All change on Upper Richmond Road

There really is a remarkable amount of construction going on in London at the moment.

Of course, the tallest buildings get the headlines - the Shard, Leadenhall building, 20 Fenchurch Street and so on. But there are cranes over suburbia, too: the housing shortage means seemingly every last derelict or obsolete building or bit of brownfield land is the site of a mid-rise "mixed-use" development.

This is well encapsulated by a third-of-a-mile stretch of the Upper Richmond Road (South Circular) between Putney High Street (for Putney Station) and East Putney Station. I take a look at what's being knocked down, what will soon rise in its place, and what my backseat-driver opinion of it all is.

Putney Plaza demolition

Steam train / tube train

Some days you just get lucky.

I didn't plan on photographing this perfect scene of a steam train with an underground going, er, over it. It just fell into my lap.

Read on for the not very interesting story of how, and more importantly, extra pictures.

Steam train / tube train

Clapham Common and Stockwell Skateparks

In my usual pursuit of landscape or architectural subjects, I often found myself treating people as an annoyance and an obstruction. But a nagging sense that photographic abilities, or a photographic sense of style, which depended on the absence of people was not much cop, especially in London of all places, prompted me to set myself a challenge to make people the focus of my photos for a change.

So it was that I headed off to Clapham Common, the first of two nearby skate parks on the afternoon's agenda.

Clapham Common Skatepark

Skyline spotting from London's hills

The Shard has taken most of the headlines by claiming the title of tallest building in the EU (and, briefly, Europe, until overtaken by Moscow's Mercury City Tower). But it's not alone: London has an ever-going range of skyscrapers, some designed by renowned architects; some designs great, some... debatable.

In this piece I do a round-up of some of the best publically accessible high points in London for a panaromic view of London's skyline.

Shard and City skyline from Norwood Park

Wandle Trail

A long-time resident of Wandsworth borough, I have long been aware that the borough takes its name from the River Wandle. This is a river I cross almost every time I go to central London, and yet in Wandsworth town centre is scarcely visible.

This is, hopefully, to change, as I will touch upon later. However, at present the nicer stretches of the Wandle are further from the Thames, as I discovered when I impulsively decided to vary my diet of Thames riverbank strolling with an exploration of my local tributary.

River Wandle in Watermeads Nature Reserve

Olympics in Putney

I didn't really do the Olympics.

When the ticket sales were announced a year or so before the games, I was in scrooge mode. Money could be spent on better things, I thought. Exposure could be better given to other cities, I added, in noble generosity. And how the hell am I supposed to know if I'll feel like watching weightlifting or shotput eleven months next Tuesday?

So I didn't buy any tickets.

Of course, bloody Boyle went and ruined that...

Cycle road race on Upper Richmond Road
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