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Ben Pedroche
London
London writer
Recent Activity
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The disused Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross have recently been opened to the public, first for a short series of movie screenings, and now for a number of tours similar to the ones at Aldwych. Focusing mainly on its use as a filming location (recent credits include Skyfall and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at Do Not Alight Here
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London has lots of places full of mania and chaos. The hellish traffic on the Marble Arch roundabout, and Speaker's Corner nearby. Victoria station at rush hour, the weekend crowds at Covent Garden, and the inner workings of the mind of that 'Don't be a sinner, be a winner' religious... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Do Not Alight Here
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We finally got round to visiting the Bridge exhibition at Museum of London Docklands yesterday. Although smaller than I expected, it’s well worth the trip, with a great selection of images and features. It starts off a bit pretentious, with a sound installation by artist Scanner. There's a load of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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Bad planning and laziness means that every year we somehow end up missing the good bits of Open House weekend, and this year was the same. Too late for 55 Broadway, too late for the Crystal Palace Subway, too late for Abbey Mills Pumping Station. Never mind. There are plenty... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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I finally managed to get inside the famed Thames Tunnel today, having just missed out on the last set of rare tours in 2008. As perhaps the most ambitious engineering project of the Victorian era, it has fascinated me for years, and I've written about it in each of my... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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Being hassled in London is a nuisance all of us are familiar with. On any given day it could be someone with a clipboard and a charity sign-up form, making a beeline for you with a face you’d quite like to slap, a Hare Krishna man on Oxford Street, desperate... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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I consider myself to be a man of words, with a keen interest in the development of the English language. Text speak and hip-hop terms? Love them. Twerking being in the dictionary? Fantastic. I’m all for it. Local dialects, colloquiums and slang are of particular interest to me, and there... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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Its 3:20AM, and an already difficult night's sleep has just got worse. I’ve been woken by a strange, horrifying noise outside. It’s one I’ve heard before, but it still has the power to unsettle. My wife is awake too, and by now we both know what it is that’s making... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at Do Not Alight Here
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Copies of my new book Working the London Underground have been journeying along the Tube network all week, as part of the Books on the Underground project. The idea is simple. Find a copy of a book on the London Underground. Take it, read it. When you are done, leave... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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View from the BT Tower, London The BT Tower is one of the few buildings left in London that I’ve always wanted to get inside. Today I was finally able to do so, thanks to a rare public open day. Proceeds from ticket sales were being donated to the Ellen... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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In addition to many former power stations and gasworks, London also once boasted a hydraulic power network that operated from the late 19th century until 1977. As home to the Industrial Revolution; Britain was usually the pioneer in Victorian engineering, but London itself was often lagging behind. The notion of... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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Battersea Power Station has fascinated me for many years. That big hulk of a building, just sitting there rotting away. I’m not alone of course. It’s a real London icon, and most Londoners are familiar with its story since closure in 1983: Pink Floyd. Failed redevelopment. Occasionally used for over-priced... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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There's still a long way to go before Crossrail is complete, but huge progress has already been made. None more so than in Woolwich, where a new station box has recently been completed ahead of schedule, and is to be handed over to Crossrail in the next few days. The... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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The Shard has been sticking out of the famous London skyline like a sore thumb ever since it started climbing from behind London Bridge station in 2009. I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan at first. It looked too big and too out of place, and the highest section seemed as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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I am currently in the middle of writing my third book, which is due to be published this October by The History Press. It is called Working the London Underground, and will cover how the London Underground network was built, from the original Metropolitan Railway in 1863, all the way... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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With the 150th anniversary celebrations well underway, it’s an exciting time to be a London Underground geek. I've been looking forward to the various planned events for months, but actually managed to miss the anniversary itself because of a trip abroad with the day job. The trip was to The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2013 at Do Not Alight Here
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I spent the last two weekends going on guided walking tours by two London authors, both of which were a great way to spend a couple of hours exploring the city. First up was a walk led by Paul Talling, writer of perhaps my most favourite book about London, Derelict... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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There are many interesting facts and quirks about the London Underground. They pop up again and again in every new London book that hits the shelves, and get churned out in pub quizzes every night of the week. They still fascinate me though, no matter how many times I hear... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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When most people think about the redevelopment of the London Docklands, the first thing that usually springs to mind is Canary Wharf and many other buildings that have appeared since the London Docklands Development Corporation first set about regenerating the area in the 80s. Several buildings from its original heyday... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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This past weekend I was in Quainton, near Aylesbury, for a trip to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. Not in London, I know, but its close enough to be considered Metroland, and it has ties with the London Underground that make it worthy of inclusion here. I was there to do... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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I recently tweeted and Instagrammed (is that even a word?) a photo of something a bit odd that I noticed on a pavement near Kilburn High Road. If you missed it first time around, here it is again in all its weirdo glory. It's what appears to be a dead... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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Travelling by road through rural Essex, on route from Epping Tube station to the small town of Ongar, it’s incredible to think that some of the villages you pass on the way were once part of the London Underground network. Prior to 1994, the Central line ran further than Epping,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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A couple of years ago I was gutted to miss out on a rare chance to walk through the historical Thames Tunnel, during the time when the East London line was closed while work was carried out to extend it and make it part of the London Overground network. I’ve... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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Oxford Circus made the headlines in 2009 when Boris Johnson and Westminster City Council unveiled the new 'pedestrian scramble' crossing, enabling pedestrians to walk diagonally over the busy junction between Oxford Street and Regent Street. I use it most days, and in my experience it seems to work fairly well.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here
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The BBC 2 documentary series The Tube finished last Monday after a run of six episodes. Knowing my love of all things Underground, lots of people have been asking what I made of it, so here are my end-of-series thoughts. Overall I thought it was great. The arrival of Monday... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2012 at Do Not Alight Here