I had a lot of thoughts for this CMMC – Some statues of English Queens perhaps. Or a couple of Chiltern Queens buses. I could have shown a couple of Squirrels but Cee has that covered and then there’s the Mushrooms growing in the garden! In the end, I’ve decided to go with some Public Houses šŸ™‚

The Public House is a part of British culture that finds itself under threat from changes in society over the last half century. Many Pubs have closed down – sometimes because the high street they used to serve has moved, taking the shoppers with it to another part of the town. That’s certainly true of East Finchley where the old Market Place is now a children’s playground and the two pubs that served the centre of the village pre-war are now long since gone. A couple of shops on the new high street have become pubs in their place – though in many areas, once the pub has gone, it’s gone for good. The Red Lion and The Dick Turpin serving my local area have gone and not been replaced – Here’s a photo of the ‘Turpin during demolition…

…However, there are still lots of pubs around. Celebration of the Monarchy is one of the commonest themes in pub names. The Rose and Crown, The Royal Oak, The King’s Head and The Queen’s Head are popular choices. We used to have a Queen’s Head in Church End, but that’s yet another pub that has closed and been repurposed. However, in New Barnet there is The Queen’s Arms…

…Staying with the royal connection, this is an unusual one, The Queen’s Head and Artichoke in Marylebone…

…An unusual combination! Reputedly the original ale house on the site was built by one of Queen Elizabeth I’s gardeners, which may explain the odd name. The pub / restaurant closed during the pandemic and is currently under builders sheeting – I wonder if it will re-emerge as a pub or if it has joined the long list of permanent closures.

Another popular theme in Pub names revolves around pagan customs and beliefs. The Green Man is common – we used to have one in Finchley but that has also gone – a community centre stands on the site now. There are lots of pubs which reference the Sun. In Notting Hill there is The Sun in Splendour – a pub I visited occasionally when I was working in the area as a young trainee but sadly don’t have a photo of. Instead, here’s The Sun Inn in Barnes…

…See, just when you thought there weren’t going to be any Buses… Oh, and there’s a brace of Bus Stops too! šŸ˜‰

A final Public House and another odd name, The Auld Triangle…

…This is a reference to the Harp – an indication of it being an Irish public house. Usually a sign of excellent Guinness. However, it was originally The Plimsoll Arms. It has changed ownership during the pandemic and will again be called The Plimsoll. On a Saturday, you’ll find it full of Gunners fans, because it’s close to the Emirates Stadium…

…I digress šŸ˜‰ Hope there’s enough Q’s and U’s in that selection šŸ™‚

It’s good to be doing Brian’s Last on the Card challenge so close to the start of the new month for a change! šŸ™‚

First up, from the Canon EOS 5D, the last shot from Wingate & Finchley’s away win at Leatherhead…

…That was taken on the 21st. I would normally have been at our home game on the 30th but was at a family gathering instead.

From the Fujifilm X-Pro2, one of our local buses grinds its way up Long Lane towards Finchley Central…

…There is potential for a good shot here if I catch the bus further down the hill so that the line of terraced houses on the right is more a part of the composition. Exposure will always be an issue as it will be a contre-jour shot all day. I’ll be hoping to revisit this one in future šŸ™‚

Both shots as captured, just a resize for the web.

This week the Public Art Challenge is hosted by Marsha – I should have been posting this yesterday but I’m playing catch-up. Still, hopefully I’ll be back on my Monday schedule for next week šŸ™‚

Lets start with a piece of mystery art – I found this posted on a bridge close to home…

…Made of 25 individual sheets of A4 paper forming a mosaic of an image of people shouting, or screaming maybe? Who it’s by or the why behind it, I have no idea but it makes a change from the usual grafitti šŸ™‚

A more official art piece in the form of the Middlesex County crest which once adorned the brickwork in the centre of the bridge before the North Circular Road was widened…

…Now it is mounted at one end of the concrete wall and the one from the other side of the road is fitted to the opposite end of the wall (The path on the other side disappeared as part of the road widening). It should be natural bronze but grafitti lends it some colour.

I showed one of Sean Henry’s works a couple of weeks back and promised I would show another one. Simply titled Seated Man, 2011…

…Human interaction gives some scale to the figure.

Here’s another seated man…

…A sculpture of ‘Spike’ Milligan – Actor, Comedian and Author (and probably a lot more besides!). Crafted by local sculptor John Somerville and installed in the gardens of Stephens House by The Finchley Society. The work is titled ‘A Conversation with Spike’ – you are encouraged to “Take a seat for a quiet chat with our local comic genius.”