Books About Town 2014: City Trail
Usborne’s that’s not my… bench (artists: Rachel Wells/Jenny Hiborne/Sarah Jane Edwards). On Friday afternoon, grey clouds hovering over head, I started the City trail close to St Paul’s Cathedral. There are 15 benches on this trail.
Usborne’s that’s not my…bench (artists: Rachel Wells/Jenny Hiborne/Sarah Jane Edwards). It was the last week of the summer holidays and plenty of families were also enjoying book bench hunting.
Mary Poppins (artist Darel Seow). This next bench is right by the Cathedral and people were queuing to sit on it and be papped by their families.
Mary Poppins (artist: Darel Seow). This shot was taken abut 10 minutes after the first one. When I returned it was quieter. This mother was telling her child the story of Mary Poppins written by author PL Travers.
Peter Pan (artist Laura Elizabeth Bolton). In a tree-walled garden close to St Paul’s Cathedral were two more benches. This was very pretty with pearls glued on to the painting around Tinderbell.
Peter Pan (artist Laura Elizabeth Bolton). Author JM Barrie wrote the novel which inspired this book bench. There are 2 benches dedicated to Peter Pan in this exhibition. The other is on the Bloomsbury trail.
Fever Pitch (artist Sophie Green).The second bench here looked rather neglected on that Friday afternoon. It is dedicated to Nick Hornby’s novel about a football fan.
Fever Pitch (artist Sophie Green). Indeed even the people being photographed by the two ladies to the right were sitting on a regular wooden bench.
Jacqueline Wilson (artists Nick Sharratt/Jane Headford). Right in front of St Paul’s Cathedral, these hungry tourists were not moving soon. I went away…
Jacqueline Wilson (artists Nick Sharratt/Jane Headford). And photographed two more benches before returning and they were still there. The back looks good though. As this was only bench 5 of 15 I decided not to linger any longer.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (artist Paula Bressel). Over in nearby Paternoster Square, these two young women were in no hurry to move on either.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (artist Paula Bressel). Returning to this bench was really worth it though. It celebrates the author Helen Fielding’s fictional singleton Bridget Jones. On the white paper it said, “women who love men are mad.”
Dickens in Liverpool (artist Hillside school). This bench is just across the road from St Paul’s Cathedral near the shops. It has been designed by school children from Liverpool to celebrate writer Charles Dickens.
Dickens in Liverpool (artist Hillside school). It was here that I chatted with a couple who were doing all 4 book bench trails in one day! They liked this trail because it was compact. They still had Greenwich to go. I hope they made it.
Brick Lane (artist Charlotte Brown). The next bench was about a 5 minute walk away in the secluded and historically fascinating Postman’s Park which also contains the Watt Memorial dedicated to the heroic actions of London’s poor in Victorian times.
Brick Lane (artist Charlotte Brown). Monica Ali’s novel is set in a real area of London about 2 miles away. And readers of my blog know that I’m regularly on Brick Lane snapping the street art.
The Laura Marlin mysteries (artists David Dean/Jane Headford). The walk to the next bench took me along Wood street and Love lane to this secret square. I had no idea there were so many secluded spots right in the City of London.
The Laura Marlin mysteries (artists David Dean/Jane Headford). Spot the difference between these two pictures. I haven’t photoshopped anything 😉
Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack (artist Trevor Skempton). Another short walk to the Guildhall of London built between 1411 – 1440. My heart skipped to beat to see that the book bench was empty. A tour party were just leaving.
Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack (artist Trevor Skempton). And as I approached the bench for a close- up, this man appeared from nowhere and plonked himself down for his phone-call!
Alex Rider (artist Kanako/Yuzuru/Mike Snowdon). Its another short walk from The Guildhall, down passed the Bank of England to the Royal Exchange. This bench was besieged by people wanting to sit on it.
Alex Rider (artist Kanako/Yuzuru/Mike Snowdon). Alex Rider is a fictional teenage spy created by author Anthony Horowitz
The Wind in the Willows (artist Mik Richardson). Also in front of The Royal Exchange is this book bench. It doesn’t look like she’s in a hurry to move.
The Wind in the Willows (artist Mik Richardson). Author Kenneth Grahame’s classic rural idyl is about the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad. The lady leapt from the bench moments later to throw her paper away in the street cleaner’s cart.
Sit Here At Your Own Risk (artist Paraig O’Driscoll). This pedestrianised street is just behind the Royal Exchange building. As I am a veteran of the 2012 ArtBox trail, I had to get those wonderful green phone boxes into this shot.
Sit Here At Your Own Risk (artist Paraig O’Driscoll). This bench is dedicated to the work of scientist Stephen Hawking and his book A Brief History of Time.
Noughts and Crosses (artist Oliver Dean). This bench is much further away than the others, tucked down a side street beyond the Lloyds building in the prettily named Fen Court.
Noughts and Crosses (artist Oliver Dean). The book celebrates the novel by the Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman.
Katie in London (artist James Mayhew). This final bench on the trail is right beside the Tower of London. It took me a while to find because I assumed it was down by the river but it wasn’t as you can see from the photograph.
Katie in London (artist James Mayhew). The book is also written by James Mayhew. The City trail took me approx. 2 1/4 hours to cover. The Books About Town exhibition runs until 15th September 2014.