The November Set of my London photos is now available at
First are some photographs of some of the shops in Islington, together with a couple of the lovely Islington streets that could be from some country town instead of being just a walk from the City. One of the Islington shops – “Fredericks” is not, of course, a shop – but a very nice restaurant that has been there since 1969.
There are also a couple of pictures of the Regents Canal – just off Wharf Road in Islington.
There is a photograph of Grimaldi’s grave which is in a small park – called Grimaldi Park – just off Pentonville Road (the continuation of City Road in the direction of Kings Cross, after the Angel Islington). The inscription says:
Joseph Grimaldi was three years old when he first went on the stage of Saddlers Wells with his father and worked there for 45 years as performer and part proprietor.
From his debut in 1806 at Covent Garden in Mother Goose he was adored by all and could fill a theatre anywhere… Islington Council has called the park in which he lies buried Grimaldi Park to commemorate a great artist and a great man.”
The next photo is of the cameraman of these photographs at the age of eight in 1951 dressed as a clown up for a local carnival. The inscription in his family photo album says “The unhappiest clown.”
To return to matters architectural – if you look at the top right hand corner of the clown photo of me, there is a hill – where I used to go sledging. The hill has been removed – completely – and it is now covered in housing. Not all progress is in a forward direction…
This month I feature three major sites that have been delayed by the recession. A recession that has been particularly damaging to the construction industry. The micro businesses (one or two people) have survived and the giants (the Skanska’s, Berkley Homes etc.) have survived, but the middle ranking firms have been struck down heavily. At one time it seemed like three a week were going out of business – and this over a period of two years or more.
Now that things are picking up a very great deal, no wonder there is a skills shortage in the industry.
Anyway I have some photographs of
– The Pinnacle – planned to be the tallest skyscraper in the City and still the core is only up to floor eight. Work continues to be suspended and the whole site is now looking to be in a very sorry state indeed. The photo of the site montage shows what the finished building should look like, though the adjacent building of the Leadenhall Tower is not shown on the montage – and yet it has now topped out and has its first tenants lined up.
– Lots Road Power station – which has taken seven years in a combination of Planning and the recession – but which is at long last underway. This is a major scheme by Terry Farrell and (like Battersea) includes housing being built in the body of the former power station and two new towers of 36 and 25 storeys. Again like Battersea, the chimneys will be retained. There are those who were opposed to this on the grounds that the power station was a back up for the Underground – but there is still Greenwich Power station to serve for this. The photos only show the Lots Road Power Station as the new construction site is only just getting underway – Boris Johnson “cut the first turf” just a few weeks ago.
– What is now called “Eagle Old Street” – also by Terry Farrell and now restarted by Mount Anvil after some two years languishing. Strictly speaking, of course it is situated on City Road – but fairly close to Old Street Roundabout (Silicon Roundabout as it as now come to be nicknamed) Mount Anvil are also building something called Lexicon (35 storeys) just further down City Road at City Road Basin (of the Regents Canal).
There are two photos of Finsbury Square – including a new curvaceous building on the North side (Moorgate side) – which I am not yet quite sure if I like.
Back to the photographs: There are some more of the splendidly revamped Kings Cross including the developments behind the station – which used at one time to be such a miserable place but is now emerging as a wonderful new area of London with its new square.
There are also some pictures of the new Imperial Wharf development on the Chelsea riverside – with the tower of Chelsea Harbour in the background. This new development is near to the emerging Lots Road re-development.