At the fringe of the City of London, just off of City Road, is "The Eagle" pub. The pub is popular as it is on the route in and out of the old city, and it could often be visited by city workers leaving the city after work. The pub is noted for appearing in the nursery rhyme "Pop! Goes the Weasle"; it was demolished and a music hall took its place before that was demolished and rebuilt as another pub.

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The Eagle

The lyrics in the rhyme mention the pub. The rhyme was once a popular dance which was coined in the mid-1800s. It also became a children's game. The lyrics, quoted below, mention the name of the pub. The other lyrics include themes related to market and city workers.

"Up and down the City Road
In and out the Eagle
That's the way the money goes
Pop! goes the weasel"

The lyrics are also placed on the exterior of the pub as a tribute to its history.

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Pop! Goes the weasel

I went inside the pub and had a meal with a colleague. The food was alright and it was worth a stop to have a meal and a drink after visiting the historical pub. 

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The Eagle - food and interior of the bar area

Perhaps you have heard the rhyme before but did not know the origins. 

Street Art: Mighty Mo

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Street artist Mighty Mo (also known as Mightly Monkey) paints colourful monkey faces near the tops of buildings in London, and these are commonly seen in east and north London. The artist often paints with Dscreet, Sweet Toof and others, who are collectively known as the Burning Candy Crew. Mighty Mo also created a piece with artist Cranio this summer (Street Art: Cranio, Senna, HIN, and Mo).

Mighty Mo started painting the streets in 2005, and every now and again a new piece can be found, but most of the work I have found and photographed is older. Walk around Bethnal Green Road, Hackney, and Shoreditch and his work is easy to spot if you look up.

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Mighty Mo

Australian street artist Rone recently painted a new mural in London on Hanbury Street off of Brick Lane, a popular place for street art. The mural features the portrait of a woman in purple shading with roses. Last year, the artist was in London and painted a portrait of a woman on a brick building above the Leonard Street car park. The piece on Hanbury Street replaces the elephant octopus by Alexis Díaz: Street Art: Alexis Díaz.

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Rone's most recent piece in London

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Rone with Nemo and Stik in Leonard Street car park

For more information about Rone, visit the artist's official website: http://r-o-n-e.com 

Next to Rone's piece on Hanbury Street and on Bacon Street are some new additions by UK-based stencil artist Snik. This work is also portraiture featuring women. The work shows emotion through motion of the hair, poses, and colour. This series of murals features the women in an orange-yellow cast, and I love the portrayal of emotion here with the use of the hands of the subjects (orange 'gloves' around the face and the praying pose in another one of the murals) and the waves and motion of the hair. These are a nice addition to Brick Lane and they also complement Rone's larger mural.

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Snik

For more information about this artist, visit the official website: http://www.visualdirt.co.uk or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/snikarts

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

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A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Some famous bells were cast in this factory, such as Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. The foundry is located not far from where I work, at the bottom of Brick Lane. When the tour began, we were told a brief history of the foundry and told that this is the only one that remains now, but there were a few in London in older times. 

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Bells

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is located on Whitechapel Road, just a block away from where the church stood that once occupied the spot before it was destroyed in World War II. The premises was expanded over the years, so the rooms are different sizes with low ceilings in some places and narrow walkways. 

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Facade of the foundry building

Inside the bell foundry is a small museum and a gift shop. Images of some of the bells and making bells is shown on a screen. The queen visited it recently, and they had a busy year in 2012 with various bells for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics as there were bells used in the river Thames pageant.

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We were shown around the rooms, and in the first room, we were told about how the metal was made by combining different substances (stone, bronze, etc.) and melting the metal, pouring into moulds, and the machinery to do this. 

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Several bells were around the room in various states of repair. I enjoyed the very brief history and some of the information about making bells, but we had a very large group who seemed to be very interested in bell-ringing and the musical side (I think they were part of a group who ring bells), so most of the tour was taken over by the musical side of bells. This did not interest me or make sense to me, so I was a little bit disappointed as I wanted to know more about the history and about how the bells were made.

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We were shown where the bells were 'trimmed' of metal in order to create the correct notes and we were told in detail about how this was done and shown where this happened.

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The last room showed how bells could be hung and various mechanics for this. There were a lot of bells under repair in this room. A lot of these bells come from all over the world as there are not many bell foundries in the world.

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I liked reading the inscriptions on the bells and seeing the detail and typography used to decorate the bells. 

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The bells made at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry have their own special seal. The one below was made last year.

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In addition, the company make musical bells and small hand bells. I bought a couple of dinner bells when I booked the tour last summer. These are made in part of the expanded cottages, which are located up some flights of stairs. There's also a carpenter's room on site.

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We were told about how the bells were tuned.

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On the way out, we went through a courtyard and listened to one of the bells ring.

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Exterior of foundry

Ben Slow's New Charlie Burns Mural

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Street artist Ben Slow recently re-painted his tribute to Charlie Burns on Bacon Street, just off of Brick Lane in London. I originally blogged at Ben Slow here: Street Art: Ben Slow. I was glad to see the portrait return as it had been wearing out over the past few months, and it had been tagged over. I actually prefer the newer mural to the older sky-blue Charlie Burns mural.

The mural of "Charlie Burns" commemorates a local 95-year-old man who ran a charity and who was a well-known figure, often seen on Bacon Street. The mural is painted on Bacon Street. 

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If you have not seen the new mural yet, pop over to Brick Lane to take a look.

Leaves by Irma Pellegrini

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I discovered some work by Irma Pellegrini on Brick Lane after one weekend, and the little wooden figures remained there for a couple of weeks. The little figures were stuck onto the brickwork along with branches of leaves, all with umbrellas as if they were floating away in the breeze. The artist, original from Argentina, works with wooden carvings.

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For more information about the artist, view the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irma-Pellegrini/144866808879156) or website (http://www.irmapellegrini.com).

NemO's - Decaying Street Art

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"BEFORE and AFTER" is a range of work depicting street art decaying over time. Artist NemO's starts with building up the layers of the image, starting with the skeleton. This is then covered with newspaper before the newspaper is painted with a figure. Over a number of days, the image suddenly changes gradually with bits of the newspaper torn off to reveal the skeleton underneath.

The mural below appeared one weekend in Shoreditch, London. By the next weekend, it had progressed to its skeleton stage. I walked by the mural every day to photograph the changes, but the changes were less gradual in this instance, and there were only two stages. I was happy to see the process finished without too many people tagging over the mural, which is what I feared would be the fate of this mural. The "before" and "after" stages are documented below with the word "Prey" changed from "Pray".

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NemO's

You can watch one example of his work decay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPehBL5c7vo&feature=youtu.be 

More work and information about the artist can be found on his website: http://www.whoisnemos.com/

A few weeks ago, the bloke and I took a day trip at one day over the weekend to see friends in the Cotswolds. On the way, we decided to visit Chipping Campden, which is one of my favourite Cotswold villages. The village was a market town, and in the middle ages, the area was famous for the wool trade. The village is picturesque and the buildings are all made of light brown stone, similar to the buildings in Bath. When the sun is shining and in the evening, the buildings are particularly attractive and turn "gold" in colour. There are also a few thatched cottages in the village.

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Chipping Campden

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Buildings in Chipping Campden

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Chipping Campden

While in Chipping Campden, we decided to get a bite to eat and ended up in the Badger's Hall Tea Rooms across from the old covered market hall. I ordered the tea that came with cheesey crumpets, teacakes, scones, and a slice of cake. The food was nice, but the tea was a bit of a let-down.  

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Afternoon tea with cheesy crumpets and teacakes

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Afternoon tea in the Cotswolds

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Scones and clotted cream

There was too much food, so the cake went home with us, but it was delicious. The cake was banana, coconut and cherry. 

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Coconut, cherry and banana cake

After the afternoon tea, we had a wander around the village and stopped in a couple of different shops.

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Chipping Campden

We admired the old covered market hall, which had been around since the middle ages. The cobbled stones inside were worn down. I wish I could go back in time to see what this was like.

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Old Market Hall

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Old Market Hall

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While we were driving out of Chipping Campden, we saw a few beautiful "dream houses" - thatched cottages. Some of these had beautiful landscaped gardens. I took a few photographs of some of the cottages. We saw a group of tourists getting photographs as well; they must have been on a bus tour.

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Thatched cottages

Street Art: Fezwitch

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Fezwitch, a street artist born in Melbourne, currently lives in London and pastes up old computer storage discs, known as 'floppy discs', onto London's streets. For those who are too young to remember, 8" and 3.5" floppy discs were storage devices, which have now been replaced by USB sticks. The 8" floppy disc was used in the 1980s, and the discs got smaller as technology advanced. The 3.5" floppy disc was common in the mid-1990s to early 2000s before USBs became popular.

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The floppy discs can be discovered on the walls, and they are usually painted or marked with a design or sticker. In some places, several are combined together to make their own artwork. I've included a selection of these below, and there are many more that I have seen that I have not included here.

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These started to appear in the middle of the summer with the first one appearing in Ely's Yard off of Brick Lane. It was a couple of months before others were added to the streets, but I see them in a lot of places now. Don't forget to look up as many of these are just above eye level.

According to the artist's website, the floppy discs poke fun at consumer brands (1).

1) For more information about Fezwitch, visit the official website here: http://www.fezwitch.com

To start of 2014, we visited The Cider Pantry Tearooms. (This post is a little late in coming!) There were a lot of floods at the start of the year, and we managed to make it through the floodwaters to Burley in the New Forest (England). The Cider Pantry Tearooms serve roast lunch, dinner, breakfast, and afternoon tea. We had the full English breakfast, and I'd love to go back again to try the pancake breakfast and afternoon tea.

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I like Burley. I went to university just down the road in Bournemouth, and I did some freelance website work for someone in Burley. It's a nice New Forest village with some touristy shops, and it's right in the middle of the forest with plenty of pleasant walks and cycle ways. There's usually a group of New Forest ponies nearby, but in the floodwaters and rain, I think they had all gone into the forest to keep dry.

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We both had English breakfasts: bacon, egg, sausage, toast, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It was good. The bacon had a smoked flavour. The eggs could be cooked any way that you wanted. This was accompanied by a pot of tea.

I liked the green grass-like placemats and the table numbers made out the half of a slice of tree. Because it was just after Christmas, they were selling iced Christmas sugar cookies. I bought a couple of these.

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