Sep 012013



Traditional and modern iconic images of London, England

My August 2013 visit to London, England reminded me how much I love that city. I delighted in seeing the many icons I associate with it. But cities change over time and I also found many signs of the new London.

Traditional London
London phone booths
Traditional phone booths can still be seen throughout central London
double decker bus
The new version of the double decker bus
Ploughman's and bitter
Ploughman’s and a pint of bitter

Ploughman’s is one of my favorite pub meals. A good curry can still be found in a pub or an East Indian restaurant. London abounds with restaurants serving traditional meals as well as new and ethnic cuisine.

Roast dinner
Sunday roast dinner


Underground sign
Public transport (underground and bus) is convenient and accessible
“Mind the Gap”
London postbox

In July 2013, the UK government laid out plans to privatize the Royal Mail, which traces its history back to the times of Henry VIII. The red pillarboxes are protected by law, but concerns about changes, particularly around service to remote areas and the current six day delivery service, exist within the British public.

Look Left Look Right
Vehicles drive on the opposite side of the road than in my native Canada.
These markings at street crossings were a good reminder to stop me from instinctively looking the wrong way.
Taxi cabs
Taxi cabs
Big Ben
Big Ben
Modern London Images
Wifi booth
Modern communication – we need to stay connected
Cycle Hire Station
Cycle Hire Station
 You can rent a bicycle here and drop it off at any other Cycle Hire station in London. Although cycling has increased in recent years and there are bike lanes in some areas, I think cycling in London traffic would be a harrowing experience, but that may change in the future. London has plans to spend £913 million over the next decade on London’s cycling infrastructure.
CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras
Blue Cockerel
Blue cockerel in front of National Art Gallery

In July 2013, a 4.7 metre tall blue rooster, scultped by German artist Katharina Fritsch was installed in Trafalgar Square, providing a playful contrast to the military monuments that commemorate Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at Trafalgar. It is a humourous touch, given that ultramarine blue and the cockerel are symbols of France, although the artist claims she didn’t know the cockerel was an unofficial symbol of France.

Congestion Zone sign
Vehicle traffic in central London seemed lighter than I remembered.
Since 2003, London has charged a fee for vehicles operating within a Congestion Charge Zone
in central London Monday to Friday between 7:00 and 18:00.
London bus going green

The strong diesel smell I always associated with London was gone.

London’s iconic red buses are going green, combining the power of an electric motor with a diesel engine.

London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is a traffic pollution charging scheme to reduce tailpipe emissions of diesel-powered commercial vehicles in Greater London.

London Eye
The London Eye Ferris wheel on the south bank of the Thames.
Erected in 1999, it seemed an oddity on the London landscape when I first saw it, but it has become the new iconic image of London.

Leave a Comment