I subscribe to the http://ianvisists.co.uk RSS feed and the other day I noticed that a post about visits to the Crossrail building site near Bond Street. Usually these things get booked up pretty quickly but I was lucky enough to get a space, if I remember correctly I was bored waiting for a plane when I did the booking via the http://eventbrite.co.uk website.
I had quite a few things planned already for the weekend so time was not on my side. First I had to check a couple of things for work as the electricity was being turned off at my local site so we were using the generator to keep the power to the computers going, I just had to check that it was still working which I did at 07:30. Then I checked a couple of issues for the accountants as it was the first end of period of the year there is always a few things that need tweaking. Next stop was a long over due hair cut, I find the best strategy is to get to the barbers in Wendover just before they open at 08:30 as you can get a space to park outside the shop and your first in the queue. On this occasion I was running late but third in the queue was OK as they have three chairs running on a Saturday.
It was with a cold head that I returned home to have a quick coffee then drop Helen off up the road then head to Berkhamsted station to catch the 09:46 which luckily for me was running 5 minutes late and I managed to catch it. About half way to London we stopped due to no power in the overhead lines but we were only stationary for about 5 minutes, clearly the train needed some maintenance running late then having to stop. We arrived at Euston at 10:24.
I had plenty of time so I decided to walk, despite having a railcard. I had a couple of hours so I could take my time. Just off Euston the is the welcome trust which is always with dropping into as there is always something unusual to look around. Today there was an interesting art and photography exhibition. Then I walked down Tottenham Court road and did a bit of browsing in the technology so windows. I called Specsavers in Aylesbury to see if they had my contact lenses in and it turned out they had not, they gave been messing me about and I was about to run out of lenses. I had passed a branch earlier so I hoped on the bus and retraced my steps back where a reluctant employee phoned my branch to get my prescription only to announce that they had none. I asked about alternatives then she went into a back room and same back with a sample pack of 5 which would hopefully tide me over until they get some in Aylesbury.
I noticed that there are a lot of Japanese style fast food outlets about these days, but when I need lunch there were none to be found. I settled for a cheese sandwich from Pret. I found the building where we would all meet up it is at 75 Davies St in the Crossrail offices on the 2nd floor. We were given a presentation by the Bond street project manager who was very passionate about the whole project and was proud to be a part of it. I must say that all of the people they had laid on to talk to us were all very proud of their contributions. After the presentation with a few videos thrown in we went to an observation room in the offices which overlooked one of the ticket hall sites where yet more employees told us a bit more about the issues they had to overcome building in such a built up area.
There were the local residents of Mayfair no less, then the problem of getting stuff in and out of the site in such a busy area of London, then they had to be careful off the surrounding structures. All the local buildings were constantly monitored for movement, as well as under ground sensors as they were within three metres if the Jubilee line.
Next we were herded round the block to gave a look at the building site it self. Disappointingly we did not get to go underground but had to settle for a look down into the deep hole that had constructed to get the tunneling machines down. When the tour was over I had been on my feet long enough so I hopped on the tube and was soon back at Euston to catch the 15:54 back to Berkhamsted.
All in all an interesting day out.