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The Pride of Poplar Returns… London’s Latest Statue

On Friday 16th May 2014 London acquired its latest statue… a sculpture of Teddy Baldock, the East End lad who rose to fame in the 1920s by becoming Britain’s youngest ever boxing world champion- an accolade which remains to this day.

Teddy Baldock... London's latest public artwork.

Teddy Baldock… London’s latest public artwork.

As promised in an earlier post about Teddy’s life and career (please click here to read), here are some photographs from the unveiling…

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Teddy’s statue stands directly opposite Langdon Park Community Sports College which is situated beside Landgon Park DLR station.

Langdon Park DLR. Teddy's statue stands just to the right of this view.

Langdon Park DLR. Teddy’s statue stands just to the right of this view.

The weather on the day was glorious… and as 3pm approached, a large crowd gathered to witness the ceremony.

A crowd gather to see Teddy's statue unveiled.

A crowd gather to see Teddy’s statue unveiled.

Until the moment arrived, the statue (sculpted by Staffordshire based artist, Carl Payne) was draped in a golden shroud… which threatened to billow off with the wind on more than one occasion!

Before the unveiling...

Before the unveiling…

The statue was finally unveiled by Pam Baldock; Teddy’s daughter.

Pam Baldock unveils the statue of her father.

Pam Baldock unveils the statue of her father.

Although wee on first impressions, the statue of Teddy is in fact life-sized…he was a tough little fighter!

Teddy Baldock

Teddy Baldock

A plaque on the statue’s plinth informs the public of Teddy’s achievements.

Teddy's plaque

Teddy’s plaque

After the unveiling, a group of ex-boxers gathered beneath Teddy’s statue for a fun photo-shoot.

Former boxers gather in honour of Teddy Baldock.

Former boxers gather in honour of Teddy Baldock.

When he died in the early 1970s Teddy was a tragic figure; penniless, homeless and long-forgotten, his funeral poorly attended.

However, thanks to the wonderful campaigning carried out by his grandson, Martin, the legacy of one of the East End’s finest sons has been revived; the huge turnout for the unveiling  bearing testament to Teddy’s achievements.

As well as the statue, Teddy’s memory will now live on in the Teddy Baldock Sports Benevolent Fund; a charity which supports former sportspeople who have been disabled by physical or mental injury or are suffering from general hardship. Please click here for more information.

statue 3

Teddy Baldock, the ‘Pride of Poplar’. 1907-1971.

 

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Intermission

Test Card

The Redesign of ‘View From the Mirror‘ is now complete, thank you for your patience!
Please note, the address of this site is now: http://www.blackcablondon.net

Tales From the Terminals: Waterloo Station (Part 2… A Lost Tube)

Although Waterloo Station was developing in a haphazard way throughout the 19th century, Victorian engineers were striving to build an organized system deep below the terminal.

A newly constructed tunnel beneath Waterloo pictured in 1897 (image: National Railway Museum)

A newly constructed tunnel beneath Waterloo pictured in 1897 (image: National Railway Museum)

Waterloo’s Lost Tube…

As we’ve seen in part one, the board of the London and South Western Railway originally envisioned their line terminating in the heart of the capital with a major station based on the southern side of Trafalgar Square.

When the Duke of Northumberland stubbornly refused to release the land however, the LSWR were forced to decamp to the opposite side of the Thames, meaning that passengers wishing to visit Westminster or the City had to continue their journey on foot, crossing the river via either Waterloo or Hungerford Bridge- both of which demanded a toll.

Hungerford Bridge as depicted in the 1850s.

Hungerford Bridge as depicted in the 1850s.

In 1865 the LSWR’s directors made an attempt to overcome this obstacle by linking their Waterloo terminal to their favored Whitehall spot via an early underground route dubbed the ‘Waterloo and Whitehall Railway.’

Inspired by a recent demonstration at the newly located Crystal Palace in Sydenham, this early tube link was intended to be a pneumatic railway- “noiseless and free from vibration”- which would see 25-seat carriages whooshing every 2 to 3 minutes through a pipe deep beneath the river.

An imagined view of the Pneumatic Railway from the London Illustrated News.

An imagined view of the Pneumatic Railway from the London Illustrated News.

The path of the tunnel was destined to run from a point below Waterloo’s York Road, under the now vanished Vine Street and College Street and out beneath the murky waters of the Thames before reaching the north bank where it would terminate under “the Parish of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields in the County of Middlesex in the street or Place known as Great Scotland Yard

Approximate route of the long abandoned Waterloo and Whitehall Railway.

Approximate route of the long abandoned Waterloo and Whitehall Railway.

The section beneath the Thames was to consist of several 1,000 tonne pipes which would be sunk into a riverbed trench, bolted together and smothered in concrete.

The manufacture of these iron tubes was contracted to Samuda Brothers; a ship building company based on the Isle of Dogs; the idea being that the hefty sections could be shipped the short distance along the Thames before being plunged into the water.

One of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway's pipes under construction on the Isle of Dogs.

One of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway’s pipes under construction on the Isle of Dogs.

Work on the scheme began in October 1865, encouraged by a general consensus that the pneumatic railway could be “laid in twelve months for a comparatively small sum.”

However, within a few short months investors were struck by a financial crisis and the project ground to a halt, leaving a jumble of “unsightly stacks of wooden piles” jutting out of the river’s construction site.

In December 1866 it was suggested that the tunnel could perhaps be completed and downgraded to a pedestrian walkway, but the idea never received support and the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway was officially abandoned in 1870.

The Rotherhithe foot tunnel (now part of the London Overground)...sadly its Waterloo cousin never came to fruition.

The Rotherhithe foot tunnel (now part of the London Overground)…sadly its Waterloo cousin never came to fruition.

Scant Remains

Two years later, an auction was held on York Road outside Waterloo Station in which left over equipment from the defunct scheme was flogged off.

Lots included “pile-driving engines and monkeys…a centrifugal pump…warehouse cranes….scrap iron…timber….an anvil…skips….nuts and bolts….and navvy barrows.”

No doubt some lucky bidder clocked a bargain that day!

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In the early 1960s, remnants of the partially built tunnel were unearthed during the construction of the Shell Tower… a building perched between Waterloo Station and the London Eye, which harbors another subterranean secret- its own, underground, Olympic sized swimming pool.  

The Shell Tower.... beneath which lie remains of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway and an Olympic sized pool! (Pool image: Copyright Ben Hollingsworth).

The Shell Tower…. beneath which lie remains of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway along with an Olympic sized swimming pool! (Pool image: Copyright Ben Hollingsworth).

It is also said that the excavations carried out in the vicinity of Scotland Yard on the northern bank of the Thames now form the National Liberal Club’s wine cellar….

National Liberal Club (image: Wikipedia).

National Liberal Club (image: Wikipedia).

To be continued…