Friday, 24 April 2015

Damien Hirst Clock

On the way to Marylebone High Street, to visit the excellent Daunt Books, I spotted this spotty clock at the junction of Hinde Street and Thayer Street.

It is mounted on the side of other criteria, which further investigation reveals to be an art-based publicity company co-funded by Damien Hirst. Ah, now it is making sense.

If you look closely (or use the zoom facility on your camera) you can see the Hirst signature. And if you are really taken by it, you can buy your own version of it.

Personally, I won't.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Battersea Dogs Home

I seem to be starting a theme of big clocks that can only really be seen from the train, after the Time Flats at Clapham Junction and the Benlow Works in Hayes in the last two blogs. And the trip back from Clapham took me past today's clock, so another visit was in order.

This is Battersea Dogs Home (although since 2002 it has been called the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home), second only in local fame to the next-door power station.

The dogs home was founded in 1860, and moved to the Battersea site in 1871. This clock tower is obviously somewhat newer.

Information on the great work of the Dogs and Cats home can be found on their website at

The proximity to the railway line can be seen in the photo below. However, south London is a jumble of railway lines, and these photos were taken from Battersea Part station which is on another route. I couldn't find anywhere to view the clock from the road.

These next few photos give a glimpse of the huge redevelopments that are going on in Battersea. The whole area is a crane spotters dream.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


Well bits around Clapham Junction, if not all of Clapham.

This first clock is one I've seen a few times from the train leaving Clapham Junction on the route to Richmond and the like.

On foot it is quite hard to find as your geographical perspective goes all squiffy as you step out of the railway station. I walked right past a non-descript modern building by railway, totally failing to spot the obvious clue of the building's name - Time Flats. However from the perspective of Grant Road there is no other clue that there is a massive clock on the other side.

It is only after I'd turned into Plough Road and gone under the railway line that I got a proper sight of the clock.

Continuing up Plough Road, a left turn onto St John's Hill brings you back towards the centre of activity, and opens up the following view onto the clock tower on the Debenhams store:


But before you get there, turn left into the shop stop shopping arcade which leads into Clapham Junction station. Here I was thanked for shopping even though I never bought anything - this retail therapy thing can be very cheap.

If you look carefully you will see that the clock is mounted on a mirrored wall rather than just floating in space (which in my experience they don't tend to do). The other side of the wall looks rather different, and here the clock promotes Rotary International.

Onwards now to Debenhams at the junction of St Johns Road with Lavender Hill.

The building dates from 1910, and was originally Arding and Hobbs. It certainly makes an impressive site in this busy shopping and socialising area.

Walking up St John's Road brings you past the Marks and Spencer store. As I have remarked many times before, M&S (or, as officially known on this blog, good old M&S) can often be relied on for a nice clock in good condition (and sometimes a good clock in nice condition). And this store is no exception - which is not surprising as I wouldn't be talking about it if it was (I wonder if there is an M&S blog - an unofficial one that is, with someone trying to visit all the M&S shops in the country?).

And if you keep walking in the same direction (which is not easy on a sunny Saturday afternoon as this is a very popular street for pedestrians), St John's Road magically turns into Northcote Road. Which is the home of Marsh & Parsons estate agents.

Feeling energetic? Right, time to turn round, retrace our steps past good old M&S, back to Debenhams, turn right into Lavender Hill (taking care to avoid the mob) and soon you will arrive at Asda (just how many retail giants can I get in one sentence? [if that wasn't a rhetorical question I would have answered "three", but it was so I won't]).

Ok seen that. Back to Clapham Junction to get the train home.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hayes (Benlow Works)

I have often spotted this clock from the window of the train on the line from Paddington, on the north side of the tracks just to the east of Hayes and Harlington station. So I thought it was about time I found out what and where it was.

The building stands on Silverdale Road in the middle of an uninspiring industrial / trading estate.

The clock is only on the side that faces the railway.

The other, and more accessible, side of the building only has a plaque giving the date of construction, 1909.

The building turns out to be the only surviving part of the much larger Aeolian pianola factory. After WWII it was renamed the Benlow Works, and had various uses including for Kraft cheese and Walls sausages and pies.

It is now Grade II listed, but is in a bit of a dilapidated state.

The clock itself, not surprising, is not working. Viewed from the train I thought that the hands were severely damaged, but closer up shows that they are intact and showing 6.30 (I assume as a result of gravity).


The final picture is taken from the train window, which up to now had been my only view of this lovely building.