This post is brought to you live & direct from my Office at the Feeder Park; here are a couple of photos so you can get a proper of idea of my working conditions.
Yesterday was a slightly strange one, what with FJOTD taking me, more or less, back past my own front door, and then not getting further east than Euston station for the whole shift. A nice tour of west London turned an average working day it quite a good one. Jobs to Twickenham, Chiswick, Acton and then a final one from Hammersmith to Clapham Junction was just the icing on a delicious West London flavoured cake. Here’s the day in full;
Balham Hill, SW12 to Tynemouth Road, CR4 – weird to get this kind of job and TLC doesn’t go anywhere near this area, but it did allow me to get this next job on account;
Arthur Road, SW19 to Queen Street, W1 – unfortunately, neither are mentioned in TLC.
Fitzmaurice Place, W1 to Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, W8 – ‘it is named after the Kensington Gore Mansion, built in 1750, which was occupied from 1808 to 1821 by the slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce. Bought in 1836 by Lady Blessington, it was where she established a literary salon that was visited by Benjamin Disraeli, Louis Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, who was amused by the houses’s talking crow’s shrieks of “Up boys and at ’em”. The house was converted to a restaurant for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park and demolished in the 1870s.’ What Ed doesn’t tell us is that restaurant was opened by one Alexis Soyer, the Gordon Ramsay of his day, and whose book of his life – Relish; The Extraordinary Life of Alexis Soyer I can heartily recommend.
Princes Gate Court, SW7 to Nottingham Place, W1 – nothing to report.
Marylebone Station, NW1 to Eamont Street, NW8 – Forgive me this slight cheat, but having given you the full entry for Melcombe Place & Marylebone Station already, I’m going to pop just round the corner for today’s entry – Balcombe Street, NW1. ‘Four IRA gunmen took hostage the elderly couple who lived at 22B on 6 December 1975, after police had chased them here from Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair. The gunmen barricaded the occupants into the living room and phoned the police to demand a car to take them to the airport so that they could escape to Ireland, but Robert Mark, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, stated on air that the only place the hostage takers would be going was Brixton Prison and after a week the men surrendered. They were later found guilty of bombing two pubs and were given lengthy prison sentences.’ London in the 1970s, much more exciting wasn’t it?
Euston Station, NW1 to Coptic Street, WC1 – I’ll leave Ed’s comments on what he calls the ‘pure vandalism’ of demolishing the original station and content myself today with this little gem – ‘In 1963 the Great Train Robbers Gordon Goody and Bruce Reynolds, worried that the driver of the train they planned to rob might not co-operate, decided to steal a train so they could practise driving it. They waited at Euston until midnight, boarded an engine standing in a siding, and after several attempts managed to whirr it into motion. But finding the locomotive not as easy to stop as to start, they jumped off, leaving it to continue down the track unmanned.’
Berkeley Square, W1 to North End Road, W14 – And so began my journey to all points west from, possibly, London’s grandest square, where ‘Horace Walpole, the novelist and gothic revivalist, moved into No. 11 in 1747 and was so taken with the view that he compared the statue of George III to the work of Athenian Phidias, something of which he would have been barely aware, having failed to reach Greece on his Grand Tour. A later tenant, the Earl of Orford. staked his house on a game of cards at Almack’s in 1770 and lost.’ Silly man.
Olympia, W14 to Twickenham High Street – Opened as the National Agricultural Hall in 1884 and best known as home of the Ideal Home Exhibition, Olympia has also been used for other purposes; ‘On 8 June 1934 the British Union of Fascists held their first ever major rally at Olympia, an event they hoped would be attended by middle-class voters as well as the usual working-class foot soldiers who mostly made up their attendance figures. There were also 2,000 opponents, who had spread out inside the hall and were heckling party leader Oswald Mosley, and many of them were beaten up by BUF supporters. Two protesters then climbed a gantry and began walking along a narrow ledge high above the auditorium while the crowd below held it’s breath. The following day, a furore in the newspapers and the House of Commons led members of the establishment who had previously been receptive to Mosley, such as Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail, to withdraw their backing.’
Then I disapeared into the depths of West London, barely pausing for breath, only to find on my return that none of the following places are mentioned in TLC;
Thames Road, W4 to St Alban’s Avenue, W4
Chiswick High Road, W4 to St Elmo Road, W12
Dalling Road, W6 to St John’s Hill, SW11 & Mallison Road, SW11
And so, my friends, only one day of TLC keeping me company while I work. Hopefully I’ll be busy, might even make it a bit further east, and end up with plenty to talk about tomorrow.