Down Street: Churchill’s Secret Tube

architecture, B&W, History, Travel

Down Street was once part of the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (now known as the Piccadilly line) and stood between Hyde Park Corner and Green Park. After these two stations expanded its use as a tube station became redundant and it was closed in 1932.

It became active again in 1938 during the build up to WWII, the Railway Executive Committee (REC) used it as a bomb proof HQ to house 40 staff during air raids and bombings over London.

There’s only one entrance/exit to the outside, not great in case of fire.

Signage to the street

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Ventilation was key, especially so Churchill and other execs could smoke in the underground HQ!

Ventilation shafts in Down Street

Down Street tube station

Old signage showing the direction of the trains

To Finsbury Park

A fully functional kitchen used to serve caviar during the war! Not much left now.
The kitchen @ Down Street

The platforms were turned in to corridors as part of the REC HQ, doesn’t look much like a tube station anymore.

The platform.

Interesting the REC architects decided to paint over the original tile works, apparently the “yellow paint” made it more homely for those working 12 hour shifts underground.

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London Brutalism: A study in concrete

architecture, art, B&W, History

Many people think its an eyesore, others love the geometry. Brutalism is a form of architecture that started in the mid-1950s characterised by its raw concrete exterior and repeated modular elements forming a unified structure.

One of the most famous examples is the Barbican development.

Descend

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Another prime example of this style can be found along the Southbank, the sprawling complex of the National Theatre and Southbank Centre.

Brutalism London

London Brutalism

London Brutalism

Brutalism London

Famed for being one of the most hideous examples and also now left to rot after being found full asbestos. Robin Hood Gardens.

Brutalism London

Brutalism London

Brutalism London

Abbeyfield Road, Bermondsey.

Brutalism London
Brutalism London

Hampton Court Palace

History, landscape

A friend kindly lent me a couple of lens; a wide angle 11-16mm which I have had my eye on for a while; I’ve fallen in love with wide angle….goodbye savings!

A few shots taken around Hampton Court Palace.
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Getting lost in a maze…warning the maze isn’t “amaze-ing”, however it is the oldest puzzle maze in the UK.

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Choose wisely..many Tudors have been lost for days.

Choose wisely!

The haunting.

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Garden gate
 

Spring in Decay.
Spring in Decay

The strangest shop I’ve seen in London; essentially a small building full of junk and bric-a-brac with a mobile number to call if you were interested in anything. Saves on staff costs I suppose…..

Little shop of curiosities

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Home Sweet Home (Canada Water)Canada Water

Night Photography: Part 1 of many.

landscape

Exploring the city at night is great fun; less traffic,less people and incredible lighting.

This was the first time I’ve ever attempted night photography and the first time I’ve ever used a tripod. Note to self: go later in the night to avoid having hundreds of people asking for photos!

I thought I’d keep it simple and choose fairly obvious landmarks as my practice..Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tower Bridge from afar

Tower Bridge

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Now that I no longer have to look at another ICAEW textbook I thought I’d try and re-create the front cover….Wish I knew how to properly expose all the details though (eg clockface)

Big Ben

London Eye

London Eye

London Eye

Also now that I have photoshop can have some fun:

London Eye Gif

Day 1: The Learning Curve

landscape, trees, Wildlife

Today was the first day I’ve managed to get out and about with my new toy; after finally taking the plunge and investing in a DSLR I thought I should take the time to learn how to shoot properly utilising the full manual mode of the camera.

With a bit of research from a few great websites which gave me a basic understanding of DOF, Aperture, Shutter speed etc.

This is a fantastic resource to start with:

http://www.iheartfaces.com/2012/12/getting-started-with-new-camera/

Here are the results; hopefully with practice I’ll see some improvements over time. No post processing used, haven’t even started to learn adobe lightroom yet.

Any comments/help to improve would be appreciated!
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https://flic.kr/p/umR8g4

This shot took me ages to capture the colours I wanted when trying to capture the blue of the sky and retain the lush green of the tree. After fiddling with the white balance (definitely something I need to read more into) the result is closer to what i was expecting.
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https://flic.kr/p/vgjM45