Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What's your view of the Inns of Court? No, I don't mean do you think they are stuffed full of fat cat lawyers (I'm not exactly slim, but being a criminal barrister, hardly wallowing in cash!) Do you class them as "stately homes".

........This is a fairly vague definition to weed out Howard Castle, Buckingham Palace, H of P etc etc, the obvious "touristy" sites which haven't really changed.
Righto - much of the Inns have remained unaltered for a good few hundred years, but the Lufwaffe did manage to do some damage, and any pre-1939 "then" films will be very interesting to compare, if there are any!

Obviously, having been a pupil in the Temple and now with chambers in Lincoln's Inn, I am well-placed to locate the many scenes filmed there. Sometimes an entire area is recreated as a Victorian or Georgian streetscene, complete with straw on the roads to mask the carparking bays etc.!

.........Yes, there is an undercroft, all arched, used in Tom Jones, but it isn't a real street, and it hasn't changed. However in Victim there are real streets, and bearing in mind that most people have never been in the Temple, most of the area is unknown to them.

That undercroft is under Lincoln's Inn Chapel: just outside my chambers' front door in fact! I've lost count of the famous actors I've seen there over the years. I almost got a part as an extra in "A Fish named Wanda", with John Cleese in fine fettle and the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis.
Indeed, in 30 years' time, I'll be even better placed, to run a "then and now" site, since they are always filming there at week-ends! Although not really for your site, I also have access to the many interiors used for filming. As an example, I'm attaching a pic taken from ""Witness for the Prosecution" showing Dame Diana Rigg in Inner Temple Garden with Crown Office Row in the background. I was a pupil in the building just to the right, back in 1989.

............aah, the later version, I remember Marlena Dietrich, and Charles Laughton in the earlier one. But save the images, we can put them up in 2009, only three years to wait

Never fear, I have the Laughton / Dietrich version too!

Incidentally, let me know if you are going to set up a sub-site with Routemaster bus scenes.

.............No No NO............but you can, I'll give you the space if you want it.

That's an interesting idea. There is a series of "Then and Now" railway books, showing how railway stations and lines have changed over the years (and 2 volumes of aerial views too), but nothing for buses that I know of. I'm almost old enough to have 30-year-old "then" photographs - but film was expensive then, and the joys of digital photography now make things so much easier and cheaper, of course. In 30 years' time, when Routemasters are a fond but distant memory (like steam engines now, I suppose), I'll have a good collection to work from.

I'm a member of Cobham Bus Museum,

............and now I realise that barristers gowns shrink down to anoraks!, after dark and when the moon is full

Oh, yes, spot on! My senior colleagues never fail to tease me about my other interests. But I did manage to win a case 5 years ago (a multi-handed railway robbery, an activity now prosaically called "steaming") because I was the only person in Court who understood properly the layout of a Southern Region 4-CIG slamdoor train!

fand one of their magazines a few years ago had quite a long list of films with London buses in it. What's always funny, however, is a film or TV programme set in World War Two or 1940s, showing Routemaster bus (first entered service in 1956!). You are corresponding with someone who queued for 3 hours on 9th December and just managed to get a seat on the last 159 to Brixton!

............I think we've got a pic on the blog

The picture you kindly sent me is not actually the LAST Routemaster: I am attaching a picture of the very last one, RM2217 at Brixton, near the old Telford Avenue tramshed.

...........but, yes, get something written down and we'll start a new page for buses, trains, planes and other forms of transport

Many thanks for the list: I'll reformat it into a database, and make additions etc., and send it back to you. Another few hours' interesting work there for me! I have a particular fondness for power stations - literally growing up in the shadow of Fulham Power Station (alas no more) and can spot most of them quite easily. I loved that mistake that was made about Lots Road Power Station (about to be converted into ..... flats!) on your site. Pity someone else spotted it first! It used to have 4 chimneys. And, Battersea used to have 2, then 3 and now 4 of course. A source of much confusion all round.
Best wishes,


.......I've attached my trains an' boats an' planes file, which I haven't touched since 2004, just waiting for you to update it and breath some life into it

Best wishes,