Archive for the ‘London’ Category

William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire in 1494. He attended Oxford University and obtained a first degree in 1512 and his master’s degree 3 years later. He began studying Theology. In 1517 he moved from Oxford to Cambridge where he remained until 1521. He then took up a post as chaplain and tutor to a family in Gloucestershire, but after 2 years left to travel to London seeking permission to translate the Latin Bible into English. Finding no support in England for his project, he travelled to Wittenberg in Germany where he began working on the translation. The first copies were printed in Antwerp and Worms in 1526 and some of these found their way back to England. Bishop Tunstall obtained some copies and promptly burnt them, although this proved to be a controversial action even amongst those who opposed the translation from Latin. In 1529, Cardinal Wolsey declared that Tyndale was a heretic and the following year Tyndale wrote an essay opposing the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Infuriated, Henry petitioned the Emporer Charles V for Tyndale’s arrest and extradition. Tyndale was eventually arrested in 1535 and put on trial at Vilvoorde near Brussels on a charge of Heresy. It is interesting to note that one person who urged the court for clemency was Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister.  Tyndale was found guilty and sentenced to execution. His last words were reported as “Lord, open the eyes of the King of England”. By 1540, Henry had commisioned the production of ‘The Great Bible’ an English language translation to be used in all churches in the new Church of England. Its core source was Tyndale’s translation.

This Bronze statue of Tyndale was erected in Victoria Embankment Gardens in 1884. Beside Tyndale is an open Bible resting on a printing press.

The afternoon at the London Anniversary Games continued with a para-athletic 200 metres for men and a Women’s 400m Hurdles. The Women’s Javelin competition was partially hidden from our sight by a scoreboard and all we really saw was the Javelins appearing from behind it to arc into the centre of the field.

Then followed the heats of the 100 metres, first for the women and then the men.

In front of us was the Women’s Long Jump, which included the UK’s talented trio of jumpers, Lorraine Ugen, Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers, who are all currently in the world top-10 this year, plus the World Indoor Pentathlon Champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Shara Proctor (top), Jazmin Sawyers (bottom left), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bottom centre) and Lorraine Ugen (Bottom right)

The competition was won by Shara Proctor with Lorraine Ugen in second and only a few centimetres between them.

The Men’s 400 metres followed and was won by Abdalleleh Haroun of Qatar, who came from no-where on the last straight to storm past the leaders. After this was the slightly more sedate pace of the Men’s 5000 metres.

In the Men’s 400m hurdles Karsten Warholm of Norway won, but worryingly from a UK perspective Jack King landed badly from a hurdle and appeared to injure himself. Not what you need a few weeks before a major championship.

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Jack King clears a barrier in front of us 

The final events of the afternoon were the Men’s and Woman’s 100-metre finals.

A great afternoon of athletics.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday Sue and I had tickets for the first day of the London Anniversary Games, an Athletics meeting which forms part of the Diamond League, held on the anniversary (approx) of the 2012 Olympics in the stadium. Our seats were close to the Long Jump runway (perhaps too close for getting the best photographs)

The first event was a men’s 400 metres race for UK runners which was interesting in that the runners were competing for places in the 400m relay team at the European Championships to be held n Berlin in 3 weeks time.

Dwayne Cowan leads Martyn Rooney all the way to the finish line

The next event was the T44/47/T64 Women’s Long Jump for jumpers using a single leg blade. The winner was the British World Champion in this event, Stef Reid.

Stef Reid prepares for her jump and in flight

Back on the track, another UK athlete was winning, this time in the 3000m walking race. Tom Bosworth set a new world record in winning this event.

Tom Bosworth leads the field on his way to a world record

The events were coming thick and fast now and our attention was drawn away repeatedly to the Men’s Pole Vault at the end of the stadium, where a truly world-class field was competing including Sam Kendricks (World Champion), Renaud Lavillenie (World Record holder and Olympic Champion 2012) and Thiago Braz (Olympic Champion 2016).

Sam Kendricks (USA) [top left], Renaud Lavillenie (France)[bottom left] and Thiago Braz (Brazil) [right]

Who said that man can’t fly?

In the end, it came down to Lavillenie, who had led throughout, and Sam Kendricks, who eventually beat him by clearing their final height on his first jump.

Sam Kendricks, having won the competition attempts a new US national record, but is unsuccessful

The next event on the track also was intriguing, if for a strange reason. The women’s 3000m was going along as expected until the last lap when the leader, Fantu Worku, stopped running with half a lap to go and then looked on bewildered as everyone else kept running past her. Watching it back on TV later, the commentators thought she had lost track of her position and believed that she had already crossed the finish line (see  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/44912045)!

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Worku passes Rengeruk on the back straight shortly before she stopped running.

 

 

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The National Submarine War Memorial is situated on the Victoria Embankment. It was unveiled in 1922 to commemorate the submariners lost in WWI. In November 1959, a further list was added to commemorate those lost in WWII and a third panel was added in 1992 on the 70th anniversary of the original unveiling.

Spencer Compton was one of the longest-serving government ministers in UK history and holds the unique record of 3 times being asked to form a government and 3 times refusing the offer.

He was born in 1833 and educated at Cambridge. He entered parliament as an MP in 1857 and by 1863 was part of the Liberal cabinet of William Gladstone, serving at the Admiralty and War Office before becoming Postmaster-General. In 1870 he became secretary of state for Ireland. With the election defeat of 1875 and the resignation of William Gladstone, he became the leader of the Liberal opposition. The Liberal party was victorious in 1880, but Compton declined to form a government serving instead as Secretary of State for India (1880-2) and Secretary of Stae for War (1882-5) in Gladstone’s second government. By 1886 Gladstone’s policy on Ireland had seen Compton leave the Liberal party to join the Liberal Unionists, who gained the balance of power in the election that year. Again Compton declined to form a government and also refused to serve in Gladstone’s third government which followed. He was again asked to form a government the following year but again refused, seeing his best role as having freedom of action to follow his own policies. In 1891 he became Duke of Devonshire, succeeding his Father and transferred to the House of Lords, where he continued to argue for the policies he had backed when an MP. From 1895-1902, he again served in the cabinet of Lord Salisbury’s government and for a short time under Arthur Balfour who succeeded Salisbury as Prime Minister. He resigned in 1903 and died in Cannes in 1908 as a result of pneumonia.

This statue stands in Whitehall close to the centre of UK Government.

Water Vole

Posted: July 9, 2018 in London, Mammals, Natural History, UK, Uncategorized
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During my IT downtime recently Keith and I visited the London Wetland Centre and I was fortunate enough to get these shots of a Water Vole hiding in the undergrowth. The Water Vole is an elusive and secretive mammal and this is only the second one I have ever seen.

A one-man Police Station?

Posted: July 6, 2018 in History, London, UK
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In the years following WWI, the Police determined a need to oversee the demonstrations in Trafalgar Square. They originally wanted a normal police box but objections were raised to this and so the plan was drawn up to convert a granite column at the corner of the Square into an observation post for a single constable who had a phone link to a nearby station from whence he could summon help if required.

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The corresponding pillar on the opposite side of the Square shows what it originally looked like.

The box passed out of use with the advent of mobile communications and is now used as a store by local authority cleaners.

On a calm, warm sunny evening earlier this week, I was fortunate to go on a guided walk of the Temple area of London.

The Temple is a secluded area to the west of the city which is known today for its connections with the legal profession. It comprises two of the four Inns of Court, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple. To the north are situated the Royal Courts of Justice and a short walk east brings you to the Central Criminal Court.

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The area is first recorded in the 12th century when the Knights Templars moved here from a site in Holborn to the west and built the Temple Church. Within the site were two Templar Halls, Inner and Middle Hall. Upon the dissolution of the order in 1312 the land was granted to the Knights Hospitallers, although it took them over 100 years to fully establish their control over the site. However, the Hospitallers already had a compound and hall in Clerkenwell and so were not interested in moving to this site. They leased it to a group of lawyers and so the long association began between this area and the law. The lands passed to the crown following the dissolution of the monasteries and the lawyers became Crown Tenants (annual rent £10 per year for each Inn). They were granted a charter by James I and the lawyers gained absolute title to the land.

Today, Temple houses many chambers of barristers along with other legal organisations and is governed by a committee of leading members.

The symbols of the Inner (Pegasus) and Middle Temples (Agnus Dei)

The Temple area suffered badly during the air raids of WWII and much had to be rebuilt. The original Templars church was badly damaged and much restoration was needed to return it to an image of its original self.

One building that did survive and remains a jewel in the crown was the Elizabethan hall in Middle Temple which we were fortunate enough to be able to visit. Completed in 1572 it is a wonderful building with a fantastic hammer-beam roof, argued to be the finest still existing in London.

A great way to spend a summer evening.

Sights of London: Nelsons Column

Posted: June 15, 2018 in History, London, UK
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Nelson’s column is found in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London. It was built to commemorate the life of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who had died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument took three years to build and was completed in 1843.
Nelson had fought in the American War of Independence but really came to prominence during the French Revolutionary War in which he was involved in a number of the most significant naval encounters including the Battle of Cape St Vincent, Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Copenhagen. He died on his ship, HMS Victory, at the moment is of the fleet’s victory over combined Franco-Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
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The reliefs at the bottom of the column display scenes from his battles. The one shown below depicts his death on HMS Victory

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Last week whilst I was doing the weekly survey I came across a moth resting in amongst the flowers in the garden. Now I confess I don’t know a lot about Moths but thanks to the help of a facebook group it was soon identified as a Silver Y Moth (Autographa Gamma). A common Moth it is named after the y-shaped mark on its wing.