HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘leadenhall’

Street Pianos in London

Posted by HelenEdith on July 4, 2009

Street Piano, St Mary Axe, at the corner of the Aviva Plaza and Leadenhall Street

Street Piano, St Mary Axe, at the corner of the Aviva Plaza and Leadenhall Street

About two weeks ago, I saw a guy playing a piano on the corner of St Mary Axe and Leadenhall Street, at the top of the steps to the Aviva Plaza. I thought that he must have brought it there to busk, but when I got around to crossing the street to take a closer look, I found out that wasn’t the case at all. This piano is part of a project called Play Me I’m Yours :: Street Pianos in which street pianos are placed in a city centre for anybody to play. The pianos currently dotted around London are due to remain for a further week, but will then be donated to local schools and community groups.

Having discovered that this piano was one of 30; and that another was just down the road in Leadenhall Market, I took a stroll down there after work for a look and located that piano in the covered market area, where it is at least protected from the weather by more than a bit of polythene sheeting.

Street Piano, Leadenhall Market

Street Piano, Leadenhall Market

It has fared a little better than the one at St Mary Axe, and still had a piano stool when I saw it, which is more than can be said for the one at St Mary Axe. However, it had several non-working keys!

I’m not sure how grateful I would be if my school or community group received one of these pianos after it had spent a hard month out on the streets of London – even though it hasn’t rained that much! 🙂

However, I must uncover my piano at home and have a little practice on it and then maybe go and have a little go on these street pianos. Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata might be a little ambitious both for me and the pianos, but I could probably manage Fur Elise. 🙂

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Website Update: Secret London Walk Pictures, Tuesday 7th April 2009

Posted by HelenEdith on April 12, 2009

Last Tuesday evening, I went on a “Secret London” walk arranged by the Sports and Social Club at work.

We did a loop past the Lloyd’s Building, through the Leadenhall Market, crossed Eastcheap, where we looked at camels and a pig’s head on the buildings there, and then we went down to Lower Thames Street, taking in the garden in the ruins of St Dunstan in the East on our way. Then we turned to the west and looked at the recently refurbished Monument – Sir Christopher Wren’s memorial to the Great Fire of London. From there, we went behind Gracechurch Street. We crossed Lombard Street and admired the hanging signs, and then looked at the rear of the old Barclays headquarters on the corner of Lombard Street and Gracechurch Street. After that, we looked at the exterior of St Stephen Walbrook, viewed One Poultry and the nearby Temple of Mithras, and headed north to view the exterior of the building where Benjamin Disraeli served as an articled clerk, before arriving at the end of our walk at The Guildhall.

The pictures I took during the walk are now up on my website here: “Secret London” Walk Pictures, 7th April 2009

Here are a few of the pictures you can find on the page linked above:

SL_Walk_20090407_IMGP5674_ed_cr_1x2 This is Bulls Head Passage on the periphery of Leadenhall Market. The blue doorway was painted black and used in some of the Harry Potter films as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron.
SL_Walk_20090407_IMGP5675_ed Camel Caravan relief by William Theed II above the entrance to Peek House.
SL_Walk_20090407_IMGP5694_ed The garden entwined with the ruins of St Dunstan in the East. This is the picture most people like best from my evening’s photography.
SL_Walk_20090407_IMGP5705_ed The Monument.
SL_Walk_20090407_IMGP5729_ed The old Barclays headquarters. This is my own favourite picture from the evening.

You’ll have to visit the link provided if you want to see the rest of my pictures!

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Entry for April 10, 2008 – City Gent’s Playhouse

Posted by HelenEdith on April 10, 2008

Months ago, on a visit to Leadenhall Street, I saw a demolition site where a building is being dismantled from the ground up. In fact, I posted about it on my blog at the time, complete with a picture out of my DSLR.

The demolition has progressed by a storey or two since I last saw it, and the top of the building is now wrapped in plastic, but it seems that this upside down demolition is proceeding very slowly.

The actual reason for the manner of the demolition is that the building was built with all the floors hanging from structures at roof level. There are a half a dozen such buildings in London, and at least one other is also being demolished. They must have reached a “certain age”!

This is quite a successful camera phone picture, but I have to put my hand up and say that I did edit it in PhotoShop a little bit. 🙂

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Entry for April 10, 2008 – A day in The City

Posted by HelenEdith on April 10, 2008

I missed out on a presentation I needed to attend in Basildon last Friday and so I went up to Leadenhall Street to catch it today.

I thought I’d play with my camera phone while I was up in London, but all I’m doing is pointing and clicking – I’m not really learning how to use it.

One thing I stopped and photographed was this street sign for Whittington Avenue. It’s signs like this which bring home what a historic place London is. We hear the story of Dick Whittington coming to London and becoming the Mayor, and when you see a street sign bearing his name, it brings home the fact that it’s not just a story!

This particular street sign is on one of the streets from which Leadenhall Market is accessed. This street is in fact the Leadenhall Street entrance.

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Entry for August 04, 2007 – more on the topsy-turvy demolition in Leadenhall Street

Posted by HelenEdith on August 3, 2007

I blogged a week or two ago about the strange demolition going on in Leadenhall Street, and then again when I got one of my pictures published.

Now the BBC are carrying this report: Tower demolition defies gravity

Basically, that method of demolition is being used because the floors are supported by a beam hanging from the roof. It’s only one of four buildings constructed in this manner.

I’m glad I finally know the explanation.

It’s such an odd sight that it’s getting more camera lenses aimed towards it right now than there are camera lenses aimed at “The Gherkin”, which usually inspires a fair amount of photographic activity.

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Entry for July 23, 2007 – Sort-of famous

Posted by HelenEdith on July 23, 2007

The 28th July edition of “Amateur Photographer” arrived today, and there on page 5 in the Snapper’s Diary was a picture of mine! 🙂

“While on a visit to London recently, I saw a building in Leadenhall Street, next to the Aviva Plaza, that is apparently being demolished from the ground up, and I had to have some pictures of it. It demonstrates how all the strength of a modern building is in its core, but it still looks very odd – something like a giant tree-house for City gents to play in!”

My published picture is today’s picture. If you want to see some of the other pictures I took the same day, click here.

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Website update: City of London Pictures, June 28th, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on July 1, 2007

I have put up some more pictures taken when I was looking at the building on Leadenhall street being demolished from the ground up.

I’ve also included some pictures of the new Willis Building (pictured) whose exterior is now complete.

The page is rounded off with pictures of the two tallest buildings in The City, Tower 42 and the Swiss Re Building (a.k.a. “The Gherkin”) and a couple of pictures of The Monument.

Click here to view the pictures.

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Website update: Leadenhall Street Pictures, November 3rd, 2006

Posted by HelenEdith on July 1, 2007

Last year I took some pictures of the autumn foliage in the Aviva Plaza, right in the middle of The City of London. There are also some night time pictures of the Lloyd’s Building and Leadenhall Market on the page.

Click here to view them.

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Entry for June 28, 2007 – The City revisited

Posted by HelenEdith on June 28, 2007


I’ve just spent a couple of days up in The City of London working in one of our customer’s offices.

There are a few changes to The City in the five months since I was banished to Basildon:

  • Jessop’s in Cannon Street has closed.
  • A building has disappeared across the road from Cannon Street Station.
  • The exterior of the new Willis Building is complete.

…and by far the best…

  • A building on Leadenhall Street is being demolished from the ground up!

I’ve included a picture of this building, which looks for all the world like a giant tree house.

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