Street haunting in Galway

I was only in Galway for a couple of days. I had a flight back to Manchester from Dublin late Tuesday afternoon, but I had the morning to have a bit of a wander around the city. The weather was a real mix of sunshine, rain and sleet, but wrapped up warm I managed to have a decent walk around, even getting to a few places I hadn’t previously seen. Here’s a few photos.

Galway Hooker monument, Eyre Square
Music shop window
The Long Walk
Galway Bay
The Long Walk
Galway Swans
The harbour
The harbour side looking towards the Claddagh
Street art
Irish post box
Galway Cathed
Equality Emerging

Street Haunting in Spitalfields


Last Tuesday I was working in the east of London, in Aldgate. After work, I still had 2 and 1/2 hours to kill before my train so, as it was a pleasant afternoon, I decided to have a wander around Spitalfields, a short walk away.

In the 17th and 18th century the area was associated with silk weaving after Huguenots fleeing from persecution in France settled here and brought their skills with them. Later, Irish linen workers settled here. In the Victorian period, following the decline of the silk and linen industries it became something of a notorious slum. There were further waves of Jewish and then Bangladeshi immigrants bringing new cultures and energy to the area. Today, like much of the East End it’s become somewhat gentrified. The old Victorian market and surrounding streets being redeveloped.

It’s an interesting place to walk around, with some historic buildings and modern street art to look at.

For me, the star of the show is Hawksmoor’s magnificent gleaming white Christ Church



one of the six, eccentric English Baroque churches for which he is best known.

There’s an interesting war memorial in the church yard.


Close by, on Commercial Street,  the Fruit and Wool exchange building has been controversially redeveloped against local opposition, over-ruled by the former Mayor of London and current “Clown Secretary”. The white neo-Classical façade has, fortunately, been preserved.


A number of old commercial buildings nearby  have also been preserved




I quite liked this building with it’s neo-Gothic features


and these more modern flats with an Art Deco look


There’s street art dotted around the redeveloped market. Here’s a selection I spotted.

The Spitalfields Goat by Kenny Hunter



A pear and a fig by Ali Grant


Dogman and Rabbitgirl with coffee by Gillie and Marc


Wooden Boat with Seven People by Kalliopi Lemos, features an authentic boat that was used to transport refugees from Turkey to the shores of the Greek islands. The installation aims to reflect Spitalfields’ rich history of providing shelter for successive waves of migrants across the centuries.


I couldn’t find out who had created this “steampunk” motorbike



Melbourne’s Arcades and Laneways

Melbourne’s laneways are narrow streets and alleys that were originally intended to provide rear access to properties facing big streets. Many were later roofed as ‘arcades’ to provide refuge from the weather and crowds and to provide more space for shops and there are also some purpose built shopping arcade. We’d had a wander through some of them on the evening we arrived and decided to have a mooch and explore them a little more on the morning of our 4th day in the city.

The lanes, such as Degraves Street, and the arcades are the centre of Melbourne’s “café society” and many of the alleyways are a mecca of street art.  Here’s a few photos

Into the Block Arcade with some rather fancy shops

and a café that rather looked like a Melbournian version of Betty’s of Harrogate and with a similar queue outside

Lots of other cafes with plenty of character to stop for a brew

Into the Royal Arcade with more fancy shops and the clock with its accompanying giants – Gog and Magog

Out into the laneways there was plenty of street art

and for some reason references to Manchester cropped up here

One of Melbourne’s 1930’s Art Deco style skyscrapers is the Manchester Unity Building and there’s an arcade running through it




After I’d had a look around the Minster in Howden, I decided to have a mooch around the town starting in the town square, which is immediately in front of the east end of the Minster.


It was a thriving town in medieval times with a connection to the Bishops of Durham. They would stay in the town when travelling down to London and had a palace built here. The remains, the Bishop’s Manor, is just off the market square and around the corner from the Minster .



Originally there was a complex range of buildings, inside an irregular walled courtyard. But the majority of these buildings were demolished in the late 16th century. Nevertheless the remaining structure is quite impressive for a small town.

The Minister towers over the buildings in the town centre


The old streets are narrow and twisty, probably reflecting their medieval origin.



but many of the buildings are Georgian town houses built for professional men and tradesmen




With a few grand houses


This is the town’s war memorial. An ornate Gothic monument.


During the First World War an airship station was built just to the north of the town, near Spaldington. The airships based here provided protection for ports and shipping along the east coast. After the war the station was closed but the hangers were converted into a manufacturing facility for airships including the R100, designed by Sir Barnes Wallis (who later designed the Vickers Wellington bomber invented the “bouncing bomb” used by the Dambusters).  The author Nevil Shute Norway (better known as Nevil Shute) was part of the team that created the R100 and lived in the town.


The Butte aux Cailles

The Butte aux Cailles is an area of Paris very much off the tourist trail in the South east of the city, in the 13th arrondissement, just to the south west of the Place d’Italie. Although very much part of the metropolis these days, it was originally a village outside the walls of the city until it was absorbed in the late 1880’s, and today it still retains much of the character of a country village.


Although the name of the area translates as “Hill of the quails”, it was named after a former landowner named Caille rather than the small game bird.


There were three main reasons for wanting to visit the areas and have a wander round the small, interesting streets.First of all it was an area I’d never visited before during previous holidays in Paris. Secondly I’d heard that the area was noted for Street Art and I wanted to have a look.


Finally the Butte was an important location during the 1871 Paris Commune. The staunchly working-class district was one of the strongholds where the Communards of the Fédérés de la Butte-aux-Cailles, led by the Polish émigré  Walery Wroblewskiresisted the Versaillais troops  during the latter’s final assault on the rebel city during May of 1871.  The events are commemorated by the Place de la Commune, in the centre of the district


The Butte is also home to L’Association des Amies et Amis de la Commune de Paris 1871


Their small shop sells a selection of books, posters and other items about the Commune