The London Daily Newsletter Tuesday 6 June

Purfleet-on-Thames is located in the Thurrock unitary authority in Essex. Situated in the easternmost part of the M25 motorway, it is just outside the Greater London boundary.

Previously, Purfleet was part of the traditional Church of England parish of West Thurrock. The area has a mix of industrial activity to the south and is encompassed within the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. Purfleet is recognized as one of the seven conservation areas in Thurrock. The origins of the name “Purfleet” can be traced back to 1285 when it was referred to as Purteflyete. The name signifies “Purta’s stream or tidal inlet,” indicating its geographical features and history as a waterfront settlement. During the 18th century, Purfleet Royal Gunpowder Magazine was established as a crucial storage site for gunpowder, accompanied by a garrison for protection. The presence of stored gunpowder created a constant risk of explosions, particularly from lightning strikes. To mitigate this danger, Benjamin Franklin was consulted for advice on designing lightning conductors. The Royal Society supported his design for pointed conductors, which effectively protected the powder store from lightning strikes. However, after the American Revolution, King George III insisted on the replacement of pointed conductors with blunt ones, following which the president of the Royal Society was compelled to resign. Today, one of the original five magazines, Magazine number 5, remains as the Purfleet Garrison Heritage and Military Centre. It holds the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is managed by volunteers. The centre showcases a diverse collection of local and military memorabilia, including items from RAF Hornchurch. Renowned artist J. M. W. Turner documented Purfleet in his sketches created between 1805 and 1808, with a particular focus on the Powder Magazines. These sketches, found in the River and Margate Sketchbook, are part of the esteemed Tate Britain collection and were accepted as part of the Turner Bequest in 1856.

TUM Book Club: Old Covent Garden
The magic of the old Covent Garden Market is evoked through Clive Boursnell’s photographs, taken over the course of numerous visits to Covent Garden in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Clive Boursnell, then a young photographer, shot thousands of photographs of the old Covent Garden, documenting the end of an era before the markets moved out of central London. Boursnell captured these last days of the market over a period of six years, from 1968 until the market’s closure, in a series of beautiful portraits of the feisty life of a city institution.

London from Greenwich Park (1720) From the Dutch school of painting in vogue at the time, notable features of this painting are the palace in central Greenwich (later demolished), St Paul’s as the tallest London building on the horizon and a very green Isle of Dogs

Peter Tillemans (Bank of England Museum)

Video: Oyster
Getting around London with Oyster


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