Monday, 31 August 2009

London Sights

For the third and final report from my London trip, I'll round up various sights spotted during my perambulations.

The National Army Museum in Chelsea is well worth a visit. There were plenty of authentic relics from the earliest days right up to the Falklands War (some later wars were being updated so were not open to the public at the time). It's a magnificent collection, covering several floors.

Photos could not be taken inside but I snapped a few outside.

The Chelsea Physic Garden was the next place on my list (it's very close to the Army Museum). The plaque provides sufficient detail for now.

Unfortunately, just after taken the snap above, I encountered a locked gate and a large wall. I'll never get over it; the garden is closed on Saturdays! Oh well, maybe next time.

I decided to backtrack slightly and call in for a look at the Royal Hospital. It was founded in 1682 by King Charles II for the 'succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war'.

He looks like he's been there a long time...but in fact it's only been a decade and it's all thanks to the Mayor of Darlington.

The hospital buildings and gardens are magnificent and peaceful.

A Chelsea war memorial, possibly dating back to the time they had to play Millwall on a regular basis, with the Royal Court Theatre in the background.

Marble Arch - the original gateway to Buckingham Palace. It was moved when they realised that it was too small. Apparently the ears of Prince Charles proved to be the sticking point.

'Maybe it's big-horse I'm a Londoner...' (Were you expecting the 'why the long face' joke...?)This bronze statue has only been there since July 2009. It's not clear whether or not it's going to eventually include the rest of the horse.

The fountains are new also. It's all part of a major redevelopment of the Marble Arch area.

Trafalgar Square provided plenty of photo opportunities.

King George the Fourth. Contrary to popular belief, he didn't invent fractions.

One of the famous lions, who guard Nelson while he stands atop his column.

From that angle it's only a half-Nelson, but jump as I might I couldn't get much closer.

Henry Havelock is best known for his service during the Indian Mutiny. The plinth reads:

To Major General Sir Henry Havelock KCB and his brave companions in arms during the campaign in India 1857. "Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your valour, will not be forgotten by a grateful country"

Ken Livingstone had a desire to see HH's statue replaced with one that 'ordinary Londoners would know', suggesting that some privations and sufferings have indeed been forgotten.

Notice the lack of pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Ken didn't like those either and he was successful in his plan to 'give them the bird'. It's good to know he didn't just fritter away his time in power. Help may be at hand for our feathered friends:

It was good to meet up with Julian Allinson again. This time we opted for an Italian meal rather than an Indian ( ). The food was good and the company was even better.

Julian and Emma-Jane

That's all folks! Another London trip is on the cards before the end of the year. I still didn't get around to going on The Eye!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sixth Sense

Sixth Sense
George IV Public House and Comedy Club


I was fortunate in that this convention, 'celebrating 25 years of Colin Baker as the Doctor' was on during my recent trip to London.

Fantom Films have an established record of enjoyable events. With tickets limited to 60, their conventions have an intimate feel about them. There were several Q&A panels throughout the day, followed by signing sessions. Several of the guests were making their convention debuts, so the whole day had a very fresh feel to it.

The format of the day worked very well. Sometimes at conventions, one has to miss bits of the panels in order to attend the signings but here there was no clash of interests as the signings had their own time slots between the panels. A very sensible arrangement, but it probably wouldn't work, time-wise, for conventions dealing with greater numbers.

The venue was fine and there were plenty of eating places, coffee shops and the like very close by.

The main focus of attention fell on the various parts of 'Trial of a Timelord' and 'Timelash'.

The 'Trial of a Timelord parts 1-4' panel

Gordon Warnecke and Michael Craig

Gordon Warnecke (Tusa in 'Trial of a Timelord 7-8)

Michael Craig (Travers in 'Trial of a Timelord 9-12')

Billy McColl (Humker in 'Trial of a Timelord 1-4')

Sion Tudor Owen (Tandrell in 'Trial of a Timelord 1-4')

Adam Blackwood (Balazar in 'Trial of a Timelord 1-4')
He lives is Chiswick and still occasionally wears
his yellow boiler suit costume from the show!

Colin Baker - always great value and very entertaining.

Dominic Glynn (music composer)

Pennant Roberts (Director) signing a book for me...upside down!

Oh, yes - most amusing!

Jeananne Crowley (Vena in 'Timelash')

Dominic Glynn

Meeting the Sixth Doctor

Glen McCoy (writer of 'Timelash')

Happy Birthday to the Sixth Doctor!

The 'Timelash' panel

Maggie Stables (Evelyn Smythe in the Big Finish audio plays)

Robert Ashby (The Borad in 'Timelash')

India Fisher (Charley Pollard in the Big Finish audio plays)

I've known Si Hunt a long time but this is the first time
I've ever met him (that's time travel for you)

For details of other events by Fantom Films, please visit: