The Anonymous Widower

De Beauvoir Square

This is my local square, which is about fifteen minutes walk.


  1. C and I tried to buy one of the Dutch style houses in the square from the screenwriter; Alun Owen in about 1971.
  2. It would have cost just £7,500. Now a hundred times that, wouldn’t buy it!
  3. There was a gardener at work.

De Beauvoir Town is not what you’d expect in Hackney.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | | Leave a comment

Walking Through De Beauvoir Town

I took these pictures as I walked through de Beauvoir Town, as I walked through today on my way to and from the doctor’s to get my hand dressed.

There wasn’t many people about and I perhaps only got within three metres to one person and her dog.

What would help would be a few seats, so that elderly people like me could take a break.

March 23, 2020 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

The Need For Small Offices In London

The De Beauvoir Block is a block near me, that contains several dozen small office units.

As the pictures show, the offices in the extension, seem to be all spoken for.

Brexit may or may not be happening, but London still seems to be going its own way!

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Business | , | Leave a comment

Dalston Goes French

I know that De Beauvoir Town, where I live, is next to Dalston’s Kingsland Road, which is the local High Street, but surely for the local Marks and Spencer to sell sandwiches labelled in French is going a bit far.

What would the Rees-Moggies say of this?

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

Why I’m In Favour Of Cycling Superhighways

Near me there is a junction, which drivers access, like Lewis Hamilton going into the pits at Silverstone.

It means they can get through to the City quicker.

But over the last few weeks, the number of drivers taking the bend quickly and putting pedestrians in danger has dropped significantly. I’ve also seen drivers go hurtling off doiwn the road only to come back a couple of minutes later, with faces like thunder.

I just give them a knowing look!

So why has a dangerous junction become a lot safer?

Cycling Superhighway 1, goes across the rat-run and it has been used to choke off the rats, as the pictures show.

I’m now very much in favour of the Cycling Superhughways despite being told by every taxi-driver I use, that they are a complete pain!

But then I don’t drive!

December 24, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Is This How To Do Small Business?

Opposite Ed’s Shed in De Beauvoir Town is an old factory block of indeterminate age, with little architectural merit.

So what is happening?

It is being turned into a series of units for small businesses called the De Beauvoir Block.

Surely, we need more initiatives like this?

I should say, that although De Beauvoir Town is mainly residential, tucked into lots of the nooks and crannies , there are small business units.

Like the De Beauvoir Block, many have been created by the landowner, the Benyon Estate.

The estate are not distant, like many of the owners of large parts of our cities, but seem to want to create a vibrant and prosperous community.

After all, modern economics says they would make more money by flattering the block and building tower blocks of buy-to-leave flats.

The biggest tragedy of the area is that parts of De Beauvoir Town were demolished in the 1960s to build anonymous local authority housing, some of which has already been rebuilt.

The good thing though, is that there are still more nooks, crannies and factories to do some more creative development.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Ed’s Shed

This house is in the heart of De Beauvoir Town, which is the area of London, where I live on the Northern edge.

Ed's Shed

Ed’s Shed

It is an unusual modern house to sit amongst all the Georgian ones. It is not the only one in the Conservation Area.

It’s called Ed’s Shed and there is a web site.

I like it!

Why don’t we get more adventurous modern houses? Architects are creating the future and we don’t want uniformity!

July 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Walking From De Beauvoir Town To London Fields

This walk follows the route that I traced in Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town.

I’ll show the Google Map from that post

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

The route, which I started on Southgate Road is traced by the blue line. I continued up Middleton Road to London Fields.

These are pictures I took on the way.

It is an absolutely flat route, except for the dip under the railway. This will surely encourage people to walk and cycle along it.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

When I wrote Walking From Haggerston Station To Mare Street, I hadn’t realised how the scheme to effectively convert Middleton Road into a car-free route, would affect De Beauvoir Town.

Look at this Google Map, which shows the car-free route across London Fields.

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

The map is rather vague about what happens when it crosses the Kingsland Road and all it shows is a wavy line, which if you enlarge it and use a magnifying glass, has something like Northchurch Road written on it. This Google Map shows the area from Southgate to Kingsland Roads.

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

I think as Middleton Road links up to the South Side of De Beauvoir Square, that the downward kink in the route is De Beauvoir Square, so the route goes past St.Peter’s Church and then up Northchurch Road. For the first part of Northchurch Road, the route is following the route of the Cycle Superhighway CS1, that goes up Culford Road.

The two cycling routes are marked in blue on the map.

If the traffic scheme in London Fields is made permanent, I think I will be pleased, as it would give me a car-free cycle route from my house to the Cultural Quarter of Hackney.

If there were Boris Bike stations in De Beauvoir and London Fields, I wouldn’t even have to buy a bike.

On the other hand the London Fields scheme could generate a lot of cycling traffic through De Beauvoir Town.

Others might not be so pleased!

Later I walked the route and there are photographs of it in Walking From De Beauvoir Town to London Fields

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Walthamstow Doesn’t Like Going Dutch!

This article from the Waltham Forest Guardian is entitled Grand opening of mini Holland scheme dominated by angry protestors.

I have posted it, as we are getting the Cycle Superhighway through where I live in the northern part of D Beauvoir Town in the near future and there are various opposing groups wanting or not wanting road closures and different parking restrictions.

As a Control Engineer, who has quite a bit of experience of dealing with complex liquid flow systems in chemical plants, I think that Councils tend to take a too definitive approach to the problem.

So my experience of chemical plants was in the late 1960s and we used an amazing PACE 231R. But that machine was the state-of-the-art computer of its day for solving differential equations. The computer was also the unrecognised star of the amazing rescue of the astronauts on Apollo 13.

The aim of the modelling in the chemical plant was to get different chemical streams flowing at the right rate into various reaction vessels, where they could be safely reacted and handled. The reaction products would then flow off in a controlled manner in other directions.

On a chemical plant the flows are controlled by various measures, but typically by valves, of which a domestic example is your mains water stop cock.

Often after modelling the flow system, it was found that the various valves were set almost to a fixed position for normal running of the plant.

If you look at traffic flows in say Walthamstow Village, as in the article, or De Beauvoir Town, you have an area bounded by main routes, which is crossed in a random manner by buses, cars, cyclists, pedestrians and trucks.

So what is different between modelling fluid and traffic flows?

Mathematically, it is the same process, but there is no variable method for regulating traffic flows.

The only regulation in De Beauvoir Town and other traffic systems is the brain of cyclists, pedestrians and regular drivers, who adapt their route according to their knowledge.

What the Mini Holland system in Walthamstow and other systems try to do is modify the thought processes of regular uses. The problem is that it may do that with the regular uses, but it doesn’t influence say your casual driver, who ventures into the area.

So in Walthamstow the local businesses and others see the drop in traffic and protest.

We need to apply more subtle ways of regulating the traffic, through areas like Walthamstow Village, that are understood by everybody.

  • Speed limits should be set to twenty and they should be enforced. The Police need all the money they can get, so I would be happy to see mobile enforcement cameras on the top of Police vehicles parked at the side of the road.
  • Computer-controlled traffic lights can be used as restrictors, so for instance at a notorious place where rat-runners enter an area, a pedestrian-crossing with lights could be placed. Timings could be adjusted automatically to the day of the week and time of the day.
  • Speed humps aren’t as affective as they used to be. Perhaps car suspensions are better and Councils have softened them, so they don’t get sued?
  • Cambridge has used rising bollards, that are automatically opened by certain vehicles, like buses, taxis, fire engines and ambulances.
  • Even physical gates can even be opened and closed at various times. Suppose to calm an area, there was a need to shut off a road past a church. Why couldn’t it be opened on Sundays?

We are not being innovative enough.

Solutions like mini Hollands and just shutting routes are just too simplistic for a complex city like London.

As an aside, I’m old enough to remember London’s first experiment in traffic managment.

Green Lanes through Harringay in the 1960s was even more crowded with traffic than it is today. So traffic lights were put every fifty metres or so between Harringay Green Lanes and Turnpike Lane stations. There are quite a lot less lights today.

It cut the traffic through the area, but we all diverted through the side streets and made the lives of residents hell!



November 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment