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Monday, April 30, 2012

Selfridges on Oxford Street London

Selfridges, otherwise known as Selfridges & Co., is a high end chain of department stores. Selfridges was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge who was born in 1858 in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Harry Gordon Selfridge


In 1879, Selfridge joined Field, Leiter and Company (which later became Marshall Field & Co.), and he worked for the famous Chicago retailer. After working his way up the company ladder, Selfridge married into the well-known Buckingham family.

Selfridge then amassed a fortune and used it to build his new London store. That flagship store (see below) on London's Oxford Street opened 15 March 1909 and is the second largest store in the UK (Harrods is the largest).

Selfridges, Oxford Street, London

Selfridge was an innovative marketer which led to his success. Selfridge tried to make shopping fun by, for example, displaying merchandise in a way that customers could examine it.

In addition, either Selfridge or Marshall Field is said to have coined the phrase "the customer is always right", which he used regularly in his advertising. Selfridge also put the highly profitable perfume counters on the ground floor. Selfridge's techniques have been copied by modern department stores all over the world.

Selfridges' stores are known for their architecture and are themselves tourist destinations. The Oxford Street store was designed by Daniel Burnham, who also created Marshall Field's main store in Chicago.

Visitors to London may also want to visit other nearby attractions such as Kensington Palace or St Paul's Cathedral.

Selfridges
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB
Selfridges map

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Victoria Pub at The Cross Chester

The Victoria pub in Chester is located right at The Cross in the ancient centre of the city.

The Cross stands at the intersection of Chester's four main shopping streets: Bridge Street, Watergate Street, Northgate Street and Eastgate Street and is a popular rendezvous site.

The Victoria Chester

The pub is located above ground level in a "Row" and has a lovely wooden interior. There is said to have been a pub on this site since 1269, though obviously the name is much more recent. The cellar of the pub is located above the crypt of St. Peter's Church.

The Victoria Pub at The Cross Chester.


The Victoria
The Cross
2, Watergate Row
Chester
Cheshire
CH1 2LD
Tel: 0871 951 1000


The Cross in Chester can be seen along with nearby Dewa Roman Experience, St John's Church, the Meadows, Chester's Roman Amphitheater, Grosvenor Park, Chester Cathedral, the River Dee and the Rows.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

James M Barrie's London Residence

100 Bayswater Road (also called Leinster Corner) is where James M Barrie wrote Peter Pan in a studio at the rear. James M Barrie moved here in 1902. The house overlooks Kensington Gardens, and it was here that he first met his neighbours' sons, George, Jack and Peter Llewelyn Davies.

James M Barrie became a friend of the Davies boys. Barrie joined in their games and enchanted them with magical tales. George, Jack and Peter  were the first to be told the story of a little boy called Peter Pan. This story was published as "The Little White Bird", and it was so successful that Barrie decided to produce Peter Pan as a play.

James M Barrie's London Residence, London, UK

Peter Pan was first performed at the Duke of York's Theatre in London on 27th December 1904 before a capacity audience. Peter Pan has since become one of the most recognised characters in children's literature.

James M Barrie's London Residence, London

James M Barrie's residence is located on Bayswater Road in London and sports a blue plaque as seen in the above pictures. Visitors to London may also want to visit the nearby Portobello Road or Buckingham Palace.

James M Barrie's residence map

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square, Manchester was completed in 1877 after nine years in construction and the laying of 1 million bricks. Manchester Town Hall was designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse in the Neo-Gothic style and is considered one of the finest such buildings in the UK in this genre.



The clock tower in the center of the building is 87 meters tall and is the building's most distinctive feature.



In the entrance and Sculpture Hall there are statues and busts of such Manchester-linked luminaries as John Dalton, Sir John Barbirolli and James Prescott Joule. To the right on entrance is a Victorian-style cafe looking into Albert Square and the monument to Queen Victoria's Consort.



The Great Hall on the first floor contains mosaic floors and "The Manchester Murals" paintings by Ford Madox Brown. "The Manchester Murals" are a sequence of twelve paintings showing the history of the city of Manchester.

Nowadays largely ceremonious, the building does still have some administrative functions.


Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester
M60 2LA
Tel: 0871 222 8223

Manchester's other attractions include The Lowry, The Imperial War Museum North, King Street, the Arndale Center, Urbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Wheel of Manchester and Manchester Cathedral.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kingsbridge Cathedral

One of the most searched for terms that brings people to this blog is "Kingsbridge Cathedral," which is interesting as the place does not exist.

Kingsbridge does and is a lovely town south of Totnes and north of Salcombe in the South Hams area of Devon, 6 miles upstream from the sea.  Kingsbridge dates back to the 10th century, and has some lovely cobbled lanes, a colorful country craft market and some recommended pubs and restaurants.

So what is the fascination with the mythical Kingsbridge Cathedral.

The answer lies in the book The Pillars of the Earth by popular novelist Ken Follett and the subsequent TV series adaptation.

Follett's epic 1000+ page yarn tells the story of the building of a 12th century English cathedral, supposedly based on Salisbury Cathedral and Wells Cathedral, and the lives, loves and fears of those involved, set against the political intrigue and violent skull-duggery of those times

The Pillars of the Earth is one of the UK's most read books and was voted in to the top 100 best-loved books in the BBC's Big Read at number 33.

The book spawned a sequel called World Without End which takes place in the same fictional place but 200 years later.

Salisbury Cathedral

So if you do come to Kingsbridge you won't find its cathedral but you will find a beautiful place that was inhabited at the time Follett's book is set, as well as a number of medieval churches such as St. Thomas of Canterbury parish church in Dodbrooke. Thomas Becket, the Archbishop who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 is portrayed in the book.

Kingsbridge map


South Devon Kingsbridge Kingsbridge Cathedral

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Services in the South West and St Paul's 2012

Easter 2012 is this weekend and  a number of the South West's churches and cathedrals will be offering special Easter and Holy Week services.

Wells Cathedral south of Bath.
Easter Eve Saturday 7 April, 9.00pm
Easter Vigil with the Blessing of the New Fire, Candlelight Procession and the
Proclamation of the Easter Gospel
Easter Day - Sunday 8 April
8am Holy Communion
9.30am Eucharist of the Resurrection with the Easter Cross of Flowers
11.30am Sung Matins
3pm Choral Evensong

Bath Abbey
Carol Praise 4pm
8am Holy Communion
9.15am Parish Communion
11am Sung Eucharist
3.30pm Choral Evensong
6.30pm Evening Eucharist

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral. Wells, Somerset

Exeter Cathedral
11am Morning Prayer
The Cathedral opens to visitors at 11.00am today to allow for Easter Preparations
8pm The Easter Vigil with Confirmation sung by the St Peter's Singers

Bristol Cathedral
Sunday 8th April
6am Dawn Eucharist
10am Festival Eucharist for Easter Day
3.30pm Festal Evensong

Gloucester Cathedral
Saturday 7 April
10.30am
Easter Holiday Activities
8am
Holy Communion
4.30pm
Evening Prayer
8.30pm
The Liturgy of Easter Eve

Salisbury Cathedral
Saturday 7 April
Easter Vigil Readings from 7.30pm – 9.00pm.

Easter Day, Sunday 8 April
4.00am Easter Vigil Readings
5.00am
Dawn Liturgy
10.30am The Eucharist and Blessing of the Easter Garden
3pm Festal Evensong

St Paul's Cathedral
April 7
8am Mattins
7pm Easter Vigil and Diocesan Confirmation
April 8
5.45am
Dawn Eucharist
8am
Holy Communion
10.15am
Choral Mattins
11.30am
Sung Eucharist
3.15pm
Choral Evensong
4.45pm
Sunday Organ Recital
6pm
Eucharist

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