Thursday, 27 February 2020

Leicester Square Statues

Celebrating a century of cinema a set of new statues were unveiled today in Leicester Square. The bronze representations of movie stars and characters are placed around the Square.

Most of them are around the main grass area in the centre, although Batman and Wonder Woman take a few more moments to find

Approaching from the south west corner the first character I came across was Bugs Bunny, straight out of his rabbit hole surrounded by carrots!

Next up is Gene Kelly hanging from a lamp-post as Don Lockwood from 'Singing in the Rain' - happily although it was raining heavily when they were unveiling them this morning the sun was out by lunchtime!

Not far up from him Mary Poppins and her umbrella were coming in to land. Given the earlier weather there were plenty of people with their own brollies trying to recreate the moment...

Taking a break on benches in the central area were Mr Bean and Paddington bear - quite a crowd of people here waiting to take selfies!

Also in this area Charlie Chaplin watching the world go by.

Just to the north of the Square bursting through a wall, Wonder Woman. I'm guessing the purple cloth spoiling the view was left from the shroud that was removed at the unveiling?!

On the roof of the Odeon on the east side of the Square, keeping an eye on proceedings, is Batman. Quite a steep view to look up, but the view from the far side of the square is interrupted by trees.

The last pair I saw, as I walked back along the south side of the Square were Laurel and Hardy - again the immediate view was a little interrupted by a tree. I suppose the trees are better now that they are leafless then they will be come Summer!

You can visit the statues in Leicester Square until 30th June.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Phone boxes

K6 Phone box
K2 Phone box
Red phone boxes can be found all over the country; and on almost every street corner in Central London. The K2 is the older model and K6 the more recent version (K stands for kiosk).

K1 was the first design; Historic England lists six  (Grade II listed) none of which are on the streets of London. The K1 dates back to 1920.

The K2 followed in 1924 as the result of a competition won by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The K2 is easily recognisable by its equal sized panes of glass.

The K3, K4 and K5 were not widely distributed (if at all in the case of the K5) - and the next significant development is the K6. The K6 has one wide of pane with two narrower panes either side and is somewhat smaller than the K2.

All phone boxes had a crown above the 'telephone' representing the British Government; at the time phone boxes were run by the post office who were, at the time, part of the Government.

K2 phone boxes have an embossed crown which doubles as a ventilation hole. On K6 phone boxes the crown is represented in bas-relief and a ventilation hole is provided elsewhere.

In 1953 Queen Elizabeth replaced the Tudor Crown which had been used to represent the monarchy with the St Edward's Crown (the crown used at coronations) - a pair of K6 phone boxes are shown here with the St Edward's Crown on the right

Thursday, 6 June 2019

D-Day Landings

Much of the planning for the D-Day Landings took pace at Norfolk House on St James's Square in London. To commemorate this and the 75th Anniversary of the landings this commemorative postbox has been installed on St James's Square - just turn left out of Charles II Street.