Thursday, 31 December 2009
It was probably the biggest world event for 1995 - considering the impact of the Middle East on world affairs...
So for me heading to the now named 'Yitzhak Rabin Square' was always going to be a core staple of being in Israel and specifically Tel Aviv.
What I hadn't quite thought through was the extent to which not only is he honoured and recognised - the bust and the plaque etc, but the entire assassination is almost rehearsed through - the plaque of all the key players (including the un-named murderer), the spots on which they were all standing and the graffiti wall with the peace posters that went up now preserved.
Hmmm, lots to think through - but when I was first in Israel - it was the personal dynamic between Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres that was a key factor in all of the politics and diplomacy for Israel and the Middle East. That was shattered with the bullets of an assassin.
If nothing else it's a clear confirmation that the removal of weapons is the crucial lesson for all roads to peace. At the end of one year and the start of another the prayers for peace from Israel seem all the more poignant.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
The beach is stunning - fine sand, lovely depth, surfers, animal lovers, swimmers and families - all the usual components.
But being Israel there's a significant hesitation in people's voices when they ask 'why holiday there?'
But as you can see a beach is a beach is a beach.
But of course, as we all know it's not quite that simple - Tel Aviv is only 100 years old this year and Israel as a modern state was only founded in 1948. That first year was no simple delcaration of independence - in the days immediately after Israel found itself at war for it's very survival. This monument, on the beach at Tel Aviv, speaks of the role of the Altalena ship.
My short hand version is that the Israeli Government shelled the ship, which was carrying arms and ammunition for Israeli paramilitaries and it was the show of force between the Government (establishing itself) and the paramilitaries not yet incorporated into the mainstream army.
It's all pretty heady stuff and part of the rich tapestry that comes about at the formation of states, however controversial...
Friday, 25 December 2009
There is a crowd of people now enagaged in getting the State re-opened with community access as well as established as a new church.
It's a huge venture and seems only right to feature it here given the season :-)
Merry Christmas to the blog readers - one and all...
Thursday, 24 December 2009
This one is Queen's Park, but with Hampstead Heath nearby it's quite a competition.
I have to say that I have had some stick from a regular reader of this blog that I concentrate too much on the built environment and I don't reflect the natural beauty of the area...
This is the nearest I am going to come to reflecting a new thread in the coming year - that said I am conscious that finding the time to capture the issues I want to feature on here is tricky, but I do my best.
Hope you have enjoyed it oh readers - the end of the year is nigh and the start of a new one...
But yes, more trees on their way.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
It's dubbed the Brazilian community centre for London and is in Kingsgate Place in Kilburn.
The food is great, the people who run it friendly and the atmosphere welcoming.
Finally closed for the seasonal break - but open most of the time otherwise - it's well worth a trip down there. An autumn evening eating outside by the cobbled road is one of the more charming recommendations from this little on-line account.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
There's something really important about it in a societies make-up and it's great to see it making such a recent revival - sadly due to the number of international conflicts we are engaged in.
This year saw a large number of ceremonies and I was proud to play my small part in proceedings locally.
And well done to Linda Chung, an amazingly energetic councillor in Hampstead Town, for securing a private donation to restore the memorial at Jack Straw's Castle.
Monday, 21 December 2009
That it was built and established by the troops and engineers of the conquering Roman Emperor Claudius and that the Museum of London should get out of the City of London and come down to the boroughs and have a conversation about what London has been and is...
This is the bust of the Emperor Claudius - probably torn down the by pillaging Iceni Queen Boudicca as she sacked Londinium - but it's incredibly evocative - it would have had eyes - so less scary and haunted, but it's a great piece of artistic bronze...
Who's up for having a replica statue erected at the bottom of the Kilburn High Road and the bust becomin a shade more iconic in lcoal useage than it currently is?
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Here in NW3 in particular, some in NW6 too, there are the very old school individual street name plates - they add charm and character and when they are removed or changed there is a mini-hullabaloo.
The other crucial bit is the name of the road, lane, alley, rown, square itself and that to an extent dates it - I have always assumed that square was 18th century at the earliest really, avenue is metroland and cul-de-sac decidedly modern.
This is one of the finer examples of the two points at play - it's on Heath Street in Hampstead and curles beautifully round the brickwork... charm, style and quaintness - not the most obvious criteria when you are trying to articulate how somewhere could or might be but clearly important elements. The issue for me is whether it's possible to develop these factors now in an area that has either lost them or never had them...
Saturday, 19 December 2009
But that old tradition of queuing on the Kilburn High Road - dating from when there were at least 4 cinema's - is back with The Good Ship Inn. It's so popular that it has restored queuing - a sure sign that the recession busting is well underway.
Now I should declare a small interest in that it's the bar next to my campaign office so I think it is dead good and the owner/licencee/manager is a great guy too.
But the real issue is does or should Drakes Courtyard have an apostrophe?
Friday, 18 December 2009
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
This picture was taken earlier in the year as the restoration programme was in full swing and it was especially gratifying that at the Heath and Hampstead AGM two years ago Michael Taylor, who has lead the work, asked that the heath and hampstead use the old church when re-opened.
And so some time later we all gathered there for the Christmas Party and saw the church open in fascinatingly candle and low level lighting lit.
It was a delight and one for any budding photographer...
I've covered it before and indeed this year:
Impressed with the restoration? Make them a donation - they still need the support and the help.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
It's like there have been massive geographic changes to the local landscape and after the periods of enclosure and the development of new residential areas, there was a huge programme of putting rivers underground - thus changing what people saw around them forever.
This was followed by the carving, almost literally carving, of the rail lines - criss-crossing the landscape and now indelible marks upon where we live.
But it was autumn this year that the extent of the closures at weekends became more obvious and visible - not least cos TfL closed off Jubilee at the same time as the Metropolitan line at the same time as the Overground.
And now we have the projects running massively over time and causing considerable discomfort for everyone. [sighs and gears himself up for the next meeting with TfL and their respective partners...]
Monday, 14 December 2009
It's only the second year but it's a great start of a restored tradition.
Cllr Flick Rea (Culture @ Camden) was there to welcome them and also see the queue of local children.
It's amazing how many people mention the donkey rides as thing of the past - pass on the news that at least once a year we have them back...
The tradition of donkey rides here dates back to the 1820's and froma later victorian era when the local area as known as the 'seaside for people from the east end' - literally thousands of people would come for their weekend entertainment and day out.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
They dates from the time when the car was not king and when the owning and the using of a horse was not unusual...
I was told yesterday that there was a time before the car when there were over 3million horses in ownership and use - sounds realistic but also an incredible number considering now just how exclusive horse ownership is.
But back in July this water trough was a pleasant addition and feature to the blog http://474towin.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html
For those with longer memories or regular readers you will know that the water trough was one of the earliest blog posts at all. Back in January 2008 we were discussing this topic here
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
In May, I, along-with 57 other Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidates, wrote an open letter to Michael Martin.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Currently the church is the HQ of the Willesden and St Marylebone Sea Scouts.
it's an incedible building inside - being a ship reversed... and here is a rare little snap shot when it was open one day.
More of the local views of April are here:
But if you are interested, have a little google on tin tabernacles - fascinating stuff!
Monday, 7 December 2009
It was very grim but incredibly moving and evocative.
But to meet the survivors and those paying their respects was amazing and I'm pleased I went. I sought to capture some of what i saw and learnt there on some short video's which you can see here:
Bergen-Belsen was the camp Margot and Anne Frank died in and so there is a gravestone (not at the actual spot - which is unknown) but in tribute to them and by reflection their iconic status in the holocaust legacy.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
The reality is no-one knows where this is going but it clear that we have a responsibility to act. That's why Copenhagen talks are so important and the pressure on politicians is so intense.
For my own part I was proud to join Nick Clegg MP and the Liberal Democrats in the wave and march today from Upper Brooke Street down to Westminster.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Here in Loudon Road, South Hampstead, we have a charming concernsion for parish 13
You can read more here
Friday, 4 December 2009
I found the spiritual elements sincere and real and have found the music CDs quite cathartic at times of pressure and reflection.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Saturday, 28 November 2009
In September 2007 the College of North West London moved into its new Kilburn Centre, a prize-winning bespoke building in the heart of Kilburn.
Extensive use has been made of oak and stainless steel to create an ultra-modern building that is both stylish and durable. All classrooms are fitted with interactive whiteboards and the entire building incorporates a wireless network.
Not only does the new building provide students with up to the minute facilities and technology, it is also environmentally sound, with a number of controls and features that lessen the impact on the environment.
Due to its innovative ‘green’ credentials, which include a central atrium to maximise natural light and exterior fins to minimise solar glare, the building was entered in a national design excellence competition of the Royal Institute of British Architects and won second prize.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
There is nothing glamorous about war, despite the films, and the sickening feeling at the pit of your stomach at loosing someone you love is only increased by their life being cut short in war and conflict.
The London Boroughs have a tradition of marking the anniversaries with formal civic services at parish churches, but I was determined this year to ensure that the lower profile memorials were recognised.
I'm delighted to say that the response from Brent's local ward councillors and residents have been superb. So we were able this year to have a brief ceremony at the Animal War Memorial on Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn (thanks to the Sea Scouts from TS Bicester for joining us - pic top right).
Cllr Anthony Dunn laid the wreath, Cllr Simon Green read For the Fallen (Wilfred Owen) and i read a couple of verses of FThe War Horse by Lieutenant L Fleming
We went on to St Augustine's Church where there was a full service - the West Kilburn British Legion marched there and took part - Cllr Simon Green laid a wreath in the church.
Then it was a march back to the British Legion in Albert Road (by the Falcon Pub) where we laid a wreath after the reading of those who have died from the West Kilburn branch and then it was onto Kensal Green cemetary.
In Kensal Cemetary there is a memorial to the founder of the Royal Logistics Corp and also to a Ghurka Victoria Cross bearer...
It was an honour and pleasure to be part of this and I'm proud that Kilburn and Queen's Park councillor Simon Green, Anthony Dunn, Will Motley, Emily Tancred and Derek Jackson made it all possible.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Watling Street was built in AD 44 as the route motorway into Britain and eventually into wales.
It was the principle route north and weas the thorough fare for all travel north.
Any Roman Emperor in Britain came through Kilburn along Watling Street...
Here are some - are there others?
I've ended the cycle of ancients with Alfred the Great and his coin of the conquest of London after the Watling Street treaty of AD 878.
Hence Danelaw = Camden and Wessex = Brent
Friday, 6 November 2009
Do they deserve a blue plaque or equivalent?
On which building would it go?
When and for how long was their residence in Kilburn?
Are there other parts of London for which there are so few recognitions of the people who lived there?