Sunday, 6 September 2015

Bethnal Green to Shoreditch

This is the route I was going to cover two weeks ago, but abandoned the walk as it was too hot. Today was about 15 degrees cooler and decidedly autumnal, so much better for tramping the streets of London.

Only just south of my wimp out point last time is this corner building, Morrain House. In the way that bizarre occurrences happen, I had also spotted this clock from the train window the following week, giving me the impetus to pick up again from where I had left off.

The building is on the junction of Cambridge Heath Road and Three Colts Lane. I have no further information on it, other than it looks like it is currently unoccupied.

It is therefore no great surprise that the time seems to be permanently 12.29.

Just around the corner is another clock which I have seen over many years from the train window, but it has always looked out of bounds. However, there has been recent regeneration activity which meant it was worth checking out on the ground.

The building is the old Allen & Hanburys Ltd pharmaceutical factory / offices, with the name still emblazoned in big letters. The building dates from 1874. The company was taken over by Glaxo (now GSK) in 1958, but the trading name was kept until recently (as witnessed by my asthma inhalers).

The site is now known as the Pill Box, and is protected by nasty security-coded gates. So the pictures of the clock are taken from a distance unfortunately

But at least the clock has been restored - in all the years viewing from the train it had seemed to be in a semi-derelict condition.

We are now on Bethnal Green Road, with this mixed-use building and its single hand clock.

On the opposite side of the road is W. English & Son, funeral directors.

Sometimes in clock hunting you just have to follow your nose, trust your gut instinct or just walk around and see what turns up. The next building was a result of a sign pointing along a side road to St Peters. Ah, a church, which means a possibility of a clock I thought. Well I didn't find the church, but I did find the Queen Adelaide's Dispensary on Pollard Row.

And looking up at the tower, I thought that is odd stonework. Looks a bit like an old coin.

When in reality it is a carved stone clock face (or rather three of them), sadly without hands.

The Queen Adelaide's Dispensary was founded by the vicar of St James-the-Less in 1849, although the current building dates from 1866. As are most buildings these days, it has now been converted into flats.

Queen Adelaide (that's a bust of her below) was born in 1792 and died in 1849 (hence I assume why the institution was named after her), and was the Queen Consort of William IV.

Opposite is what I assume is meant to be a Banksy, somewhat worse for wear and covered by a sheet of Perspex. It is not a patch on the elegance of the carved clock faces. I would love to know what the hands were like as I am sure this was a truly special clock in its day.

On the corner of the building is a foundation stone, with that Hanbury name again.

Whilst I followed my nose to discover the Queen Adelaide's Dispensary, I made the decision not to follow the sign to St Matthews's church. Which was a mistake as subsequent research shows that it has a clock. Yet another visit required sometime.
Bethnal Green Road has a lot of pubs, many still open, others with their original frontages complete with signs but now used for other purposes, and I suspect a few others that are now less obvious. A good road for anyone interested in pub architecture and social history.
Anyway, this is a blog about clocks, so westwards towards Shoreditch until we reach Peach Properties.

Bethnal Green Road eventually ends at Great Eastern Street, where this building is currently under wraps.

Will a clock be revealed when the scaffolding comes down?

Southwards takes you into Commercial Street, and The Exchange building. Built in 1900 - 1910, it was originally a telephone exchange, hence the name.

And finally, we reach this building on Bishopsgate, by the side of Liverpool Street station.

No comments:

Post a Comment