Paddington Basin Development


I enjoyed another thrilling day wrestling with technology. After a few hours last night the iMac update ground to a halt. First thing this morning I phoned Apple again and got started once more. Today the process continued for a little longer, but again took an unwelcome rest. James Peacock, my local consultant is going to have to come and collect it.

My next task was to order and pay for Christmas presents from the Disney Store. The nearest was in Southampton. They had four of the main item in stock. They couldn’t accept payment over the phone; and they could not save an item for us. I could buy the present on line. I went on line. The item was not included in their pages. I’ll leave that one there.

I am due possible laser surgery on my left eye. I need to book the appointment on line. Apparently this is an easy process. It didn’t prove to be. Each time I typed the address given on my form, I landed on Google explanatory pages. I’ve no idea how I managed it, but I did eventually arrive at the booking system, and obtained the first available NHS appointment. This is in April.

Not to be deterred from my determination to illustrate this post, I transported my Windows laptop to my Epson scanner, and set about scanning my next batch of colour slides from the Streets of London series, produced in May 2005.

Everything was correctly plugged in, but no scanner icon appeared on the screen. Further investigation revealed the message that the driver was unavailable. Given that I thought I was the driver, that seemed at first to be out of order. Further head scratching made me realise that I had never used the ten year old scanner on this laptop. From the depths of my memory I remembered that a CD contained the relevant software. I found it. Things were looking up. This ancient bit of kit loaded perfectly, and I was up and running.

Sheldon Square 1

Sheldon Square, W2 has appeared before, especially featuring the other realistic sculpture walking towards this chap standing on the left.

Sheldon Square 5.05

Neither of the two shirted gentlemen will ever be provided with an umbrella like the real live woman walking towards us.

Sheldon Square 2

This sculptural group is not striving to hoodwink passers by. Much of the paving in this up-market development was, in my view, laid too soon to allow sufficient settlement. There also appears to be a dearth of drainage. Pools are the result.

Paddington flyover 1

My counselling room in Beauchamp Lodge enabled me to look across the Harrow Road roundabout

Paddington flyover 3

and  the flyover

Paddington flyover 2

that spans the canal

Paddington flyover 1

and the edge of the square.

Paddington flyover 4

I was able to watch cars, vans,

Paddington flyover 6

industrial vehicles,

Paddington flyover 5

and bendy buses travelling along Harrow Road or the A40. What could easily be mistaken for two red buses is in fact one. Bendy is the colloquial name for articulated buses. They were introduced into London in 2001, some 20 years after several other countries. Most Londoners would probably agree with Boris Johnson who believed they were unsuitable for the city. They were all withdrawn by the end of 2011. I believe that Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London is being urged to bring them back. As a fairly frequent traveller on this method of transport I observed many people securing a free ride. It was possible to enter the bus by means of the exit door situated at the centre join. The buses are operated by a single person who, with so many standing passengers, had no chance of preventing this abuse.

Blomfield Road W9 5.05

Blomfield Road, W9 forms a junction with Warwick Avenue which leads up towards the huge roundabout featured above.

Park Place Villas/St Mary's Terrace 5.05

The grand terraces of Park Place Villas and St Mary’s Terrace stand in stark contrast to the buildings shown at the start of this post.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese, creamy mashed swede and potato; with runner beans and carrots for a splash of colour. I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

Ne’er Cast A Clout……


Today was rainy enough to warrant another trip back to the Streets of London colour slides from May 2005.

Hadrian Mews N7 5.05

Hadrian Mews, N7 is a gated street in Holloway, off Islington’s Roman Way. It probably pays to be security conscious here.

Epping Place and Granary Square N7 5.05

Epping Place and Granary Square, N1 are off Liverpool Road. The Lighterman bar at 3, Granary Square has mixed reviews.

Sheldon Square W2 5.05

Sheldon Square, W2, in the Paddington Basin development has featured a couple of times before. By May 2005 it was a popular venue for walkers, both real and artificial. The gentleman in the right foreground is destined to stride towards another out of shot, forever sporting his short-sleeved shirt, whatever the weather.

Paddington Green W2 5.05

Over at Paddington Green, Sarah Siddons dominates the scene.

Sarah Siddons 5.05

Two years ago her nose had not looked as complete as this.

Paddington Green W2

It is to be hoped that, from the relaxed attitude of this motorcyclist that the policeman was helping him with directions. Mrs Siddons can be seen to our left of the Telephone Boxes.

The Britannica website has this entry on her:

‘Sarah Siddons, née Kemble (born July 5, 1755, Brecon, Brecknockshire, Wales—died June 8, 1831, London, Eng.), one of the greatest English tragic actresses.

She was the eldest of 12 children of Roger and Sarah Kemble, who led a troupe of traveling actors (and were progenitors of a noted family of actors to a third generation, including a famous granddaughter, Fanny Kemble). Through the special care of her mother in sending her to the schools in the towns where the company played, Sarah received a remarkably good education, even though she was accustomed to making appearances on the stage while still a child. While still in her teens, she became infatuated with William Siddons, a handsome but somewhat insipid actor in her father’s company; such an attachment, though, had the disapproval of her parents, who wished her to accept the offer of a squire. Sarah was sent to work as a lady’s maid at Guy’s Cliff in Warwickshire. There she recited the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton, and Nicholas Rowe in the servants’ hall and occasionally before aristocratic company, and there also she began to exhibit a talent for sculpture (which was subsequently developed, especially between 1789 and 1790, and of which she later provided samples in busts of herself). The necessary consent to her marriage to Siddons was at last obtained, and the marriage took place in Trinity Church, Coventry, in November 1773.

The new Mrs. Siddons, aged 18, then joined a new acting company. It was while playing at Cheltenham in 1774 that she met with the earliest recognition of her powers as an actress, when by her portrayal of Belvidera in Thomas Otway’s Venice Preserv’d she won the appreciation of a party of “people of quality” who had come to scoff. When the theatrical producer David Garrick was told of her acting prowess, he sent a representative to see her. At the time, she was playing Rosalind in As You Like It in a barn in Worcestershire. Garrick offered her an engagement, but when she appeared with him at Drury Lane, London, in 1775, she was a failure. She then went back on tour in the country, where she earned a reputation as the queen of tragedy on the English stage.

In 1782, at the request of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who had succeeded Garrick, she consented reluctantly to appear again at Drury Lane as Isabella in Thomas Southerne’s Fatal Marriage. This time her success was phenomenal. From then on she reigned as queen at Drury Lane until, in 1803, she and her brother John Philip Kemble went to Covent Garden. In 1783 she was appointed to teach elocution to the royal children. She retired from the regular stage on June 29, 1812, with a farewell performance as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. On this occasion the audience would not allow the play to proceed beyond the sleepwalking scene, which Siddons was said to have performed to perfection.

  • Sarah Siddons (centre) performing at the Theatre Royal; Edinburgh; etching and aquatint by John Kay, 1784.
  • Sarah Siddons, detail from an engraving by Francis Haward, 1787, after a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1784.
Sarah Siddons (centre) performing at the Theatre Royal; Edinburgh; etching and aquatint by John …
 Harewood Avenue NW1 5.05
I wish I could remember anything about this bas-relief on the corner of Harewood Avenue, NW1. Perhaps someone will help me out.
Marylebone High Street W1 5.05

Gainsborough Flowers of 43 Marylebone High Street offer same day delivery to anywhere in Australia for orders placed before 4.00 p.m.

Ashland Place W1 5.05

The gentleman using his mobile phone in this shot of Ashland Place, W1 is walking past a small public park in which I sometimes sat, although I never tried the Rajdoot

Paddington Street W1

in Paddington Street, which has many excellent reviews.

Seymour Place 5.05

In 1961 the old Marylebone Police Court moved from Seymour Place into a former swimming baths at 181 Marylebone Road. Marylebone Magistrates Court was closed and transferred to City of Westminster Magistrates Court in March 2007. (

Lisson Grove NW1 5.05

We in the UK will never agree on the meaning of ‘ne’er cast a clout until May is out. Clout is an archaic word for an article of clothing. May is both the fifth month and the May or hawthorn tree which blooms in that month. The controversy focusses on whether the aphorism refers to the blossom being out or the month being over. The two people here leaving Lisson Grove appear to be hedging their bets. The tree is in blossom, but the month was not over.

Late this afternoon we drove to Lymington postal sorting office to collect a letter that required a signature. When I eventually name and shame the culprits in the remortgage fiasco, this will be explained.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous beef and mushroom collage; toothsome carrots, Brussels sprouts, runner beans, and new potatoes. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

P.S. See Becky’s comment below for important additional information on the mural. I should have remembered this was the old Woolworth’s head office because that is where George Onley, my club cricket captain from the 1950s and ’60s once worked.

How Did This One Get In Here?


Here, at last, are the Streets of London colour slides from October 2004 that I scanned a couple of days ago.

Bravington Road W9 10.04

Bravington Road, W9, in the heart of my Social Services patch, runs north from Harrow Road towards Queens Park. Here it is receiving the attentions of workers of the ubiquitous Clancy Group plc, described thus by Wikipedia:

‘Clancy Docwra is a large construction firm in the United Kingdom founded in Wembley in 1958 by Michael Clancy as M.J. Clancy & Sons Limited. In 1974 the firm bought water and gas public works contractor R.E. Docwra Limited and in 2001, following other acquisitions, all were merged to form Clancy Docwra Limited. Today the firm trades as The Clancy Group plc. The firm carries out work for several national utilities including Scottish Water and Scottish Power.[1] The firm has also carried out work for London Underground.’

Lancefield Street W10 10.04

Here, in Lancefield Street W10, are a pair of houses with gardens that, during my time there, were gradually built as part of a refurbishment of the notorious, prize-winning, Mozart Estate. Undoubtedly attractive in conception and design, the fatal flaw in these rabbit warrens was the number of convenient hiding places for muggers, and the lack of gardens in which residents could take pride. It was into the estate that two young men  fled following their failed attempt to mug me a few years before.

Caird Street W10 10.04

Next door in Caird Street stands the Jubilee Sport Centre in which I spent many hours playing badminton and otherwise keeping fit, or knackering my knees, whichever way you look at it.

Enbrook Street W10 10.04

This corner of Enbrook Street, W10, shows one of the several rows of little Victorian terraced houses that had been demolished to make room for the Mozart Estate. Avenues numbered First to Sixth still contained these gems still being maintained.

Longstone Avenue NW10 10.04

When my friend, Norman, still lived in Harlesden, I would regularly walk along the streets mentioned above for one of our fortnightly lunches. I would vary my routes which could take me past The Roundwood Gospel Assembly building in Longstone Avenue NW10. On the other side of this road lies Roundwood Park, according to Wikipedia: a public park in WillesdenLondon, measuring a total of 26.5 acres,[1] or approximately 10.27 hectares.[2] It was originally known in the 19th century as Knowles Hill (its name coming from the Knowles Tower nearby),[3][4] or Hunger Hill Common Field,[3][4] and after much work by Oliver Claude Robson, became the Roundwood Park known to the public today (its name coming from the Roundwood House originally beside it)’.

Roundwood Road NW10 10.04

Following a dog-leg angle, the thoroghfare becomes Roundwood Road, on the corner of which this building is being adapted for more multiple occupation than the family home for which it was originally intended.

Oldfield Road NW10 10.04

Oldfield Road, where Norman lived, received more than its share of graffiti.

King's Cross Bridge N1 10.04

At the time of these photographs, King’s Cross Bridge N1 was yet to form part of the extensive redevelopment of the area;

Sheldon Square W2 10.04

and Sheldon Square W2, was part of the Paddington Basin development nearing completion.

Leighton Road NW5 10.04

Now, what has caught the eye of this woman in Leighton Road, NW5?

Leighton Road NW5 10.04 2

Ah! I see.

Hang on a minute.

Sunshine in a park 10.04

How did this one get in here?

The shadows must have attracted my attention while I was seeking street scenes. Let it stand. I think the lawn is in Rembrandt Gardens, Warwick Avenue, Little Venice.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jafrezi with her perfect pilau rice. To accompany this, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I enjoyed a really marvellous Finca Flichman reserve malbec 2015 given to me for my birthday by Helen and Bill.


Mostly North London


Today I returned to the Streets of London series and scanned the next dozen slides from September 2004.

Sheldon Square W2 9.04

The Sheldon Square development in the old Paddington Basin of the Regents Canal was still being built in the years immediately after the millennium. It probably sports an official road name now.

Wikipedia has a lengthy feature on Marwan Barghouti. This is the introductory paragraph:

‘Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti (also transliterated al-Barghuthi; Arabic: مروان حسيب ابراهيم البرغوثي‎‎; born 6 June 1959) is a Palestinian political figure convicted and imprisoned for murder by an Israeli court.[1] He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become a leader of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the West Bank.[1][2] Barghouti was a leader of Tanzim, a paramilitary offshoot of Fatah.[3]

Israeli authorities have called Barghouti a terrorist, accusing him of directing numerous attacks, including suicide bombings, against civilian and military targets alike.[4] Barghouti was arrested by Israel Defense Forces in 2002 in Ramallah.[1] He was tried and convicted on charges of murder, and sentenced to five life sentences. Marwan Barghouti refused to present a defense to the charges brought against him, maintaining throughout that the trial was illegal and illegitimate. The Inter-Parliamentary Unionreviewed the case and said that Barghouti had been denied a fair trial.

Barghouti still exerts great influence in Fatah from within prison.[5] With popularity reaching further than that, there has been some speculation whether he could be a unifying candidate in a bid to succeed Mahmud Abbas.[6]

In the negotiations over the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas insisted on including Barghouti in the deal with Israel.[7][8] However, Israel was unwilling to concede to that demand and despite initial reports that he indeed was to be released in the 11 October 2011 deal between Israel and Hamas, it was soon denied by Israeli sources.[9][10]

In November 2014, Barghouti urged the Palestinian Authority to immediately end security cooperation with Israel and called for a Third Intifada against Israel.[11]

Newcastle Place W2 9.04 1
Newcastle Place W2 9.04 2

In September 2004 this tent in Newcastle Place W2 provided a base for his supporters.

Praed Street W2 9.04

This corner of Praed Street stands opposite a side entrance to Paddington Station.

Highbury Grove N1 9.04

Over at Highbury Grove N1 in Islington, we see the common juxtaposition of different eating places, so common in London.

Baalbec Road N5 9.04

Linda Tyrie grew up in Baalbec Road N5. This is the opening paragraph of her article in the Journal of the Islington Archaeology and History Society of Summer 2013:

‘I grew up from 1944 to 1962 in the ground floor of a house in Baalbec Road, backing on to Highbury Fields. The fields and the beautiful avenues of trees formed a backdrop to my life – walking up Baalbec Road to the food office in Highbury Crescent/ Ronalds Road when I was very young with my mother’s coupon book to collect orange juice, and later walking through the Fields to Drayton Park school in Arvon Road and along Church Path through the fields to Brownies, Guides, church and Sunday school.’ (

Highbury Terrace Mews N5 9.04

Highbury Terrace Mews

Horsell Road N5

and Horsell Road N5, are both nearby.

Holloway Road N7 9.04

The latter being just off Holloway Road, another demonstrating the cosmopolitan nature of London’s cafés, and the proliferation of graffiti. This brief history is from the Hidden London website:

‘The Holloway district takes its name from the road, which was known as the ‘hollow way’ (the road in a hollow) by the early 14th century, when it had become the City’s main route to the north. The hamlet of Ring Cross had grown up around the junction with Hornsey Road by 1494.

By the 17th century Holloway Road was notorious for its highwaymen but it became safer as houses began to connect Ring Cross with Lower Holloway, at the north end of Caledonian Road.

The construction of Archway Road brought an end to the area’s rural character in the 1820s. Holloway Road tube station opened in 1906, where Ring Cross had been. This section of under­ground line was constructed in tandem with the overhead railway running from King’s Cross to Finsbury Park – hence the station’s location, some distance from the more focal Nag’s Head locality. A prototype spiral escalator was installed at the station but never entered service.

Supermarkets have changed the face of Holloway Road over the last few decades. Sainsbury’s demolished a ravishing Victorian block of shops on their arrival in 1970. A Waitrose super­market replaced Jones Brothers’ department store in 1993. This and the opening of a Safeway at Nag’s Head prompted Sainsbury to sell out to Kwiksave (who subsequently retreated in favour of an Argos superstore).

Generally, the road’s mix of retailers is typical of inner (as opposed to central) London high streets, with the colourful exception of a cluster of fetish fashion shops near the junction with Liverpool Road. Secondhand shops of all kinds are also in abundance.

The London Metropolitan University (formerly the University of North London) gained an iconic landmark in 2004 with the opening of its graduate school, the capital’s first building by the architect Daniel Libeskind; supple­menting Rick Mather’s curved white block of 2000 and a brutalist concrete tower from its earlier days as a polytechnic.’

Hides Street N7 9.04

Hides Street

Westbourne Road N7 9.04

and Westbourne Road N7 are both within a stone’s throw of Islington’s Paradise Park. The latter is perhaps an appropriate location for the St Giles Christian Mission.

Leverton Street NW5 9.04

The barriers surrounding many of the capital’s roadworks, like these in Leverton Street NW5 in Kentish Town, bear the name Murphy.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s super spicy lemon chicken and crunchy vegetable rice. Neither of us imbibed.