Saturday, 9 August 2014

Literary Benches Around London

This years' theme for things to hunt down in London over the summer are benches, literary benches. Books About Town has commissioned a series of 50 benches about books with a London connection that are painted with an image associated with the book. The benches are all in the shape of an opened book and are surprisingly comfortable to sit on. The benches are dotted around open spaces (and some not so open) in four areas of London: Bloomsbury, Greenwich, City and Riverside (City Hall to the Globe). I've had an initial skirmish with the benches in the sun of a London summer and got burned and photographed the front and back of a lot of benches. I have more to collect.

I started off on the Riverside trail with the 'War Horse' bench in the shade of some young trees before discovering Alice in Wonderland and the Discworld bench with the Librarian. Walking along the river I discovered more benches, including one to Shakespeare outside the Globe Theatre. I prefer the back of this bench to the front for depicting the old London Bridge.

Over the Millennium Bridge between the Tate Modern and St Paul's Cathedral and another set of benches around the cathedral including 'Mary Poppins' and 'Peter Pan'. A bit further up in the 'Bridget Jones' bench. I couldn't find the Dickens bench and didn't have time to explore further in the City to find other benches so that's for another day

Another day passed and I went into Bloomsbury to find those benches in the grand literary squares. 'Mrs Dalloway' and (another) 'Peter Pan', Oscar Wilde and Sherlock Holmes but the best of the lot is 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' in St George's Gardens. I loved this bench with Mr Tumnus and Lucy walking away from the streetlight and into Narnia with a large painting of Aslan on the back. So far that's my favourite bench. I've yet to explore the Greenwich benches so maybe one of them will become my favourite but it'll have to be pretty spectacular.

Anyway, here are some photos of benches for you to enjoy!

The 'Through The Looking Glass' bench:

The Discworld bench with the Librarian looking very orange:

The Shakespeare bench outside The Globe Theatre, front and back:

The 'Mary Poppins' bench, front and back, with skateboarder damage on the front (between the front door and the first cherry tree):

The 'Peter Pan' bench outside St Paul's, front and back, with the addition of sparkly things embedded in the bench for that extra glimmer:

The 'Paddington Bear' bench outside Southwark Cathedral, front and back - I like this since it's the same picture really, as if the bench is see through, and you can see Mr and Mrs Brown in the distance on the back.

My favourite so far, 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' with Mr Tumnus and Lucy walking into Narnia on the front, polar bears on the side and Aslan on the back.

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