A testing time in London

Kirkaldy Museum Southwark LondonHelen was booked up for the day so I had a day to indulge myself. I have recently getting back into taking panorama photos and submitting them as photospheres to Google, so I was keen to go somewhere to indulge my current interest. There is no point in doing panoramas of streets as Google has already got that converted you need to find views where the Google car can’t get to. I checked out the Ian visits website, which covers all things unusual happening in London. A things jumped out as interesting the Kirkcaldy museum of material testing (would be closing to move soon) and Sikh festival in Trafalgar square, that would give me something to start and time to stop and take photos.

After dropping Helen off at church I headed to Wendover to catch the 09:13 to Marylebone which would not be my station or route of choice but there was engineering works at Watford junction which ruled out the Euston service. The station cafe was closed so I would have to wait for my coffee but the train left on time.

I took the tube to Waterloo as I wanted to make sure that I was on the 11 o’clock tour as it happens the tour at eleven was more of a recommended time as there was I timetable just some enthusiastic people who were more than willing to tell pi all about the equipment. I tagged on top a part that was being show the exhibits by a volunteer who was probably an engineering student as she sounded like she knew what she was talking about.

All talks stopped when it was announced that the big machine was going to be demonstrated. The big machine was about the size of the steam engine in the science museum. The way the machine worked was that it used water to hydraulically stretch or compress the material that was being tested. In the demonstration they were stretching bars from the pavement grates outside the building which when they were replaced the museum salvaged them. The curators got everyone involved in the process pressing the button to switch it on and then winding the wheel to move the clamps in and out. The bar under test started to flake then eventually broke with a bang and the building shook a bit. After a look at the other demos I headed off towards Trafalgar Square.

It seemed everyone was out walking on the south bank of the Thames, but I noticed that the gates to the foreshore were open so I headed down to the beach and walked on the beach instead. there were only a few of us down there. Around the national theatre I headed up to the masses and found the reason for the crowds. There were lots of street food vendors one section for Malaysia and and another for Spain. I was tempted by the food but the queues put me off. I shot off a few panorama sets while I was there as I want to improve my handheld technique.

I crossed the foot bridge that has a railway bridge close by then walked through the station at the other side. I popped out near where Alpine sports used to be and went around the block to Trafalgar square. I had picked up a cheese sandwich at the station then realised my mistake the festival had food stalls and they were all vegetarian. I could not resist buying a samosa though. I had a look around and took a few pictures then headed north destination Foyles.

I thought I might be able to buy the BluRay for Untouchable a French film Helen and I want to see but on Love Film there are no sub-titles (OK for me but a bit tough for Helen). Strangely they only sell DVDs in Foyles so I grabbed a few travel writing books and headed towards Oxford Street to have a look there. My extra effort was wasted I could not find any shops that sold DVDs or BluRays, I guess they have all gone on-line or people just stream movies these days.

I jumped on the Tube back to Baker street and the walked to Marylebone Station. By that time I was glad of a sit down on the train I had been on my feet since 09:00.