Thursday 12 June 2008


Tonight Rich and I visited the Telectroscope. This amazing exhibit allows you to stand on the South Bank in London (close to Tower Bridge) and wave at people standing in New York (near I think, the Brooklyn Bridge). Although open since the end of May the exhibit closes Sunday so we thought we'd better go and see it before it was too late.

We arrived from London Bridge, so from the rear of the Telectroscope (which is located just by City Hall). We were pleased to see that there didn't appear to be a queue. So we got our £1 entry fee ready and waited at the booth. It seemed to be taking quite a while for the people in front of us to pay, and I assumed that they were having a conversation with the ticket seller. Not so. The delay was due to the unique nature of the ticket booth. It was a mechanical booth with a pair of hands coming out from behind a curtain. At the deposit of your pound the hands 'wrote' your ticket and it shot down a hatch for collection, a new ticket appearing under the pen ready to be despatched. Cute. You walk around the side of the exhibit to the tunnel mouth where you look down at the screen.

The actual device is more impressive than standing waving at people in New York (which unless you have arranged to 'meet' a friend gets old pretty fast).

We walked back through a shopping arcade which appeared to be modelled on the late 19th Century railway stations (past, bizarrely and exhibition about the wonder of the potato!) and hopped back on the tube to North Greenwich.

Once there we 'popped' into the O2 for a drink. The square outside the O2 (which is still divided by hoardings, and therefore is still hard to imagine the claim that it is bigger than Leicester Square) has sprouted pavement fountains, which proved far too much temptation for a group of small children! To go into the O2 you have to pass through airport type security, and I felt quite cheated that I wasn't actually going anywhere other than the Slug and Lettuce!

Oh, and finally I discovered what the construction works that I've been seeing every morning are all about. I've watched as piling rigs came and went, several cranes and a fairly major steel superstructure has been erected. It is, apparently, some sort of educational establishment.