Unseen City: Martin Parr

There’s a fashion going round art galleries at the moment. I call it the ‘teenage bedroom’ look. Gigantic photographic prints are presented ‘pinned’ to walls like pop star posters, presumably to give the work immediacy, cutting-edge rawness and youthful hipness. I’m not convinced. Especially when that work already has those qualities. Magnum photographer Martin Parr’s work has a freshness, frankness and immediacy that conveys the…

Battle of Britain Bunker

A brand-new housing estate.  Fake-cobble driveways, spindly, just-planted shrubs and shiny front doors. It could be anywhere, save for a curious, battered, facing-the-wrong-way metal sign attached too high up a lamp post. Battle of Britain Bunker. Eh? The Battle of Britain had a bunker? In Uxbridge? Apparently so. Fighter Command No.11’s Group Operations Room was…

Mail Rail

Who wouldn’t want to ride on a secret underground railway? Over the years I’ve spent some energy trying to get underneath the giant Post Office at Mount Pleasant to see the fabled ‘Mail Rail’; next year anyone will be able to take a ride on it in return for money. The London Post Office Railway was operational…

The River Police Museum

Many of London’s smaller museums may appear to be private but they’re often more than happy to open their doors to the curious. Such is the River Police Museum, still based at a Limehouse wharf, washed by the Thames and occupying a dusty room in the original police station that is still used today. The curator, Robert…