The Anonymous Widower

The Old Hackney Town Hall

These pictures show the Old Hackney Town Hall.

It is now a pub and Grade II Listed.

Behind the building is the Grade I Listed St.Augustine’s Tower, which is all that remains of the 16th Century parish church of St. Augustine.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | 4 Comments

Levelling Up – The Marks & Spencer Way

When I first moved to Dalston, there were three convenient Marks and Spencer stores within a few bus stops.

 

  • Angel, which is a basically a food store with a floor of clothes above, where my grandmother used to shop before the First World and C and I used to shop in the 1970s, when we lived in the Barbican.
  • Moorgate, which is a small department store, with a medium-sized food department in the basement, which I use regularly.
  • Hackney, which was a very small department store with a poor food department, was convenient as on some of my journeys, I would get a bus home  from outside the store.

Over the last ten years, more Marks and Spencer stores have sprung up, Archway, Camden Town, Dalston, Eastfield, Hampstead, Liverpool Street, Old Street and West Hampstead, which I use occasionally, as they are on routes home.

This morning I went to the eye hospital in Colindale and coming home, I got a 32 bus to Brondesbury for the Overground.

As I needed some food, I had various choices of journey home.

  • Get off at West Hampstead and do my shopping there, and then get back on the train.
  • Get off at Hampstead Heath and do my shopping there, with a light lunch in le Pain Quotidien.
  • Get off at Dalston Kingsland and do my shopping there, with a bus home.
  • Get off at Hackney Central and do my shopping there, with a bus home.

Unusually, I chose the last option and got a big surprise.

I had been worried that Marks and Spencer in Hackney would close, but now it has been turned into the most upmarket Marks and Spencer food store, I’ve ever seen.

  • It’s more Knightsbridge. than Hackney
  • It’s large and spacious.
  • There are large ranges of tea and coffee, that you normally don’t see in the store.
  • The decor is localised to the store.
  • It is only about a hundred metres from Hackney Central station and fifty metres on the flat from my bus home.
  • It’s even just called Marks & Spencer Food

Now that’s what I call levelling up!

 

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Bus Robbery

Transport for London (TfL) obviously don’t like people where I live in the Northern part of De Beauvoir Town in the London Borough of Hackney.

When I moved here, ten years ago there were six bus routes that passed through the traffic lights where the Balls Pond Road (It is not a made-up-name from Round The Horne) and Southgate Road/Mildmay Park meet.

  • 21 – Newington Green and Lewisham Shopping Centre
  • 30 – Marble Arch and Hackney Wick (From the sublime to the ridiculous?)
  • 38 – Victoria station and the romantic Clapton Pond
  • 56 – Bart’s Hospital and Whipps Cross (You’d be cross, if you’d been whipped!)
  • 141 – London Bridge Station and Palmers Green North Circular Road (Surely, another romantic destination!)
  • 277 – Highbury & Islington Station and Crossharbour

Note.

  1. We had two bus routes to and from Highbury & Islington station for Dear Old Vicky!
  2. We had two bus routes to and from Moorgate, Bank and the City of London.
  3. We had four bus routes to and from Dalston Junction station and the cultural attractions of Hackney Central.
  4. We had a direct bus to Canary Wharf.

TfL looked at the name of the district and thought the posh French name, meant we were all had expensive vehicles or Hackney carriages and said we had too many buses.

So in June 2018,  the 277 bus was cut back to Dalston Junction station and TfL promised that the frequency of the 30 bus would be increased. We’re still waiting for extra services.

Now, if you want to go to Highbury & Islington station, according to TfL’s Journey Planner, it’s often quicker to take a 38 or 56 bus to Essex Road station and take a train.

To make matters worse the 30 bus route now has cheap and nasty Egyptian-built buses with more steps than Russia. All buses should have flat floors like the New Routemasters.

What is TfL’s latest crime?

The 21 and 271 buses are going to be combined into a new route between Lewisham and Highgate, which will go nowhere near the Balls Pond Road.

So we’ll just have the one bus route to the City of London.

On past form, if TfL say they will increase the frequency, I wouldn’t believe them.

I think that TfL have ignored some problems.

The Elderly And Disabled

Between Newington Green and Englefield Road, a higher proportion of the passengers getting on the 21 and 141 buses seem to be in these groups.

  • As it’s a nice place to live, I suspect many elderly people have just stayed on.
  • I believe that North of the Balls Pond Road, there are some care homes and sheltered housing.

Have TfL analysed their passengers?

Not Everybody Has Cars

There are several blocks of social housing on the Newington Green and Englefield Road stretch and you see a lot of passengers who don’t look like car owners.

The lack of parking and the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods don’t help.

Access To Waterloo

My quickest way to Waterloo, which is London’s busiest rail terminal, is to take a bus to Bank and then get the Drain.

A halved service to Bank station will probably force me to take longer routes.

Tradition

When I was a child in the 1950s, the 141 was the 641 trolley bus, which ran between Winchmore Hill and Moorgate.

People, who live in Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Manor House still commute to the City by bus, as people have done for over a hundred years.

I suspect a lot of commuters change from the Piccadilly Line to the 141 bus at Manor House station. I certainly use that route if I’m going to Southgate or Cockfosters.

The 21 bus starts at Newington Green, which means if you want to go from Balls Pond Road to Bank, you’ll usually get on a 21 bus, as the 141 buses are full with passengers from further North.

So it looks like to get to Moorgate, we’ll need to get a bus to Angel and then get the Northern Line, after the rerouting of the 21 bus.

Crossrail

This will have a big effect.

Suppose you live in Wood Green and want to get to Crossrail.

There is no obvious connection, but tradition will mean your preferred route will be to take a 141 bus between Manor House and Moorgate.

There will also be a quick route between Moorgate and Liverpool Street station, that I wrote about in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster.

We will need the 21 bus to provide us with a route to Crossrail, as the 141 buses will be full.

Conclusion

The 21 bus is needed where it is and mustn’t be stolen.

 

 

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Waterloo & City line To Operate All Day By The End Of November

The title of this post, is the same as this article on City AM.

Hallelujah!

Here in Hackney, it’s our best route to Waterloo, as we have several buses to Bank. I have two; the 21 and 141.

Let’s hope the Drain continues to work during the Great Blockade in the New Year, whilst the Northern Line is connected to the new tunnel at Bank.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When Will It Ever End?

They’re at it again digging up the pavement on Southgate Road in Hackney

Note.

  1. This time the bus-stop I regularly use is shut!
  2. There were no signs up, that this work would be going on.
  3. At least the guys seem to be doing a good job.

Over the last six months, we’ve had water, telecoms and pavement layers digging everything up. Sometimes, I feel trapped as all the bus stops are closed.

There hasn’t been as much work on the Islington side of the road, but then you can always tell when you cross the border between plebeian Hackney and posh Islington, as the pavements get worse.

I’ve only fallen over twice on the street since my stroke and both times it was in Islington.

 

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

Are Disposable Nappies A Wasted Resource?

I stated my views on disposable nappies in this post called Disposable Nappies, where this was the first sentence.

From a scientifically green point of view, in many places I’m against using disposable nappies, as they clog sewers, end up in landfill and I’ve even seen them in litter bins in parks. We used real nappies for all our three children in the seventies, washing them ourselves in a machine for the first and then using a nappy service for the last two.

But dirty nappies contain a lot of the ingredients, that can be used to make hydrocarbons.

This article from the Sunday Times in 2018 is entitled Syngas, The New Jet Fuel — Stinky Nappies And Coffee Cups.

These are the first two paragraphs of The Times article.

With their packed cabins and recycled air, long-haul passenger jets are the last place where you would want to encounter the whiff of a dirty nappy.

However, old nappies are to be used — along with other non-recyclable waste such as meal packaging and takeaway coffee cups — to power British Airways planes.

Syngas is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and some carbon dioxide. Some countries without access to petroleum or diesel created syngas and then used the Fischer–Tropsch process to create the fuels they needed. The process doesn’t have a good reputation as the two main countries to use the process were Germany under the Nazis and South Africa during apartheid.

Why is the use of this process being revived to produce aviation biofuel or sustainable aviation fuel for British Airways?

According to Wikipedia, it can save between 20 and 98 % of carbon emissions compared to conventional jet fuel.

The same process can also make biodiesel for buses, trains and trucks

It’s certainly an area, where a lot of research is going on! Just type “syngas nappies” or “syngas diapers” into Google and you’ll get a lot of serious hits.

By my front door I have a well-designed blue bin.

This is for my food waste bin, which is collected once a week.

This page on the Hackney web site is entitled Food Waste Recycling, and this is said about where the food waste goes.

Food waste from households in Hackney is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in south east England, where it’s turned into renewable energy to power homes and biofertiliser to be spread on local farmland to grow crops.

A similar bin of an appropriate size could be used for nappies.

The nappies would go to an appropriate recycling site, instead of down the toilet or into landfill.

 

 

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Covid: Hackney Railway Arch Rave Attended By ‘300 People’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

Police have issued more than £15,000 in fines after 300 people attended an illegal rave in a railway arch.

Officers raided an unlicensed music event in Nursery Road, Hackney, at 01.30 GMT on Sunday.

Sounds to me, that the safest way to handle this number of ravers, is to use a water cannon, firing smart water, so they can be identified for a couple of weeks.

January 25, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 5 Comments

The Liverpool And Hackney Puzzle

I know Liverpool well, as I was there as a student in the 1960s and now help fund cancer research in the University.

I now live in Hackney, which is a very mixed borough in London and not unlike lots of Liverpool in parts.

It puzzles me and some of the researchers I know in Liverpool, why Liverpool has a rate of the covids, which is five times higher than it is where I live.

October 14, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment

A Useful Tool

The Times has added a useful tool to its web site, which shows the latest figures for the covids, according to a particular post code. It also shows the rules that apply.

This is the display for Hackney, where I live.

And this is the one for Liverpool, where I go regularly, although, I’ve only been once since March.

I shall use these displays to check before I travel.

Perhaps, The Times or another organ, should do something of a similar ilk for countries and places, we might want to visit.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

What Happened In Hackney On Friday?

These are total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVOD-19 in Hackney over the last few days.

  • 9th May – 622, 0
  • 10th May – 623, 1
  • 11th May 624, 1
  • 12th May – 624, 0
  • 13th May – 624, 0
  • 14th May – 626, 2
  • 15th May – 626, 0
  • 16th May – 637, 11

What happened on Friday?

You have to go back to the 21st of April to find a larger figure.

Could it be that the COVID-19 testers raided an illegal gathering, care home or a house with large numbers of people living in it, in close proximity?

Or could it be the fallout from the parties in Hackney Marshes and London Fields, last weekend, that were reported in Monday’s edition of The Times.

So do you reap, what you sow?

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Health | , | 10 Comments