Monday, 27 September 2010

Serving red herrings since 1770

This seems to be a local Greenwich speciality - backdating heritage.

The new fish and chip shop on the one-way system in Greenwich has only been open for months at most.  And yet they claim to have been serving fish since 1770.

No they haven't!  ''Established 2010'' has less of a ring about it though.  I wonder where they got the idea....

Established 2009, I believe.  They do do a beer that might taste like a beer would have done when there actually was a brewery nearby but I might as well claim to have be living in an Anglo-Saxon house because there might have been Anglo-Saxons around on the same site as where I live.


Anyhow, here's a house martin's nest under the eaves of a Greenwich South Street house

This nest was established shortly after the last ice age.  Fact!


And here's a photo of the film props in the Old Naval College.  I'm only posting it because security tried to stop me taking photos.  I'm not sure how you can privatise sight in a tourist centre.  Perhaps it's been like that since 1717.  Or was it 1770?

But I suppose if you're not allowed to take photos, it makes this a pirated image, which seems perfectly appropriate under the circumstances.

This Creek Road tree's determination not to give up has long been a sort of encouragement for me.  But I noticed today that despite its regrowth, it might not be long for this world as the bark has dropped and the wood underneath is rotten.  Because it's been like a personal symbol for me, I found this saddening.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Partially Entire.

So it was off for a ride around Walworth for the last day of summer - which, given the band of rain descending on us from the north-west, could well turn out to truly feel like the last day of summer.  Trawling around the side roads, I came across this in John Ruskin Street, SE17.
As I was taking the photo, a chap on one of those electric wheelchairs came gliding past and said ''That used to be a good pub.''  ''Did it have its own courtyard?'' I asked and he said, ''Yes, but it's all 'Mews' now.''   Its sign has been well-preserved but looks strangely incongruous in what is longish continuously-terraced street.  But it may have been the length of the terrace that explains the courtyard - apparently it also served as a passageway to the next street, Grosvenor Terrace.  One of those short cuts that may have taken longer than planned on a hot day perhaps. 

And it strikes me as a strange name for a pub, The Entire. 

Here's the sign in more detail, showing the mosaic:

Around the corner, in Iliffe Street, I came across this attractive shop front.
And back on the Walworth Road, at the  junction with Fielding Street, here's a genuinely faded sign.  I can make out ''BANKS'' at the top and ''AND FANCY GOODS'' at the bottom.  I'll leave the rest for you to work out...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

While we're remembering the Blitz...

It seemed very timely to come across an air-raid shelter sign on the 70th anniversary of the Blitz.

This is a Home and Colonial faded sign with a darker Shelter sign below it, on Dartmouth Road, just a few yards up the hill from Forest Hill train station.

Above the H & C, ...NIAL is all that's still clearly visible.  Below the H & C are the words ''VALUE, ECONOMY, and QUALITY.  As usual, I was on my bike, I was pleased to find a bicycle reference on the Home and Colonial Wikipedia entry.  John Betjeman's poem Myfanwy contains these lines

Smooth down the Avenue glitters the bicycle,
Black-stockinged legs under navy blue serge,
Home and Colonial, StarInternational,
Balancing bicycle leant on the verge.

I missed the black stockings though.

There are a few more faded signs around that part of Dartmouth Road.

The middle one is pretty well faded, but by tweaking the image in Paint.NET (I love free software!) I came up with something a bit more legible.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The good and the bad.

Yesterday at 8:36am I realised an ambition that has quietly been growing for a number of months...I am now a cycling grandfather!  A quick ride up to Sidcup and voilĂ ! (Mother, father and granddaughter are all exhausted but fine.)


And at pretty much the same time this morning, a cyclist ended up under the wheels of a rush-hour construction HGV at the junction of Deptford Bridge and Deptford Church Street.

Mercifully, it was not a fatality.  The woman was admitted to hospital with ''leg injuries'' - I couldn't get any more information out of the WPC I spoke to.  There's a lethal combination that repeats itself: London, drag-sweeps, construction lorries in rush-hour traffic and a disproportionate number of women cyclists. 

No one is ever in such a rush to get there - stay behind.  Always.