Monday, August 04, 2008

Biggles in the 21st Century



Historical regression corner: I live about a mile, as the crow flies, from the Excel centre. This is a strange place on the Royal Docks which seemingly holds only arms fairs and generally militaristic shindigs - gunboats and attack planes a particular specialty. Lately, the air above my flat has been filled with biplanes diving, swooping and generally re-enacting the Battle of Britain. Perhaps this is because I was reading 'Cato's Guilty Men at the time (a very topical thing, with chapter titles like 'Mr Brown Not Yet Unemployed' - I look forward to something as scurrilous about Thatcher-Blair as this is about Baldwin-MacDonald, one day), but it was really very unnerving. Shouldn't we be sheltering in the tunnel at Westcombe Park until they go away?

On an unrelated note, but still on the edifying subject of instruments for aerial warfare, this in the Architects' Journal. Southampton attempts to cement its recent attempts to become blandest city in Britain by erecting an ****ICONIC**** 'Spitfire wing' Museum where the Isle of Wight terminal is now. Any similarities to Portsmouth's already crap sub-Dubai Spinnaker tower are entirely coincidental.

12 Comments:

Blogger Ellis said...

It's kind of cool, though, in a Jules Verne-ish kind of way.

While on this topic, perhaps London's most neglected memorial is 'the stone bomb':

http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-protest/article_1131.jsp

5:44 pm  
Blogger SPL said...

Yeah, it's not that bad is it? It could be worse, Prince Charles could be in charge.

2:18 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

Well, through most of the city he already is. But the conjunction of the groping at the iconic with the reference to heroic past and the utter lack of any viable function other than 'hello, here I am!' combined with it being a transparent attempt to best Portsmouth (Portsmouth I ask you!) is all more than a bit irksome as far as I'm concerned. It may be Modernist, but it's still shit.

12:23 pm  
Blogger SPL said...

I take your point, it certainly could be better. How awful it is to be caught between vacuous corporate modernism and ya boo sucks to progress atavists.

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