Tuesday, 6 August 2013

White City

The White City area of London takes its name from the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908, when most of the pavilion buildings were painted white. It was also home of the White City Stadium which hosted the Olympics in 1908. Sadly there are no physical remains of either event on the site.

First up is the ticket hall at White City underground station, opened in November 1947.

This certainly is a no nonsense clock set on an uncluttered background - perfect for quickly telling the time.

The design of the station won an architectural award at the 1951 Festival of Britain, as demonstrated by a plaque on the exterior wall.

White City's most famous extant building is the BBC Television Centre on Wood Lane. This was officially opened in June 1960, but closed as a television centre in March 2013.

This next photo is of the modern White City bus station, opened November 2008. The clock is one of London Transport's standard utilitarian designs, but it looks curiously elegant in its surroundings.

The brick building to the right in the above picture is used for bus layovers. It was originally the power station for the Central London Railway (now the Central line), before being used by the Dimco manufacturing company, a period of dereliction, and now back to transport use. Further information can be found in "London's Lost Power Stations and Gasworks" by Ben Pedroche (The History Press, 2013).

The area is now dominated by the Westfield shopping centre, the usual soulless retail hell plonked down without any regard for its urban surroundings. Its only redeeming feature is a branch of Foyles the bookshop.

No real clocks that I could see, but it did have this curiosity tucked away in one corner. Why this huge clock face is there I have no idea.

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