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  • Unusual monuments and sculptures in the UK

    Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    I heard tell of a very unusual hidden gem of a sculpture that can be found in Greenwich (see below). There must be more out there, I thought, hundreds more as it happens, dotted throughout the UK. Below is just a handful, each as unique and unexpected as the last. Monument of a Dead Parrot Created in 2009 by the artist John Reardon, this painted bronze sculpture stands in the grounds of the ...

  • Curious discoveries made during construction work

    Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Picture this, you’re in the process of clearing ground before construction begins, when suddenly the digger hits something unexpected… I literally fell head first down a virtual rabbit hole of curious and amazing finds from around the world. Below is a tiny selection from the UK, found either during construction or renovation works. York Helmet Discovered in 1982 by mechanical digger operator ...

  • London's lost rivers

    Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Did you know that in many parts of London you could be standing within inches of one of its numerous lost rivers and not even realise it? Turns out London was once abundant with pretty streams and rivers but as the City grew the marshlands and streams feeding the Thames began to get in the way of growth. This rapid expansion saw a majority of rivers degrade firstly into open sewers then closed ...

  • Follies

    Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    folly [ˈfɒli] NOUN A costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park. An architectural structure that isn’t always what it appears to be. The very first folly built c1595 was Sir Thomas Tresham’s triangular shaped Rushton Lodge in Northamptonshire. It is a testament to Tresham’s Roman Catholicism: the number three, ...

  • Little blog about living green walls

    Posted on Monday, July 12, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Slightly obsessed with green walls, also known as living walls or vertical gardens. The concept of living walls dates back to 600 BC with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with a series of tiered terraces resting upon cube-shaped pillars, which in turn were filled with trees and lush foliage. ...

  • Funny, bizarre and down-right dangerous design fails.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Back in the day I manned a new-build show house. The design of the under-stairs cloakroom placed the toilet under a very low sloping ceiling with no head height for the average adult, this little detail was embarrassingly pointed out by just about every viewer! Recently reminded of this flaw I started delving into the numerous funny, bizarre and down-right dangerous design fails from around the ...

  • The man who changed time

    Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Duly changed the clocks forward an hour on Sunday for the start of British Summer Time (apart from the car, that’ll remain in winter until I remember how to do it), but this year was different because I actually wondered why, who and when this all came about. So here goes, a very brief history of the man who changed time. His name was William Willett, born in 1856 he was a successful builder who ...

  • Historical graffiti has a story to tell.

    Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Crude scratches to elaborate tags, graffiti has been knocking around for millennia. The earliest graffiti was created well before written language, the best-known example of this can be seen in the ‘Caves of Hands’ in Argentina which dates back to 5,000 BC and is quite literally hand prints in a cave! Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for 'cave of hands') located in province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. A ...

  • How to view your area's past

    Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    HOW TO VIEW YOUR AREA'S PAST Curious as to what your area looked like back in the late 1800s? Want to compare then with more modern times? I did just that. Very fortunate to have found a fabulous website of old British maps with a free 'search your location' section. There is a nifty map slider tool that allows you to view your chosen location in map form through time, from the Victoria era up to ...

  • Neasden's forgotten history?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

    Bit of a trip down memory lane for this month’s blog. My grandad lived all his life in one of the little railway cottages (as they were known) in Quainton Street, Neasden. Poetic license to call them cottages, I remembered a freezing cold, cramped, terraced house with an outside loo! I guess with nostalgic rose-tinted specs on, they did have a certain charm. As kids my brother and I spent every ...