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[Me]

Touring Britain bit by bit with a pair of boots, a few bicycles, a lot of trains and a bag of lenses. I take pictures and then I write about them.

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Sat, 1 Mar 2014

Lots Road Power Station

Battersea Sunset

Over the years, living and commuting in a variety of places, there have been objects and views that I've had the chance to shoot again and again, in all different lights and seasons. The current object, between my flat in Battersea and office in South Kensington, is Lots Road Power Station, allegedly known as the "Chelsea monster", across the Thames at the western end of Chelsea.

Lots Road

Lots Road Power Station

Battersea Riverside

Battersea swans

Geese

Lots Road Power Station

Battersea Reach

Lots Road Power Station

Lots Road Power Station

Built in 1904 to power the new Brompton and Picadilly Circus Railway the Picadilly Line tube the coal-fired power station was converted to gas in the 1970s, losing two of its four chimneys. With air pollution regulations pushing power generation out of the city, the station finally closed in 2002, and is currently under renovation and redevelopment as shops and flats.

Lots Road Power Station


[Tag] Tags: architecture, chelsea, industrial, london, lots road power station, the same photo again, uk, urban, west london


Sun, 13 Jan 2013

On the canals at Castlefield

TPE 185

Until May 2011, when I had to go to a meeting in the city, I'd never been to Manchester. I've still spent barely any time there.

Castlefield

narrowboat

With little time to devote to photography while there, I instinctively rode over to the part of the city centre that looked most interesting on the Ordnance Survey map: Castlefield.

Bridgewater Canal

With the world's first industrial canal and the world's first passenger railway, the neighbourhood is a tangle of basins and viaducts and narrow cobbled pathways. The Bridgewater Canal arrived here from the Worsley coal field in 1761, and a second branch of the canal reached the Mersey estuary at Runcorn three years later. The opening of the Rochdale Canal through to West Yorkshire in 1804 put Castlefield on a through-route, and the basin was also connected to the nearby River Irwell later to be turned into the Manchester Ship Canal.

goose family!

viaducts

In 1830 the canals were joined by the railways, with the world's first passenger line, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, terminating at Liverpool Road Station (now the Museum of Science and Industry) adjacent to but not crossing the basins. The first two railway viaducts over the water came in 1849 with the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway lines which fork here as they head west from Piccadilly. These lines were in turn crossed by even higher viaducts with 1877's Cheshire Lines into Manchester Central victims of the Beeching Axe, but reused in the early 1990s for the trams and the now disused turreted tubular steel Great Northern Railway viaduct of 1894.

new on old

Now it's in the half-done regeneration stage, with mixed decayed and preserved industry, warehouse conversions, empty plots and infill apartment blocks.

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Bridgewater Canal

Castlefield

Castlefield

Duckling in danger

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

Castlefield

I think the instincts probably did a reasonable job.

Museum of Science and Industry


[Tag] Tags: canals, history, industrial, manchester, railways, the north, uk, urban decay, urban


Sun, 30 Dec 2012

der Telespargel

Fernsehturm

Fernsehturm, the television tower in Alexanderplatz, central Berlin, Germany's tallest structure.

pop!

Fernsehturm

Built as a show of GDR strength and to be an icon of East Berlin, but also an excellent example of the pettiness of political rhetoric, positioned deliberately to loom over West Berlin's Reichstag when the latter is viewed from the front, and in return cited by Ronald Reagan as "the Pope's revenge" because the diamond-shaped reflection of sunlight on sphere sometimes looks vaguely a little bit not really very much like a Christian cross.

Marx and Engels

Marienkirche

Fernsehturm

Fernsehturm

TV Tower

crocodile!

Ferris Wheel

These shots, and more from the visit in December 2007, in the Germany gallery.

View Larger Map


[Tag] Tags: berlin, germany, history, not the uk, structures, urban


Sun, 2 Sep 2012

On Calton Hill

Calton Hill

When arriving in Edinburgh, whether by two wheels from over the Moorfoot Hills or up the towpath on the Union Canal, or especially by Lowland Sleeper arriving on time before breakfast is served, one can't miss out a first five minute detour to greet the city from atop Calton Hill.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

To survey it all laid out around you in the dawn twilight or warm evening sunshine of arrival time.

Calton Hill

Survey the trains and traffic snaking and scuttling between the spires and turrets of cathedrals and castles, and the towers and domes of railway stations and municipal chambers.

Princes Street

Edinburgh

Survey the chimneys and cranes and colourful council flats standing out in their sea of Georgian terraces and simple sturdy grey Victorian tenement blocks offset in the spring by streets and squares of trees.

Calton Hill

Stretching out inland to the great mound of the Pentland Hills.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Flowing around the jagged lump of Arthur's Seat to Musselburgh and Portobello.

Calton Hill

And up against the Firth of Forth and the North Sea, and out into it at Leith Docks and Granton Harbour

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Mossmorran?

Where giant boats, rocky islands, and drilling platforms rest lit against the Fife coast and the distant Ochil Hills.

National Monument

A brilliant cityscape, all to be surveyed from beside the structures and monuments of the World Heritage city, five minutes walk from the railway station.

Holyrood

Edinburgh

edinburgh

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

More pictures can be found in the Edinburgh gallery

Calton Hill

View Larger Map


[Tag] Tags: cityscapes, edinburgh, scotland, uk, urban, world heritage sites


Sun, 26 Aug 2012

The dismal town of Yeovil

Glovers Walk

It's difficult to find a nice thing to say about Yeovil, the nearest proper town to where I grew up.

Precinct

Yeovil

But I could go on at length about the awfulness of it. The miserable generic shopping precincts with a skin of decaying and derelict buildings...

tractor

...trapped inside a fortress of traffic crashing through the town centre...

Yeovil

flowers

Yeovil

...on dual carriageways with municipal flower arrangements draped over central reservation guardrails.

Yeovil

I don't think I've ever found anything there with any great character, any beauty, any real kind of life, only boxes speeding through from roundabout to roundabout, cutting the town into perfectly isolated chunks of bland housing and bland light industry, no interest or activity amongst it.

Yeovil

Underpass

Sorting Office

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil Cattle Market

I was given some driving lessons there once and, though I quickly stopped them, I think they left me permanently with a Pavlovian response to getting in a car: there is always a fear that I will end up in Yeovil.

Yeovil Livestock Market

I know, it's just a dismal small town, they're not uncommon. But the west country is fortunate to mostly escape them, and there are none so dismal as Yeovil in this part of Britain.

chair

Yeovil Hospital

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

cattle market

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeo

Greyhound


[Tag] Tags: crap towns, flowers on dual carriageways, somerset, uk, urban decay, urban, westcountry, yeovil


Sun, 24 Jun 2012

Boston, six years ago

Back Bay

I was at a conference in Boston, Massachusetts, when the East Coast of the United States flooded in June 2006.

Boston skyline

Beacon Hill

Boston wasn't badly hit with flooding, but it did spend a few days covered in fog and puddles.

Back Bay

I'd only just bought my first SLR a couple of weeks before the D50 with 18-55 lens so wandered around town trying it out.

Boston

Longfellow Bridge

Pointing it at anything and everything, and not usually doing a very good job at all.

East Boston

There are more pictures in the Boston gallery.


[Tag] Tags: east coast, floods, fog, massachusetts, new england, not the uk, rain, urban, usa, weather


Sun, 10 Jun 2012

Purdown Transmitter

transmitter

Another one of those shots that I've taken again and again and again, capturing it in all seasons, lights and conditions, in this case because it was on my commute for several years.

Pur Down

Pur Down

The BT tower on Pur Down, in the north of Bristol, a thin and increasingly isolated sliver of green space, once farmland, consumed and constricted and now cut off from the surrounding country by the growing city: one of those locations where you can pretend that the city isn't there if you get the camera angle and conditions right.

Pur Down, Bristol

When I returned that way a few weeks ago for the first time in five years, the microwave transmitters which were the original point of the tower had gone, like those on the BT Tower in London.

Pur Down, Bristol

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

View Larger Map


[Tag] Tags: bristol, structures, time series, uk, urban, westcountry


Tue, 5 Jun 2012

Denny Church Walk

Denny

I stumbled upon this riding down to Falkirk from Stirling in January.

Denny

Denny

The great concrete 1960s Church Walk blocks in Denny, Falkirk, officially Scotland's Most Dismal Town 2010.

Denny Church Walk

The townsfolk requested the honour, hoping that it would help to prod the council into action over their incongruous "carbuncle".

Denny

Denny

Denny

The first blocks had already been demolished by the time I discovered it; the rest have been smashed and chipped and shipped away over the past few months.

View Larger Map


[Tag] Tags: architecture, council housing, denny, falkirk, scotland, structures, uk, urban decay, urban


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