Archive | September, 2012

Bluefriars

28 Sep

From Putney Bridge right up to Tower Bridge, blue lights illuminate the passage of water in and out of the North Sea with each tide twice a day. The lights’ continued spread still appears to be an unconscious policy, but they continue to expand presently with the nearly completed rebuilding of Blackfriars station, reconstructing the Victorian rail bridge to make way for longer trains on First Capital Connect’s Thameslink route and creating new entrances north and south of the river.

Between 1886 and 1937, it was known as St Paul’s Station and the London, Chatham and Dover Railway boasted the power to transport Londoners as far as Brindisi, Marseilles and Sr Petersburg. The new station has moved around the bend from Queen Victoria Street to New Bridge Street beside Blackfriars Bridge and incorporates the Underground with improved public access.

The new railway bridge will also be Europe’s largest solar panelled bridge, holding 4,400 panels which will generate half of the station’s electricity.

We night drivers will be relieved when the regular closure of Blackfriars Underpass ceases and we can bomb along–at 30mph–between East and West London once more.

Advertisements

Hero Worship

15 Sep

I picked up a family in my taxi the other day whose young child had a physical disability, namely, severely restricted use of his malformed arms and my immediate reaction was not that of usual and correct compassion but rather I pondered on what sporting event would he be most capable of? I happily realised in shock that the Paralympic Games had altered my perception of those with disabilities, hopefully for ever.

Channel Four Television, Horseferry Rd SW!. As ever, current and topical with their use of location and their 4 superstructure.

If the preceding Games were not enough, these Paralympic Games have gone one step further in terms of success and public outreach. Record crowds and television audiences have witnessed astounding courage and examples to us all that the human spirit is never short of surprises in what it can overcome. We arrived at our destination and I waited patiently for the young boy to control his involuntary muscle spasms in order to pass the money through the ludicrously small aperture in the partition glass in order to pay me. Whoever you are, I thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to be able-bodied and to take all tasks for granted, maybe I’ll see you in twelve years’ time on a rostrum somewhere in the world.

In the week following when the sporting press debate if an overpaid footballer will shake hands with that of another and flags are burned in London, when the first football club’s crest will be punched by a goal scorer, let’s remember who the real heroes of this summer have been.

A Generator Regenerated?

6 Sep

The flue has lost its blue hue, Chelsea FC lost its bid to resettle here and while perhaps an angry CFC fan may have doctored the hitherto blue lighting, I for one rest easy to know that back at Stamford Bridge, penalties in front of The Shed wil continue to be taken above the buried ashes of the mercurial Peter Osgood.

The lighting is fittingly reduced to more standard spots on the day it’s announced that now a Malaysian consortium pledge to oversee this art deco beauty’s renovation. Some twenty odd years before, Thatcher had stood with hard hat hiding her horns to proclaim the first of many promised efforts, even ordering her sycophantic press to be back in one year for its relaunch as her casino economy reached maximum centrifugal force.

More ownerships down the road and the site has looked continually neglected. I’d picked up inside the site many a time on Radio Taxis for the owners Parkview in an atmosphere worthy of the East German Stasi at the worst and plain control freaks at the best, told to park just there, not to get out of the cab, no nameboards. Alarm bells rang for me.

Twenty eight years after its decommissioning–even Pink Floyd had returned last November to float a huge pig for a relaunch of their famous album–the decaying chimneys will be rebuilt and Reuters report that the homes will have to be sold at twice the current London market rate in order for costs to be recouped. Watch this very empty space. Peace.