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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.


November 2021


Wind up merchant 
Hello everyone. And would you believe it that the dear old sadly unloved and ignored London Destruction website is now 20 years old. We've been going longer than facebook or youtube although I have to say we are not nearly as popluar as they. Not everybody is interested in a website about stopping the demolition of buildings and traditions in London.

At the moment the roads in London are clogged and at a standstill but this is due not to the excess of cars but mainly down to the amount of roadspace that is disappearing. What a mess! It's also down to the paradoxical acts of protest by those 'Insulate Britain' imbeciles. And if that aint bad enough, this new Ultra Low Emission Zone extension is being introduced and it means that poor people wont be able to drive in London any more. That and the congestion charge are known as 'nice little earners' for the authorities and are regressive taxes that dont bother the rich.

Lots of climate change action in the news. Does this mean we have to revert back to the behaviours of the dark ages in order to save the planet? Sounds boring. Anyway, theres too many humans, thats the thing. And too much politics and wars and greed. And arnt we coming out of the ice age anyway? Only 200 years ago we used to have yearly fair upon the frozen thames river. Anyway, I hope they sort this all out or we're in big trouble.

Tried to get to the bank but it had closed down! So I phoned them up and got a call centre, which sounded like it was based somewhere in South Asia, and the experience left me quite saddened and feeling abandoned. Thats the position then: too many banks and post offices are closing, and too many services are farmed out to call centres that are based on the other side of the planet. It's terrible. It seems like all things in life have to be profitable now, or they wont happen. So now if I need to talk to my bank I have to travel for hours or ring someone 5000 miles away! This cant be happening. Maybe i'll just keep my money under my matress instead.


October 2021


And then they came for me 
Hello London lovers. Oh dear, the nights are drawing in, and its colder. Time to retreat to one's abode and admire London from out of the window. Splendid. Before that though, I did a nice trip to King's Cross to at last see how the Stanley and Culross buildings were doing. Well, it seems Culross is no more, but Stanley seems to be saved and fully amalgamated into some new build offices. Well I'll chalk that one up as being saved. Also, at long last, I did the Cable car next to the O2 Arena: That was absolutely marvellous: What a thrill and a view. Cant wait to go back.

London's skyline is looking rather like manahattan ever day, with masses of high rise going up in Docklands and City and Vauxhall. I quite like it, actually, but am always worried that thay may tear up some beloved old building or park or landmark, just to get their project through. Otherwise, the sight of these ivory toweres from a distance is always spectacular, probably what London was always missing compared to NYC, but maybe they should build these skyscrapers in places where there are only brownfield sites or derelict places of no preservational value. Maybe.

Stood at the foot of the Marble Arch Mound, and noticed that the entire monstrosity was in fact seemingly held up by nothing but a mass of scaffolding, covered by plenty of turf and trees and canvas. Something tells me that the structure was unsound, and that it's not going to make it through the bad weather to come. I just wonder if a load of rickety scaffolding can support such venture? Well I wont dare make the climb to find out. Anyway, the view isnt that interesting, possibly the top of the Arch, or the expanse of Hyde Park, or some pigeons. I would support the demolition of this eyesore immediately. Sorry.


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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