Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Petrol Stop

Petrol in Bloomsbury
On the corner of a London street is, what was, the site of Central London's oldest petrol station which opened in 1926.  The Ridgmount Petrol Station (also known as Bloomsbury Petrol Station) closed in 2008.  There was a failed attempt to get it listed and today the site is occupied by a burger chain and office buildings. Where the outdoor seating is in the photograph was once the petrol station forecourt which can be seen on Vici MacDonald's 'Shopfront Elegy' blog here.  I haven't been able to find a period photograph of the petrol station but did discover on the way that the history of petrol pumps is called Petroliana and here is a photograph of some 1920s petrol pumps somewhere in rural Britain.     

Of course what attracted my attention in this corner of London was
Ridgmount Petrol
the eye-catching ceramic mural by the automobile artist Brian James influenced by Art Deco style. The work was commissioned by the Bedford Estate who own much of the land and features a Bedford van and sports car of the 1930s.  The driver is Mary Dutchess of Bedford of whose eventful life a whole book could be written.  She took up flying in her 60s but disappeared at the beginning of a solo flight in bad weather somewhere over the North Sea in 1937.  The colour chosen in the mural was the Bedford Racing colours.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at P here

Monday, 18 April 2016


Tulips opening their petals to the max and enjoying the sun

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Here is Micklegate Post Office just the place to buy postcards to mail home if visiting York.  One step to browse the postcards on the right, enter to buy them and the stamps and then pop them in the Royal Mail box outside.  There is a handily placed bench outside the Micklegate Fisheries to eat fish and chips in the sunshine.

This block of buildings is, as you have now guessed, is on Micklegate (a name from the Norse, mykla gata, meaning Great Street).  The timbered black and white building is probably 16th Century and was restored in 1967 when it was estimated it was only ten years away from collapse. The lower portion is divided into shops, and has been throughout the centuries,  in past ages they were butchers shops and it is thought that is one of the reasons the building survived.  I am not sure of the dates of the other two buildings but would guess the one in the middle might be 17th Century and possibly the post office building is 18th Century. I believe there has been a post office here since 1842 (two years after the world's first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued).

One way to walk along Micklegate is to enter through
Micklegate Bar, one of the entrances to the walled city of York since Medieval times.  Traditionally when the reigning monarch approaches the gate they have to ask the permission of the Lord Mayor to enter the city.  Here is the present Queen in 2012 outside the gate when she had come to give out the Maundy Money at York Minster on the Thursday before Easter Good Friday.
From Friends of York Walls page
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at M here