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  • Unbuilt London: A 500 Foot Tall Monument to the Battle of Britain – IanVisits
    Crosby it would have stood near Surrey Docks and at some 500 feet tall dominated the area In fact it wasn t an inert monument but education centre and tourist attraction with lifts which would have taken people to the top for views across the city Crosby s scheme would have cost around 30 million and comprised of a hollow granite clad pyramid which was to be filled with moving images and apparently even holograms People would enter the pyramid via a vast entrance lined with Doric columns and around the base presumably to give the expected queues something to look at a 20 foot high freeze detailing the history of WW2 The idea was that these ghostly apparitions would come whisperingly to life on arrival and die away as the visitor leaves The visitor would in this case be leaving be elevator which would have taken them to the summit of the monument for the views If the plan sounded a bit crazy already then the summit should convince you It was to be surmounted by 6 metre high statues of the aviators who fought in the Battle of Britain and a giant sculpture of a Heinkel bomber crashing alongside a Spitfire plane Although the plans had support from the Chairman of the LDDC unsurprisingly the monument and particularly its glorifying summit caused a bit of a scandal with the Association of Battle of Britain Pilots dismissing it as totally unsuitable Crosby s vision never came to pass but one of his greatest achievements was built and unlike the memorial is a much loved part of London He was the architect who designed the Globe Theatre at Bankside The Battle of Britain itself did eventually get a memorial a more modest affair on the edge of Green Park Sources

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/11/unbuilt-london-a-500-foot-tall-monument-to-the-battle-of-britain/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    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 A weekly round up of London s rail transport news London Underground Station redevelopment plans unveiled in Northwood but neighbours fear the construction work will make it a no go zone Watford Observer TfL s Night Tube owl logo signs arrive on London s Underground and they re a hoot CityAM Crossrail Lorry driver faces court over death of cyclist who was hit by Crossrail truck Evening Standard Mainline Overground Upgrade to London s busiest rail station now critical says watchdog London TravelWatch Southern funny man who cracks up commuters nominated for train driver award Local Guardian Victoria train chaos was caused by carriages which unhooked from each other Evening Standard Campaigners have renewed calls for a second Brighton mainline rail route which they say would reduce bottlenecks at East Croydon Local Guardian DLR Almost 700 workers on the DLR are to be consulted on whether to take industrial action over changes to working practices BBC News Miscellaneous Repairing Terence Cuneo s painting of Waterloo station National Railway Museum The original script for recording Central Line train announcements Emma Clarke A commuter on the Northern line

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/09/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-118/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Met Police opens its “Black Museum” to the public – IanVisits
    of London that has curated the display which they aim to show off not just the implements of crime but also remember the victims as well It s not mawkishly sentimental and in some respects at times society s own mistreatment of prisoners is also remembered but what is a collection of objects has managed to become a wider story of the breadth of crimes in London throughout the ages Everything from the heat of the moment use of a kitchen knife to carefully planned bombs and crafted murder weapons are covered Crimes against material wealth rather than the body are also included such as counterfeiting equipment and espionage The display is laid out in a few zones starting with the 19th century as a pastiche of the old Black Museum itself but the most dramatic room is next where 24 cabinets of curiosity have been lined up against a wall each devoted to a single crime The mugshots that line the wall are not a rogues gallery but a mix of criminals detectives or victims had it been just criminals it would have been a wall of 23 men and one woman Each of the cases contains objects from the museum s collection sometimes weapons sometimes court documents sometimes newspaper clippings The Crime Museum is not something which has ever had a specific style to its collection possibly mirroring the old Victorian gentleman s collections which were made up of whatever the collector fancied So the collection here can be obvious such as the murder weapons sometimes seemingly bizarre such as a collection from a model of living room that featured in a court case The display is also laid out with a mix of cabinets per crime and elsewhere zones related to the genre of crime such as fake guns or police investigation techniques Some of the crimes chosen were selected less for their innate barbarity than for how they marked significant points in criminal detective work Not all the weapons are obviously weapons such as the piece of seemingly random tree branch which was used as an improvised weapon Elsewhere the dark genius of human ingenuity is on display in the horrific binoculars which would have blinded the unfortunate person who used them Part of the genius of the display though is to bring us who live in the light closer to the dark side of human nature Some of the artifacts on display should send a shudder through any decent person We ve heard of nail bombs but such a short phrase belittles the sheer horror of seeing a briefcase packed full not of domestic nails but huge industrial nails destined to become lethal projectiles Carnage on an industrial scale Humanity s ingenuity is shown in the form of poisons but her who is the real victim The poisons and implements being for the use by backstreet abortionists A crime no doubt but was the woman the criminal or society for driving women to such ends

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/07/the-met-police-opens-its-black-museum-to-the-public/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Bus Shelters to display Tube disruption warnings – IanVisits
    Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life Bus shelters could soon start coming with emergency warnings from TfL under plans to replace display signs at a number of locations across London JCDecaux who take over the street advertising contract in 2016 have developed a digital display that can flip from adverts to information signs Normally they will display adverts or a mix of local information One potentially useful option includes putting tube travel alerts on the bus stops so people heading to the tube might see a sign warning of problems and save themselves the walk Other uses include local points of interest and a potential use is crowd guidance during major public events offering route information for crowds heading to a venue However should the need arise then TfL will be able to override the digital advertisements via a secure facility in which they can upload store a selection of JPG files or a twitter controlled message template that can then be assigned to individual screens groups of screens The messages could be nothing more serious than warnings about blocked roads ahead although they could be used for more serious alerts if needed TfL is in the process of applying for planning permission for around 550 bus stops to be upgraded within zones 1 and 2 out of a city wide portfolio of 5 000 bus shelters Some will be replacements for existing static adverts others will be installed at bus shelters that currently lack any advertising units If granted then the rollout should start early next year and be completed by the summer time Expect to start seeing travel alerts popping up on a bus stop near you Although putting more information about travel and local services fits in with TfL s wider programme

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/06/bus-shelters-to-display-tube-disruption-warnings/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Churchill’s Scientists at the Science Museum – IanVisits
    Edith s Streets Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life Not literally as they are all dead now and that would be rather macabre but there is an exhibition about what the scientists did when alive Churchill had an amateur s fascination with science and combined with the realities of winning a war there was a period of time when scientists were given moderately free reign to come up with ideas It was as one notice points out less a time of how much does it cost than how quickly can it be done While the British war effort in terms of science is most famous for its computing and wacky bomb design it was probably the development of Penicillin as a medication that had the greatest effect on people fighting the war This was however an era where new electronics were still the size of industrial machines and utterly magnificent in their appearance Modern electronics are better but a small plastic box lacks a certain grandeur about its contents As Churchill was twice Prime Minister once during the Cold War he was also a key figure in pushing the British atomic programme forward While the glory goes to the Americans it was the British who started first and were also the first to develop a civilian use for nuclear power albeit as a disguise for the weapons division It s a modest display of nuggets of history as a collection of short stories than an in depth study but as a way to show a broad spectrum of historical events quite satisfying But anyone using a handheld smartphone to take a photo should stop to ponder the size of the camera needed to photograph a

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/06/churchills-scientists-at-the-science-museum/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Unbuilt London: Straightening the River Thames – IanVisits
    time So why not get rid of it altogether Although largely lost to time an Alex Forrow of the East India Dock Company gave a speech in 1876 about these plans and a book of the lecture was published the following year which drew on the history of trade on the river and various schemes to improve cargo handling such as a canal running through Poplar or expansion of the Limehouse Cut Of the various schemes discussed it s the one proposed by Mr Willey Reveley which drew the most attention as it was bold and audacious and intended to do away with the Isle of Dogs entirely as a barrier to trade Not only would the plans have seen the River Thames straightened but as the proposal was as much about speed as increasing cargo handling facilities the intention was that the loop around the Isle of Dogs would become one massive dock with gates at the two top ends of the loop So vast was the dock that it would have had capacity for 434 acres of space Three alternative more ambitious plans were also shown off Plan two would have seen the new channel dug through both the Isle of Dogs and North Greenwich ruining plans for a millennium dome but creating two vast docks the southern loop and the new Blackwall Dock Plan three went even further cutting out another swathe of the Thames to also add in the Ratcliff dock And finally plan four would have seen the Isle of Dogs left largely alone with two separate channels dug to create two vast docks on either side Incidentally that tiny little dock on the Rotherhithe side was the Howland Great Wet Dock London s oldest purpose built docks The scheme was obviously not carried out

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/04/unbuilt-london-straightening-the-river-thames/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Gin Tastings at the Transport Museum – IanVisits
    in London during Feb 2016 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 The London Transport Museum has laid on a second Gin Tasting evening on 30 October There will be a journey through the history of gin with a series of talks and guided tastings from industry experts Nicholas Cook of The Gin Guild and Head Distiller Tom Hills of The East London Liquor Company The event includes tastings of eight different gins There will also be the opportunity to sample a Gimlet Reloaded cocktail a twist on the classic Gimlet cocktail designed by the in house mixologist at The East London Liquor Company The event will take place in the Museum s Cubic Theatre Tickets cost 15 Ticket holders will also get free entry to the Friday Late event running in the museum As the Friday Late costs 8 to get in it makes the gin tasting effectively just 7 That s less than a quid per gin Book tickets here Friday Late On the same evening the Museum galleries will stay open until 10pm as part of Museums at Night As well as a DJ and

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/03/gin-tastings-at-the-transport-museum/ (2016-02-16)
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  • A look inside the WW2 tunnels under Clapham Common – IanVisits
    use them Just as restaurants above ground were exempt from food rationing so the same applied to the modest canteens installed below ground Although people rather resented having to pay 2p for a cup of tea which was double the rate above ground Much has been said over the years about the atmosphere below ground of stiff upper lips and parties but the reality was sleeping next to rumbling tube trains on the Northern line and being evicted at 7am the next morning The beds were simple in long dormitories and it s unlikely that many people would have been able to stretch out on the bed People had to bring down their own bedding each evening and remove it the next morning using the same spiral staircases used by visitors today Toilets were provided of the chemical sort and the effluent removed every few days by means of a high pressure hose pumping the contents of a tank to the surface Unlike today smoking was permitted underground so along with the smells and sounds the tobacco smoke the chemical latrines the rumbling trains it wasn t the most salubrious place to spend the night Clapham South was built for 8 000 people but it never reached half its full capacity even on the busiest nights For all the public pressure to build them they were not that heavily used After the war ended they found a new use though not for high speed tube trains but as cheap hotels Some of the beds were made a bit more comfortable and the bottom smaller of the three in each row removed from use Famously Caribbean arrivals on the Empire Windrush were housed here although few stayed for long and all were gone within the month to more conventional accommodation The army used them as accommodation while demobbing soldiers But the most people who used the tunnels as hotels were visitors to London for the Festival of Britain The tunnels were ideal cheap accommodation in a city where many people were still living in temporary housing and hotels were scarce Unfortunately a fire at the Goodge Street shelter in 1956 and the difficulty of evacuating the tunnels put paid to the idea of letting the public down there on a regular basis And they have been generally either empty or used for storage ever since An unseen legacy of the war Until now Sadly tickets to go on this weekend s tours sold out ages ago but more tours possibly as a regular event are planned Some more photos Heading down into the shelter 180 steps down A lift was installed in the spiral staircase Some of the original racking Probably the manufacturer although it would be a good urban legend if Butlins were involved in the hotels somehow Original signage Empty racks from when it was used for document storage Original bed with luxurious spring bedding One of many bricked in doorways All the shelters had rooms named after famous

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2015/10/02/a-look-inside-the-ww2-tunnels-under-clapham-common/ (2016-02-16)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-18