Thursday, 17 October 2019

It was MOT & Service Time for 'The Green Goddess' Again Yesterday.

Since moving home from South Buckinghamshire it is still important for me to retain the Morgan's Servicing with its original supplying dealership.

To achieve this requires an annual trip back to Taplow in Buckinghamshire and the SGT garage there. 

This process however, also allows me to travel there the night before, make an early delivery and then to spend the day in London while the Servicing and MOT is taking place.

With two days of driving to undertake it is always good to take time out for a good walk as well.

while on my way to my overnight stop, a National Trust member it is always good to make another visit to the Cliveden Estate. 

Driving into Cliveden, alongside the Ticket Office is a new piece of Artwork by the Sculptor Anthony Caro.

A quick look to the left and then right is the old carriage drive which used to run from the Village of Taplow to the House.


 The car is parked in a very wet & mucky car park.

Setting out for my walk visitors are first blessed with the sight of the stunning fountain.

I can't get there without doubling back but down in the valley people enjoy the woodland path.

It is good to see the fountain with all spouts working again.

With first sight of the Golden Clock it is 2.35pm having refueled in Fareham at 12.22pm. That, following a 20 minute coffee break.

The Clock Tower once more

The Border Garden is showing it Autumn colour.

It will soon to be time to head for the Orangery Restaurant to take some lunch.

I finally have my lunch and a welcome seat for a short time.

More of Anthony Caro's work.

The east end of the house is just in shade as the sun moves around.

The house does look good with a bright face.

Taking the steps down from the terrace will be my aim.

The Parterre Garden looks beautiful with those well trimmed and geometric box hedges.

Rounding the front of the house this corner looks attractive in the sunshine.

The view across the Thames Valley towards the village of Cookham.

The Terrace View from the West Side

The whole Parterre Garden.

I have just noticed that open gate in the wall ahead?

Since I was here last they have created this new path to the woodland walk avoiding the many steps down from the terrace.

Beneath the Terrace in the central one of several gated recesses is what is called 'The Listening Room'

Playing inside was a video history of the Astor Family who once owned Cliveden. 
Here politician Lady Astor is making a political speech.

Another view, southward this time, towards Maidenhead.

At the front of the house where the entrance is to the swimming pool the Hotel has also used one of the buildings to create 'The Astor Grill' restaurant.

Some of the many cars belonging to House Guests.

One last shot of the house as I make my way back to the car.

On my way to inspect the plumbing I remember that a renovation of a long since disused 'Power Room' was under way last year. It now has a roof but is still work in process.

In keeping with tradition, just a couple of photos inside.

No one is around which is handy.

Clean and very tidy. Well Done Cliveden Team.

It is now 4.15pm so not a long visit but time to go.

More arrivals enter the gated garden on the Grand Drive.

In the opposite direction, the view to the fountain.

The magnificent view from the house.

Back in the Car Park, the Visitors Centre and Shop.

Between the powdered stone puddles, I am about to mucky the carpet.

Following a short diversion to Beaconsfield and my son's flat I get caught in the log jam that is the evening rush hour there.

Eventually I arrive at my overnight location which this year is at The National Sports Center of Bisham Abbey. I have no idea how long it has been open to non sporting guests like myself but it should be interesting.

The view of the modern facility as I walk towards reception.

Once in my room, the view from the window.

The corridor walls are bedecked with scenes of Olympics past.

While it is still light I dump my bags in the room and take a walk around the grounds.

The view of the main building again and reception hall.

On rounding the new building I come across the original Abbey. 
It seems that this is also now a popular Wedding Venue.

It is quite an attractive building.

This is interesting, The EIS High Performance Centre, The Intensive Rehabilitation Unit and the Abbey Clinic.

The tail end of the Accommodation Building.

I imagine that here they are quite busy.

Around the next corner I find the Hockey Training facilities.

The Goal Shooting area.

Another view of the Abbey as I seek out the Sailing School.

The Clock Tower of the Sailing School Accommodation is undergoing repairs. I can just see that it is now 5,10pm.

I could not establish the purpose of this Round Building.

The Sailing School Boat House alongside the River Thames.

The view 'Up River'

And 'Down River' towards the town of Marlow.

The Marker Stone indicating where there was once a passable shallow area or 'Ford' across the river

One of the Greens on the small Golf Course.

The First Tee.

The small Club Room 

The whole Log Cabin building.

Part of the 'AstroTurf' Football Training Area. The Floodlights are on as a session is about to begin.

I always seem to find the signs on the way out?

The Pitch Surface Supplier.

One of the Bisham Abbey Football Academy Mini Buses.

The Football Pavilion.

Back inside I head for my room and notice this direction indicator board which highlights some of the facilities.

In the fitness hall there is the sound of hectic activity underway to quite fast music.

Something about the facilities in the Abbey Building.

Football Training in the past. I wonder if anyone knows who the players are?

Just a small part of the massive Gymnasium.

I wonder what Rod & Penny were doing here?

Then some picture from history.

Rugby looked a whole lot different back then.

Her Majesty The Queen looking stunning during a past visit.

Some well known faces here.

The 2004 Women's Coxless Four Gold Medal Rowing team.

With both Marlow & Henley on the Thames nearby, Rowing is strong in this area.

Back in my room, a few shots of the accommodation which was very comfortable.

Bathroom with good Shower & Bath.

Basic but practical for an overnight stay.

The following morning I dropped the car off for its Service and MOT and took the train into London from Taplow Station.

Arriving at Paddington I will be taking my usual walk across Hyde Park to the Museums.

On the way across Sussex Gardens I wondered if this was the clandestine House used in the filming of 'The Capture'.

The Royal Lancaster Hotel

Arriving in Hyde Park it is impossible not to love the sight of this Water Garden.

Beautiful Fountains and all working.

Today I decide to take a different route across the park and the first discovery is this small Bronze Statue of two bears hugging.

It is quite beautiful.

I love walking these long wooded pathways.

The 'SPEKE' Monument is dedicated to John Hanning Speke, the explorer who discovered Lake Victoria,

The Park is also enjoyed by the many dog walkers out today.

My route takes me towards Kensington Palace. The last time I visited the Palace was during the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana when it was surrounded by a sea of floral tributes.

I obviously did not enter the park this way that day as I never realised that there was this enormous lake nearby.

From here it was impossible to get the whole lake into my photo.

So many Geese and Swans reside on this lake.

None of them seem to be interested in the passers by.

Queen Victoria's statue resides in this small pond in front of Kensington Palace.

More Geese and Pigeons feed off of the mown grass.

A clearer view of the Palace.

The Band Stand lies unoccupied among the trees.

A line of beautiful London Plane Trees.

As I make my way through the small gardens I come across this small chap. It seems interested in me so we have a chat. 
Or at least I did.

Having said 'would you like your photo taken?' it proceeded to pose for me.

At the end of the garden, there is the Albert Memorial bringing me back towards my eventual destination.

The Iconic and Stunning Royal Albert Hall.

With Contractors Fencing around three sides of the statue this is about the best place to take a clean photo.

I decide to take the westerly route around the hall and find this group display parking their Vintage Dennis Fire Engine.

They had already positioned this lovely Morris Lorry.

Backwards & Forwards, they eventually get it right.

Eventually, it is in the place that they wanted.

At this point I had no idea why they were there.

Its two hose pumping unit.

I had also not realised that the famous Royal College of Art was right next door.

And The Royal College of Organists, located near to The Royal College of Music.

A building with quite beautiful freezes.

The 'Chimney', also designed by Albert Hall Architect Major-General Scott RE is still in use over the boilers which heat the hall. 

Apparently the boilers were also used to heat a large conservatory which used to be attached to the hall.

As I pass Queen Alexander House I hear both violin and cello music emanating from rooms nearby.

Holy Trinity Church

There is much activity in the entrance to the Imperial College Union.

It transpires that today is 'Graduation Day' at Imperial College and in fine tradition these students have travelled in style.

Unfortunately, the reliability has been stretched a tad too far but being 'Engineers' its 'spanners at the ready', as they try to fix it.

What better location for such an event as The Royal Albert Hall as families and students gather ahead of the ceremony.

There are many overseas students involved and it was lovely to see their parents with them to share this important day.

The mighty entrance of Imperial College

The Narrow Buildings of Kensington Gore.

It is time to visit the Science Museum. When I said ' Christmas Already' the young lady greeting visitors reminded me that the museum is about the future. 

The wonder of the Flight Hall.

So many wonderful aircraft hanging from the roof.

The racks of Piston and Jet engines.

A full history of the development of Aero Engines.

A large Airship Engine.

The wonderful Rolls Royce Merlin Engine.

A full size Executive Jet.

The iconic Harrier Vertical Take Off Jet.

The Spitfire (right) & Hurricane (left).

The Supermarine Schneider Trophy plane.

This Area was blocked and seated ready for a presentation.

The next area is of interest to me in that it included Mathematical & Drawing Instruments.

This most superb set of Architects Drawing Instruments.

Four Trays of Fascinating Instruments.

Dividers, Pens, Protractors and Scales.

The Full Set.

This painting fascinates me. While it is a massive technical achievement it needs the polished cylinder to see that it is the hull of a wooden warship. 

It would have been good to have seen the output of this device.

A range of Quadrants used for both Time Telling and for Surveying.

Surveying Equipment and Manual.

Mathematical Calculation using the Measuring Stick and Sectors.

The reconstructed Workroom of Elias Allen, Maker of Mathematical Instruments.

Engraving Tools

More about the use of the Mathematical sector.

Instruments Crafted by Humfrey Cole in the 1500's

A photo taken from a video of a modern instrument maker crafting the engraving on a Sundial Base Plate.

The finished Sundial in the next display cabinet.

Astronomical Instruments & Orrery. 

Another range of vintage scientific instruments.

The Grand Orrery.

The Superb Silver Universal Microscope.

It is time for me to leave the Science Museum, so one last view of the Ground Floor exhibits in motion.

I am now in The Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum where I am taking my light lunch in the ornate restaurant.

As I dont have much time before walking back to Paddington Station, I am confining my viewing to the Picture Gallery and the John Constable Room.

This statue relegated to the back stairs is stunning.

The gallery are is quite small but the exhibits here are beautiful.

The three large Rosenborg Lions, made of Silver Plated Copper by Elkingtons of Birmingham in 1885, adorn the entrance to the Silver gallery.

As I make my way back across the park this telephoto shot captures a strange group?

This plate on the path indicates that I am on part of The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk.

Last year this same spot was popular for feeding the Parakeets and Pigeons. 

The ever popular Peter Pan Statue.

I am almost back to the fountains where I entered the park this morning.

Approaching from behind is this mounted Policeman.
He asked me if I was having a good day. 

When I said that I would rather be up there, he said that it was the best place in the world.

The gentle clip clop of the hooves as he slowly makes his way around the park.

The point where the fountain water enters the Serpentine.

The delightfully calming scene enjoyed by the many visitors.

Sadly the weather is not warm enough for the Rolls Royce Ice Cream Van to be her this year.

The Buckhill Gate Lodge which is a private home.

Eventually I arrive foot weary at the entrance to Paddington Station to await the next train back to Taplow.

Arriving back a SGT just in time to see the car Cleaner returning The Green Goddess ready for my journey home.

Just a couple of photos now that the hood is down.

Her Ten Year MOT Test passed with no advisories is a very good sign.

I set off towards the village of Bray taking a back road from Maidenhead towards the M4 Motorway.

This time I have my camera ready for a photo of Bray as I pass the home of Television Chat Show star Michael Parkinson on my left.

Towards the single traffic part where I have priority.

In South Bucks that means absolutely nothing as I have to wait for a bow wave of rush hour traffic to push their way through.

My last photo as I am about to climb that almost vertical Speed Hump.

It has to be both hands on the wheel for that and then a short journey to the M4 West junction and the route south through the Hampshire Countryside. 

The response I am experiencing with the new air filter will make for a fast ride home as I annoy both Audi and BMW drivers by leaving them standing at the traffic lights :-) .