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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Red sail on the river

Trade here seems to be rather thin (although since I first put that it has got a bit thicker), just as it seemed to be this time yesterday. And this time yesterday I started concocting a posting (for my Culture Blog and to link to from here) about the strange things to be seen on or from Chelsea Embankment, just to the south of Samizdata HQ (which I was visiting the other day for reasons that need not concern you). This morning I finished it. Thinking about this posting some more, I now consider the ducks to be rather mundane. But the red sailed sailing boats and the bus are quite fun, I think.

Here is one of the red sailed sailing boats.


The point is that you do not see little sailing boats on the river in London very often. I seldom do, anyway. Follow the link above to get to a bigger version of this picture, and for the bus and the ducks, and for further commentary.

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12 comments to Red sail on the river

  • ernest young

    Come back Andy – all is forgiven…

  • That power station is such an aesthetically unpleasing building!

    I thought the 30’s was great with art deco!!

  • I do not agree, Chris. I think it is an art deco marvel and I hope the current redevelopment will restore it to some of its former magnificence.

  • ernest young

    You mean as sort of ‘art deco’ phallic symbolism?

    Or more as ‘communal architechture’, remindful of the generic, bleak LCC style?

  • Pete(Detroit)

    Isn’t that the building featured on the “Animals” album cover, (Pink Floyd, if I need to add the group)

  • Joe

    You also don’t see things that remind you of Pink Floyd either.

  • Pete… yes

    ernest young… but the only thing I actually like about the ‘golden age of totalitarianism’ is the architecture. There is a marvellous fascistic grandeur to Battersea Power Station.

  • ernest young

    As a child, growing up in London, I found the standardised LCC architechture, not only of buildings, but of almost every item of street and park furniture, to be rather intimidating.

    At that age, I was more aware of the parks – of course, – and even I then found the solid, standardised feel of the LCC ‘environment’ to be cheerless and drab, well designed though it may have been. They even had the standard ‘Parkie’, with his brown suit, complete with waistcoat and trilby, and as pompously officious as any traffic warden.

    There was a very distinct feel about an LCC governed area, and although I did not know it at the time, it seems to have set the standard by which a socialist controlled district could be recognised.

    The one shining light of design, of that era, and I am not too sure that it had anything to do with the LCC, was the basic style of the Underground system. The newer, purpose built stations, giving an immediate feeling of having been designed from ‘top-to-bottom’, by a communal entity, but then I suppose that was more an effect of the art deco style, than any bureaucratic design effort.

    All really beside the point, the old Battersea Power station, is, and always has been an eye-sore. Whether seen from the rail tracks to the west, or the streets from the south and east, the one ‘almost acceptable’ view is from the north, across the river. Up close it is little more than a dilapidated pile of bricks. A monument to the several failed entrepreneurs, who have lost out, trying to make a silk purse purse, out of this very old sow’s ear.

    Certainly a big pile of masonry, but that surely should not prevent demolition.

  • We’ll have to agree to disagree, Perry! I’ve felt Battersea Power station is ugly for a long time. To me that seems strange since the 1930’s was supposedly noted for its architecture (I’m no Arsenal fan, but the West and East stands at Highbury look nice, I must admit…)

  • ernest young

    I suppose it all depends on taste, either you like art deco, or you not.

    It always reminds me of cheap radios, and other electrical items, and those tacky ‘graceful lady’ table lamps.

    Re the Arsenal stands, if you go through the front door, the whole of the interior is also art deco, from the front marble entry steps, right through to the changing rooms and bathrooms. All very grand, but so dated.

    At least it used to be, when I was one of several ‘boot boys’, earning sixpence (two and a half pence), for cleaning and dubbining, what seemed like thousands of tough old leather boots. Those were the days when the ‘stars’ were mostly ‘locals’, and ‘our team’, meant just that…

    Do I hear violins in the distant background?…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Cannot see the charm of the old building, myself. I’d have thought that if the RAF want to test out some of their new Eurofighters, then this power station is surely a candidate for a target. Of course if the bombs fall on sarf London then some might see that is a side benefit (only joking!).

  • ernest young

    What a site for all those ‘asylum seekers’. Probably not grand enough for them,