A 1926 London Underground painting foresaw the city’s skyscrapers


Most artistic visions of London’s future have been darkly pessimistic. But this Underground poster painted by Montague B Black in 1926 offered an uncanny – and much more optimistic – view of the modern city.

untitled (74)

In 1926, London Underground published a poster painted by Montague B Black, a publicity artist who also created images for Liverpool’s White Star Line, which imagines London in 2026. A golden sky enfolds a cityscape of skyscrapers over which various types of flying machine hover.

London Celebrates a Happy New Year in Style! Welcome to 2015!

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year from London town! Here’s to a bloody gorgeous 2015!

London from the Rooftops: Incredible Images of the Capital Taken from the Heights of the City


For eight years, London-based photographer James Burns has used the capital’s rooftops as a point from which to capture stunning images of the skyline.

Entitled ‘London from the RooftopsJames began the project in 2006 and received many positive reviews.

The images are incredible. Whether it be a full moon above Battersea Power Station, or the Shard arising from the clouds, various weather conditions have provided Burns with ideal opportunities for spectacular scenery images.

Reflecting on his work this year, Burns told The Independent that “interesting skies” and a mixture of weather had led to him producing some of his best work. He said: “The reason for the great images this year is simple; we have had some very interesting skies. We have had a good variety of weather from clear skies, to thick fog, and lots of great storms, not to mention the supermoons. The only thing we haven’t had is snow.”

Burns hopes that 2015 can be an even better year, as he builds up to his 2016 book that will bring together a collection of some of his best images from a decade of work.

You can follow James Burns fantastic work on Twitter OR on his website.

London’s Shard Lights up the Night Sky for Christmas #ShardLights

B5UpO2aCMAAQMax (2)

The Shard is celebrating the festive period with ‘Shard Lights’, a spectacular light installation that will reinforce the building’s status as a beacon for London. Created by award-winning art collective, Jason Bruges Studio, ‘Shard Lights’ will occupy the highest 40 storeys of The Shard.

Each evening from Friday 19 December a different show will use beacons, smoke machines, LED panels and projections at the top of the 300m building in central London. There’s a variety of effects being planned, with a different display every night, from 5pm-midnight to celebrate the festive season.

Jason Bruges, the installation artist behind the show, said:

The odd few people who happen to be about and have seen it have reacted with whoops of delight. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reaction. We’re going to have effects that run across those 40 storeys that will ripple and rotate while the building sparkles and glimmers. Big search lights are going to frame the building by pointing straight up and then going out laterally and at 45 degrees to create different shape around the top of the spire.

London Underground’s Futuristic New Tube Trains, Automated and Air Con Coming 2022


London Underground have unveiled a new design for its Tube Trains that will be running on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City Lines from 2022. One of the biggest changes is that the new trains will be driverless, 100% fully automated. Initially however they will have operators, because the signalling and other sections of the track aren’t quite up to date yet. This essentially means Tube Drivers have striked themselves out of their own jobs.

Another crazy addition is that there’s no separate carriages, meaning all the trains will be just one long space. “One of the things that will be happening in the lifetime of this train will be platform doors, which you can already see on the Jubilee line, and those will be rolled out in the coming years,” Paul Priestman, one of the designers, told Dezeen. “So on this particular train we’ve been able to make the doors bigger.”


They will also have air con, which is basically just lovely. Also, this image proves that CGI mock-ups can even make air-con vents look futuristic. The contract to build the new trains will be signed in 2016, with the first due to enter service on the Piccadilly line in 2022.


Drawings of major British historical events from first illustrated newspaper


The Illustrated London News published intricate artwork on its front covers for more than 160 years, this included historic moments in British history such as royal ceremonies and the Great War – boasting as many as 300,000 readers. The works were by famous artists such as Terence Cuneo, Fortunino Matania and Bryan de Grineau.

Is this the first Megacity? New multi-purpose London skyscraper


Its something we see in sci-fi movies like Judge Dredd and Star Wars, megacities with towering, multi-purpose skyscrapers. This could however soon become a reality. Entitled the ‘Endless City’ project it would see a giant 300m skyscraper built in London with its own complete ecosystem. The building would consist of intertwining ramps leading through business, shopping, entertainment and residential areas.

The proposal has been drawn up by SURE Architecture, the firm insists the building would be a great space-saver in dense cities which have previously spread outwards rather than upwards – London is a perfect example of this. Although the skyscraper is only at design phase, the company has earmarked a location close to the City of London. Early indications suggest the building could top 300m – around the same size as London’s tallest skyscraper The Shard.

The company’s report says that different areas of the building would be linked by a series of bridges and walkways helping to ‘increase exchanges, communications and interactions. It would include a raft of public spaces, entertainment zones and shopping areas to create a ‘vertical city’. Residents would be able to walk up a series of interlinked ramps through vibrant streets, plazas, technological spaces and huge parks in a complex and rich system like a real city.


World War One Centenary, Spectra Light in London means every man will be Remembered


To commemorate the World War One Centenary across the United kingdom (and Commonwealth) there have been various poignant events to remember the fallen. One hundred years ago on the 4th August 1914 Germany declared war on Russia, thereby putting into motion events that would ultimately devastate Europe – the United Kingdom commemorated this day with LIGHTS OUT; a nationwide black out. But as lights across the country were extinguished, a single column of white light soared through the London night sky, this project is called ‘Spectra’.

Spectra is a twenty-metre grid containing forty-nine searchlights placed in Victoria Tower Gardens by Ryoji Ikeda, what made it all the more impressive is that this had been a kept a secret many months before this event. It appeared in the sky at dusk on Monday 4th August and has been visible for seven nights only across the city from sunset to sunrise. Accompanying this stunning piece of art is a specially composed soundtrack by Ikeda which really does make it all the more poignant when you visit.

On Friday night I popped up to see Spectra for myself and I was not disappointed, it truly is a stunning piece of work and the music really does make it all the more touching a tribute to the fallen.


Scottish Independence: Listen to George Galloway’s stirring speech in defence of the United Kingdom!

George Galloway

Hello all, we are coming ever closer to the very important question which will decide the future of our 300 year old union, the United Kingdom. In September Scotland will vote in a referendum as to whether it will continue to be part of the union or go it solo.At a debate held yesterday by the paper The Spectator, Respect MP George Galloway savaged the Yes campaign as he evoked the spirit of the Blitz and the spectre of a bankrupt post-oil Scotland in an impassioned plea for Britain to stick together.

The speech itself is brilliant, you read and listen below:

If Scotland votes Yes in September you will be handing the prize for which 100 years the SNP has fought. They have fought for it despite everything and anything that was happening. When London was burning under the Blitz, their poet laureate (Hugh) MacDiarmid said: “London is burning, I don’t care.” They said it was England’s war.

They want you to refight a battle 700 years ago between two French-speaking kings with Scottish people on both sides. I prefer to remember a rather more recent battle when this small island of English-speaking people stood alone and if we had not stood but capitulated like others had done before us we would be having this meeting in German if we were going to have it at all.

And not one person asked in that summer and autumn of 1940 and into 1941 if the pilots who were spinning above us defending us from invasion from the barbaric horde were from Suffolk or Sutherland. We were people together on a small piece of rock with 300 years of common history. That’s what they want to break up and all the rest is balderdash. That’s the truth of it. How come so few women are in favour of independence? Why are Scotland’s women the most resistant of all the demographics in this contest? And the reason is that women simply don’t like gambling.

And everything in their (the Yes campaign’s) project is about gambling – for your future, your pension, your children and their children’s future. And you are right not to like gambling. But just a few hundred yards from here on the North Bridge, one of Scotland’s women, one of our highest achieving women in the history of our entire country, JK Rowling sat in a café and wrote books that people all over the world love.

And what happened when she dared to opine as to how people should vote in September? She was subjected to a torrent of abuse and hatred online and in the post. And that is the second reason why women don’t like independence – because they can see that it has already generated and will generate a politics of grudge and division based on where one stood. I am tired of being called a quisling or a traitor or – I was ordered last night from the rougher end of the trade – “get back to England”.

I’ll go wherever I like in these islands or anywhere else and speak my mind and you see that is the authentic voice of those that seek to break up this country.

I have been divorced more than once. Trust me it is never ever amicable, whatever anybody tells you. But you can make a deal. You can give the partner who is walking out on you all the CDs the DVDs, the dog, the car – you can give them everything, but the one thing you will never ever give them is the right to continue to use the joint credit card.

And that is what their plan A – and they have no plan B – amounts to.

They want to use a currency issued by the Bank of England – the clue being in the name; they want to continue to use it and they imagine that the people that issue it will allow them to do so; to use the joint credit card, even though and as they are walking out the door.

So this is the first time ever that people in a small country, where everyone speaks the same language, are being asked to break up and break up on the basis that they don’t have a currency to use.

There will be no pound. Trust me on that. I came yesterday from Parliament (where) the leaders of the mainstream parties have not changed their minds. An independent Scotland will not have the pound.

What will it have instead? The euro – how’s that going? Anybody fancy that or are we going to bring back the groat?

I see one or two pensioners here, or people close to pensionable age. How do you fancy your pension in groats? How do you fancy a pension that is based entirely on the absolutely unstable price of a commodity that will be finished in 2050?

And in my lifetime oil has been as low as $9 a barrel and as high as $156 a barrel. Who wants to mortgage their children and their children’s future on a finite resource that will soon be finished and the price of which is simply un-calculable? Un-calculable.

There will be havoc if you vote Yes in September. Havoc in Edinburgh and throughout the land and you will break the hearts of many others too.

Because, as I look at my fellow debaters on my side, I was reminded of the Duke of Wellington reviewing his own troops before the battle of Waterloo: “I don’t know what they do to the enemy but they don’t half frighten me.” “The difference is we have come together but temporarily at a moment of national peril.

The nationalists on the other hand are permanently together for they have only one purpose – to persuade you that [Stagecoach Group transport firm founder and prominent Yes campaigner] Brian Souter, the gay-baiting billionaire, funder of their campaign is someone more worthy of looking up to than JK Rowling.

I know which side I’m on. I’m with JK Rowling. Just say No.