Big Wheels Old and New

INTRODUCTION

This post was inspired by a number of lots that will be featuring in James and Sons’ next auction (20th – 22nd February, 1st two days at James and Sons’ premises in Fakenham, third day at The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich).

THE GIGANTIC WHEEL, EARLS COURT

This structure, from the top of which Windsor Castle was visible on a good day, was open between 1895 and 1906 (hence the green coloured heading – it closed before the Piccadilly line opened,m meaning that the only public transport link would have been the District line). More about this wheel can be found here.

Lots 1286-90 inclusive and also lots 1294-5 in the auction are tokens/ medallions from this wheel’s period of operation…

If this gallery has tickled your fancy, a click on the image of lot 1286 reproduced below will take you to a full auctuion catalogue:

Lot 1286

THE LONDON EYE

The nearest experience to this you can enjoy in the capital today is on the London Eye, which is near Waterloo, and hence can be reached on the Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines, as well as mainline, national and international railways and by boat.

For more on today’s version of a gigantic wheel visit the official website.

Kenton and Northwick Park

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post about two unremarkable stations.  This post came about because on Wednesday evening I was looking through a Railway Atlas that I had acquired at the auction that my employers were running (for more on this click here) and saw a picture that gave me an idea.

THE HISTORY

Kenton, nowadays the one stop south of the northern terminus of the Bakerloo line, was first served by that line in 1917, five years after it opened (although the line on which it sits had been in operation since the 1830s), services that far north being suspended in 1982 before being reintroduced in 1984. Northwick Park, on the Metropolitan, though being on a stretch of track built in 1885 did not open for business until 1923, when it was originally called Northwick Park & Kenton before losing the suffix, which is a good place to share some maps as a lead in to the next section…

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TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE
AN INTERCHANGE?

The picture that gave me the clue that led to this post was this one…

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Noting that although showing no features these maps seemed to be paying at least lip-service to geography (as Mr Beck’s creation and the zillions of imitations it spawned do not) I decided this warranted investigation to see whether these two stations really were close enough together to be considered an effective interchange. Google Maps today yielded the following…

Kenton - Northwick Park

Given Google Maps’ habitual over-estimation of walking times I would say that this constitutes prima facie evidence that indeed Kenton-Northwick Park and vice versa does deserve to be considered a genuine interchange. I have put Kenton first in this suggestion because I could see a situation where if you lived significantly north of Baker Street on the Bakerloo and needed to travel somewhere on the outer reaches of the Metropolitan a short walk from Kenton to Northwick Park would save time on travelling away from destination and then back towards it (even allowing for the possibility of a second change at Harrow-on-the-Hill, since Amersham services do not stop at Northwick Park).

SIGNIFICANT PLACES IN THE AREA

There are just two places worthy of individual mention in this area, and I append links to their respective websites below:

An Appropriately Themed Badge

INTRODUCTION

This is the first of two posts about items that relate to the work of this site that I got hold of at my employers auction yesterday.

IMAGING AND IDENTIFYING

As is usually the case with the stuff that I purchase at auction I spotted this item while imaging it, and put it down as one to bid for as soon as the auction was live. Here is the image that everyone saw of the item, which will make its relevance obvious…

577

I duly put in a commssion bid for this badge in the full expectation of getting it (I have to bid this way because on the auction day I am unlikely to be able to bid on my own account), which duly happened. It was well displayed on the day in an exhibition case…

Lot 577 for Social Media

I tried several methods of imaging the item at home, as shown below.

The first attempt, at imaging it at home.
The first attempt, at imaging it at home.
Having seen the effect that any artificial light had on the image I did the remaining two outside on my balcony .
Having seen the effect that any artificial light had on the image I did the remaining two outside on my balcony .
This one was my personal favourite - what do you think?
This one was my personal favourite – what do you think?

SPECULATIONS ON MAKING THE BADGE USEFUL

My first thoughts about whether I could actually turn this into something that I could use ran along the lines of possibily having it re-engraved with the address of this website, but I am now thinking that if I do anything to it it would be to have the website address around the ring (top and bottom), and keep the London Transport bit.