Paris’ Pompidou Centre – 40 years on

“…it is the most stunning new ‘go-to’ to be seen in any city.” Architectural Review, May 1977 Forty years ago, the style and construction of Paris’ Pompidou Centre marked a revolutionary change in the design of public buildings. Loved and loathed in equal numbers by the public and the established order, it’s hard now to…

With a name like Lowry, Manchester is my kinda town

With a name like mine, the most common question is – are you related to LS Lowry.  Sadly, I am not.  We do however share a great love of the arts and an admiration for urban grit so why oh why didn’t I visit the magnificent city of Manchester before now? When I did so,…

London’s Triumphal Arch

If you have ever wandered over onto the roundabout at Hyde Park Corner, you will have seen an arch, but it never occurred to me until reading more about it, that this was to celebrate Wellington’s victory over Napoleon so follows in fact from the Roman tradition of triumphal arches.  Today it is known as…

Another day, another Castle!

I have visited Southsea Castle, Portsmouth, on more occasions than I care to remember but I have to say, on this last and most recent visit, the old girl is looking better than ever! Located on Southsea Beach, between the common and South Parade Pier, you can easily understand its strategic importance and why Henry VIII…

The Mary Rose Museum has landed …

From certain angles, the award-winning Mary Rose Museum has the look of a flying saucer, landing right next to Nelson’s historic flagship, HMS Victory in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.  When you step inside however, that is where the similarity ends – even though the technology that has brought us to this point in Mary Rose’s history is…

On the trail of John Keats

  Has this ever happened to you?  Sometimes when you work on a new project, a name pops up again and again and you start seeing references to it everywhere you go.  What do they call it – Six degrees of separation? So it was for me with the poet John Keats who is thought to…

A London secret: The Stafford’s WW2 museum

You learn something new every day my mother used to say – and over the past few days, I have found this to be true.  Who knew for example about The Stafford hotel’s very own underground museum with links to World War Two? When recently having a drink at London’s alternative American Bar at The Stafford,…

The Pickwick Bicycle Club

My introduction to The Pickwick Bicycle Club came as a result of the unveiling of the UK’s first statue to honour the novelist Charles Dickens, in the city of his birth, Portsmouth. Cycling in from stage right, weaving their way through bollards, chairs and pedestrians were a bevy of five or six cyclists – some…

A Dickens of a thing …

I started this A3Traveller blog with a post on Charles Dickens for we share a common birthdate, so it seemed somewhat appropriate, especially given he is a local lad made good. It’s wonderful to hear therefore that a statue to this literary master will be unveiled in the city of his birth at Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square…

A dream fulfilled: exploring a fort

I grew up in Fareham and Portsmouth so the Victorian land fort defenses on top of Portsdown Hill and the sea forts just off Southsea Beach were on my background radar as places of great interest and intrigue during my childhood.  I was fed stories about all the forts being connected by secret tunnels which…