Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Charles' London Architectural Journal   2007

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.
December 2007 Ignorance Is Strength 
Hello. Sorry about the site crashes. I dont know what's going on. One is a slave to ones provider. Today, some of the data is lost. Oh well, just like the government, data discs do go a missing. I suppose I've got to be grateful that the site is still running. Maybe the decision has been made to shut it down, them faceless ones not liking a bit of criticism. I guess I must be on some New Labour list... somewhere..

Went to the new St Pancras development, and hated it. They had no idea how to treat the old relic, and now it stinks of that look that pollutes just about any other new shopping mall that so-called architects and developers get their hands on. Memories of the old gothic can be vaguely seen, hiding away amongst the gloss and the bright blue roof structure. Hell knows what they will do with the hotel, once my favourite building in London. Will they just keep the facade? The joke is that this whole fiasco goes under the banner of 'careful restoration'. Restoration??? This is like putting a knife into the Mona Lisa and then putting it into the shredder. Damn the people who have vandalised this once great station.

Oh well, on with my travels. Exhibition Road area. Always a pleasure to visit here: The South Ken Museums with all their amazing exterior architecure still intact (so far). How I bet they would love to turn these places into flats or religious buildings. Whilst they are spared this fate, it is so wonderful to walk this area and look at the beauty of the victorian builds. Walking up from the V&A to the Albert Memeorial, one passes so much greatness. I was a great day.

More trivia: A great Routemaster Bus program on TV! Seeing where these old London friends had ended up around the world. There are still a few running in London as a sort of gesture. I went out to seek one an relive the glory. They are brillaint. Of course, they have given us 'Bendy' buses instead, to creak around our narrow streets. What a crime! Anything of the past is being wiped out.

Instead, any new fads are being phased in. No matter what you hear, gangsterism is still being encouraged. Londoners have to live with the silly little gangstas and their shoot outs. Every kid seems to aspire to being like it, and the TV is full of dramas that make it look cool. Personally I'm sick of it, but then my ways of politeness are hated. Ways of law and order are still being dismantled, and I am in the way of this non progress. It's sad to watch. Rediculous. Was that another gun battle I could hear, or just more fireworks. Bonfire night seems to go on for months. Every little kid acquires a shed load of fireworks and sets one off every day for two months.

And why bonfires? I thought there was all this faddish care over pollution? Why are they so keen to spoil it all with bonfires and fireworks? London stinks after the November 5th season. And then again after New Years eve. And yet they moan on and on about fake green issues and families using 4x4's. I'd love these gormless incendiary blow outs banned for good, unless we were to throw a few corrupt politicians onto the pyre.

November 2007 Political Correct-mess 
Hello folks. Welcome to the London Destruction website's journal. My Journal, in fact. Actually, it's a bit politically incorrect, so I suggest that you look away now, or view with only one eye open. I'm sorry, but with my status in the scheme of things being at the bottom rung, and my beloved London going to the dogs, what else can I do? I have to tell my story somehow. You dare not say a thing nowadays. And it's an Orwellian Nightmare. Every nasty official wants to know who I am, and where I live...

Architecture everywhere. Went to Arsenal football stadium, to see the new mothership. Yes, it is an amazing new build, sci-fi development. I was amazed to see how close one was to the pitch. Everyone has a good view. And now the bad news: Just how much demolition took place? Just how much pain did the residents suffer? This build is right in the middle of residential Holloway. Several businesses were affected, and had to be pulled down. There were the protests, doomed to failure. Looking around, they are still building there now! Nevertheless, the 'Emirates' as they unfortunately call it, is an amazing monster, and it does impress, at a human cost.

Oh hell. A walk through the city shows building works everywhere. It's like one big building site. Walked up New Change. I used to like that building at number 1. Now it's gone. It was Ok. Red Brick thing, been there for years. Now a vault of mud and cranes. I walked past so many construction areas that day. Its horrible. Leave it alone. Go somewhere else. I loved and preffered the old city and it's alleys.

And so, it's on with life in London. I am here. I dont want to be here. We are all under threat from the thugs who are encouraged to act as they please. No law and order. Some petty crooks got 'let off' after hitting and blinding a 97 year old. Let off? And so it goes on. Every week I know someone who is threatened. "Dont look at me " said the thug who I wasnt looking at. He knows he can act like that. They want him to act like that. Once upon a time, the baddies would be hauled off to jail, and you would never see them again.

October 2007 Pearly King of Kensington 
It was a bad start to the year. I suppose it could be worse.

Correctness works against us, all of the time. And most laws and taxes seem to be passed in order to destroy anything thats good. And there is no law & order. I witnessed another bout of threatening behaviour on the bus - here was a being that should be locked up for life, and never let out, able to express himself in all his horrid savagery, throwing violent threats out at the vunerable and good natured. But what could you do? Who knows what weapons this person conceals, and everyone knows that the police would arrest the victims if they fought back. But where were the police? One look at the bus stop at the Elephant & Castle would reveal the truth. About 20 officers checking the bus tickets of passengers. Oh, and another 20 stopping car drivers in Bromley for not wearing seat belts. Let's face it: There are certain nasty criminal acts that the PC police shy away from, and hence we find ourselves in a lawless city. I would suggest we all turn vigilante, but I wont, lest this site be closed down by our Orwellian state.

At least we had the London Open House: That splendid architecture weekend where thousands can trample around those usually private buildings. It is now much too popular as to be unworkable, but there are some gems to be found. This year, amongst many ventures, I used this as an excuse to ascend the Wellington Arch, that in the centre of Hyde Park Corner. Not much to see, but it was amazing the lengths they went to in the accessibility dept. In this cramped space, they have managed to install wheelchair lifting to this 200 year old relic, which must have been such an ordeal, and then there are raised floors on the balcony, so a wheelchair user could just about strain to peek over the edge to see... nothing much at all. Reminds me that I havent visited the great fire of london 'Monument' for many years; now I wonder if they have removed the stairs for a chair lift...

I could hear the calls from the PC brigade... Shut this website down! Just as we are being labelled, stamped, numbered, barcoded, chipped, fingerprinted and DNA sampled, they really want our free thought quashed, and our history and tradition edited out. With taxes and rules and restrictions abound, we are so close to getting wiped out forever. This once great city is drowning in a sea of non cultures. Violence and religion and politics are making us die inside. This is not London. Just another faceless Euro-city.

I would lastly like to brag to the world and all the eco nazis that I have in fact got an enormous carbon footprint and if I hear of any more recycling or green taxes coming my way then some of these liberal luddites will get a big carbon footprint kicked onto their posteriors. No, this isnt mindless violence, it is the revolution starting in my living room, and being written onto the only free press that we have left: The good old Internet, where the government can read all my mail and profile me as big trouble. Yes, we are all an open book now to the authorities, and no steaming open of letters are necessary any more: It's all automatic. And if you disagree with anything, even in passing, you are in a black book forever.

I guess this is the point where I get taken away in the night to New Labour's Room 101, and be made to conform. Oh dear. This is Charles, last survivor of the town that we used to call: London.

September 2007 Mind The Gap 
Hello everybody. This is me, writing to you. Yes, I'm still here, living in London. It's horrible. And yet, against all odds, I still survive (so far). Gun crime and knife crime has got worse again, even worse than reported in my last report. I heard some dodgy politician on the radio say again that crime was actually falling. Oh no! Some people in the media get excited over the most rediculously spun figures and initiatives. Like how they exclaimed the virtues of this new 'Pay As You Throw' garbage scheme. How they might charge us by the item to collect our trash. Are our masters laughing at us? Presently, our rubbish is left to pile up for weeks, is full of rats, and we have dozens of recycle bins blocking up our doorways, all of which have their contents mixed together on collection day. The biggest surprise of all is that they can get away with it. But who devises all these money making schemes? How do they sleep? Soundly, I guess. But who can save us from these mobsters? Who can protect us from this stupidity. I feel the fear: They can do what they like and there's nothing we can do about it. There's not even a good alternative at the ballot box.

And so they held up the major west end streets of London yesterday, so another politically correct statue could be erected in Pariament Square. I was always wondering what would follow that embarassing effigy they put up in Trafalgar Square: You know the one, don't you? It all getting a bit too farcical now. Not content with pulling down the old buildings, they love blotting the landscape with some horrid political statements. We all sat in dispair watching Red Ken shed some fake tears for the cameras. The joke is on us.

Went on a recce to see the great Camden Stables market, an important area, and one of the last around town to have avoided the developers, until now. View this wonderful place as it stands today, with olden architecture and local traders. The end is nigh, so we are told. The new Gilgamesh restaurant here, which is quite a far out design, but should have been built elsewhere, now stands on the entrance to the Stables: The beginning of the end, no doubt. Other happenings of note: Glad to see that they will now not pull down the chimneys of Battersea Power Station, or so they say. Very unglad to see that Thameslink 2000 has the go ahead, and that means the end for part of Borough Market and the neighbourhood. And thanks for a reader for the details of Upton Park's Queens Market, also under threat of dastardly development deeds.

Developers... Councillors... Politicians... Managers... The list of London's nasty characters seems endless. And for those of us with not much money, who love what London was or could be, all we can do is watch it all go to pieces. What can we do? I spend most of my life dealing with kafkaesque bureaucracy, and people who try and tread on me. The overall feeling is a climate of fear. Yet we are encouraged to think that things are really great. Big money is spent on fun and celebrations, but how can we enjoy it all when its all a scam? Take the fiasco of the Olympic 2012 bid and it's subsequent 24 hour building site... Its no fun to see endless cash appear to prop up this £12billion blow out, especially when they stopped altzheimers patients getting that medicine at £2 a throw. Seems we're all doomed, yet again. Oh well, thanks for reading this journal. Goodbye for now.

August 2007 Damn Their Impudence 
Urg... and so London continues to sink further into the swamp of political and development lunacy. But what can you do? They are all untouchable, and answerable to nobody. Its a horrible world to live in. Just listen to them go on in the media. "Crime is actually falling" said the London politico. "Real crime is actually down, so all these myths about crime are wrong". We are expected to listen to this hogwash with an interested and excited demeanor, and then go and vote for them in the next election. Meanwhile, and in the real world, we are beseiged by all the worlds villains, who have come to London to rob and murder us all. The police do nothing. Only last week, another kid shot dead by little gangsters. They are allowed to behave exactly as they please, and then plead 'poverty' in court. I think that it's only going to get worse...

The London streets are alive with the filth of society, and at every few paces, a 'normal' person is escaping from their evils. Street robbers, beggars, drug addicts, drunks, and just general bad behaviour that so many think is 'cool'. Good behaviour is frowned upon. Your have to hope you get home without being knifed or shot. Oh yes, I must remember that crime rates are actually 'falling', so obviously this is all an illusion or mirage. Maybe it is me who is the problem.

Meanwhile, as the old Baltic Exchange is packed up and shipped to Estonia, we have to take this on board, and any fine building which is destroyed by developers could be taken down, packed up, and shipped out to a new London, somewhere in the world. There, we can create a town guarded 24 hours from developer scum who might want to send in the bulldozers. One such candidate for reassembling is the mightiest of all cafes: The New Piccadilly Cafe, now serving it's last fry-up before getting flattened. Surely this wonderful little place could be carefully taken down and restored somewhere in the world? It's such a beautiful place. How could they possible destroy it? If only those Estonian business people could save all our betrayed buildings, then we could save so much architecture for the future. I dont care where it's relocated, as long as it's saved, although I wish they would leave things alone in the first place. What can we do to fight back?

Other recent redevelopment threats are to be found yet again in the Camden area, and this time it's the Stables that the moronic moneymen want to move in on. Where once we had a quirky old antique business, we might soon have a pizza franchise. It's Carnaby Street all over again. It's only the shop owners, tourists, and the shoppers that realise that the success of these places is due to the novelty of it all, the surprises, the bargains, the fun and community. This is another fabulous part of London that's on the verge of being wrecked and perverted because of the greed and ignorance of the developers and local councillors.

Nevermind... Red Ken spent £zillions bringing the sweaty Tour de France over to clog up London's streets, and he's busy making sure that we spend £billions on the 2012 Olympics which will grind London to a standstill for the next few years. They wont rest until our London looks like one giant McDonalds. In the meantime, we are deluged with regressive green taxes and climate change propaganda. This is getting unbearable.

July 2007 It Was The Greatest Cockney Ripoff 
Hello, and welcome back everyone. I was at the new Millenium Dome yesterday, seeing how it had just opened after 7 years of mothballs and raves. And lo and behold and whatever, I think they had done a good job and all, having built a major auditorium for 23,000, surrounded by an entertainment boulevard, palm trees , another multiplex cinema, and some smaller gig places, all under the one roof, or should I say 'tent'. Ok, I think its fine now, but let us not forget, ever, the story of this great carbuncle, and the money the government wasted at our expense. The greatest ripoff? Of should that be the new Wembley Stadium?

Anyway, if it's July 1st, its time for some rather nifty no smoking legislation, and about time too, because smokers stink any place out enough to resemble a stale pub ashtray, and it's on their clothes and breath too. Actually, I've stuck up for smokers rights in the past, and noticed that the best place to hang out in any work place was always the smokers room. Some of the best anarchists I've ever met have been smokers. Some of the best union members, and the best revolutionaries, the best artists. But... ask a smoker politely to please move their cigarette because the smoke is going in your face? Even if you add 'pretty please' You Are Dead. Why do they act like that? Ok, so they hung themselves in my eyes. Even though I was on their side, and I stood up for their rights, smokers have been so rude and inconsiderate and selfish to me over the years, that I gave up on them. Now they are banned from public indoor places in London, and it's absolute Karma at work.

Oh, and good riddance Tony Blair, and oh no, Brown is the new prime minister, but what are the alternatives? I cant stand any of the options. All London's politicos are corrupt, and full of correctness and spin. And serious debate is impossible, or you be branded the as the worst of humanity, or even worse than that. We are all doomed to stay ruled in this police state of cctv control and surveillence stupidity. Help!

Lastly, I read of the sad threatened closure of many tube booking offices, thanks to those lowlife Tfl and the Mayor. We need those offices open and open longer, to get us through the many instances when those oyster machines are just too inadequate. We need explanations, help, a manual transaction, and human intervention. This is just cost cutting, so that Tfl can afford more american consultants who, by their own admission, do absolutely nothing but sit on their hands and take the money.

June 2007 What about MY human rights? 
Well hello everyone, welcome back to the journal. So what's cooking? Apart from the Cutty Sark going up in flames, it was biz as usual. The new Wembley opened, and London got its major stadium back after 7 years. How dumb is that. And the Burger & Chips inside were £8 a throw (up). I shall always miss the old stadium though, with it's twin towers and all, and there were plenty of reminders on TV this week about how wonderful it used to look. Now... the stadium is like any other, and the PR about the 'arch' is pathetic. I hate the new Wembley, especially after hearing all the spin about how 'great' it is. Do they think we're born yesterday?

Made a recce to see a sadly demolished Bishopsgate Goodsyard. All that history gone so they can make another indentikit office complex. Ok, so they have retained that turret on the front gate, and a few other areas I believe, but how miserable it all looks.

That reminds me, I must rejoin the human race, and become more politically correct, and love my government, for these politicians are my elders, and people I should look towards for guidance, for they are our wonderful leaders, don't you know.

Anyway, what else. Oh yes, recce to the old GLC island block, that old roundabout south of Westminster bridge, to see this big mound of earth that it had become, and take in the view before they build on it again. Ugh. And what about this road pricing hell that they will thrust upon us? The more I read about that, the more my will to live evaporated. Unbelievable. They will track us everywhere. Then I heard: Baliffs will now have the right to break into your home! I also read and read every day about this recycling madness and multiple bin syndrome which had made London town an eyesore everywhere and increased street rubbish to resemble 1978. Ultimately, this whole charade is just a mission to control us all, invade our lives, scrutinise our actions, and charge more tax. Just like loyalty cards, Oyster cards, id cards, cctv, chip implants, & mobile tracking: Big Brethrenis watching you...

The London Destruction Website.