Friday, 22 September 2017

Open House 2017

Last weekend was London Open House, the annual event (now in its 25th year) when hundreds of buildings across the capital open their doors to the general public. If you are not aware of this fabulous initiative, check out their website at

My visits this year were not picked for their clock interest, so I have included some clocks seen along the way as well as ones at the specific locations.

The first is a glimpse of Holy Trinity on Marylebone Road, a John Soane church of 1828.

The next exhibit is from a tour of Piccadilly station. There are several ordinary clocks around the ticket hall concourse, and then there is this oddity.

This shows the time anywhere in the world, with the focus of course on London, including the hour's difference during British Summer time.

The clock is still functioning mechanically, but no longer keeps good time. But as everyone passing seems to ignore it, perhaps this doesn't really matter.

Piccadilly Circus station was opened in 1906, but the clock dates from when the below surface booking office was completed in 1928.

The next clock is also from an Open House visit, and would not normally be accessible to the general public. But once year I allow them to be included in this blog. The clock in question is in one of the meeting rooms in the Royal College of General Practitioners on Euston Square.

Now to St Saviour's in Pimlico, which somewhat confusingly is on St George's Square. I haven't explored this part of London before, so it is the first time that I have come across this church. Which, if you are interested, was consecrated in July 1864.

Next is a clock of which I am familiar, but not from this vantage point.

The building in Buckingham Palace Road now houses the National Audit Office, but was originally completed in 1939 as the central London terminus of Imperial Airways.

And now another new church to me. This is St Barnabas, just off Pimlico Road. This church dates from 1850.

Eventually it is time to go home, starting from Sloane Square underground station. One interesting fact about this station is that the Westbourne River is carried in a huge pipe (not shown in the pictures below) across the platforms.

Now make a note that next year's London Open House event is on 22 / 23 September 2018.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hull (Part 4)

And so to the final part, number 4, of our journey around Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, which is a wrap-up of all the other clocks sighted.

The first one in the bag is the modern building of Dove House Hospice on Chamberlain Road.

It is always nice to see clocks fitted to newer buildings. And this is a nice example - a classic design with bold, clear numerals. Nothing fancy, but a clock from which it is easy to tell the time at a glance.

Of a slightly older era is the shopping centre of the Garden Village.

This planned urban development of around 600 houses was largely funded by Sir James Reckitt to provide worker accommodation for the nearby factory, in the mould of other settlements for Cadbury's in Birmingham and Rowntree's in York.

The estate was built between 1908 and 1913. The shopping centre itself, now unfortunately being converted into private residences, was built in 1909.

Just up the Holderness Road is East Park. This is a fabulous open space of 130 acres, originally opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. It includes feature such as a boating lake added in 1913, and a splash boat of 1929.

It also includes this more modern clock outside the main pavilion.

I also love the model of the clock which acts as a collection box.

Back down the Holderness Road towards the city centre, and the modern shopping development that is the Mount Retail Park.

I rather prefer the approach taken by Dove House Hospice of having a more modern take on a classic design rather than this straight copy, but at least the developers have included a clock for which I have to be grateful.

And so finally we reach the last stop on our tour of Hull. This is the Lee's Rest Houses on Anlaby Road.

This is an impressive development of retirement homes built 1912 - 1915, and funded by the will of Dr Charles Alfred Lee.

Confronted by the gates I wasn't sure whether there was public access, so I am grateful for the resident who invited me into the grounds.

The clock tower is situated on the central reading room.

The clock maybe fairly standard, but this development is one of Hull's hidden gems.

So we have to say goodbye to Hull, and wish the city well for the remainder of its time of UK City of Culture.