Robin Kent’s original (below) was perfect. I straightened the Ferris wheel and darkened the sky in Lightroom. Then in Photoshop, added wisps of mist, and stars to make it mystical (above).
In 1956 when I was seven my mother and I moved to London. It was my job to light the coal fire in our flat at Queensborough Terrace, near Kensington Gardens. Central heating was not common then; therefore, London was a much foggier place. I remember fogs so thick it was hard to see a yard ahead. Coal fires helped create smog, a mix of smoke and fog. Yellow smog was tinged by the Sulphur in the coal. They were called “pea soupers”. The Great Smog of 1952 (Wikipedia) killed many Londoners. Dirty unwashed and untreated coals were eventually banned and smoke free coals and fuels used instead. Now central heating is the norm and fireplaces occasionally used to create ambience.
The door and gates at 169 Church St, Stoke Newington, London:
A small wooden porch gives protection to the door rather than the caller. The single door may have been originally double. There is a lovely stained glass window over the door. Two square pillars support a beautiful, wrought-iron gate made by a Bristol blacksmith (date unknown). The gate has a scrollwork of ribbons, leaves and berries. It has a French style. On top of the gate was probably an eagle on a ball. These are replacement gates and railings as the original ones were taken for the War Effort (post 1939).
In approximately 1714 Edward Newen demolished the old building on the site and built a four story Queen Anne house with an “M” shaped roof to reduce height and keep the roof within the parapet. The name “Sisters’ House” was first used between 1849 and 1867 because it belonged to the four Bridge sisters.
Soon after the house was built Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe in his house nearby when he was 59.
After the Great Fire (1666), houses had to be built of brick and tile with pediments at the roofline to hide the wooden roof joists. By 1707 window frames had to be set back into the walls by the thickness of one brick. Party walls between houses had to be thick enough to resist fire for six hours. Houses were supposed to have a balcony on the first floor so that occupants could be rescued by ladder if necessary.
Built for the National Provincial Bank of England in 1862 and designed by John Gibson. In 1968 the National Provincial Bank joined forces with Westminster Bank and from 1970 these two major institutions were merged into National Westminster Bank. When they decided to build a bank next door in 1980, the Hall (open solely as a venue) was called National Westminster Hall, but in the 1990’s the name was changed to Gibson Hall, after the builder.
Much of London’s best views are found by the River Thames. The golden afternoon light on St Paul’s was magic. The Queen’s Walk is a lovely place to take a stroll and there are lots of things to see and do there.
Views of London photographed from on top of One Newchange just east of St Paul’s on December 19, 2015.
History of St Paul’s
A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD. The current Cathedral – the fourth to occupy this site – was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. As the Cathedral of the capital city, St Paul’s is the spiritual focus for the Nation. The funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill; Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria, King George V; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the launch of the Festival of Britain; the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for the 11th September 2001; the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth, and the Queen Mother; the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and; the Thanksgiving for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, all were at St Paul’s.