Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Colour Supplement

Time to illustrate part of my daily journey to work. (All pix are clickable thumbnails, if you wish to see the picture at a decent size).
Barons Court Platform view Our tour begins in Baron's Court station. I have spent many happy hours waiting for trains such as the one illustrated to arrive. Actually this train is heading on east into central London but you get the idea.

Barons Court Entrance and Booking Hall
We exit through the wonderful green tiled booking hall, built by typical Victorians who assumed that everyone was a midget and no more than about 50 people an hour would ever use the station. It only takes one newspaper seller (in the evenings they set up stall on the right), one tourist fumbling at the ticket machine and one irritated commuter with rucksack (a part I frequently play) and the entrance is blocked solid.

Fortunately it was not too crowded today so I was able to take the shot of the outside without being flattened by the hordes pounding in and out. And given the unbelievably narrow street outside that was just as well.
Barons Court Station from street

Note to any Health & Safety Officers - there is no pedestrian crossing in the street facing the station. People just have to fight across the traffic as best they can. One barely has time to admire the splendid frontage. The sign says "District Line" because when the station was built the Piccadilly had not been extended into the Hammersmith area.

Now for the daily life or death challenge - crossing the A4. I have referred many times in this blog to the perils of this road junction. Our view looks back across the junction where Gliddon Road meets the A4, with the station just beyond.
A4 junction

You will notice the car occupying the space reserved for cyclists. This is so routine that no-one bats an eyelid. There is no right turn from the A4 so drivers turn left and swing their cars about, using the bike space. Sometimes two or three attempt this manoeuvre at once, blocking the left turn for people who actually want to go down Gliddon Road. They hoot and make gestures, the drivers in their way (who can do nothing until the lights change) pretend not to notice, the traffic blocking back down the A4 swirls around angrily and everyone has a good time.
Looking down Edith Road

Gliddon Road becomes Edith Road and ends at the junction with Hammersmith Road. This view shows the contrast between the Victorian terraced houses and the modern office blocks that now line Hammersmith Road and dominate the entire area. The houses were built for families with servants - they have grand entrances, basements with separate entrances for tradesmen and deep gardens. They are all now converted into flats and though the houses remain rather imposing, the character of the road has deteriorated.

And so onward through the windswept canyon of Hammersmith Road towards my office.
Olympia looking east
The final landmark is Olympia,a structure that dominates the road and provides the many cafes and pubs round here with much of their business.
more later

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