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Author Archives: deaandina

The story of the United Kingdom and the Union Flag

The Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. It is the British flag.

It is called the Union Flag because it symbolises the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom. It is made up up of the individual Flags of three of the Kingdom’s countries all united under one Sovereign – the countries of ‘England, of ‘Scotland’ and of ‘Northern Ireland‘ (since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom). As Wales was not a Kingdom but a Principality it could not be included on the flag.

The following pages will tell you how the Union Flag (Union Jack) came to be the UK’s national flag and the making of the United Kingdom.

Telephone Boxes of London

The Red Telephone Kiosk (telephone box)

The red telephone kiosk was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott at the request of the Post Office in 1924. (Gilbert Scott also designed Waterloo Bridge and Battersea Power Station.)

 

Modern Telephone Boxes

A K6 design used by one of the new telecoms operators. (Red telephone boxes are owned and run by British Telecon)


 

 

Big Ben

Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London,and is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well, It is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world. It celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place.The erecting of the tower was completed on 10 April 1858. The clock tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of both London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.

Clock

Dials

The clock dials are big enough that the Clock Tower was once the largest four-faced clock in the world.

The dial of the Great Clock of Westminster. The hour hand is 2.7 metres (9 ft) long and the minute hand is 4.3 metres (14 ft) long

The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 7 metres (23 ft) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded.

Queen’s Guards

The Queen’s Guard and Queen’s Life Guard are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London. The British Army had regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards predating the English Restoration (1660), and since the reign of King Charles II these have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign’s palaces.

Operating area

The Queen’s Guard and Queen’s Life Guard is mounted at the royal residences that come under the operating area of the British Army’s London District, which is responsible for the administration of the Household Division. This covers Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London, as well as Windsor Castle. The Queen’s Guard is also mounted at the sovereign’s other official residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but not as regularly as in London. In Edinburgh, the guard is the responsibility of the resident infantry battalion at Redford Barracks. It is not mounted at the Queen’s private residences at Sandringham or Balmoral.

Foot Guards

The guard is usually found from one of the five regiments of foot guards:

When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building; when she is away there are two. The Queen’s Guard changes in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11.30 am, and lasts about 45 minutes. There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather. During the autumn and winter, Guard Mounting takes place on alternate days, but it is held daily during spring and summer. During the month of April 2009, the Changing the Guard will take place at Buckingham Palace on even dates, i.e. 2, 4, 6, and daily at Windsor Castle. From May to July 2009 inclusive, Changing the Guard will take place daily at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. They are wearing full dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins (hats).

Buckingham Palace is immediately adjacent to St James’s Park and The Green Park.

     Horse Guards Arch

The Queen’s Household Cavalry is the mounted guard at the entrance to Horse Guards Arch, which is located east of St James’s Park. Horse Guards Arch is the official main entrance to both St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace.

The Guard Changing Ceremony takes place takes place daily at 11am (10am on Sundays) and lasts about 30 minutes.

The mounted sentries (who change every hour) are on duty each day from 10am until 4pm, at which time there is a dismounted parade of the Guard.

There are two dismounted sentries on duty until the gates are shut at 8pm, when only one sentry is left on guard until 7am when the second sentry returns on duty.

 

Abbey Road


Abbey Road is a thoroughfare located in the borough of Camden and the City of Westminster in London, running roughly northwest to southeast through St. John’s Wood, near Lord’s Cricket Ground. It is part of the B507.

The north-western end of Abbey Road begins in Kilburn, at the intersection of Quex Road and West End Lane and was named for the nearby Kilburn Priory[1] and its associated Abbey Farm. It continues south-east for roughly a mile, crossing Belsize Road, Boundary Road, and Marlborough Place, ending at the intersection of Grove End Road and Garden Road.

The Abbey National Building Society (later the Abbey) was founded in 1874 as The Abbey Road & St John’s Wood Permanent Benefit Building Society in a Baptist church on Abbey Road.

EMI‘s Abbey Road Studios are located at the south-eastern end, at 3 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood. The Beatles and many other famous popular music performers have recorded at this studio, and The Beatles named their final 1969 studio LP Abbey Road. The album’s cover photograph shows the four group members walking across the zebra crossing located just outside the studio entrance. As a result of its association with The Beatles, since 1970 this section of Abbey Road has been featured on the London tourism circuit. In December 2010 the crossing was given Grade II Listed Building status by English Heritage.

The crossing featured on the Beatles cover, as well as the crossing directly north of it, have become popular photo-opportunity areas, despite the road still being a busy thoroughfare for traffic. The iconic Beatles album cover has been parodied many times over the years on the crossing.

 

The tin street sign on the corner of Grove End Road and Abbey Road is now mounted high on the building on the corner, to save the local council the expense of cleaning and replacing the sign, which was frequently defaced and stolen. The council repaints the wall next to the crossing every three months to cover fans’ graffiti.