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Posts Tagged ‘1959’

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…… flaunting her assets at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, London, September 1959

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WESTMINSTER SCHOOL – This is Little Dean’s Yard, around which the main buildings of London’s most famous public school are grouped. The school (or St Peter”s College, as it is also called) dates back to the 14th century, but was refounded by Queen Elizabeth in 1560. From the early 17th century until 1884 almost all the boys were taught in the one great schoolroom, the upper school being divided from the lower school by a curtain hung over the oak beam, over which the pancake was tossed in the Shrove Tuesday ceremony. Among the headmasters of the school were Nicholas Udall, author of Ralph Roister Doister, Williamj Camden, the antiquary, and Dr Busby, famous both for his library and the floggings he carried out during his long headship from 1638 to 1695. Among the distinguished pupils were Ben Jonson, Hakluyt, Dryden, Wren, Southey, Warren Hastings, Gibbon, Froude, Charles Wesley, Matthew Prior and William Cowper.

From “Country Life Picture Book of London” with photos by G F Allen

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LOOKING DOWN WHITEHALL -The statue, seen just to the right of the Big Ben tower, is of the Duke of Cambridge, who lived from 1819 until 1904 and was Commander-in-Chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895. The sculptor was Adrian Jones, he was also responsible for the Quadriga in Constitution Hill, the Royal Marines monument in the Mall and the Cavalry War Memorial at Stanhope Gate, Hyde Park and it stands almost opposite the Horse Guards, where the Duke worked for so many years. This was before the present War Office was erected on the other side of the street. Many other government buildings are also in Whitehall, including the Admiralty, the Foreign Office, the Home Office and the Treasury. The first building on the left in this picture is the Banqueting House, designed by Inigo Jones for Whitehall Palace, while behind the tree on the right of the picture the Cenotaph can just be seen.

From “Country Life Picture Book of London” with photos by G F Allen

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THE ST JAMES’S PARK BRIDGE. This is the new bridge over the St James’s Park lake about which there was much controversy when it was proposed to replace the old chain bridge erected in 1857, An anonymous testator had left a sum of £20,000 to be spent on erecting a new bridge and, under the terms of his will, the money could not be used for the much-needed repairs to the old bridge. Preparatory work began on the new structure in December, 1956, and it was opened to the public on 5th October, 1957 – after twenty guardsmen from nearby Wellington Barracks had tested its stability in various ways, including crossing it at the double. From both the old and the new bridges a delightful view of the elegant government buildings across the Horse Guards Parade may be obtained. The present lay-out of St James’s Park, which has been a royal park since the 17th century, is due to John Nash.

From “Country Life Picture Book of London” with photos by G F Allen

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CHANGING THE GUARD

‘They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace;
Christopher Robin went down with Alice … .’

Many people think of the catchy little tune to A. A. Milne’s words when they happen to be passing the Palace at the time when the Queen’s Guard is being changed. The ceremony of the changing, with one of the Guards’ bands playing in the forecourt, is always one of the most popular of London’s ‘free shows’. The duty of providing the Guard is undertaken in turn by the various regiments of Guards and occasionally, as a special privilege, by other British or Commonwealth regiments. The guardsmen seen here belong to the Coldstream Guards, distinguished from other regiments by the fact that their tunic buttons are grouped in pairs.

From “Country Life Picture Book of London” with photos by G F Allen

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BUCKINGHAM PALACE  – The Victoria Memorial is seen again in this picture, with the statue of the Queen facing down the Mall, which was a comparatively narrow road in her day. Nowadays the Household Cavalry may often be seen proceeding down the processional way from Knightsbridge Barracks to the Horse Guards for a period of duty. These are men of the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues), distinguished from the Life Guards by their blue tunics and red plumes. Buckingham Palace has been a royal residence only since 1762, when George III bought the house from the Duke of Buckingham. Between 1825 and 1836 Nash remodelled it for George IV and just before the first World War the present facade was added to the design of Sir Aston Webb. King George V was so pleased with the appearance of the Palace that a special dinner was held there to which all the workmen responsible were invited.

From “Country Life Picture Book of London” with photos by G F Allen

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