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Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Monday 30 July 2018

Please Look After This Bear

Paddington Station

Location: London, England
Address:  Paddington Station, Praed Street
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.networkrail.co.uk

  Michael Bond wrote A Bear Called Paddington in 1958.  In the book a bear was found at Paddington Station in London, England.  The bear was from Peru and loved marmalade.  He was very polite and wore a big hat and carried a suitcase.  He was found by the Brown family with a sign that said "Please look after this bear."  They decided to do just that.

A Bear Under The Clock.

   When we visited England in 2015 we also found a bear at Paddington Station.  He was bronze and wore a big hat and was seated on a suitcase.  He also had a sign that said "Please look after this bear."

Paddington Asks "Tell Me How Long's The Train Been Gone?"

   Paddington bear was named after the station where he was found.  He has appeared in many of Michael Bond's books through the years.  Paddington is much loved in England and around the world.  In 2000 this statue was placed at Paddington in his honour.

  Paddington dolls are also very popular.  Paddington bear is known to innocently get into mischief.  The doll above was getting into some mischief in Hamley's toy store on Regent Street.  Hamley's is the oldest toy store in the world.

Paddington For the New Millenium.

  In 2014 a Paddington movie was made.  Paddington had already had a stop-motion television series that was popular in the 70's.  The new movie featured a computer generated bear.

Bearing Up For The Pawprint Trail

  To promote the film various Paddingtons were placed around London on what was called The Pawprint Trail.  This Paddington above is sort of a blue velvet looking one.

Please Look After This Bear

  Paddington is such a sweet character and will be thought of fondly for many years to come.  We suggest if you ever find yourself at Paddington Station please look out for this bear. Thank you.

Map of Our World
Paddington Bear Statue
Paddington Station

Post # 222

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Kingsman & Huntsman

The first thing every gentleman needs is a good suit.  By which I mean a bespoke suit.

Location: London, England
Address: 11 Saville Row
Date: August 2015
Website: www.huntsmansavilerow.com

  Saville Row has been the place for bespoke tailoring in London since the early 1800s.  Bespoke tailoring is a custom made suit that is cut to perfectly fit the individual.  Usually you buy a suit and they will take it in or let it out to make it fit better.  Bespoke is the high end of tailoring.  We visited one of the shops on a drizzly evening as we headed out for dinner.  We visited a shop called Huntsman, not for a good fitting suit, but for a different reason altogether.

Huntsman & Sons.

  The Hunstman shop at 11 Seville Row made an appearance in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service.  In the movie the tailor shop is called Kingsman and houses a secret spy headquarters filled with gadgets and hidden rooms.  Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a spy who wants to train a young lad called Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and brings him to the tailor shop.  Hunstman provided not just the location, but the suits for the fictional Kingsman.  Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cane also get to dress in style as part of the cast.  Real life clients include the Royal family, Clark Gable, David Bowie and Ronald Reagan.

I Spy.

  The shop was closed when we visited or we may have attempted to venture inside.  We didn't see any obvious spy activity, except for the car (above) that turned on with no driver inside.  What will they think of next? 

Map of Our World
Huntsman & Sons
Post # 178

Monday 15 May 2017

The Blue Door (Notting Hill)

The Famous Blue Door.

Location: London, England
Address: 280 Westbourne Park Rd.
Date: September 2015
Website: www.visitlondon.com

  There is a famous film location which can be found on Westbourne Park Road in London, England.  It is located in the Notting Hill area and is from a film of the same name.  In Notting Hill, William (Hugh Grant) is a bookstore owner who lives in a flat with a blue painted door.  He lives there with his roommate Spike (Rhys Ifrans).  In the movie the door and pillars in the photo above are all painted blue.  At least when we arrived to check out this location the door was still blue.
  In the film, William meets movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) in his bookstore and they start a relationship.  Things don't work out until suddenly one day Anna is there at the blue door.  She is looking for a place to hide out since some nude photos of her have surfaced in the press.  Will agrees to let her stay and they spend the night together.  The next morning the press has figured out where Anna is hiding and when Will goes to open the front door he is met with the flash of many cameras.  Anna comes to the door and is horrified to realize they know she is there.  Despite receiving a warning from William, Spike also ventures out in his underwear.  He loves all the attention and strikes a few poses before returning inside very pleased with himself.
  We played the part of the paparazzi and snapped a few photos ourselves in order to remember these movie moments.

Map of Our World
The Blue Door

Post # 176

Wednesday 10 May 2017

The Ritz London

Puttin' On The Ritz.

Location: London, England
Address: 150 Piccadily Street
Date: August 2015
Website: www.theritzlondon.com

  The Ritz Hotel in London, England is a high end hotel which opened in 1906.  The term, "Puttin' on the Ritz" was inspired by the hotel and refers to surrounding yourself with luxury.  While it wasn't quite in our budget to stay or dine at The Ritz, we did walk past it on our way to dine elsewhere.

  We enjoyed a nice dinner at Rextail which was only a short walk away. 

Piccadilly Street.

  The Ritz Hotel is located on Piccadilly Street which is home to an interesting variety of architecture.  The building above is one of the Ritz's across the street neighbours.

I'm with Horse & Hound magazine.

  The hotel has hosted members of high society along with actors and actresses who would come to indulge and socialize.  In the movie Notting Hill, Julia Roberts plays a popular Hollywood actress named Anna.  She meets William (Hugh Grant) in the bookstore that he owns.  She invites him to come and visit her at her Ritz Hotel suite.  To William's surprise he is there along with a group of reporters ready to interview Anna about her latest sci-fi film.  After pretending to be a reporter from Horse & Hound magazine, William and Anna finally go out and spend a nice evening together.  

The Ritz corridor.

  They go out for dinner again and then return to The Ritz.  As they walk along the corridor above, Anna invites Will up to her room.  Unfortunately, her American boyfriend is there and Will leaves the hotel confused and sad.

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to.  Why don't you go where fashion sits.?

Map of Our World
The Ritz Hotel

Post # 175

Thursday 30 March 2017

Ministry Of Silly Walks

Drummonds AKA The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Location: London, England
Address: 49 Charing Cross
Date: Sept 2015
Website: www.rbs.com

 Drummonds Bank has been located across from Trafalgar Square since 1760.  It is located at the top end of Whitehall which is a street in London that contains many government buildings.  Those government buildings house many different departments and ministries.  If an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus is to be believed, there is one ministry that many people have never heard of.

Old War Office.
 Big Ben.

   In the skit, John Cleese portrays a minister who is shown walking up Whitehall.  In the background you can clearly see the London icon Big Ben as well as the Old War Office.  The minister has a very unusual walk which is hard to describe.

Silly Walk up the stairs of the Firkin On Bloor.

    In Toronto, Canada there is a Firkin pub on Bloor Street East which has this silly walk painted on the wall beside its staircase.

Headed towards Nelson's Column.

  John Cleese continues walking his walk along Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square.  When he finally arrives at his destination he will have to apologize that his walk has become rather sillier recently and as a result it takes him longer to get to work.

These walkers are not patricularly silly.

  We are now only a few silly steps from the offices of a ministry that is supposed to receive the same government spending as Defence, Social Security, Health, Housing and Education.  Last year the British Government spent more money on National Defence than on the ministry in question.

Perhaps with Government backing her walk would be more silly.

  John continues on past the railing above until the camera zooms in on a sign that reveals the name of the ministry.

The Ministry Of Silly Walks.

  We are now almost back at the entrance to Drummonds Bank and on the fence (above) between the ATM and the window with flowers is a sign which states, "Ministry Of Silly Walks".  This skit has been an all time favourite amongst Monty Python fans.  Monty Python's appeal lies in the fact that they combine both intelligence and silliness.  We suggest that when you visit Trafalgar Square you should also take a walk along Whitehall Road to visit this filming location.  Your walk may not be as silly as a member of this legendary comedy troupe, but like Michael Palin's character we think that with Government backing you could make it very silly.

Map of Our World
Ministry of Silly Walks
Firkin On Bloor

Post # 169

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Royal Eagle Hotel

Royal Eagle Hotel.

Location: London, England
Address: 26-30 Craven Road
Date: Sept 2015
Website: www.royaleaglehotel.co.uk

   The original Trainspotting movie, about the lives of a group of heroin users, was released in February 1996.  A sequel is coming out in February 2017 which reunites the original cast 20 years later.  The movie itself is also set 20 years after the first so there was no need for a make-up team to age the actors.  Time had already done that for them.  When we were in London we visited the Royal Eagle Hotel which was the filming location for some of the final scenes from Trainspotting.

Conduit Mews.
 UpBrook Mews.

  A mews is a row of stables.  This would be where the horses were kept, so it makes sense that there would be one next to a hotel.  Craven Road has a lot of mews and a few of them are pictured above.  None of the mews above appear in the movie and these days they would be filled with people, not horses.

Crossing Craven Road.

  The reason we mention mews is because the scene in question opens with the group walking out of Smallbrook Mews, crossing Craven Road and heading into the Royal Eagle Hotel for a drug deal (above).   The group consists of Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).  The first three are all heroin addicts and Begbie is just a violent, troubled man.

Let's Face It I Ripped Them Off.  My So Called Mates.

  The deal goes well and the group now has a large bag of cash.  While the others are sleeping Renton steals the bag and heads out into the street.  He heads down to Gloucester Mews.  You can see the curved opening to the mews just past the man with the suitcases.  The Royal Eagle Hotel has also cleaned up a lot since 1996, perhaps due to all the Trainspotting fans spending the night.

Entrance to Gloucester Mews.

  During this entire scene the soundtrack is playing Born Slippy by Underworld.  This is a great track on its own as it slowly builds up.  It works perfectly here.  Finally, Renton turns and enters Gloucester Mews.

In the doorway boy.

  The camera is on an angle as Renton walks towards it.  You can see the opening to Smallbrook Mews across the street. The camera turns with Renton and flips to look down into the mews.  A lot of the walls have been repainted, but the black trim in the bottom of the picture (left side of the mews) matches with what we see in the film.

And all in your inner space boy.

    Renton has gotten away with it.  Begbie goes ballistic.

Map of Our World
Royal Eagle Hotel

Post # 158

Monday 10 October 2016

The Happiness Hotel

If that's the Happiness Hotel I'd hate to see what the sad one looks like.

Location: London, England
Address: 134-136 Westbourne Terrace
Date: Sept 2015
Website:  muppet.wikia.com

  The second Muppet movie, The Great Muppet Caper, was filmed in London, England.  One of the locations used in the movie is just a short walk from Paddington Station.  Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo end up staying at a hotel called the Happiness Hotel where they meet the rest of the Muppet gang.

How are you guys fixin' to pay?  A. Credit Card B. Cash C. Sneak out in the middle of the night.

  The building looked to be in much better shape when we visited than it does in the movie.  The hotel was such a dump that the bus would not even stop there.  When Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo arrive the bus slows down and they get tossed to the curb.  The hotel is surprised that somebody else actually wants to check in.

What's your room number ? We're on the second floor. I'm sorry, I can only take you as far as the lobby. 

  The next time Kermit The Frog and his friends arrive at the hotel they are driven there by Beauregard the cab driver.  Beauregard is best known as the janitor of the Muppet Theatre.  He apologizes that he can only take them as far as the lobby and then proceeds to drive the cab around the corner, across the courtyard and straight through the front door of the hotel.

Welcome home to Happiness Hotel.

  The Great Muppet Caper was a wonderful achievement in both puppetry and film and we enjoyed our brief visit to one of its real life locations.  The song Happiness Hotel is also one of the highlights of the movie's soundtrack.  
Well, welcome home to Happiness Hotel !!

Map of Our World
Happiness Hotel

Post # 138

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Blackwing Studios

When I'm with you baby I go out of my head.

Location: London, England
Address: 1 Pepper Street
Date: Sept 2015
Website: www.saveallhallows.com

   We have always been fans of the electronic music that was coming out of London, England in the early 1980s.  Several people who made large contributions to this music are recording engineer Eric Radcliffe, producer Daniel Miller and musician Vincent Clarke.  They all found early success at All Hallows Church inside a recording studio called Blackwing.  All Hallows Church was bombed twice during World War II and Blackwing Studios closed in 2001.  We decided to pay a visit to this site while there was still something left.

My Secret Garden.

  We turned off of Copperfield Street and into a little garden beside the church.

I remember only for an hour.  Move right through me can you feel the power.

  A notice beside a doorway explained some of the history of the church.  This notice also mentioned that the bands Depeche Mode and Yazoo had both recorded albums here.  Depeche Mode is a band that achieved great commercial success around the world.  Vincent Clarke was an early member of the band and wrote their hit song Just Can't Get Enough.  Depeche Mode recorded their first two albums at Blackwing.

Personal Jesus.
We'd sit on a bench for a while.  I treasure the way we used to laugh and play.

  In doing some online research we were able to locate archived photos of  Depeche Mode on the All Hallows Church grounds.  We found a photo of the band posing next to the cross (above) as well as sitting on a bench next to the brick wall and generally goofing around in the garden.

Came in from the city. Walked into the door.

  Vincent Clarke left Depeche Mode and created the group Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet.  Their first album Upstairs At Eric's makes reference to engineer Eric Radcliffe who was also the owner of Blackwing Studios.  The album spawned the hits Situation and Don't Go.  After a second album with Yazoo, Vincent Clarke recorded Never Never at Blackwing with singer Fergeal Sharkey under the name The Assembly.

Love's just a door that's locked and there's no key.

  Vincent Clarke then left Blackwing Studios and went on to create the band Erasure with singer Andy Bell.  Depeche Mode replaced the vacancy left by Vincent Clarke with musician Alan Wilder and also left Blackwing in order to record their future albums elsewhere.  Daniel Miller continued to produce for them during the 1980s.  Other notable bands have recorded at Blackwing including Fad Gadget, The Pixies and the Cocteau Twins.  Even part of Nine Inch Nails debut album Pretty Hate Machine was recorded at Blackwing. 

Back of All Hallows Church.

 A community is trying to save the church from being developed and we hope that it can stay this way.  They maintain and use the gardens surrounding the church.  As well as being of interest to synthpop fans as the home of Blackwing Studios, All Hallows is one of the last remaining undeveloped World War II bombsites in London.

Leave In Silence.

Map of Our World
Blackwing Studios

Post # 134