it wont In purely astronomical terms it will not become nighttime tonight We will spend the hours in perpetual twilight from sunset to sunrise I found out about this fairly recently but forgetting to check the exact dates when this odd situation takes place and it runs from May 23rd until July 22nd when finally night will return to London For the next few months there will be no nighttime in London This is because the grades of light offered by the setting sun have a very specific definition When the sun hits the horizon then that is sunset and we enter civil twilight As the sun dips down further we enter nautical twilight then astronomical twilight It is not until the sun reaches 18 degrees below the horizon that we officially enter nighttime And amazingly London is sufficiently

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/30/astronomical-phenomena-there-is-no-night-tonight/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Vintage buses to run around Wembley – IanVisits
    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 Another of London s bus garages is set to let the general public inside for a look around next Saturday and offer trips around the area in vintage buses This time it is the turn of the Alperton bus garage which is near Wembley map link Alperton Bus Garage was opened on 7 June 1939 next door to the London Underground station of the same name on the Piccadilly Line and was built to serve the expanding suburbs of north west London Due to lack of facilities elsewhere body overhauls were undertaken at the garage during the Second World War Indeed the garage itself suffered some bomb damage during this period The garage was extended in the second half of the 1970s but still looks very similar to the original building constructed 75 years ago Entry costs 2 goes to charity and the bus garage is open from 10 30am to 4pm Agenda Take a free non stop ride on vintage and other interesting buses from the garage via either Harrow on the Hill or to view Metroline s Central Engineering and Logistics Facility at West Perivale There will be regular departures from 10 45 until 15 30 View old preserved vehicles See behind the scenes in the maintenance area Get up close and personal with objects from the London Transport Museum collection and find out more about the stories behind them with the Tickets Please handling collection

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/30/vintage-buses-to-run-around-wembley/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Book free tickets to see around some building sites – IanVisits
    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 As part of their support for this year s London Festival of Architecture Berkeley Group are offering the opportunity to see behind the scenes at a number of their key development sites across London There were four but one has already sold out Each open evening includes a tour of the site a discussion session with the architects and project team followed by light refreshments All events are free but places are limited so book now to secure your space Dickens Yard Ealing book here Thursday 5 June 18 30 20 00 This is a key site in the centre of Ealing A 4 acre former council car park is being transformed into a mixed use development with shops and restaurants and 698 new homes Royal Arsenal Riverside Woolwich book here Wednesday 25 June 18 00 20 30 Berkeley are launching new research about place making at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich This is one of the biggest regeneration projects in Britain creating 5 000 homes over more than 20 years on the site of a factory that armed the British forces during World War 1 Restored and refurbished Georgian listed buildings now sit next to contemporary apartment blocks a café pub and museum beside the river Come and debate the findings of the social sustainability report which measures people s quality of life on a new development A private tour of this new London community on an early summer evening and see how investment in transport can unlock new housing Riverlight and The Albert Embankment book here Thursday 26 June 18 30 20 00 Come and

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/30/book-free-tickets-to-see-around-some-building-sites/ (2016-02-16)
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  • New art on display inside old museums – IanVisits
    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 Two of the UCL museums in central London have both launched art exhibitions where the art is scattered amongst their more formal exhibits I took some photos and promptly deleted them by accident So you will need to wander over to the Grant Museum to see some quite interesting works that are morphed digital photos that look almost like they could be animals and yet could be art You ll need to find the small collection of jewellery made from the backbones of small animals Another is a stack of coloured transparencies slotted in amongst the bones of a long dead animal Like most art it s subjective and some appeals and some does not A solar array is huge and well frankly just odd As was something by the entrance with balls of something hanging around a skeleton Subnature runs until 19th July during Museum opening hours Mon Sat 1 5pm Just across the road another of my favourie little museums the Petrie Museum of Egyptology is also hosting an exhibition of student art It is well erm yes quite I have no idea Allegedly inspired by Egyptian themes quite what a box of sweets with little dots painted

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/29/new-art-on-display-inside-old-museums/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Getting a free haircut in London – IanVisits
    15 minutes So an hour long appointment at the LSB could well be the worst thing that could happen But I am always up for an experience so what s the place like Photo courtesy the LSB I booked an appointment for 1pm and an email to buzz a doorbell then wait in the lower floor doesn t feel that reassuring However the door was open and it s just a trot up a narrow flight of stairs to a room overflowing with men waiting for a cut This was unexpected I had sort of imagined that this would be a low key operation with a few trainees and a few models but no it was more of an industrial process with a huge room packed full of students learning the barbering skills I had no idea there was such demand for trainees and such a supply of men wanting a free haircut Although an appointment was booked it is more akin to a normal barbers where you turn up and join the waiting queue And eventually I was handed over to Mathew He s been here for eight weeks now so I am not sure quite what happens if you get a first week trainee but I presume the end effect might be less ahem qualified I ve also never had so much attention paid to a cut before Practically every hair was checked and rechecked combed cut snipped and trimmed He apologized for not chatting as he was being told to speed up his technique A heart leapt for joy A silent barber What rare joy is this Half an hour under the clipper and barely half way through the process off to the wash and a bit of a chat He seemed surprised that this was my first visit They seem to have a lot of regulars and frankly if the cut is decent enough and free then why not An hour for an appointment seems like a long time for a man at least but when I factor in the unreliability of just wandering into a normal place and maybe getting a cut then or a half hour wait for a cut it s not that significant a difference The rest of the cut was done with the scissors and again an exceptional amount of care was taken over every tiny bit As a student they are judged on skills so that is the price the model has to pay to sit there as more care than you might get elsewhere is taken Indeed I have never had someone spend an hour cutting my hair before Sometimes a cut would be interrupted by the roaming teachers coming over to chastise or praise My own cut was presented for inspection and the teacher instantly pulled out the scissors and corrected some mistakes Mistakes I would personally have never noticed but the reasoning was sound and I learned a few things about my own hair today The teacher

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/27/getting-a-free-haircut-in-london/ (2016-02-16)
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  • A new tunnel to be dug in central London – IanVisits
    is a narrow goods and deliveries road behind the store between it and an office Selfridges occupies some of that office block and part of the plans for the shop are to take some of the office space in the shop building turn it into shop floor more handbags and move the offices into Nation House behind the store map link British weather being what it is even though the two buildings are barely a dozen yards apart that calls for a tunnel to be dug between them so sales staff can serve customers without dripping wet hair and soggy shoes The plan calls for a 2 storey deep underground link to be constructed under Edwards Mews using rotary bored piled cantilever retaining walls propped by new reinforced concrete slabs at ground and basement levels The basements descend down 60 metres so this could be quite a deep tunnel A light well in the office block will also be expanded to let some natural daylight into the tunnel It s only a short tunnel but a tunnel it is and thus of interest to tunnel geeks Selfridges is also doubly interesting as some of the sub sub basement rooms were used during WW2 as telecoms control centres for communications between the British and US governments Sadly just storage now they are still an interesting bit of WW2 heritage Selfridges isn t the only department store to have its own tunnel as Harrods has one as well linking its main department store to a nearby warehouse They don t seem to let tunnel geeks down there to have a look though Alas Facebook 0 Google 1 Linkedin 0 Reddit 6 Twitter 14 14 21 selfridges 6 thoughts on A new tunnel to be dug in central London Neil says May 27

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/05/27/a-new-tunnel-to-be-dug-in-central-london/ (2016-02-16)
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