The Anonymous Widower

The Harrods Of The East End

I’d never heard of Wickham’s Department Store known in East End folklore as the Harrods of the East End, until I read about the building and its troubles in Private Eye.

Note how the two parts of the building are different sizes, with an off-centre tower. All caused because the jewellers in the middle wouldn’t sell out.

If you need to know more, there’s an excellent article here.

May 14, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Double Handrail At London Bridge

I’ve been up these steps many times in the past and don’t remember the double handrail in the middle.

A Double Handrail At London Bridge

A Double Handrail At London Bridge

They seem to be springing up in a lot of places in London. They certainly makes the steps a lot safer. Especially for me, as my left hand isn’t the best.

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Maritime Tour Of England

My trip to Portsmouth yesterday, got me thinking.

As I waited for my train to return to London, there was a First Great Western train waiting in Portsmouth Harbour station waiting to depart to Cardiff via Bristol.

So why if you are thinking of visiting England  and you’re interested in the sea and ships, why not visit England’s three western maritime cities; Portsmouth, Bristol and Liverpool? All have their main attractions close to the city centres and with the exception of Bristol, the stations are too!

Trains between Portsmouth and Bristol are every hour and take about two and a half hours and those between Bristol and Liverpool have the same frequency but take just over three hours.

So it is feasible to perhaps start your trip in London and then spend say two or three days in each city.  Remember that Portsmouth and Bristol are near to excellent beaches for swimming and sunbathing and Liverpool is near to the amazing beach at Formby with its statues by Antony Gormley.

After Liverpool, you might carry on to Newcastle or Glasgow for a maritime theme or take the flight home from either Liverpool or Manchester airports.

As all cities are to the west, the weather is more likely to be sunny and warm, than some other places I could mention. The weather in Portsmouth yesterday was supposed to be of cloud and rain, but I ended in the sun all day.

Two things would improve your trip.

Some rail companies allow you to break your journey, provided you keep going in the same direction.  So for instance, between Portsmouth and Bristol, you might like to break your journey at Salisbury for lunch.

But if you do, I suspect there’s no Left Luggage facilities at the station.

As to hotels, you would obviously pay your money and take your choice.  I think that in each city, there are ones at all prices in the city centres or by the stations.

Remember if you’re over sixty, you can buy a Senior Railcard for a third off rail fares. If you are someone, who can stick to a timetable, the three tickets linking London, Portsmouth, Bristol and Liverpool, booked in advance over the Internet will probably cost around £30 each leg or £20 with a Railcard.

Judging by the number of foreign tourists, that I meet on trains, this type of holiday is getting much more common.

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment