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BBC London Talk the Walk
John Kennedy and Big George.

 

 

Blackfriars to the Millenium bridge.

 

 




To download this pod cast right click on this link and select download.

 

 

 


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The Blackfriars Public House to the Tate Modern with a twist.

Here we are standing outside the Unilever building at New Bridge Street looking across this very busy junction towards the Blackfriars Public House which just happens to be a good old fashion London pub except you may think your eyes are playing a trick on you because behind the pub is a new building housing the New York Bank of Mellon. The lines and perspective here are mixed and confused giving the impression you're looking at a hologram.

Enough of the view and it's time to cross this busy junction so we enter a subway and walk east bound noticing iron girders supporting part of this underground tunnel, take your first left again and we exit the subway right outside the Blackfriars Public House. But what of the name Blackfriar, well it refers to the colour of habits worn by Dominican friars who moved their friary from Holborn to this area back in the 13th century.

We are walking along the front of the New York Bank of Mellon building opposite you will notice two "no entry" signs which lead to the slip road by the road named Puddledock and what we find here is a couple of experimental inflatable speed humps, worth a look if you find daft ideas fascinating.

Moving further east along Queen Victoria Street we come to a Piccolo bar, basically this is a Italian café used by many of London's taxi-cab drivers, excellent tea, coffee, sandwiches, pasta at a very reasonable price. Next door though is one of the many Wren churches located throughout the square mile, this one has a peculiar name St Andrew by the Wardrobe. Take a look at the understated gate the nice slightly steep stone stairs and the very simple conservative look to this splendid church. I do like the benches outside behind the bushes on the right, nice place to find a little peace and quiet in the city. But what of the name, well it turns out a former King decided to move his armour, weapons and some furniture from the Tower of London to a storage facility behind the church so hence the name "St Andrew by the Wardrobe".

Next to St Andrew by the Wardrobe we find the Church of Scientology, a very impressive looking building which is open to the public. Have to say I don't know much about Scientology but they do have a DVD to give away if you're interested. Now the next building on our left is Faraday House which is a British Telecom telephone exchange but this site used to be a "Doctor's Common" which was also called the "College of Civilians". This was a society of lawyers practising civil law in London however The Court of Probate Act 1857 effectively abolished the Doctors Commons by allowing common lawyers the right to practise in other areas of law which used to be the sole preserve of civilian lawyers.

Now opposite us is one of the most awful looking buildings that sits with the square mile, it's called Castle Baynard house but if we look closely we shall see a totem pole amongst the grey drab building with a small open space. The totem pole in fact represents the seven ages of man and if you listen to the pod cast you can here me reading a piece from "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare. If you do cross the road here and take a look at the totem pole you will get a fantastic view of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, puts the church in a great perspective.

Next we walk further east crossing Godilman street and please do take a look at the City of London Bollards, they look so fine and dandy but must cost a fortune to cast, plant then paint but we come across a really fine looking brick built building with a beautiful well maintained set of gates. This just happens to be the College of Arms, it is the official repository of coats of arms and pedigrees of English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Commonwealth families. If you ever watch the state opening of Parliament you'll notice the officers of the college, known as heralds line the stairwell at the sovereigns entrance. Heralds used to organise tournaments, jousts and because Knighthoods were passed on through blood lines they gained a level of expertise in genealogy. The building is a absolute marvel and certainly looks out of place when you look at the surroundings but take a moment to look through the gates and just admire the stairs leading to the main door, notice the Lion, the Unicorn and the Royal coat of arms, for the College of Arms is part of the Royal Household. Please note it is self funding by charging for its services to individuals and companies.

We now press the button on the Pelican crossing and walk across Queen Victoria street and onto the pavement through the first pair of HSBC gates notice the large glass building on the left which just happens to be the Salvation Army International Headquarters. On the right is the City of London Boy's School, but dead ahead you will see the Tate Modern Gallery, formerly known as Bankside power station. To get there we must cross the Millennium bridge, yes the wobbly one is open and my god you'll get a fantastic view of London from this modern marvel of civil engineering. When you walk along you'll notice the shock absorbers that stop this suspension bridge from wobbling. The views to your left are of Southwark bridge with Tower in the distance and to your right you see a railway bridge with Blackfriars behind, but like the title of this walk I would like you to twist or turnaround around and just take in the most magnificent of view of St Paul's Cathedral.

The view from the bridge is just amazing, the dome of St Paul's just fills you with hope, especially now we are heading through troubled economic times. However let us never forget that this great City of London was blitzed in 1940 and from amongst the fires and the smoke the Dome of St Paul's gave us all hope. Again I firmly believe our faith will bring us through these troubled times and whatever is thrown at this great nation in the end, just makes us stronger. Welcome to the City of London and I do hope you get the chance to enjoy this walk.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos

 

 

 

 

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Puddle Doc Speed Humps

 

 

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St. Andrews by the wardrobe

 

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Church of
Scientology

 

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The Seven Ages of Man

 

 

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The College of Arms

 

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HSBC

 

 

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Salvation Army Building

 

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Millenium Bridge

 

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St. Pauls

 

 

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Changing guard at Buckingham Palace.

London launches The Jubilee Greenway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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