Archive | December, 2012

LONDON IN THREE COLOURS: Red

24 Dec

DECK THE HALLS, PAINT THE TOWN RED

I’ve more or less covered Londres Bleu in previous blogs Midnight Blue and Bluefriars and so I’m moving on to red in time for Christmas, the time for festive colours to dapple this great city: green, gold but it’s mostly red that dominates or at least stands out.

Red WordPress 007

The shops bombard us from about September on, but and it’s hard to get excited so early. But when one sees the class of such shops as Cartier in New Bond Street it’s hard not to feel festive. Understated really, evenly covered in tiny red lights and just a deluxe bow across the frontage. Class, not bling.

The Conran shop, Sloane Avenue. Terence Conran established Habitat in 1964 and from then on influenced our tastes in home decor and design. In an area which smacks of style, Santa brings a smile to even the most self-conscious fashion victim.

The Conran shop, Sloane Avenue. Terence Conran established Habitat in 1964 and from then on influenced our tastes in home decor and design. In an area which smacks of style, Santa brings a smile to even the most self-conscious fashion victim.

Each day, we pass architectural jewels that make our city great. Some are spectacular and skyline-defining, others colour our journey through everyday life. Last year, sixteen of Leslie Green’s red tile clad Underground stations were given Grade II listing, protecting their glorious exteriors from alteration or demolition. Mostly of art deco design, they have stood the test of time against pollution and escaped the Luftwaffe.

Chalk Farm statio hugs the bending junction of Haverstock Hill and Adelaide Road.

Chalk Farm station hugs the bending junction of Haverstock Hill and Adelaide Road.

In 1935 King George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee and to commemorate this the GPO commissioned Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to design a new telephone booth. Fortunately the GPO left the design considerations to Scott who topped them with a dome styled on Sir John Soane’s mausoleums at St Pancras Old Churchyard and the Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London. Everywhere we look today, there will be people on their mobile phones. How did we function before this? Back in the Seventies, there was a phone box at the corner of Queen’s Gate and Cromwell Road, SW7. We taxi drivers could never work out why there was a constant queue to use this particular one until I picked up a couple in Earls Court who asked to be taken there. It was then that I learned that this box was faulty. For ten pence, you could call anywhere in the world without a time limit. No wonder it was flooded with youngsters from the Antipodes!

With the growth of mobile phone usage, it's unlikely to ever see a queue for the phone any more.

With the growth of mobile phone usage, it’s unlikely to ever see a queue for the phone any more.

The demise of the Fairway taxi is well documented now. Due to the December cutoff last year, those Fairways passed at the end of last year or brought forward for passing have disappeared at an alarming rate. Between the summer of this year and now, over 600 of them have gone off our streets.

A beautiful blood-red Fairway. Other popular colours of this model were grren, white and charcoal grey. So where did the media get the lazy phrase of "black cab" from? It's a taxi.

A beautiful blood-red Fairway. Other popular colours of this model were green, white and charcoal grey. So where did the media get the lazy phrase of “black cab” from? It’s a taxi.

 

New England in the USA is famous for its autumnal colours and so it's always good to get an idea of how the Maples and others may bring fire to the local foliage. This in King's Road is about as close as we get to it.

New England in the USA is famous for its autumnal colours and so it’s always good to get an idea of how the Maples and others may bring fire to the local foliage. This in King’s Road is about as close as we get to it.

 

Nothing more is necessary to compliment the beautiful simplicity of this Chelsea Georgian house than a red door.

Nothing more is necessary to compliment the beautiful simplicity of this Chelsea Georgian house than a red door.

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