Great London Sculptures : Paddington Bear Statue by Marcus Cornish at Paddington Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

London railway stations have featured in many books over the years, however in the Paddington Bear books, our cuddly hero is named after Paddington Station. The station plays a very important role in the books because it is within the station where he was first found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown when he arrives in London from Peru and the reason he got his name.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

To commemorate this relationship, there is a life-sized bronze statue of Paddington in the station which was designed by the sculptor Marcus Cornish. The statue was unveiled by the Paddington Bear series author Michael Bond in 2000.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington. He bought a small toy bear for his wife and named it Paddington because they were living near Paddington Station at the time. He began to write some stories about the bear and eventually his very first book “A Bear Called Paddington” was accepted by a publisher and published in 1958. Since the first book, Paddington books have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Michael Bond lived in London, not far from Paddington Station where he continued to write until shortly before he died in 2017, aged 91.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the books, we found out that Paddington originally came from Peru where he was brought up by his Aunt Lucy. When Aunt Lucy went to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima, she decided to send him to England to live. He was found by the Browns sitting on a small suitcase near the lost property office wearing a hat with a label round his neck with the words “Please Look After This Bear. Thank You.” Paddington is famous for his love of marmalade and especially marmalade sandwiches.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture recreates this scene, with Paddington sitting under a large clock with his suitcase waiting to be rescued.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Paddington has also achieved fame on television and more recently films, one strange but true fact is that the very first Paddington bear soft toy was designed in the UK by Shirley Clarkson who just happens to be the mother of TV personality Jeremy Clarkson. Now Paddington has his own shop on Paddington Station.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Nearby the statue is a colourful Paddington bench and plaque marking the making of the first Paddington film in 2013 and mentions that some of the scenes were filmed in the station.

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 – 21 to 25 May 2019

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. Although the title of Britain’s largest flower show has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the Chelsea Show is still considered the most prestigious and The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have announced some of the highlights for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 (21 – 25 May).

Show Garden Highlights

Encouraging people to reconnect with nature is a key theme at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show with gardens celebrating the beauty of the natural world. Seven-time gold medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon is back for show sponsor M&G Investments, drawing inspiration for his garden from nature’s power to regenerate. The woodland landscape will be colonised by young trees, ferns and jewel-like flowers, interspersed with stone platforms and huge burnt timber sculptures representing natural rock formations.

Multi RHS gold medal winning designer, Sarah Eberle returns to Main Avenue with a garden celebrating 100 years of forestry with The Forestry Commission. The Resilience Garden looks ahead to the biggest challenges facing our forests in the future, exploring how they can be made resilient to a changing climate and the increasing threats of pests and diseases.

A celebration of the environmental benefits of trees, this time within an urban space has influenced the design of The Savills and David Harber Garden by Andrew Duff. The garden seeks to create a beautiful, sustainable woodland clearing within a city, featuring bio diverse trees and greenery known to remove harmful pollutants from the atmosphere.

Three gardens on Main Avenue this year represent striking natural landscapes. Last year’s People’s Choice winner Mark Gregory is designing once again for Welcome to Yorkshire, inspired by the canals and waterways found in the West of the county.

Jon Snow for Trailfinders is sourcing inspiration from further afield bringing the temperate rainforests of South America to Central London complete with lush planting and dramatic waterfalls. In contrast the The Dubai Majlis Garden designed by Thomas Hoblyn evokes a Middle Eastern feel inspired by the sculptural beauty found in arid landscapes.

The importance of having access to nature and green spaces for all ages and abilities has inspired the brief for The Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould. Intended for a hospice to provide a fun, interactive and uplifting space where seriously ill children, their families and friends can come together and embrace the benefits of being in the fresh air and engaging with the natural environment.

Chris Beardshaw, winner of Best in Show 2018 and multi gold medal winning designer Jo Thompson complete the talented line up designing Show Gardens in 2019.

Space to Grow Highlights

For the second year Royal Hospital Way will be populated by inspiring gardens offering new ideas and inspiration in the Space to Grow Category.

Joe Perkins is taking on his first solo garden for social media giant Facebook. The theme of the garden is connectivity, celebrating the positive benefits of social media as a powerful tool for engaging in real world issues, connecting people and driving positive social change. The Facebook Garden: Beyond The Screen takes on a coastal theme to reinforce this message as coastal habitats are constantly changing and evolving and are rich and diverse environments where many species can thrive.

Vibrant colours and exotic leaves bring rural Africa to central London promoting the importance of Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow. Women produce much of Africa’s food, the garden designed by Jilayne Rickards highlights the work CAMFED does to educate and empower those reliant on agriculture in communities hardest hit by climate change to use climate-smart, sustainable agricultural techniques to provide for themselves and their families.

Education also underpins the message of The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden designed by Jody Lidgard, an engaging space to nurture children, teaching them about the natural world and future of horticulture with new technology including hydroponics, aeroponics and vertical planting techniques.

Water features prominently in a number of the gardens planned for Chelsea 2019 and lies at the heart of Paul Hervey-Brooks The Viking Cruises Garden, a space created from a water meadow with multi-stem river birch and winding streams running through to a pool and concrete terrace.

The Warner Edward’s Garden by Helen Elks-Smith incorporates water in a playful and imaginative way as it appears and disappears throughout the garden like the natural springs at the distillery’s home of Falls Farms. The design takes inspiration from architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece ‘Fallingwater’.

Artisan Gardens Highlights

Small is beautiful when it comes to the Artisan Gardens and this year’s line-up promise to inspire and excite as traditional materials and methods are revitalised through new design approaches.

A garden celebrating 70 years of land-based education at Kingston Maurward College embodies the artisan approach as the college’s blacksmith, engineering, countryside management and horticultural students will all contribute towards the final design.

Annie Prebensen and Christina Williams were last at Chelsea in 2010 when they won gold and best Artisan Garden, the pair return with a garden celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Donkey Sanctuary, highlighting the vital role donkeys play in improving the lives for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.

Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry Garden designed by Graham Bodle takes inspiration from a quarry at the bottom of the garden at Walkers Nurseries, featuring reclaimed items and materials from the quarry.

The Great Pavilion Highlights

British horticulture remains at the heart of RHS Chelsea as the UK’s top nurseries fill the Great Pavilion with thousands of immaculate plant varieties on display.

For the first time the Great Pavilion will also house a judged walk-through Show Garden by internationally renowned British Designer Tom Dixon and home furnishings retailer IKEA. The immersive garden hopes to raise awareness that it is both possible, affordable and rewarding to grow your own food in the city using sustainable urban growing techniques. Upon first impression, the garden looks like a natural hillside landscape, on closer inspection, the viewer can see a subterranean, and futuristic high-tech garden with edibles and plants growing in an immersive horticultural laboratory.

Iconic multi RHS Gold medal winning rose breeder, David Austin Roses will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary at the show with a sensual display of award winning roses along with some exciting new introductions.

Perennial is celebrating its 180th year of supporting those in the horticultural industry with a walk through feature ‘The Perennial Lifeline Garden’ designed by London College of Garden Design Graduates taking inspiration The Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire bequeathed to the charity by Sir Roy Strong.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21 – 25 May 2019)
20 May  Press Day
21 – 22 May  RHS members only
23 – 25 May  RHS members and non-members
25 May 8am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4pm)

Venue: Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL

For more information or to book tickets for London Shows, visit the RHS website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review: Grand Designs Live at ExCeL London – 4th to 12th May 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The crowds made their way to ExCeL London for the first day of the Grand Designs Live show. Grand Designs Live is based on the Channel 4 series and is hosted by Design guru and TV presenter Kevin McCloud.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Grand Designs Live includes top expert advice, new product launches and specialist exhibitors in project zones. All aspects of home creation and improvement are covered including self-builds, renovation or finding ideas and inspiration to create your dream home.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Underlying the show is the importance of design in your projects and there are over 500 brands, across six different sections covering Build, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Gardens, Interiors, Technology and Design Arcade to provide inspiration.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

For advice, there will be RIBA architects, building suppliers, kitchen and bathroom designers on hand, you can ‘meet’ some of the Grand Designers in The Grand Theatre.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Kevin McCloud and the Grand Design team are great advocates of being eco-friendly and recycling and the show features Kevin’s Green Heroes which features eco-innovations that come to life.

The Upcycling Hub is a new area of the show which puts the focus on the art of upcycling. Skilled upcycling designers give visitors an insight into their craft through live demonstrations, as well as showcasing artisan pieces.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Under the Stairs Project is a competition for Interior Designers, aiming to inspire visitors and encourage them to take home new ideas, information and supplier contacts. This competition focuses on the uplift in the use of unconventional spaces.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Green Finger Campaign is a response to the latest UK State of Nature report that shows over half our wild species; plants, insects and birds are in decline. The show is packed with green products, free eco advice, activities and talks to raise awareness of what people can do to protect and enhance the nature in your garden.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Walking around the show, you can be inspired with a large number of innovations and design ideas. From large lodges for your garden to paintings for your walls, each section has plenty of interest to create improvements for your home and garden. Experts are ready to offer advice for any of your projects and you can buy the latest products from a vast array of exhibitors.

Grand Designs Live runs from the 4th to 12th May 2019 at ExCeL London.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets , visit the Grand Designs website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019 from 10 June to 12 August 2019

Acclaimed British painter, Jock McFadyen has been awarded the role of co-ordinator of the 251st Summer Exhibition. McFadyen with the Summer Exhibition Committee intends to build a unique platform for artists at all stages of their career to present recent work.

Highlights within the Main Galleries will include a ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall curated by Jock McFadyen RA, with works by artists including Polly Morgan, Charles Avery and Mat Collishaw.,Jane and Louise Wilson RA will organise two gallery spaces, one of which will showcase light and time based work. Spencer de Grey RA will curate the Architecture Gallery, which will explore the theme of sustainability.

The celebrated artist Thomas Houseago will show a group of large-scale sculptural works in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard that respond to the Academy’s statue of Joshua Reynolds, which has stood in the courtyard since 1931. This will be the first time that the courtyard will be dedicated to an artist that is not a Royal Academician as part of the Summer Exhibition.

Further artists exhibiting in this year’s Summer Exhibition include Jeremy Deller and Marcus Harvey alongside Royal Academicians such as Tracey Emin RA, Gary Hume RA, David Nash RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA and Honorary Royal Academicians, Anselm Kiefer and James Turrell. The celebrated German filmmaker and photographer Wim Wenders Hon RA will be taking over the free McAulay Gallery, with a series of panoramic photographs.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year without interruption since 1769. The members of the Summer Exhibition Committee serve in rotation, ensuring that every year the exhibition has a distinctive character, with each Royal Academician responsible for a particular gallery space. Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 16,000 entries. Around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. A significant part of funds raised continue to contribute to financing the postgraduate students at the RA Schools.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Natalia Goncharova at Tate Modern from 6 June to 8 September 2019

This summer, Tate Modern will present the UK’s first ever retrospective of the Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova. It will be a sweeping survey of a pioneering and radical figure, celebrated during her lifetime as a leading modernist artist.

Goncharova’s artistic output traces, influences and transcends the art movements of the 20th century. Born in 1881, she was inspired by the traditional customs and cultures of her native Central Russia – inspirations that pervade her life’s work. By the age of 32, she had already established herself as a leader of the Moscow avant-garde and was the subject of the first monographic exhibition ever staged by a Russian modernist artist. Arriving in Paris in 1914 at the invitation of Sergei Diaghilev, Goncharova was feted for her vibrant costume and set designs for the Ballets Russes.

The exhibition gathers together over 160 international loans which rarely travel, including from Russia’s State Tretyakov Gallery which houses the largest collection of Goncharova works in the world. At the heart of the show will be a room evoking Goncharova’s remarkable 1913 retrospective that was held at the Mikhailova Art Salon in Moscow, which originally featured some 800 works.

Highlights will include early paintings such as Peasants Gathering Apples 1911, formerly owned by the Morozov family, one of great art collectors of the early 20th century; the monumental seven-part work The Harvest 1911, bringing together paintings from four international collections; and her scandalous paintings of nudes, the first public display of which led to her trial for obscenity.

A section devoted to Goncharova’s religious painting will include the Evangelists 1911, a four-panel work which had delighted London in 1912 but shocked Russia’s capital of St Petersburg in 1914 where the authorities removed it from display.

A room will be dedicated to her work in fashion design and her collaborations with Nadezhda Lamanova, couturier of the Imperial court, while her forays into interior design will be represented by the decorative screen Spring 1928, commissioned by the Arts Club of Chicago and never lent until now, and Bathers 1922, a monumental triptych which will be displayed in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition will reunite Linen from Tate’s own collection with Loom + Woman (The Weaver) from the National Museum of Wales and The Forest from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, all created in the same studio in 1913 and on display together for the first time since then.

Finally, the exhibition will close with a room dedicated to her collaborations with the Ballets Russes, the work for which she was best known from 1914 to the 1950s. It will present the artist’s most groundbreaking work for the theatre, including costume designs for Le Coq d’or (The Golden Cockerel) and Les Noces (The Wedding), both performed on London stages in the 1920s and 30s, as well as examples of actual costumes used in historic ballet productions.

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Great London Sculptures: John Betjeman Statue by Martin Jennings at St Pancras Railway Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras railway station by the sculptor Martin Jennings was unveiled in 2007 celebrate the connection between St Pancras station and Betjeman.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The poet John Betjeman was supporter of Victorian architecture and was one of the leading lights to protect important Victorian buildings. After the destruction of the Euston Arch in 1961, Betjeman led the campaign to save St Pancras which was under threat from plans to demolish St Pancras Station, the Midland Hotel and King’s Cross station. The campaign led to St Pancras receiving Grade I listed building status for the station and hotel in 1967 which led to its survival.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

During the late 20th century and early 21st century, St Pancras was renovated in a multi-million pound restoration and the station is considered one of the great railway stations in the world. During the restoration, plans were made to create a statue of John Betjeman by the sculptor Martin Jennings.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The statue of Betjeman is made of bronze and is larger than life-size being 8.5ft and shows the poet in a suit, mackintosh and trilby hat. The poet holds his hat as he gazes up at the beloved roof of the station. The statue stands on Cumbrian slate which has words from some of Betjeman’s poems.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The text reads: “And in the shadowless unclouded glare, Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where, A misty sealine meets the wash of air. / John Betjeman, 1906 – 1984, poet, who saved this glorious station”.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Since its unveiling, the statue has become a popular attraction in its own right which many consider a worthy tribute to the well loved poet and his fight to save the station.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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London Views, Art and Live Music at Severndroog Castle – 3rd May 2019

For something a little different, enjoy a Friday evening drink on top of Severndroog Castle. The historic castle is the only place in the city you can enjoy a cocktail surrounded by ancient woodland and experience 360° views of London and its surrounding counties.

In the first late night opening of the season, you can enjoy an exhibition of the works of visual artist Andrea Passaponti, listen to live acoustic soul musicians with a free glass of wine.

All tickets include access to the viewing platform and a complementary glass of wine. A very limited amount of Premium Tickets are also available for exclusive access to stunning twilight panoramic views of London from the viewing platform on top of the castle.

Severndroog’s catering partner Terrace Tearoom, and their celebrated chef Christopher Hackett, will be cooking up delicious bites and cocktails, with wine and beer available all evening.

Severndroog is a tower built in the 18th century situated in the Oxleas Woods in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Built on Shooters Hill, one of the highest points in the city, the viewing platform boasts some of the most spectacular views in London.

Event Details:

Friday 3rd May 2019 at 18:30-22:00

At Severndroog Castle. Castlewood, Shooters Hill, London SE18 3RT

Ticket Prices: Standard Ticket £13.76, Premium Ticket £15.86; each ticket includes a complementary glass of wine.

Ticket does not include food or additional drinks; food and bar drinks are available for purchase all evening.

Book tickets on Eventbrite: Here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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