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Here are a few points of interest, and some other points that will only be of interest to people a bit like me; slightly obsessive and obviously on the verge of train-spotting.

I started this project in September 2004 and it pretty much took over my life until I finished it at the beginning of February 2005.

In keeping with the London theme of the nursery rhyme all the streets are within Greater London. All the shots were taken during the working week, which mostly meant lunchtimes and early mornings.
I went most places by bike. Before the clocks went back I could make use of the light evenings, although many times I had to ‘race, race against the dying of the light,’ cycling up the A1000 to Barnet.

When winter came I was limited to early mornings, often setting off about 6 or 6.30am for a 30 mile bike ride before work. This explains any slight leaning towards the North West (where I live) in my choice of streets. Most streets were picked out of the A-Z, which became my bedtime reading for six months. Some streets were picked because they have personal connections; where I was born, where I lived etc.

Oranges and lemons
Film 1, frames 3 and 5
Apologies to Lynne Truss et al for the inclusion of inappropriate apostrophes in these photographs. This was purely due to a slight misframing of the shots, rather than an attempt to slip into greengrocers’ speak.

Bells Hill
Film 1, frames 9, 21, 33; film 2, frame 9
There are only two bells (plural) streets in London, Bells Hill in Barnet and Bells Alley in Putney. At the time of doing this piece, Bells Alley was under repair and had no sign at either end. This was a pity as Putney is not quite as far to cycle as Barnet, and also because I have fond memories of Bells Alley; I used to walk down it on my way to and from my girlfriend’s house.

St Clement’s
Film 1, frame 11
The church bells mentioned in the original nursery rhyme are not all easy to place today. St Clement’s Lane leads to St Clement Danes, which is often claimed as the church of the nursery rhyme, due to its proximity to the Thames Street wharfs where citrus fruits used to be unloaded on their way to Covent Garden.

St Martins
Film 1 frame 23
The St Martin’s of the nursery rhyme was most probably St Martin-le-grand in the city, near where money lenders used to ply their trade. St Martin’s Court WC2 appears here only because I was late for work that day and couldn’t get to the city.

Whenman Avenue
Film 1 frame 26; film 2, frame 2 and 14
There is only one When Street in London, about as far away from my house as you can get and still be in London. Getting down to Bexley to take this shot before work involved getting up at 5.30am and making a trip of 48 miles by bike and another 12 by train (I was usually late for work).

Offord Road
Film 1, frame 22, 34; film 2, frame 10
My girlfriend lived here just before we got married.

Grove road
Film 2 frame 4
The road where I was born, and where my parents still live. So I am London born - just. Grove Road is only about 500 yards from the Greater London Boundary, certainly not within the sound of Bow bells (see note to Bow). There was, however, a bell tower round the corner in Dene Road, which makes its appearance in film 3, frames 34 and 35.

Thatchers way
Film 2, frame 16
A new road, off Hall Road, where I lived when I was a student. Not a great place to live, firstly because it was blighted by the Heathrow flight path, with aeroplanes so close you could virtually read the in-flight magazines. Secondly, slightly marred by backing onto a sewage works. It was cheap!

Dorset Close
Film 2, frame 27
Off Hilliard Road, where I live now. Happily married with three kids, who wonder why their dad gets up in the dark to cycle to the furthest corners of London.

Bow
Film 2, frame 35
The Bow bells of the nursery rhyme and Cockney lore are not in Bow at all, but in Bow church off Cheapside in the city. Bow, the place, is named after its bow shaped bridge. Bow, the church, is named after the bow-shaped arches in its crypt.

The third film
This turned into a bit of a saga due to camera trouble. I shot this film three times before I got a complete strip without double exposures or over exposed shots. The woman in the bread shop in Choppin Court in Wapping gave me stranger and stranger looks as I made my repeated visits to photograph “chop”; nine times in all!

Bedfordbury
Film 3, frame 11
Where I get my annual haircut.

Dead
Film 3, frames 34 and 35
There are no Dead Streets in London, although there are two just outside the M25. The site of my first school was in Dene Road, which made a nice substitute. This was knocked down in the 70s to build a housing estate, so don’t go looking for a blue plaque!


Distance travelled approximately 900 miles (or 1,200 if the two dud films are counted.)

 

 

The streets |

1 oranges STRAND WC2

2 ORANGE STREET  WC2

3 ST MARTIN’S STREET WC2

4 ANDREWS CROSSE WC2
5 LEMON GROVE TW13 Feltham

6 UPPER ST MARTIN’S LANE WC2

7 SAYERS HOUSE N2

8 THEOBALDS AVENUE N12

9 BELLS HILL EN5 Barnet

10 OFFLEY ROAD SW9

11 ST CLEMENT’S LANE WC2

12 oranges BERWICK STREET W1

13 oranges BERWICK STREET W1
14 YOUNG STREET W8

15 OWEN WAY NW10

16 MERTON ROAD HA2 Harrow
17 FIVE ACRE NW9
18 FARTHINGS CLOSE HA5 Pinner
19 SAYER’S WALK TW10 Richmond
20 THE
HERMITAGE TW10 Richmond

21 BELLS HILL EN5 Barnet

22 OFFORD ROAD N1

23 ST. MARTIN’S COURT WC2

24 oranges NEWPORT PLACE WC2

25 oranges NEWPORT COURT WC2

26 WHENMAN AVENUE DA5 Bexley

27 WILLOWS CLOSE HA5 Pinner

28 YOUNG STREET W8

29 PAYNESFIELD AVENUE SW14

30 MEDCROFT GARDENS SW14

31 SAYER’S WALK TW10 Richmond

32 THE HERMITAGE TW10 Richmond

33 BELLS HILL EN5 Barnet

34 OFFORD ROAD N1

35 OLD BAILEY EC4

36 oranges BERWICK STREET W1

1 lemons EMBANKMENT PLACE WC2

2 WHENMAN AVENUE DA5 Bexley

3 IVY WALK HA6 Northwood

4 GROVE ROAD HA6 Northwood

5 CHEPSTOW ROAD W2

6 RICHBOURNE TERRACE SW8

7 LINDSAY DRIVE HA3 Harrow

8 THE HYDE NW9

9 BELLS HILL EN5 Barnet

10 OFFORD ROAD N1

11 SHOREDITCH HIGH STREET E1

12 lemons BERWICK STREET W1

13 lemons BERWICK STREET W1

14 WHENMAN AVENUE DA5 Bexley

15 WILLOW DENE HA5 Pinner

16 THATCHERS WAY TW7 Isleworth

17 BEACONSFIELD ROAD TW1 Twickenham

18 SAYER’S WALK TW10 Richmond

19 THE BYEWAY SW14

20 BELL CLOSE HA5 Pinner

21 PRINCE’S MEWS W2

22 OFFLEY ROAD SW9

23 STEPNEY GREEN E1

24 lemons MILE END ROAD E1

25 lemons MILE END ROAD E1

26 ILCHESTER GARDENS W2

27 DORSET CLOSE HA6 Northwood

28 NOTTINGHAM COURT WC2

29 KNOWLES COURT HA1 Harrow

30 LINDSAY DRIVE HA3 Harrow

31 CONISTON GDNS. NW9

32 THE RIDGEWAY NW9

33 GREAT BELL ALLEY EC2

34 ATHELSTANE GROVE E3

35 BOW ROAD E3

36 lemons BOW ROAD E3

1 oranges PORTOBELLO ROAD W11

2 HEREFORD ROAD W2

3 COMERAGH ROAD W14

4 EDWARDES SQUARE W8

5 ADDISON ROAD W14

6 CANDLER STREET N15

7 TOTTENHAM LANE N8

8 LIGHTFOOT ROAD N8

9 YOUNG STREET W8

10 TOWER COURT WC2

11 BEDFORDBURY WC2

12 oranges STRAND WC2

13 oranges NEWPORT COURT WC2

14 HEREFORD ROAD W5

15 COMER CRESCENT UB2 Southall

16 HUMES AVENUE W7

17 CHOPPINS COURT E1

18 UPPER TOLLINGTON PARK N4

19 CHOPWELL CLOSE E15

20 OFFAS MEAD E9

21 YOUNG STREET W8

22 POTTER STREET HA5 Pinner

23 HEADSTONE LANE HA3 Harrow

24 oranges PINNER ROAD HA2 Harrow


25 oranges PINNER ROAD HA2 Harrow

26 CHIPPENHAM ROAD W9

27 CHOPPINS COURT E1

28 CHIP STREET SW4

29 CHOPPINS COURT E1

30 THE HIGHWAY E1

31 BALLAST QUAY SE10

32 MANCHESTER SQUARE W1

33 ST ANNE’S COURT W1

34 DENE ROAD HA6 Northwood

35 DENE ROAD HA6 Northwood

36 oranges EMBANKMENT PLACE WC2