Sunday, 18 February 2018

North Harrow to Pinner

This all started in Piccadilly, central London. Yesterday I was browsing the books in Waterstones, when I saw a picture of a clock in North Harrow in the book Metroburbia ("Metroburbia: The Anatomy of Greater London" by Paul l Knox). A quick trawl of the internet whilst having a cup of tea and apple pie soon tracked the location down, and as it was a nice day, off I went.

The nearest station is North Harrow on the Metropolitan Line. And very close to the station is this clock on (what was) Warner & Co estate agents.

The building is now occupied by Flint Insurance, and the freehold is up for sale. Whilst this side of the clock is worn but intact, the other face has been considerably damaged. My fear is that with new owners this clock will be lost for good. But let's hope that they decide to repair it.

And so to the actual target of my trip, the Wealdstone Motors clock on Pinner Road.

As you may have guessed, Wealdstone Motors are a used car dealer. as their website says that they were founded in 1976, they were clearly not the original occupiers of this premises, which forms the southern end of a parade of businesses and flats built in 1933. For the latter date I am indebted to the Modernism in Metroland website ( which I must check out in more detail. And we are indeed in Metroland, those London suburbs built in conjunction with the expansion of the Metropolitan Railway.

The need to hunt for further clocks is ever present, so I headed on northwards. But the dominant Wealdstone Motors clock has clearly seen off all others. By the time I had come to this conclusion I was halfway to the next station - do I retrace my steps or press onwards? Sunny weather, plenty of time, so onwards to Pinner it was.

Now Pinner has the 1930s suburbia, but it also has a much older High Street looked over by the St John the Baptist church.

The church building dates from the early 14th century, with the tower a modern addition erected in the 15th century.

Retracing my steps to the main road, I realised I had walked right past this Robsons clock - which is difficult to see if you rounded the corner on the building side of the street.

 Moving on to Love Lane, the location for Bradley & Jones funeral directors. As I have mentioned several times before, many funeral directors have clocks. This one is a freestanding example on a pole outside their premises.

This next clock was obscured by a parked scaffolding lorry.

This is in the window of the Post Office. Whilst the other pinner clocks were showing the right time, this one was several hours behind.

 And finally, on to Pinner station to catch the Metropolitan Line back to central London. The railway here seems to have the same problem as the post office - trains and mail clearly don't need to run to time.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Lumiere London

The 18th - 21st January saw Lumiere London ( come to town, billed as the UK's largest light festival. With 54 installations around central London, it was certainly something to visit, a view shared (in more ways than one) by the crowds who turned out on Sunday evening after a day of heavy rain.

This is a blog about clocks, so I will focus on the illumination of timepieces, whilst maybe throwing in a few other pictures.

Below is the west face of Westminster Abbey as you don't normally see it, with the clock bathed in some unusual colours.

The work is called The Light of the Spirit by Patrice Warrener. It also includes illumination of the north door, which has nothing to do with clocks but is just glorious.

It is not every day that you see pink neon ladders on top of the steeple of St Martin-in-the-Fields ("Echelle" by Ron Haselden).....

...or a giant rabbit (or hare?) amongst a whole illuminated garden of plants and animals in Leicester Square ("Nightlife" by Lantern Company with Jo Pocock).

Not especially lit for Lumiere, the Swiss clock in Leicester Square struck 8 o'clock as I was passing, so giving a chance to see its moving menagerie of people and cows.

The Café Royal building in Piccadilly became a giant screen during the festival, with a general theme of time and journeys ("Voyage" by Camille Gross and Leslie Epsztein). This not only saw a huge clock face projected onto the façade...

...but also lit up its real clock with a variety of colourful displays and false hands.

 And finally, I leave you with "My Light is Your Light" by Alaa Minawi, which has nothing to do with clocks (other than it is on the side of St James's church which does have a large clock), but I just liked it.