Tag: London

Kyffin Williams the writer

February 5, 2016 3 Comments
Kyffin Williams the writer

The text of the 8th Kyffin Williams Annual Lecture, given at Highgate School, London on 1 February 2016. First, I’d like to thank David Smith and Highgate School for inviting me to give this year’s Kyffin Williams Lecture.  It’s very fitting that Highgate remembers Kyffin so loyally, because he was always grateful to the school […]

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Unreal City

August 28, 2014 1 Comment
Unreal City

The City of London, the ‘square mile’, must count as one of the strangest places on earth. During the week thousands of workers stream into it every morning over London Bridge – ‘… so many, I had not thought death had undone so many’, says the Dantean voice of The Waste Land – to apply […]

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Weddings, town halls and local democracy

February 20, 2014 2 Comments
Weddings, town halls and local democracy

Last weekend our daughter Catrin got married, in Islington Town Hall. It was a fine choice for a wedding.  The Town Hall is a large neoclassical building facing the main street, opened in the mid-1920s.  The exterior is plain and conventional enough, though its unusually large, long windows suggest an open and welcoming attitude.  It’s […]

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Whistler’s long voyage: Rotherhithe to Battersea

January 8, 2014 0 Comments
Whistler’s long voyage: Rotherhithe to Battersea

‘Whistler and the Thames’, which comes to an end at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on 12 January, is the best sort of exhibition: one that places right in front of your retina an artist previously spotted only with peripheral vision. James McNeill Whistler was born in Lowell, Mass. in 1834, moved with his family to […]

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London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

August 15, 2013 1 Comment
London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

Fleeing from the noise and heat of the midday traffic we took our sandwiches to a bench in a small public garden off Marylebone High Street.  What we’d chanced upon was the site of the old St Marylebone church, across the road from its 1817 replacement.  Nothing remains of the first three churches (the current […]

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