Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wood Green

Continuing the theme of random London suburbs, today's visit is to Wood Green.

A short walk down from Alexandra Palace station leads you to Cambridge House in Mayes Road.

This is a fantastic looking building, with a lovely copper-surrounded clock.

The date on the clock (MDCCCXCVII) translates as 1897, and a little research reveals that this building was originally the headquarters of the confectioners Barratt & Co. Parts of the factory buildings nearby are now named the Chocolate Factory and host a wide range of small businesses.

Retracing our steps, we then turn east onto Station Road, past the "I Love Wood Green" sign....

....and then left up High Road. Here at the junction with Bounds Green Road we find the church of St Michael's. I couldn't find any information on this building, so you will just have to look at the pictures.



Walking up Bounds Green Road you can look across Trinity Gardens to another church.

In fact this is St Mary's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, purchased from the Methodist Church in 1970.

I couldn't resist this shop of the clock through the empty sign frame of the closed The Prince pub.

Back on High Road heading north, I spotted this empty frame on a school uniform shop. Looks like it could well have housed a clock.

Heading back south, it is time for a quick peek into the booking hall of Wood Green underground station.

The station, designed by Charles Holden, was built as part of the Piccadilly Line extension opened in September 1932.

Just to the south is a Morrisons supermarket, a company which is good at providing clocks on its stores. and the wood Green branch doesn't disappoint, although the design is not that exciting.

And then no more clocks heading south along High Road until we reach Turnpike Lane underground station. This one looks an awful lot like the one at Wood Green at first glance....

....but a comparison shows that the design of the hands is considerably different.:

Were they originally the same and one set has been subsequently replaced?

Whatever the answer is, there is another completely different clock design down at platform level.

From where we jump on the Tube and end our little visit to Wood Green.

Monday, 4 January 2016

West Ham to Stratford

It's nearly two months since my last posting, and I've got several trips that are just sitting there on my camera still. So my New Year's resolution has to be to get back out on some trips, and to deal with the backlog.

Let's start with a new trip on New Year's Day. I've seen a painting of West Ham church (by G Thornber, 1893 - any one got any details of the artist?) which shows it as a hotch potch of building styles, so a trip to the real thing seemed like a good idea.

Most of London is usually quiet on New Year's Day as no life-long British resident would expect either public transport or museums and galleries to be up and running. And why waste the time when you could be shopping in Bluewater or Lakeside or one of the Westfield centres for more things you don't need at prices you could pay at many other times in the year?

But of course I forgot about the New Year's Day parade, now in its 30th year. So a quiet visit to the Royal Academy in Piccadilly turned into a battle through the crowds with ears assaulted by marching bands from across the world. Hey ho.

So it was with some relief to get on to the Jubilee line for the trip to West Ham, noting on the way that there is a new tube map cover design out (by Tomma Abts - winner of the Turner Prize in 2006 [was it really that long ago?]).

Anyway, emerging at West Ham station, you are greeted with the site of a simple but visually pleasing brick clock tower.

I am somewhat a fan of the simple hands and numbers on a plain brick wall type clock, even more so when it has no nonsense Arabic numerals. You know where you are with this sort of clock, and where you are is West Ham which is no nonsense sort of place.

Onwards along Manor Road to my primary destination - look, there up ahead is West Ham parish church of All Saints.

The church is originally from 1180, but has all sorts of alterations, additions and restorations over the centuries. The tower, for example, was added in the 15th century.

According to the church's website (, Charles Dickens used to set his watch by the time on the church clock. As well he might, for the clock gave the true time on New Year's Day.

Although Charles Dickens might have difficulty setting his watch by the sun dial which has lost its gnomen. Does anyone know the particular significance of 1803?

But see what I mean by the hotch potch of architectural styles:

Let's press on to Stratford rather than retrace our steps to West Ham. Which gives us a chance to pass this building on the corner of West Ham Lane and Mark Street.

I am not sure what this building was originally, but I think it might be offices of the TGWU.

On now to The Broadway, Stratford, and the Church of St John.

The church was built in 1833, and the clock of 1834 is by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy.



Stratford bus station looks rather lovely when it is lit up as darkness and general gloom descends at 3 o'clock. And look carefully in the distance, for there you will spy a clock (which is not surprising as this is a blog about clocks, albeit with the occasional other diversion).

The usual Transport for London clock, but simple and elegant nonetheless.

And from the right angle has a sort of modern take on Art Deco about it:

In the railway station next door there are two identical clocks on the interior of the south-facing wall.

This is the one above the entrance from the bus station, the other is over the entrance to the DLR part of the railway station.

And with that its time to take the train home.