Monthly Archives: August 2012

Open House London 2012

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Update #2:  After a few more crashes they have now decided to change from a pre-booking system to all-email ballots for the most popular places. Which to be honest, seems a lot easier and fairer (well I say that now..)

Link to list of ballots

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Update: The website crashed yet again today and they are yet to confirm when it will be up again. Additionally, Tower 42 and Heron Tower will now be ballots, which can be entered by emailing names and addresses to tower42@open-city.org.uk and herontower@open-city.org.uk respectively.  More info on the Facebook page here

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After apparently having a few technical hitches, booking starts again 12 noon tomorrow for Open House London. Which is good for me, because I almost completely forgot about it.

The annual architecture festival takes places this year on the weekend of the 22nd-23rd September. Last year I luckily managed to win some holy grail BT Tower ballot tickets, which I really loved. Sadly it’s not open again this year, but if you want a good view over London, lots of the other towers in the City are taking part – including the Gherkin (which is first-come-first-serve rather than open to pre-bookings), Heron Tower and Tower 42 (which I was supposed to have a meeting in last week, and coudn’t make, doh).

There are also tons and tons of other events available. A few other things that I really want to go to include: the Neasden Underground Bunker (which I missed out on a few years back), St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Balfron Tower/Trellick Tower, the BFI IMAX (which is doing tours of the projection booth), Canary Wharf Crossrail Station’s construction site, etc. etc. etc. etc.

However, by far my most wished for are the sewage works/pumping stations – Lee Tunnel & Beckton Sludge Generator, Abbey Mills Pumping Station and Western Pumping Station. I’ve been obsessively getting into all things subterranean recently, and I really, really want to visit these, they sound absolutely amazing. (Also, I should really get around finishing my review on Underground London, which has been sitting in my drafts box for month.)

See also:

Time Out’s Wish List

Ian Visit’s preview

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Time Out London goes free

So I came back after a little holiday and read my mini-pile of Time Out to find that it’s being re-launched in the autumn as a free magazine.

I really do love Time Out, so I’m understandably a little apprehensive. They’ve have said that the quality will not change, but it will be thinner and missing the soon-to-be online only TV section (which was only just re-introduced). But, just how much smaller it will get, and whether the quality really won’t diminish, is questionable – I’m very worried! It has already got smaller and smaller recently, and there will inevitably have to be a load more adverts. The only comparison I can think of, that has made the jump to being free, is the Evening Standard – but then that was always horrible wasn’t it?

On the other hand, I’ve always thought that despite the quality of the content, Time Out has always been far too expensive for a weekly (currently £3.25). So it’s a pretty big jump and good news for my pocket. Therefore, I should be a little happier – apart from the fact they just took a load of money from my account for my new subscription. Typical.

But anyway, all will be revealed in the autumn, and I really hope this will mean a positive new start for Time Out, rather than the beginning of the end..

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