Tour of Battersea

Tour of Battersea

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Battersea Power Station

Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott
Built in 1930s.
Largest brick building in Europe.
Wasn’t popular at the time as it was an eye-sore.
They had a fire in 1964 causing blackouts all over London.
(Remember power cuts in the 70s?)
Closed down in 1983 and remained empty until recent Malaysians bought it.
Turning it into flats, luxury sports venue, gym and restaurants.
Pink Floyd “Animals” album 1977
Inflatable pig drifted into Heathrow air space.
Police tracked it to Kent where it came down.
It was also used as Ministry of Love in 1984 with John Hurt. Also in Superman 3.

Battersea Dogs home

Opened in the 1860s as sanctuary for animals in need of help and doesn’t turn any away.
Holds over 260 dogs and cats.
1883 they accepted cats but only just changed its name in 2002 to avoid prejudice.
2011 they started Staffies (they’re softer than you think) campaign.
They even have a pet etiquette school to help dogs get used to a new life.
It housed 100 of Shackleton’s dogs before his disastrous trip to the South Pole.

Battersea Park

1858 – it was all marshland.
First place asparagus was grown in UK known as “Sparrow Grass”.
Red House Tavern attracted ne-er do-wells and the area became notorious for brawls and duels. Access was from wooden Battersea bridge.
Duke of Wellington fought a duel with the Earl of Winchelsea for his Catholic emancipation act.
He was the last Prime Minister to fight a duel but he just shot into the air.
1st Association rules football match took place here 1864.
1985 Peace Pagoda commemorates Hiroshima donated by Bhuddist monks.

Albert Bridge

1873 – John Betcheman said it was one of the beauties of the London river.
Swayed when it opened so “all troops must break step when marching” Nicknamed “Trembling Lady”.
Half suspension and half cantilever (Bazagette added suspension).
Same designer who did the rooves of the Albert Hall and St Pancras station.
Still has toll booths on it (only bridge that does).
Continues to deteriorate because of dogs doing their business on the timber decking.
1992 they made it more visible so painted it and added bulbs.
Features in Clockwork Orange and Absolute Beginners.

Battersea Square is a preety square near to St Thomas Battersea school where Prince George attends. Also Battersea Flower Station is nearby.

Buy Simon’s Jewellery on his site ➜

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Rather Splendid London Walks Book

In this book of 20 walks, I will show you some of the fun, interesting, weird and ridiculous things I’ve noticed on my travels around London