The failed London Pleasure Gardens. Artwork by Ron English
Site of the failed 'London Pleasure Gardens' near Royal Victoria dock pontoon bridge from the ExCel centre towards the DLR station 'Pontoon Dock', which is also opposite Thames Barrier Park
Elephant of the Bastille
Some of Victor Hugo's 'Les Misérables' is being filmed at Greenwich university. A fantastic novel adapted and simplified for the long running musical. The story has a wonderful description of the battle of Waterloo. Gavroche, a street urchin lives inside the hollow statue of the 'Elephant of the Bastille', a monument in Paris between 1813 and 1846.
Les MisérablesGavrocheVicyor HugoParisfilmfilmsetstagegreenwichuniversitycolouroutdoorslandscapesurrealsurrealismartpropbarricaderevolutionriotstoryNapoleanelephantstatuesculpturestructurereplicamodelstrangethamesElephant of the BastilleFrenchFrance
Shad Thames. Charles Dickens set portions of Oliver Twist in an area east of Shad Thames, which was then called 'Jacob's Island'. Dickens was taken to this impoverisehed place by the river police. "...crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem to be too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud and threatening to fall into it - as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations, every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage: all these ornament the banks of Jacob's Island. It was here that Bill Sikes had his den and fell and drowned in the mud.
Sad fate of the Royal Iris
Extract from The Wirral Globe 05.02.10. 'The sad fate of Mersey ferry The Royal Iris was underlined this week after a lifeboat crew was dispatched to the half-sunken vessel now moored up and derelict in the Thames. In her heyday, the Iris was famous for her party nights and saw performances by the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers.'