"O maior inimigo da autoridade é o desprezo e a maneira mais segura de solapá-la é o riso." (Hannah Arendt 1906-1975)

terça-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2017

Where To Find Winston Churchill In London

Where To Find Winston Churchill In London:

Statesman, national icon, writer, wit, heavy drinker, warlord, jowly insurance dog. However you view Churchill, there's no denying his enormous role in British history. London is littered with memorials to our most famous Prime Minister. Here's where to find him.

Statues and likenesses

Most people have seen this statue in Parliament Square. A hunched, elderly Churchill faces the Houses of Parliament. It's been defaced on several occasions; most famously in 2000 when the statesmen was given a turf mohican.

Another likeness of Churchill can be found cosying up to Roosevelt on a bench in Bond Street (there's a copy of this in Hampstead). There's also a solo statue in Woodford Green (part of his constituency). Finally outdoors, you can find this fat-necked bust on Wanstead High Street.

Image courtesy of London Remembers.
A famous striding statue of Churchill guards the entrance to the House of Commons — off limits to the public except by pre-arranged tour. Our favourite, though, has to be this cosy piece in the Guildhall, where the rotund statesman is fused to his armchair. Churchill unveiled it himself.

Visitors to the National Gallery should take a few minutes to look down from the walls to their feet. The entrance hall contains a series of striking murals by Boris Anrep, including this boogieing Winston in war gear.

Photo: Terry Moran
Another mosaic of Churchill can be found in Chingford, part of his former constituency.

The most peculiar representation of Churchill, however, must be the face on this astronomical clock.

Yes, that really is him, staring from the sun's disc like the baby off the Teletubbies. As you can see, the clock sits above the doors of Bracken House on Cannon Street. Churchill was a friend and colleague of Brendan Bracken, after whom the building is named. More on that story here.

Locations

Image by Kaihsu Tai under Creative Commons licence.
The obvious place to start is the Churchill War Rooms, a second world war government bunker beneath Whitehall, now a museum. It's rammed with Churchillian things to see, including recreations of the command centre and personal artefacts belonging to the leader.

Then cross the Royal Parks to the Churchill Arms, a magnificent pub half way between Kensington and Notting Hill. The OTT decoration contains plenty of nods to Churchill, but you'll be hard-pressed to find them among the clutter and jumble that cover the walls. Owners Fuller's claim the drinking den was frequented by Churchill's grandparents.

Churchill has also given his illustrious name to any number of roads, buildings, housing estates and business parks. Actually, we can be more specific. The A-Z Master Atlas of Greater London includes exactly 50 — though we can't be sure they're all named after Winston.

Memorabilia

Here's Winnie's smoking seat. You'll find the battered leather antique in the basement of James J Fox, of 19 St James's Street. The world's most famous smoker, Churchill spent plenty of time in this venerable tobacconist — a regular customer for 64 years. His favourite cigar chair is now the centrepiece of the shop's Pipe Museum, where you can also inspect other Churchillian smoking paraphernalia.

From chairs to tables. This dainty number can be found in Cutlers' Hall on Warwick Lane, City of London. Today it holds some black and white snaps of Churchill, along with a couple of unusable ash trays. In 1965, it held a ceremonial mace at Churchill's funeral in St Paul's Cathedral.

Street art and graffiti

Churchill often makes appearances in street art. The first piece of Churchillian graffiti came from his own hand, or perhaps that of a hireling. It's shown above at Harrow School, where WC was a pupil from 1888 to 1893. He left his mark by chiselling his name into the wood panelling of the Fourth Form Room. As you can see, he wasn't alone. The walls of this chamber are filled with Harrovian names, including those of three other boys who would become Prime Minister. The adjacent Old Speech Room Gallery contains further Churchill memorabilia, and is open to the public.

A few other shots from around town...

Blighty Coffee in Finsbury Park. Not the best painting, if we're being honest, but we'll let the place off because it has a charming tea garden round the back.

Mr Degri specialises in portrait street art. Here's his rendition of Winston on the Boundary Estate, Shoreditch.

Photo: Dun.can
A pair of Churchills look on as Sinatra and Hendrix play to the crowd on Hanbury Street — a piece in the distinctive style of Paul Don Smith.

Image by bob walker under Creative Commons licence.
Finally, this remarkable mural in Croydon is the work of David Hollier. The portrait is made entirely from Winston Churchill quotes. Not sure about the halo, though.

A life in plaques

Images via London Remembers.
Churchill has at least five plaques in London that commemorate former addresses. Shown above, these are: St James's Place (top left); Eccleston Square (top middle); Sussex Square (top right); Morpeth Terrace (bottom left); and Hyde Park Gate, where he died in 1965 (bottom right). An additional plaque can be found on Caxton Hall, where Churchill was a regular speaker.

A further plaque to Winston's wife Clementine Churchill (then Clementine Hozier) is located in Abingdon Villas, Kensington, where she lived from 1903 until her marriage in 1908.

After a long life, Winston Churchill died on 24 January 1965. His body lay in state in Westminster Hall, and a small brass plaque marks the location. Finally, here's a memorial we stumbled across near Hayes in south-east London.

It marks a tree planted in Churchill's honour following his death. The sapling is now fully grown. This is probably one of dozens of community commemorations of Churchill dotted around London — please share tips on any others in the comments.

See also: How to eat, drink and smoke like Winston Churchill

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