The Queen comes to Greenwich

I took the day off work today to see The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh officially open the Cutty Sark. The other half and I aren’t Royalists in any kind of nutty sense, but we do have a soft spot for the Royal family and this was too good an opportunity to miss.

Approaching the Cutty Sark through the Old Royal Naval College, the barriers were there for the procession a few hours later.

Reports on Twitter that grass spoilt by the Les Miserables filming was to be spray painted green was true…

Spots were designated for the local Primary schools to come and cheer the procession.

I still don’t know why these poor people were attached to the rigging for the whole morning.

Bit wet.

I bet these were The Queen’s bodyguards. The one in uniform was on stage with The Queen.

A good turn out for a horrible day. The stage was there for the inaugural performance of Diamond Greenwich.





The closest I got to the stage where the speeches and presentations were done!

But then they came down the path towards us and I took this! Yay!!! It was well worth the wait! :).


View from the junction of King William Walk and Romney Road.

We were feeling cold and miserable after all the rain so headed to the Trafalgar Cafe for breakfast before going home. We went back via the Naval College and saw the King’s Troop passing through College Way as part of the royal visit.

I think the first three photos might not be of the King’s Troop as they walked instead of riding. Can anyone enlighten me?







I love that our lovely power station gets in all the shots!








We didn’t stay about for The Queen’s procession through College Way or for her visit to the National Maritime Museum but more photos and details about the royal visit can be found here:

Long to Rain Over Us – Crowds Brave Weather for Queen’s Visit, Greenwich.co.uk

Cutty Sark: Queen Reopens Greenwich Tea Clipper, BBC News

In Pictures: Queen Reopens Restored Cutty Sark, BBC News

Queen Officially Re-opens Cutty Sark, BBC News

The Queen’s Rain, The Greenwich Phantom

The museum also has some wonderful photos from 1937 when The Queen visited aged eleven!

Opening of the National Maritime Museum, 1937

A lovely day was had by all and the reward of a Trafalgar Cafe Full English Breakfast made the day even better!

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Elephants and Lambs

Today I visited Mudchute Park and Farm for their lambing season, and on the way I passed through the Old Royal Naval College to see the set that is being built for the filming of Les MisΓ©rables.

The part of the film being shot in Greenwich relates to the Elephant of the Bastille, an unfinished monument conceived by Napoleon in 1808. The elephant is used as a shelter for a character named Gavroche in the film.

French flags are now flying from the walls of the ORNC and the entire central area has been covered in tarpaulin with dark gravel on top. Carriages from the 19th Century are dotted around the area and the central area looks quite desolate.

It was pretty cool to walk through a film set too!










Fake ground on the left, real paving on the right


The lavender smelt lovely


Not sure if this is entirely historically accurate






Fake left, real right

I then wandered down to the foot tunnel and experienced the awesome new lifts that have been installed (at last!) at either end of the tunnel. They are huge inside and are very swish in comparison to the dirty mess of the stairs and tunnel itself.



It was then time for my first 2012 visit to my favourite city farm, and I had my customary walk round to say hello to the pigs first.









I was hoping to see some baby lambs and was quite lucky to be there at the right time of the day when the farm’s volunteers were feeding the sheep. I was led into the sheep shed where all the mummy sheep were looking after their young and lots of parents and their children came in too.

It was quite wonderful seeing the lambs and there was a little white face lamb that had been born yesterday huddling in the corner of its pen. They were all running about and feeding on their mummies, a beautiful experience.








Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!








Triplets!

Once I had torn myself away from the lambs I said hello to the lovely llamas.





I then witnessed turkey rape which wasn’t quite so pleasant!




But the lovely flowers on this plant made me happy again, as did my hot chocolate from the Mudchute kitchen. πŸ™‚

Happy Easter etc!

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Open House 2011

Here are some (read many) photos from this year’s Open House London event. We had a lovely tiring time as always and really enjoyed visiting houses and lesser known gems in our borough.








40a Ashburnham Grove, SE10 8UL

This four-storey house in west Greenwich has been restored by Zac Monro Architects into a lovely and spacious family home with an extension into the garden and a “double-height space” in the kitchen area. The interior is modern and light but is also cozy and feels very homey. A delight to walk around, the exteriors have been beautifully preserved and I would love to live here.


To my great disappointment this is all you see when you visit the mausoleum. Ho hum. Here I was hoping for coffins and creepy dark corners! We saw some photos of coffins though! Such a shame that going into the mausoleum would destroy all inside! Flipping micro-climates!


Bees! They keep bees!

Devonport Mausoleum, National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, SE10 9NF


These wall panels could be moved around to close and open out the first floor




The outfit I tried on was completely awful, Sam fared a little better. πŸ™‚




Lazy people spoiling my shot

Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE

If you are cool and hip like I you will know that Dr Samuel Johnson put together the first English dictionary in 1755. He was also a essayist, biographer and poet and he lived in this five-storey town house in the City for eleven years. 17 Gough Square was where the dictionary was compiled and today it is a museum all about the man.

The house itself is notable for being kinda old, built in 1700, but I was disappointed to not learn much about the architecture of the house when inside, all the information focused on Johnson.


This gorgeous and random building is the remains of the church of St Alban, destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. Wikipedia tells us it is now a private dwelling – awesome.








Museum of London, Roman Fort Gate, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

The Roman Fort Gate is actually underneath the museum but I didn’t take any good shots so the four photos above are from Noble Street across the road. The wall remains on Noble Street have been built on numerous times over the centuries and even now new buildings have been built into the old walls. This interesting video shows the area we visited under the museum.

We were also allowed to stand inside the fort remains so we can now say we have stood inside a Roman Fort, very cool.


Saved from the pouring rain by a church with beautiful stained glass windows

St Vedast-Alias-Foster Churchβ€Ž, 4 Foster Lane, EC2V 6HH


I took this whilst at Shadwell DLR station


Lovely old station with some gorgeous Victorian brickwork. We came here through Brunel’s Thames Tunnel to go to the Brunel Museum about the Thames Tunnel! πŸ˜€


How we had to enter the Thames Tunnel shaft, AMAZING. The COOLEST thing EVER


The lovely Tim Thomas regailed us with excellent stories about the building of the tunnel and the shaft we were sitting in. This was the best thing ever, a wonderful adventure down underground


The view from the top of the scaffolding


The entrance to the shaft! πŸ˜€

Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF


We popped into this place after the Brunel Museum, it is a restored old granary building that houses a picture library and a film studios renowned for making costumes that have won Oscars.

They are currently trying to buy the building as the rental cost of the granary has become too high, if you would like to help please visit the ‘Sands Enterprise Investment Scheme’ page on their site at the link below. Locals fear that a Starbucks or a Tesco Express will replace the library and studios, and as this is a beautiful and well-used old building I think that would be a horrible thing to happen.


Sands Film Studios and Rotherhithe Picture Research Library, 82 St Marychurch Street, SE16 4HZ

Sunday rose bright and shiny and beautiful…


My local station is so beautiful on a sunny day


Plaque at Aldgate station to commemorate lives lost during the 7/7 bombings






Built by George Dance in 1744. The church has some lovely stained glass windows but I didn’t get a good shot of them so please head to the Church’s site to see them. I love the exterior shot of the church on the homepage, the contrast of the old church and the new buildings and all the different colours in the shot is beautiful. Disappointed to see no credits for any of these photos.

St Botolph without Aldgate, Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AB


Taken whilst walking down Bevis Marks. The tall building is so new I can’t find out what it is on Google Street View!


Sneaky interior shot. It was very interesting to find out that synagogues have seven candelabras to represent the seven days of the week, the biggest one is for Shabbat every Friday. I remember absolutely nothing about Judaism from my Keystage 3 RE lessons so it was excellent to hear Maurice Bitton the Shamash/Curator speak about the building and Judaism. He is featured in June Brown’s Who Do You Think You Are? too. πŸ™‚


Absolutely beautiful building, wonderfully preserved. It is also hidden in a courtyard so you would never spot it if you didn’t know it was there, lovely


Quite proud of this one, light isn’t amazing but I do like a well framed photo <<< as well as you can with my crappy camera Bevis Marks Synagogue, Bevis Marks, EC3A 5DQ

We left London after this and came back to our borough for more local delights.


Spotted this lovely building whilst walking up Charlton Church Lane (for the first time)


St Luke’s in Charlton village, the local church for Charlton House




A lovely friendly squirrel to me, a “tree rat” to my boyfriend’s Dad. πŸ˜€














Back in the day the land owned by the house stretched as far as Woolwich Common all around the house. The views down to the river were fabulous apparently, stupid flats block the view now. πŸ˜‰






I feel quite proud that I can shout about Charlton House to my friends and family now. The fabulous architecture isn’t all in Greenwich!


I officially love Charlton House, built in 1607 for Sir Adam Newton, tutor to Henry, Prince of Wales, James I’s son, who died as a young man. I think I am safe to say that it is considered to be one of the best examples of Jacobean architecture.

It is now owned by Greenwich Council rather than English Heritage and it is used as a community centre for the local area. I think the council do a decent job of keeping the historical importance of the building alive as I thought it was a stunning building. You can get married here too! Eee!

Charlton House, Charlton Road, SE7 8RE




Coffin window


Office window view, nice work if you can get it!


Gorgeous painting of the ORNC at night. I can’t remember the name of the artist, can anyone help?


I walk through here a least once a week and it is just stunning every time. I am so proud of my area!

We didn’t make it back to Greenwich from Charlton in time to go on any of the ORNC tours except the Queen Anne Court one. This court is leased to the University of Greenwich and they have been using it since the 1990s.

Our guide Lizzie told us how the Navy had built a lot of small rooms within the grand spaces so the university has just pared back the rooms to how they were before the Navy used the site as a teaching facility. Whilst this is a good thing, it was not the most stunning of tours as it was quite odd to see these wide and grand open spaces painted white, carpeted and turned into boring offices with vending machines dotted around the place. I don’t think it works aesthetically but I do think it is ideal that these lovely old buildings are being using for education, what a wonderful place to study.

Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW

 
So that is it for 2011, roll on 2012! πŸ˜€

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Nomads and Time Bandits

One of my favourite things about summer is outdoor film screenings, and for the past two years my boyfriend and I have gone to see double-bills at Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. This year we had booked tickets to see this awesome triple-bill and then realised that he had double-booked himself with Iron Maiden at the o2. Typical. So I am now going without him as I could not bear to give up the tickets, I love Somerset House and its cobbles. His loss basically. :).

Luckily for us Film4 are not the only company putting on outdoor screenings during the summer. Lexi Cinema presents The Nomad (formally Screen on the Green) have also been breaking into this market the past few years, and this summer have a huge number of screenings all over London. We plan on seeing WallΒ·e (my choice) in August, so will get our ‘Somerset House’ fix at the Greenwich Observatory this year. This is completely cool as a Greenwich person, I am SO excited.

And not only are The Nomad visiting the Observatory in August, they are also visiting the Old Royal Naval College with local brewery Meantime for three nights of screenings of Memento, Time Bandits and Groundhog Day. Sadly if you are reading this tomorrow you will have missed out as the last screening is tonight. But if you are me and my new local friend Jen you went to see Time Bandits last night so yay for us!

I went down for a nosy on the Saturday afternoon to see what the set up was like:


Camel plus film camera equals cool company logo


Shot taken through the railings on Trafalgar Road


Meantime brew their beer on the peninsula, local beers for local people. They also have a bar and restaurant (about thirty feet to the left of this shot) where each dish contains one Meantime beer element. I have been meaning to try it out with the boyfriend for a while as we have wandered in a few times and the interior is beautiful.


King Charles Court in the background


Its an inflatable screen! Cool!

George Wood of The Nomad told me that the screen comes down and can be folded into a pretty small box which is nice and neat and green. :). This is also the smaller of the two screens The Nomad owns, the other is for larger venues.


After this I went home and had a pizza. Then I met the lovely Jen about half eight and we ambled down to get a pint and lay out our blankets.


Introducing the film were some actors wearing costumes from the actual film. Cool!!!


They let me take a picture. πŸ™‚


Saab advert


This man’s company loves da pop, and the popcorn was very nice too. We had the caramel and sea salt and black pepper.


How would you feel if a load of people jumped out of your wardrobe?!


Sean Connery looking pretty damn cool.

Time Bandits is a 1981 Terry Gilliam directed film that I had never seen. I am not a huge fan of Memento or Groundhog Day so I thought I would go for the unseen screening as the location The Nomad chose is to die for. The film is a bit odd with a very random ‘lets run about through time and nick stuff’ plot. The pace does lag and there are too many pointless set-pieces, but it eventually gets to the point with a battle between evil (aka David Warner – of Star Trek/Klingon fame!!!) and our heroes. Good wins in the end and all is well. I did feel a bit sorry for the boy at the end though! Poof! Don’t leave evil hanging about!

It has some great cameo moments though. Ian Holm as Napoleon, Michael Palin and Shelley Duvall as a couple with a ‘problem’ in two separate time periods, Jim Broadbent as a game show host, and John Cleese as a dandy Robin Hood with a load of angry and gruff Merry Men. And of course a very manly and good-looking Sean Connery as King Agamemnon of ancient Greece. Very funny.

Lying on the grass in a spot where you can see the Old Royal Naval College and Canary Wharf in one is just wonderful. The Nomad really know how to choose their locations and to provide a relaxed enjoyable atmosphere for their audience. The sound was good, the screen quality was great and I had a lovely time. I am really looking forward to seeing WallΒ·e up on the hill in Greenwich Park. πŸ™‚

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London Flash Choir

This Monday bank holiday I spent the day singing and rehearsing for London Flash Choir. Excellent research by the dynamic duo of Max de Lucia and Fred Feeney led them to contact my choir who read out a notice about the event during rehearsals two weeks ago.

I got very excited very quickly as I love singing and the idea of being on the BBC appealed to my huge ego (no joke). I downloaded the score the Friday before last, and found we were to be singing Bill Withers’ Lovely Day, The Beatles’ All You Need is Love and Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight. I wasn’t sure about the mix of songs myself (probably due to a bit of anti-Toploader snobbery) but what do I know…

… as the rehearsal outside Trinity Music College was just awesome. The mix of songs, the arrangement and the trumpet parts were just fabulous. Everyone picked up the songs very quickly and we stopped rehearsing with the score and started working on building up the songs into a performance. Max did such a great job of leading us all and bossing us around, I was so impressed.

We rehearsed from about 10am to 1pm with a break and then went up town to “gather” (flash doesn’t sound right) on the Southbank for 3pm. It was quite tense just before 3pm, everyone was constantly looking around for the bassist who was starting the whole piece. I hope we didn’t look too inconspicuous, it was just so exciting!

So then we ‘flashed’ and it was great and loads of people clapped and cheered at the end. Singing and dancing in front of everyone and looking a bit mad and odd was just wonderful. We then got to do it again in Trafalgar Square at 3.30pm where the trumpeters climbed up onto the steps in front of Nelson’s column. A random man joined in and danced next to Max while he conducted but that is the point right? All a bit odd and fun! More cheering and clapping at the end and then off to Covent Garden for 4pm.

Covent Garden felt like the best one because the covered market kept the sound in really well. We all mixed in with everyone upstairs and downstairs, and the bassist who started us off had the best of his three fake fights with other secret singers who had ‘stolen’ his mobile. All very odd and fun. Everyone who watched the flash mob was smiling afterwards and it was such a good feeling to have shared my love of singing with everyone.

My new pal Karen and I had the best time and really enjoyed spending the day together singing and wandering around London. I loved that the rehearsal was in my neck of the woods and that Max and Fred had the support of Trinity so they could organise this ace event and use space at the Old Royal Naval College for the rehearsal. Best way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday in my book.

There are plenty of videos on London Flash Choir’s Facebook page along with more photos. Below are some of my photos of this wonderful day full of blazing sunshine and singing fun (and extreme sunburn for me).


Max in charge outside the Trinity Music building at the Old Royal Naval College


Bass alert


Sopranos


View from the back


Singers spread about the courtyard as Max does his best to de-English-ify us and make us act less self-conscious


We didn’t quite make it to five hundred but it was AMAZING and SO MUCH FUN


“Look happy for God’s sake! These are some of the best-loved pop songs in Britain!” πŸ˜‰


My new friend Karen! All the way from Rochester for the day.


Fred and Max talk to BBC journalist David Sillito who did a piece for BBC Breakfast this morning


The dynamic duo

Thank you for an awesome day! πŸ™‚

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