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Charles' London Architectural Journal 2021

London Skyline London Panorama Meanderings of an Londoneering Castaway.
A series of Charles' occasional observations.
He does go on a bit...
Shuffling soon to a street near you.


September 2021


I Love London 
Well hello everyone. Made my pilgrimage to Grenfell Tower area. Didnt get too close, just enough to take things in. Brings back shocking memories of what I saw on the TV. Not the kind of destruction I like to write about. And then I hear this week that they intend to demolish the building very soon, after it being a monument to the victims for some years. Very sad business indeed.

mayor of london

I also hit the Elephant area to find that the wrecking ball had already got to grips with the old mall there, which, after all the stays of execution, was finally laid to rest as a pile of rubble. I shall miss the old place. Also I find that the Elephant roundabout is no more, as a large part of it is blocked off, and I can't tell if this is permanent or not, though this sort of thing usually is. What a mess, I exclaimed. Maybe another dim witted exercise in pedestrianisation. I suppose we really needed another al fresco dining area, or a place where skateboarders can practise running over people.

I had a nice walk around the sad looking bombsite that is also known as the nasty HS2 development, an absolutely ghastly feat of destruction that seemed to go on for miles from Euston to Camden. Many buldings have been bulldozed out of mind, and at least one little park has disappeared forever. And despite the protest tunnels that that naughty man Swampy dug, the lovely Euston Gardens remain boarded up, ready, so they told me, to be made into a taxi rank. Oh dear. Anyway, the entirety of the HS2 site here must be many zillions of acres of land that has been given over to this unnecessary and costly project, just so some very rich people can get to Birmingham a few seconds earlier than before. Of course this section is just the London story, whereas HS2 has destroyed many many lovely areas, woods, and buildings all the way up through the countryside, a scar on the landscape.


August 2021


I Am Not A Robot 
Howdy, London lovers, and welcome back to me. This is me writing from London. It's in full covid epidemic. London,usually busy and buzzing, is empty, like it was the end of the world. Pubs and cafes are barely alive, if not at all. And yet it's wonderful to be here. I recently took to the streets of Covent Garden, only to find our mayor there, doing a press thing. Evidently he wants us all to 'do' London. Or maybe he was told officially that I was back on the web. I took my consolation photo and was off.

mayor of london

I was due to hit Norfolk House, St James Square, but all I found was a hole in the ground. Yes folks, yet again, Norfolk House has been demolished. This latest incarnation, from 1939, had some great WW2 credentials, but it didnt stop the politicos signing off on its demise. Shame, I missed my chance to chastize the major about this. The constuction details said that the old Norfolk House was unfit for purpose, but thats what they always say. The original old Norfolk House of the 1700's was flattened on the same excuse, and a room from it is on show at the V&A, it must have been a most beautiful residence.

It fact, London is like one big building site, they just wont leave it alone. Lovely old buildings are being dismantled by the second, its an awful shame. The air stinks of dust and construction. Its loud and noisy, and London is being ruined.

city of london construction

Chanced upon the Aldwych road narrowing project, which quite cunningly is an attempting to narrow the south side to only one road lane, thus destoying the traffic flow. This will increase the width of the sidewalk to about 20 feet by the looks of it, unless they are planning another dreadful bicycle lane there. Of course, the covid era traffic was blocked solid on that day, thanks to this rediculous action. Everyone can see it's a mess, but the road planners are forging ahead with this dumb idea undettered. You've got to hand it to them, they are very stupid indeed. Just like all these road narrowing and pedestrianization projects, they combine to freeze up the traffic of London into one great diesel fuel stink. Bravo!

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