diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 06, 2024

10 things I've seen/done/read over the last week

Tuesday (a): Last week I wrote a post about housing built on former airfields. Today I found myself standing outside some housing built on a former airfield, a fact made plain by someone mounting a model plane on the front of one block of flats. Additional clues included a plaque and the fact they'd named the road after an aircraft manufacturer.



This is De Havilland Road at the northernmost tip of the borough of Brent, not far from Burnt Oak, which was built on the site of Stag Lane Aerodrome. The plaque explains this and also refers to the de Havilland Aircraft & Engine Companies (1920-1971). It was unveiled on 25th September 2001. I'm a bit late with my photo, sorry, but how brilliant to have an arty wire plane on the front of your stairwell.

Tuesday (b): Chapel Lane in Pinner has a new street sign. I noticed it while I was waiting for the bus. That is one ostentatious new design, Harrow council. Their former design was bland in comparison.



Harrow updated their logo last June from a coloured sausage to a hifalutin coat of arms. They're clearly very pleased with it because they're now slapping it at the ends of roads whereas the previous street sign was logo-free. It's also now monochrome whereas the previous version had the postcode district in red. Formerly I'd have said London's most ostentatious street signs were those for Greenwich, who started incorporating coats of arms when the borough went Royal in 2012, but I think Harrow now trumps that. Several boroughs have really unshowy street signs, just names on a white background, but the least upbeat borough must be Bexley whose street signs feature a steaming turd behind a defecating dog.

Wednesday (a): I have an unwritten list of all the famous people I've bumped into unexpectedly while travelling around London which includes Una Stubbs, Su Pollard and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I can now add Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to that list because he was getting onto a District line train at Embankment this morning as I was getting off. Safely sidestepped.

Wednesday (b): Back in 2018, you may remember, I rode every bus route in London. Not the entire route, just at least one stop on each, and not nightbuses or schoolbuses because there is a limit to excess. It took me five months. Readers were generally congratulatory although one took time to "sincerely hope that your mental health is OK". In 2023 I gave it another try and this time completed the full tally in three months. I thought that was going some. But in 2024 I started again on 1st January and managed to ride all 543 of them within a calendar month. I admit I got a bit carried away.



This is an extremely non-trivial task, indeed if you do the maths you'll see I had to average 18 buses a day. I also made it slightly harder this time by riding at least two stops on each route, not one. The hardest routes to ride were the excessively infrequent (347/375/R5/etc), the strictly time-limited (385/389/H3/etc) and the wilfully peripheral (428/467/497/etc). But a lot of other routes were readily ticked-off (back and forth across Waterloo Bridge/repeated twiddling up Orpington High Street/etc) and some careful geographic planning got me through. I won't repeat my tactical considerations because those are previously blogged.

Anyway I'd like to apologise that my blogging throughout January was restricted by this preoccupation which meant I brought you fewer in-depth reports from around the capital than usual. That said, January was also the second most successful month ever on this blog, visitorwise, so maybe I should just go back and ride pointless buses more often. Don't worry, I have no intention of doing it all over again, but if any of you think you can do the whole lot in fewer than 31 days you're welcome to try.

Thursday: I'm saving this one for Unblogged February at the end of the month otherwise I'll have nothing unblogged left to say.

Friday: A local reader got in touch with further details of the supermarket rebrand on my local garage forecourt. Apparently the Co-op closed at 6pm on 31st January and reopened at 10am on 2nd February. I checked the timestamp on my photo and was amazed to find I'd taken it at 10:02, i.e. the new Asda Express had been open for only two minutes!



I have never seen a younger supermarket.

Saturday: When I wrote about the SL5, southeast London's new Superloop route, I may have given the impression that all the tiles at all the bus stops were correct. This was not the case. At the Chinese Garage the tiles on the northbound stop mistakenly say 356 and SL5, whereas they should say 358 and SL5 (like the southbound stop across the road).



Apparently the stops at Upper Elmers End Road are also incorrect.

Sunday: Last March I moaned that TfL had painted a 20 speed limit on the cobbles of Kitcat Terrace E3, this because nobody had the sense to overpaint the former 30 on the tarmac in front. One year on this 20 had finally started to fade and I could imagine the day when the numerical intrusion might be barely legible. But no, contractors made their way down Bow Road overnight and repainted the white lines on all the approach roads, including repainting the offending 20 so it shows up bright as new.



What we have here is a blunder doubled-down, a sequencing error reinforced by annual maintenance and which may now never go away. If you're responsible for the repainting schedule - hello, and could you perhaps add a note so that next year the 20 is shifted to the end of the street where the 30 used to be, allowing this cobbled defacement to fade away?

Monday (a): This morning TfL announced a consultation on extending the DLR to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside. All sorts of people got excited at the prospect, overlooking that TfL had announced exactly the same potential DLR extension in June last year. Admittedly last time it was a feasibility study and this time it's a consultation so it's one step closer, but how quickly we forget.



This time a lot more background information has been provided, mainly to explain why they chose this route and not any other. Apparently they looked into DLR extensions from Woolwich, Overground extensions from Barking, longer extensions, shorter extensions, even a brief tram from Abbey Wood but no other option delivered. That said, the key objective here is to unlock new housing either side of the Thames and only the DLR extension links both so it was always going to win out. It's also telling that TfL want to put the nail in the coffin of the Thames Gateway Bridge by removing all existing safeguarding on the land so even more housing can be crammed in. And only 60 years late.

Monday (b): Back in 2015 I wrote a much-shared post identifying all the areas of London that were more than two miles from a station. There aren't many, indeed by the time we'd drawn an accurate map it turned out there were only six. All are in zone 6 apart from one which lies in the southeast corner of Richmond Park by the Robin Hood Gate. Today I just happened to be in the southeast corner of Richmond Park so I checked on an app and I can confirm yes, it really is more than two miles from a station.



2.1 miles from Norbiton, 2.1 miles from Mortlake, 2.1 miles from Barnes and 2.2 miles from North Sheen. Nowhere in non-peripheral London is further from a station.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan24  Feb24  Mar24  Apr24
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23  Jul23  Aug23  Sep23  Oct23  Nov23  Dec23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
broken tv
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
the greenwich wire
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain
London's most...

read the archive
Apr24  Mar24  Feb24  Jan24
Dec23  Nov23  Oct23  Sep23
Aug23  Jul23  Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2023 2022
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv