Free festive family talk on robots at QMUL [108 bus goes nearby]

Screenshot 2017-11-15 21.54.40.png  Screenshot 2017-11-15 21.55.42.png

On Friday 8 December from 5.30pm to 6.30pm there’s a free talk all about robots (aimed at secondary schools and families) at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), sponsored by the IET.

“Are robots really going to take over the world? Will robots be able to replace humans? What does it mean to be human? Take a journey through the weird and wonderful world of robotics. You will discover the challenges and possibilities facing today’s engineers and scientists with the quest of creating the man’s new best friend (or will they be our enemies?) “

QMUL’s campus is in Stepney Green, on Mile End Road, which is about four miles from Blackheath so fairly accessible to people in SE3 etc. The 108 bus goes almost all the way and turns onto Mile End Road up by Bow Church (DLR).

TICKETS (free) at Eventbrite.

Event TIMINGS

  • Doors open & registration: 5.00pm
  • Lecture start: 5.30pm prompt
  • Lecture finish: 6.30pm
  • Reception: 6.30pm-7.30pm

Download a free flyer IET_QMUL_Xmas-lecture_2017-1

TRAVEL from Blackheath
Ideally get off the 108 just before it turns (right) into Mile End Rd – as you want to be on the same side of the road to pick up the 25 or 205 bus (or ~15-20min walk) and head left along Mile End Road to the big white Queen’s Building where the event takes place (technically in the People’s Palace to its left).

You can even shave off a few minutes of your journey by getting the 422 to Tunnel Avenue, then picking up the 108 and continuing through the Blackwall Tunnel – this cuts out North Greenwich tube station.

Other quick routes are any train to Cannon Street then a District Line train to Upminster or Barking that stops at Stepney Green. Exit the station, turn left, carry on up Mile End Road crossing Globe Road and you’ll be at the Queen’s Building in less than 10 minutes.

SPEAKERS
Professor Kaspar Althoefer
Professor Kaspar Althoefer is a roboticist with a keen interest in soft and stiffness- controllable robots. He likes to apply his octopus-inspired creations to areas such as keyhole surgery and human-robot interaction for the factory of the future. On occasions, he has collaborated with artists, designers and architects on soft robot installations.

Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov
Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov is a Lecturer in Robotics at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). He is interested to study how human senses and movements and how this can be used to improve interaction between humans and robots. This research is important to develop robots for medical, service and eld applications.

He currently studies sense of balance in humans and how bio-inspired balance control methods can be applied to robots for walking assistance.

Dr Lorenzo Jamone
Lorenzo Jamone is a Lecturer in Robotics at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at
QMUL. He was born and he studied in Italy, completing a PhD in humanoid technologies before moving rst to Japan and then to Portugal to acquire additional
international experience as a researcher in robotics. Lorenzo joined QMUL in 2016, where he is one of the founding members of ARQ (Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary), he also collaborates with the Cognitive Science group and with the Centre for Intelligent Sensing.

Lorenzo’s research combines robotics, sensing and cognitive science, with a twofold objective: creating more intelligent robots that can co-exist and co-operate with people, and obtaining a better understanding of how the human body and brain works (for more info: http://lorejam.blogspot.com). Lorenzo is also passionate about science ction stories and lms, especially when robots are involved.

 

 

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Trains from Blackheath to London next week – thank you helpful commuter

Next week commuters using Southeastern rail services from Blackheath station to London will find that none going to London Bridge, Waterloo East or Charing Cross. Trains are going to Cannon Street and Victoria.

Helpful hashtag is #southeastern, be nice to them on Twitter too @Se_Railway.

  • The 521 bus goes from Cannon Street (stop MB) to London Bridge – there are also lots of other nearby buses heading in that direction and it’s a 10-15min walk too.
  • Cannon Street or Victoria tube will take you to Embankment for Charing Cross [Tube map]
  • London Bridge is on the Jubilee Line from Canary Wharf (DLR) or Canada Water (Overground).

Don’t forget that the (always busy, mind) 53 bus goes to Elephant & Castle and Lower Marsh (Waterloo-ish) from Blackheath Standard, more links to transport alternatives below.

Live train departure information for local stations, from… Blackheath / Charlton / Kidbrooke / Lee / Lewisham / Maze Hill / Westcombe Park / Woolwich Arsenal / Woolwich Dockyard

1. Temporary new train times from Blackheath in August
I spotted this in Blackheath station yesterday, by the exit on Platform 1. This person is a kindred spirit, thank you whoever you are 🙂 See tweets below for more on the history behind this.

Train times from Blackheath next Tuesday to Friday (29 August to 1 September). I strongly recommend the CityMapper website (plus excellent and free app) – it’s really good for public transport.

photo 1.JPG


The text of the poster says ….

For those of you who missed
the South Eastern photo of the
handwritten time table (!!),
here it is typed up for ALL
to see clearly…

BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF MORNING SERVICES FROM
BLACKHEATH TO LONDON TUESDAY TO FRIDAY NEXT WEEK

THERE WILL BE NO TRAINS TO LONDON BRIDGE,
WATERLOO EAST OR CHARING CROSS.

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY SERVICES WILL BE DIFFERENT.

05.45 CANNON ST
06.15 CANNON ST
06.24 CANNON ST
06.45 CANNON ST
06.54 CANNON ST
07.04 VICTORIA
07.15 CANNON ST
07.24 CANNON ST
07.33 VICTORIA
07.45 CANNON ST
07.54 CANNON ST

08.02 VICTORIA
08.15 CANNON ST
08.24 CANNON ST
08.33 VICTORIA
08.45 CANNON ST
08.54 CANNON ST
09.03 VICTORIA
09.15 CANNON ST
09.24 CANNON ST
09.34 VICTORIA

Brought to you by a commuter who could be bothered spending
10 mins typing this up


 

2 Alternative travel arrangements

RAIL
Live train departure information for local stations, from… Blackheath / Charlton / Kidbrooke / Lee / Lewisham / Maze Hill / Westcombe Park / Woolwich Arsenal / Woolwich Dockyard

FERRIES
Thames Clippers ferries from Greenwich Pier or North Greenwich Pier (go to Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Bankside, Blackfriars, Charing Cross (Embankment Pier), Waterloo [‘London Eye’] and Westminster. The 108 or 422 buses will get you to North Greenwich, the 286 or 386 will get you to Greenwich by Cutty Sark for the Greenwich Pier. Greenwich Cutty Sark is also on the DLR line.
• ‘Next boat’ information from Greenwich Pier / North Greenwich Pier

BUSES
Buses from Blackheath to Lewisham station take two routes in opposite directions. The 54 and 108 pick up at the bus stop next to Age Exchange / Shepherd’s Foods on the other side of the road from the station. The 380 picks up on the same side of the station – turn left out of the station, go past the barriered car park (there’s a Farmers’ Market there on Sundays) and past a 24 hour shop, Oddbins and a fruit / veg shop then up the hill past the shoe shop and the one selling electrical equipment. Keep going to The Crown pub from where the 380 will take you to Lewisham station.

DLR
From Lewisham station – walk there or bus. The route is prettier over the heath by Wat Tyler Road (the 380 bus route). DLR goes to Bank via Canary Wharf (also on the ferry route).

OVERGROUND
From New Cross (53 bus) or Denmark Hill (Blackheath train to Victoria stops here).

 

 

 

The 1900 House (TV prog from 1999/2000) was set in Charlton & Blackheath Standard

The other day, while doing some housework, I remembered the hardworking and brilliant ‘maid of all work’ in a television programme I saw years ago when I first moved to Blackheath, called The 1900 House. I’ve discovered that the whole programme is available to watch again and spent yesterday watching it on my day off while rain and thunderstorms raged outside. The programme was filmed in 1999 and moved a modern family into a house as it would have been in 1900, to create a living history documentary to see how they found the experience of being Victorian. Tough as it happens, but they enjoyed a great deal of it, as did the audience.

There’s a lovely bit a few weeks in where Joyce (the mum) is reflecting on a point at which she’d had enough and just wanted to ‘put on her hat and walk out’. That sounds a very Victorian way of expressing it – no-one really wears everyday hats these days – so it seemed like she was certainly in the right mindset. They all stuck it out. The maid, who was a cleaner in real life and whose mother and grandmother had been too, wasn’t in the programme for very long but there were scenes of her visiting a library to discover more about the very hard life of working class Victorian women who might work for 15 hours a day every day. They didn’t have much time (or resources to fall back on if they lost their job) to campaign for votes for women, something done more by middle class women. It was an interesting programme.

I was very new to Blackheath when it aired in 2000 and had completely failed to spot that it’s set in the next village, Charlton, with excursions into Blackheath Standard. I was reading the Wikipedia article which mentioned Elliscombe Road (‘hang on that sounds familiar’) and then spotted that it was the one in Charlton. The Clarendon Hotel features in the opening sequence as the family changes their 1999 clothes for 1900 ones and are then conveyed in a horse-drawn carriage to their new house in 50 Elliscombe Road.

Occasionally I take the 380 bus to Charlton rail station, alighting at the Sundorne Road bus stop on Wellington Road. The previous bus stop, also on Wellington Road, is the Elliscombe Road one and the bus announces the road name, so I’ve been hearing that name for years while paying attention to it so that I get off at the next one (incidentally I wonder if there are any two bus stops in London closer together than those two). I’d not like to drive a horse and carriage down Eastcombe Avenue though, which is further up in the journey from Blackheath, it’s a bit steep.

The Apple N’Orange fruit shop at Blackheath Standard opposite the library features in the programme too – it’s still there, same name, open late and on Sundays. At one point the eldest daughter gets a Saturday job there to stave off the boredom of having not that much to do and limited opportunities as a sixteen year old Victorian girl. We also see some bicycling going on around Blackheath Pond (Princess of Wales pond) and St German’s Place too.

Further reading

 

 

Angerstein level crossing, one of two in Greenwich

Yesterday I discovered that there is a second level crossing within walking distance from my home. To be honest I’d been dining out on the news of the Charlton Lane crossing for a few years (very pretty brick pattern on the tunnel, level crossings a reasonably rare thing in London) after I discovered it while ambling around Maryon Park. But now I have two of them! This one is much smaller and is only used by pedestrians, and the track itself is only used by freight trains carrying ‘stuff’ from around the UK to Angerstein Wharf.

Yesterday’s discovery was an online one, after I was looking up John Julius Angerstein who created the gardens at Mycenae House. I recognised his name from wandering around Angerstein Wharf (well as near as I can get to it without being chased by wild dogs) and the internet told me about this crossing, just by Westcombe Park station. Angerstein’s grandson developed the railway and the crossing was included for workers to get across the line.

I had the day off today and went to visit it. Predictably I arrived just too late to see a long freight train disappearing into the wharf, which was a shame but I enjoyed meeting the crossing nonetheless. The line is very infrequently used as far as I’m aware (trains run several times a week rather than a day), though not by people – I met several while lurking there photographing it (pics below).

Map of Angerstein Crossing from Google maps.

When I lived in Camberwell I was close to Denmark Hill rail station and I loved being woken in the middle of the night by the rumbling of freight trains passing through, reminding me that I was safe and warm in bed while life was going on around me. It made the house vibrate.

Pleasingly it’s the exact same trains that pass through Denmark Hill that also arrive in Angerstein Wharf. They come from (or go to) Bardon Hill quarry in Leicestershire and they do this in a remarkably circuitous route which you can see examples of here (Bardon to Angerstein) and here (Angerstein to Bardon).

Other posts about Angerstein Crossing
Angerstein Level Crossing (31 August 2015) Know Your London
Angerstein adventure: Take a very rare Greenwich rail trip (31 August 2014) 853 blog
Angerstein railway (28 October 2013) The Greenwich Phantom
The Angerstein Railway (published 30 July 2013 but written in 1998) Greenwich Peninsula History

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1. Westcombe Park side of the Angerstein Crossing

IMG_4725.JPG2. Westcombe Park side looking left towards Angerstein Wharf where you can see the train I just missed.

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3. Westcombe Park side looking to the right towards Charlton station

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4. The crossing itself, taken from the side of Westcombe Park

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5. The opposite side of the crossing, from the Fairthorn Road entrance

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6. The rather lovely entrance to the crossing from Fairthorn Road, directly opposite Gurdon Road.

 

 

Mycenae House’s PARKSfest 2017

I popped into Mycenae House after a visit to Blackheath’s M&S for yesterday’s ParksFest and failed to take any photographs as my phone was charging at home, oops. Fortunately other people brought their cameras and tweeted some stuff (below). Looks like it was a really enjoyable day. I was surprised to discover how large the Mycenae Gardens are and amazed to see a large redwood tree, among some other pretty interesting trees. I signed up to become a ‘friend of’ the gardens and was given a leaflet on the gardens history.

Mycenae House (built in 1776) Gardens were created by someone whose name – Angerstein – I had heard of only in the context of freight trains shuttling between Angerstein Wharf and Bardon Hill quarry in Leicester. He filled the garden with some trees that have been there for over 200 years (a lovely old plane tree is still there) and after his death his collection of paintings also kicked off the National Gallery. Angerstein actually lived in ‘Woodlands’ (now a Steiner School) next door to Mycenae House.

The friends of the Garden had a couple of good tree quizzes – it turns out I’m better at recognising a species from its leaf than from a picture of the tree.

A few years ago I saw Shaun of the Dead in the gardens thanks to Pop Up Screens, it was fab though I got bitten by midges 😉 I don’t think they’re doing any screenings at Mycenae House but they do have films in Greenwich Peninsula in August (also Lee / Hither Green which is nearby).

Mycenae House (What’s On) – http://www.mycenaehouse.co.uk/whatson.html
Friends of Mycenae Gardens – https://mycenaegardens.org.uk/about/
Westcombe (Park) Society – http://www.westcombesociety.org/
Blackheath Society – http://www.blackheath.org/
Charlton Society – https://charltonsociety.org/

I enjoyed the bunting seen in the tweet above.

Open air cinema on your doorstep (if you’re in Blackheath / Greenwich / Lee / Peckham)

This weekend the Luna Cinema is screening Groundhog Day (Fri 7 July), Arrival (Sat 8 July) and Top Gun (Sun 9 July) in Greenwich Park.
http://www.thelunacinema.com/greenwich-park/4592086264

The Rooftop Film Club is showing lots of films all summer on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham. The building is a three minute walk* from Peckham Rye, which is itself only 13 minutes from Blackheath station on the Victoria trains.
http://rooftopfilmclub.com/london/venues/bussey-building/

Pop Up Screens is showing Jurassic Park (Fri 25 Aug), Four Weddings and a Funeral (Sat 26 Aug) and Grease (Sun 27 Aug) in Manor House Gardens, which is listed as Hither Green but seems pretty Lee-ish. It’s a 17 minute walk from Blackheath station (according to Citymapper). You can also take the 202 bus to Stop F (on the opposite side of the road from the Sainsbury’s, Burnt Ash Road Lee Road (Stop ID: 58365), the 261 stops there too, then walk up a little bit to the crossroads and turn right into Taunton Road.
https://www.popupscreens.co.uk/tickets/events/upcoming/venue/4

All the open air cinema screening organisations listed, and many others, are showing other films across London and a reasonably complete list is here:
https://storify.com/jobrodie/open-air-cinema-screenings-london-2017

*Don’t forget that the last weekday train from Peckham Rye to Blackheath is 23:51 and you might need to allow a bit longer to walk back to the station as they close off the main cut-through back to the station. I discovered this last night after a lovely screening of Pride and Prejudice there (with a fun Q&A with Joe Wright the director beforehand) which has a run time of 2h 15 and began at 9.45. I’d allowed 10 mins to get back to the station and had quite the sense of humour failure when someone tried to redirect me to follow a different, longer route in an opposite direction, risking losing the train – fortunately I won that argument, they opened the barrier for me and I got the last train home.