Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Laws of Physics in the Vauxhall alternative universe

12 Feb

For those not familiar with Vauxhall,  it is best considered as an alternative universe in which the normal Laws of Physics do not apply.  To assist the unwary traveller who ventures into the area, here are some of the laws as they might apply in the Vauxhall alternative universe.


Vauxhall law of conservation of energy:
“Social housing can neither be created nor destroyed”


Laws of Vauxhall-thermodynamics

  • 1st Law: “The increase in social housing in Vauxhall is equal to the investment supplied minus the investment. “
  • 2nd Law:  “The height of buildings must always increase”
  • 3rd Law:The benefit to the community in Vauxhall-dynamic equilibrium approaches zero as social housing approaches zero”


Newton’s Laws of Vauxhall Motion

  • 1st Law: “When viewed in a planning framework, a development is either at rest or moves at a constant velocity towards planning permission, unless acted upon by  external objectors”
  • 2nd Law: “The acceleration of a development depends directly upon the planning farce acting upon the development, and inversely upon the social housing of the development”
  • 3rd Law: “Every bus station development has an equal and opposite re-development”


Kepler’s laws of Vauxhall gyratory motion

  • 1st Law: “The orbit of the Vauxhall gyratory is an elipse with the pissoir at one of the two foci.”
  • 2nd Law: A line joining a car and the pissoir sweeps out equal parking restrictions during equal intervals of time.”
  • 3rd Law: The square of the orbital period of the Vauxhall gyratory is proportional to the cube of  Lambeth’s half-a-high street”


Schrödinger’s Vauxhall Wave Equation

In the standard universe,  Schrödinger’s Wave Equation is very difficult to explain.  In the Vauxhall alternative universe it is much simpler:

“Every development In Vauxhall can be represented as a wave function: Wave hello to the developers and transport infrastructure and wave goodbye to social housing.”  


And here’s something for mathematicians…

Pythagoras’ Vauxhall Theorem

“The square of the Vauxhall high street [will never be] equal to the sum of the squares in the other developments” 



The search for Kennington Oval

02 Dec

Several fellow tweeters have commented on the Kennington Oval [the name has got to change] article about what the name of the triangular space opposite Oval Station and St Marks Church should so here is a follow up.

Kennington Oval greenspace sign
Just to prove that it is the ‘Kennington Oval’ here is the sign to prove it. The sign mentions Brit Oval (now Kia Oval) so perhaps those who chose the name felt that the ‘Kennington Oval’ had become available.






Kenningon Oval green space signs

And in case we didn’t get the message the first time, Lambeth Parks kindly tell us again on a nearby sign that this is indeed the Kennington Oval. So far, I have detected five names for the area albeit with slightly different boundaries. For the record they are:


Kennington Little common

The area marked in red on the right is, I believe, the original approximate boundary of Kennington Little Common which at the time was also known as Gallows Common or Gallows Green due to the hangings that took place there






Kennington Oval greenspaceAround 1820, the site was divided by Camberwell New Road – a turnpike resulting from the building of Vauxhall Bridge.  This effectively created a smaller triangle from the larger one.


How old is the ‘Oval desert island’ (aka Kennington Oval) and how did it come about?

28 Nov

The Kennington Oval may refer to the road adjacent to the Oval Cricket ground, the cricket ground itself or, rather confusingly, the triangular piece of land opposite St Marks Church and the Oval Station.  This article is about that triangular piece of land that TfL controlled red routes have arguably turned into an urban desert island although the triangular shape itself is getting on for 200 years old.

This map of 1868 clearly shows the triangle as does this map circa 1820.  However, this slightly earlier map from 1817  seems to suggest that the triangle was then linked up to the site where St Marks Church, Kennington (built 1822-24) now is but as the area of interest is right on the edge of the map, it is not conclusive.

The triangle almost certainly arose as a consequence of Vauxhall Bridge (originally Regent Bridge) opening in 1816.   The opening of the bridge established a demand for  Camberwell New Road  – a turnpike road authorised by an 1818 Act of Parliament (according to British History on line).  The new road linked into to Harleyford Street and then on to Vauxhall Bridge.  The siting of St Marks Church emphasised the boundary and the triangle was properly formed probably by 1822 at the latest but probably no earlier than 1818.

The triangular space is bounded by the A3 (Kennington Park Road) , A23 (Brixton Road) and A202 (Camberwell New Road).  These same sides of the triangle were, in 1868, named upper Kennington Lane, Kennington Road and Windmill Row.   The  1822 and 1817 maps show upper Kennington Lane as Harleyford Place.  Camberwell New Road was then New Camberwell Road.

It is a possibility that the New Camberwell Road followed an existing path defined perhaps by desire lines and the path may well have continued to Harleyford Street thereby defining the third side of the triangle so the shape may be relatively ancient.  However, it probably became a distinct triangle defined by roads circa 1820 which means that the ‘Kennington Oval’ is coming up for its 200th anniversary.  It would be nice to get the space sorted out including it’s ambiguous name. It is now being suggested that the space be given a more appropriate name – Kennington Triangle being one option.




New anti-graffiti solution

19 May

Planning notificationsTransport for London, courtesy of Northern Line Extension proposal, seem to have come up with an ‘innovative’ anti-graffiti technique  – covering posts with planning notices.  These are about acquiring the subsoil – hopefully someone told the worms.

While I’m on the topic …

Planning notices are typically laminated A4 sheets.  Why is it that a notification to carry out work on a tree in someone’s back garden takes up as much space as developments like the 41 and 32 storey Kylun towers development at Vauxhall?  Perhaps planning notices should be proportional to the size of the development – say one A4 sheet for every 10 metres in height – that would soon sort out the local graffiti problem 🙂


Who needs secure bicycle parking?

18 May

There is absolutely no evidence that secure bike parking is needed…apart from pretty much everywhere you look.

It is sad that we can’t just leave our bicycles without having to double lock everything but that is the world we live in. I’ve only had one bicycle stolen from me over the years but that’s only because I’ve never left mine in a public place since – other than for a few minutes while going into a shop and even then I lock it. If it weren’t for the secure parking where I work, I probably wouldn’t have one. The new secure bicycle ‘sheds’ appearing around the neighbourhood may not be the most aesthetically pleasing but hopefully they will encourage a few more cyclists to take to the roads.

It wasn’t so long ago that vandalised bicycles were moving removed from around the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, that seems to have made way for a few more victims. Here are a few photos of vandalised bicycles. The first picture shows, I believe, some stolen wheels. A large number of police were holding a community event just around the corner and it would seem that a thief may have dropped his spoils.


Golden chariot skips out of Oval House Theatre

28 Apr

Oval House Theatre Golden Chariot Popped into the Oval House Theatre to get a copy of their latest programme.  I couldn’t resist this picture of a golden chariot in the skip outside – perhaps it didn’t have parking permit 🙂

The Oval House is currently running a ‘Gods and Monsters’ season.  Here is what is coming up:
* ‘Cuddles’ 14 My to 1 June
* ‘The Bear’ 21 may to * June
* ‘Adventure Misadventure’ 4 June to 22 June
* ‘Shield’ 11 June to 29 June
* ‘The Ted Bundy Project’ 24 May to 25 May
* ‘Taranis’ 1 June