Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wembley Central

This is the entrance to Wembley Central, the 22nd station I have visited on the Bakerloo Line. It doesn't look much like a station from this photo but the front is currently being replaced. It lacks the character of the other stations I have seen and just looks part of the shopping complex which is probably what the designers wanted. Behind this small station front is a much larger station than you would think. It even has public toilets! British Rail, the Overground as well as the Bakerloo Line use this station.

The station is the white section at the bottom right of this coloured mixed block of shops and apartments.

Across the road from the station is a much older block of shops known as Central Parade. More interesting architecture but not sure how long this block will remain before it is also redeveloped.

Another interesting building around the corner.

Walking from Wembley Central station you soon see Wembley Stadium. In fact the arch has been visible since leaving the station. These are light poles in the foreground. I'm sure it looks wonderful in the evening when they are all lit up.

This is the new Wembley Stadium opened in 2007. The previous stadium was opened in 1923 and was one of a number of concrete structures built for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924. The stadium was also used as the main venue for the Summer Olympics of 1948. It is perhaps more well known for its association with football, hosting the annual FA cup finals; a number of European cup finals and the world cup final in 1966. The present stadium is still mainly used for major football matches. The 134m arch can be seen across London.

Opposite the stadium is the Designer Outlet so if you're not interested in football there are plenty of shopping opportunities here.

A reflection in the Designer Outlet gives a better view of the Stadium.

Walking in the opposite direction from the Underground station I came across this Mosque and was surprised to see a Shiva Temple next door.

There is a strong Asian presence in this area as you can see from the local shops.

A few Irish pubs as well.

The church of St John the Evangelist just off the Harrow Road looked a charming old church. Built in 1846, a graveyard was added in 1887 which is now referred to as Wembley Old Burial Ground.

Further along the road is this art deco fire station.

Next to the fire station is this large modern police station

Although a modern building it has retained the old blue lamp, the Victorian symbol used outside police stations. They first appeared outside police stations in 1861.

Across the road from the police station is Barham Park. A large open space with formal gardens

Also in the park is this Georgian building used as a local library until 2011 and now housing 31 studios.

Whilst wandering through the walled gardens I came across a group of Nepali Ladies. They were watching another lady showing them some keep fit movements. There was a lot of laughter but I only saw one of them trying some of the movements.

In another part of the garden their husbands were sitting on a couple of benches chatting away.

Back at the Underground station to make the long journey home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stonebridge Park

The platforms at this station are used by both the Overground and the Underground which is unusual.

This station was first used by the Bakerloo line on 16th April 1917 and this is the 20th station on this line.

Across from the station is Argenta House, the headquarters of a jewellery manufacturer. To mark the occasion of the 2012 Olympic Games the owner of the company, Ari D Norman,  decided to commission murals of three Olympics that highlighted racial strife

 Munich 1972: 11 Israeli Olympians kidnapped and murdered

 Mexico City 1968: Iconic image for human and civil rights

Berlin 1936: Jesse Owens wins 4 Olympic Gold medals disproving the white supremacy doctrine of Hitler and the Nazis.

These three illuminated panels painted by Abe Sesay are a permanent 24 hour reminder of issues and events that shouldn't be forgotten.

The station is next to the very busy North Circular Road and in the other direction you can see the arch of Wembley Stadium.

In the nearby Brent River Park is a reminder of the old Wembley Stadium. Many people were very disappointed that the iconic twin towers from the original Wembley Stadium would not be part of the new one. So although this looks a strange monument to have in a park, I think it means a lot to local people. This section is the base of the flagpole from the twin towers.

Although not a large park it is picturesque and has a number of features such as thi skateboard area.

The skateboard park is full of various sayings.

This majestic building came as quite a surprise. I had heard of the Neasden Temple but had never seen it before. I approached it from an ordinary residential street and then as I approached the gates saw it in all its wonder.

This is the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. It is the first traditional Hindu temple to be built in Europe and the largest outside India. The marble was carved in India and then shipped to the UK where the 26,300 pieces were assembled. It opened in 1995.