The Crypton Factor

the-crypton-factor_2I took a stroll down Fleet Street yesterday lunchtime to pick up some heavy duty builder’s bags from Robert Dyas (don’t ask).

Influenced by Secret London: An unusual Guide – Rachel Howard/Bill Nash (Jonglez) I reckoned as I had some time left I’d visit one of the attractions in the book. I thought I knew that area well, but obviously I didn’t as when I walked down Bouverie Street it all looked completely alien to me.

Walking past The Polish Cultural Institute which I never knew even existed, I took a left down Magpie Alley which has a series of tiles (aka The Magpie Murals) on the wall telling the story of the good old days of “The Print.” Interesting stuff if you love stories about Caxton, hot metal, web offset printing and the like which I do.


But it didn’t stop there, I kept on going until I hit the back entrance of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP on the left (just before the alley morphs into Ashentree Court) and went through the small iron gate just to the side of the building and down some steps and treated myself to a butchers of the crypt of the old White Friars priory which once stood near there.

It’s well worth it, as it’s light years away from Clinton Cards, Pret a Manger and the hustle and bustle of Fleet Street once you’re at the bottom of those stairs.  P



Book of the week


Secret London: An unusual Guide – Rachel Howard/Bill Nash (Jonglez)

Found at a car boot in Vauxhall for the princely sum of 50 pence last weekend. It was published in 2014, there’s been a few changes in the capital since then but this is a great guide. Features stuff I didn’t know or just heard rumours of (like the old cells of possibly Newgate Prison in the cellar of The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street, more here) and even mentions my old favourite The Roman Bath, Strand Lane (more here). A book worth searching out. P



Thank Trollope for the post box


Being a postman in a previous life I do love a pillar box, and here’s one with a special commemorative plaque I spotted on Fleet Street the other day.

The plaque is is commemorating the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope’s birth in 1815.
More famous as a novelist, Trollope is also known for introducing freestanding postboxes (pillar boxes) to the UK from 1852 during his time working at the Post Office. How good is that? Working on the side as a postman as well as writing.

What amused me as well was “He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, occasionally dipping into the lost-letter box for ideas” That sort of thing would get you the bullet these days!

Devonshire road

Still on the pillar box theme there’s a lovely Penfold Pillar box still in use in Devonshire Road, Forest Hill if you’re ever around that area and like that sort of thing (like we do). P


From Kingston to Kings Cross

dave-hendley Tubby's

We heard about this “must go to” event on this week’s David Rodigan’s Radio Show on BBC 1Xtra.

It’s an exhibition from the late Dave Hendley (photographer,  journalist, lecturer, label boss and DJ) called “Rebel Music 1977-1998” and featuring some iconic images of reggae greats from Dave including King Tubby, Dr Alimantado, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Perry and more.

It runs from 10 Nov – 01 Dec 2016 at
Window Galleries,
Central Saint Martins,
1 Granary Square,
King’s Cross
Admission: Free

If you’re into reggae, this is one not to miss! More on the exhibition here. P

Blue for you


Lunchtimes walks have been rare of late as I’m trying to get over a virus that refuses to go away, so for the last month it’s been mainly sitting on the local park bench conserving energy.

The first walk in a while was a jaunt up to Waterstones in Gower Street last week. It’s very nice around those parts especially when the autumn sun’s shining and on the way up passed this Blue Plaque at 7 Gower Street.

As you know we love a Blue Plaque here at LIYLH. This year it’s the 150 year anniversary of said plaque and there’s over 900 around the capital.

The Blue Plaque website here is a great place to start exploring and also peruse the “Discover the stories behind the plaques” section as it has loads of interesting stuff. For more info on Rossetti and his mates have a look here.

Keep looking up while on your travels or you’ll might miss them. P

We are the robots


I was walking past Conway Hall the other lunchtime and saw this poster for a brilliantly named talk in a couple of weeks time by computer expert Dirk Gorissen.

It’s on a Sunday lunchtime and it’s as cheap as chips and sounds well interesting if you like all that “will the robots take over the world?” and all of that sort of stuff.

The question on everybody’s lips is “Will they?” More on the talk here.

Will the Robots Win?
Sunday 18th September @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Ethical Society
25 Red Lion Square,
London WC1R 4RL
Phone: 020 7405 1818
Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs. Autons: 12 Units
Free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members.
And as it says on the poster “Tea, coffee & biscuits will be available” but please let’s hope they’re not served up from a machine! P

No man is an island

No man is an Island

Walking across the Millennium Bridge this morning I came across a box type thing upon The Thames with a model of a child on the top and what looked like a travelling bag at the bottom.

It was only later tonight while writing this post that I found out it’s an installation called Floating Dreams from South Korea’s Ik-Joong Kang and a memorial to the millions displaced during the Korean War of 1950-53. I imagine it has more impact at night but it’s still very impressive by day. Around until Friday 30th September and well worth seeing. More details hereP