For the third and final report from my London trip, I'll round up various sights spotted during my perambulations.
The National Army Museum in Chelsea is well worth a visit. There were plenty of authentic relics from the earliest days right up to the Falklands War (some later wars were being updated so were not open to the public at the time). It's a magnificent collection, covering several floors.
Photos could not be taken inside but I snapped a few outside.
The Chelsea Physic Garden was the next place on my list (it's very close to the Army Museum). The plaque provides sufficient detail for now.
Unfortunately, just after taken the snap above, I encountered a locked gate and a large wall. I'll never get over it; the garden is closed on Saturdays! Oh well, maybe next time.
I decided to backtrack slightly and call in for a look at the Royal Hospital. It was founded in 1682 by King Charles II for the 'succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war'.
He looks like he's been there a long time...but in fact it's only been a decade and it's all thanks to the Mayor of Darlington.
The hospital buildings and gardens are magnificent and peaceful.
A Chelsea war memorial, possibly dating back to the time they had to play Millwall on a regular basis, with the Royal Court Theatre in the background.
Marble Arch - the original gateway to Buckingham Palace. It was moved when they realised that it was too small. Apparently the ears of Prince Charles proved to be the sticking point.
'Maybe it's big-horse I'm a Londoner...' (Were you expecting the 'why the long face' joke...?)This bronze statue has only been there since July 2009. It's not clear whether or not it's going to eventually include the rest of the horse.
The fountains are new also. It's all part of a major redevelopment of the Marble Arch area.
Trafalgar Square provided plenty of photo opportunities.
King George the Fourth. Contrary to popular belief, he didn't invent fractions.
One of the famous lions, who guard Nelson while he stands atop his column.
From that angle it's only a half-Nelson, but jump as I might I couldn't get much closer.
Henry Havelock is best known for his service during the Indian Mutiny. The plinth reads:
To Major General Sir Henry Havelock KCB and his brave companions in arms during the campaign in India 1857. "Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your valour, will not be forgotten by a grateful country"
Ken Livingstone had a desire to see HH's statue replaced with one that 'ordinary Londoners would know', suggesting that some privations and sufferings have indeed been forgotten.
Notice the lack of pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Ken didn't like those either and he was successful in his plan to 'give them the bird'. It's good to know he didn't just fritter away his time in power. Help may be at hand for our feathered friends: http://www.savethepigeons.org/
It was good to meet up with Julian Allinson again. This time we opted for an Italian meal rather than an Indian ( http://marshtowers.blogspot.com/2009/05/chewing-fat.html ). The food was good and the company was even better.
That's all folks! Another London trip is on the cards before the end of the year. I still didn't get around to going on The Eye!