ILCE P H O T O G R A P H Y

B r i a n   A.   M a r s h a l l

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(ILCE = Interchangeable Lens Camera with E-mount)

H I D E N    H I S T O R I C    L O N D O N

(Not exactly hidden but in plain sight but unless you know what you are looking at, then it’s hidden.)

Texas Embassy, London.

 

To the left of the ornate shop front to Berry Bros & Rudd, 3 St James's Street SW1, which was established as a wines and spirits merchants in 1698, is a wood paneled passageway leading to Pickering Place.

 

Halfway down on the right is a door, with a light over it, that used to be the entrance to the Legation from the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James in 1842. After Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836, it sent diplomats to the Court of St James’s and the closest property available to the Palace of St James, which is just across the road, was in offices rented from Berry Bros. Britain and France had offered troops to guarantee Texas’s independence and protect its borders with Mexico and the USA. Texas eventually joined joined the United States in 1845 and closed the Legation.

 

The plaque at the entrance to Pickering Place, has the ‘Seal of the Republic of Texas’ at the top was erected by the Anglo-Texan Society in 1963.

 

Pickering Place is an historic location in itself. The Georgian courtyard, dating from 1734, is the smallest public square in Britain and is also said to be the last place where a duel in London was fought.

A Nice Pair of Knockers

Wilkes Street, Spitalfields, London.

 

The door furniture along Wilkes Street are plenty and varied but the hand shaped door-knockers stand out as unusual. There are basically two types. There are the ones with uncovered wrists known as the The Hand Of Fatima, who was the daughter of Mohammed, and is a symbol of protection and the ones with covered wrists, said to represent lace, and are the symbols of the Huguenot weavers who settled in Spitalfields after fleeing persecution in France in the 17th century.