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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A tenuous nautical theme.

Last week we went down to London for a couple of nights as it was my daughters graduation. I had missed her 'do' from Durham University as I was still at sea then so it was nice to be able to come along for this one.

Goldsmiths started out as the Counter Hill Academy for boys in 1792 to 1838. The Royal Naval School then bought it and educated the sons of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In 1889 it was again sold on to the City Livery Company of Goldsmiths who set up their Technical and Recreative Institute were for 13 years they educated males and females of the area. In 1904 they gifted the site to the University of London, so long as it was always used for education. Goldsmiths College of the University of London opened in 1905 and has always been connected with social science and the arts.

The ceremony was very good and the speeches mainly uplifting for me, never mind the students. There were several glasses of prosecco and canapes and a good chat before been ushered out in to the city.

Just down New Cross Road in Deptford Town Hall. This building was also opened in 1905 and had the Council chamber and three meeting room. It now also belongs to Goldsmith's College. The builders were Lanchester, Strewart and Richards and sculptor was Henry Poole, RA. There is a very nautical theme to the carvings as the area was for 600 years or more a naval dockyard. The figures on the second story, from the left are, Sir Francis Drake, Robert Blake (The Father of the Navy), Lord Nelson, and out of shot to the right a generic Edwardian Admiral.

Atop the clock tower is an ornate galleon weather vane.

In the triangular typanum is a naval battle and below is the bow of a ship with many oars and in the back a focstle with four lamps on it. There are also two fishes and two horns of plenty with the figures of Caryatid and Atlantes to either side.

Over the door way are two Tritons who have long tails with fins and also they have wings. You can also make out seahorses in the iron scroll work above the entrance.

I did chat to the Mayor and his Mace Bearer as they also attended the ceremony but they were representing Greenwich.

In the afternoon we headed over towards Southwark and looked round Borough market before taking a walk. This area just south west of the market is the site of the fabulous Hop Exchange and we went into the basement for a late lunch. Over the road was this lovely building with a beautiful sculpted design at the top. It is a Grade II listed building.

In the evening we went to the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre to see 'She Loves Me'. It was really very good and a great entertainment. I would recommend it to anybody, before it goes to the West End and become too expensive to see!

We were staying over in Dalston, very close to our daughters school, and the next morning we went for a walk close by and passed this old factory that used to make those little water colour sets you could buy. The builder in 1868 was Sewell and Sons for a cost of £2343. The factory was badly damaged in WWII and closed in 1954. Round the corner was Ridley Road Market that had just about every part of many animals displayed and for sale! There were not just whole plucked chickens hanging up, but every size of trotter and hoof, every bit of intestine, and ears and snouts, along with complete heads. There were many types of fish I had never heard of and a wide selection of vegetables from around the world too. We also found a shop in an old Art Deco building from the 1920's that was a Daks Suiting Factory. It was also used as a Cuban Cigar Factory in the film 'Die Another Day'. It now houses 'Beyond Retro' that is one of those cool brands. They have shops in Sweden and Moscow too. Helen found a Christmas cardigan at a bargain price too.

Helen really loves the Shard so she wouldn't forgive me if I didn't include a shot in daylight. We had a flying visit but it was great to be there for Amy's day and the weather was fine too. The trip on Hull Trains was very comfortable and the hotel was one we will certainly use again. Bring on Christmas now.


  1. You two always find such interesting buildings with such detailed features! And all I can do in London is wish I wasn't in the city! I need to look at it with different eyes, I can tell.
    Lovely to read you again. Prompts me to get back on to the blog - have been busy with work and am ready for a a couple of weeks of blobbing!
    Big hugs to you both, M&D

    1. Hi Both,
      It is very good advice, where ever you are, to look up, as otherwise you miss so much. More advice for London is don't go where everybody else goes ie. the touristy spots. You have to do them at least once, but there is so much to see away from them, and it keeps you away from the crowds. The number of people is the biggest problem, so invest in good guide books, and I can recommend the three volumes of'London's Hidden Walk's by Stephen Millar. The run up to Christmas has been extremely busy so really I'm hoping to kick back a bit for a few days, as it will all start again in the New Year. This retirement is bloody hard work!! Hope you are both well and enjoying some good weather. We are looking forward to Storm Barbara. That is also the name of my Mother in Law!!! Cheers for now, and all the best for the New Year.