Google Earth Preserving a Small Piece of Film History

August 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm (books, interesting, places) (, , , , )

We’ve recently visiting the Warner Bros Studio Tour, which for now is geared up to show the Making of Harry Potter.  If you are a Potter fan and haven’t been, then I recommend it.  Being a film set, don’t expect to walk into shops in Diagon Alley or roam the corridors of Hogwarts, but do expect to see what lies behind the magic and be prepared for some amazing film scenery, models and props.

But what I thought was quite interesting was the fact that they had two houses from Privet Drive in the outside part, and we read about how they had build a small close of 10 houses for filming.  But what is even more interesting is if you look up Leavesden Studios on Google maps and turn on the satellite view, right now the picture is as it was before the Harry Potter Tour was built – you can still see the older studios, the remnents of the runway (it used to be an airfield) and three rather curious structures in the grounds.

If you look really closely, you can spot the Privet Drive set (near the top and the main buildings) – complete with houses with only half their roofs built – Hagrid’s Hut (centre left) and what looks very much like the one life-sized part of the Hogwart’s bridge introduced in the Prisoner of Azkaban (towards the bottom, centre).

I don’t know what the refresh cycle of Google maps is, so don’t know how much longer it will show this historical arial view, but it is still quite interesting to see the sets they used for the films visible.

Kevin.

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Rudest Place names in Britain

June 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm (odds, places) (, )

And while looking up the 10 largest holes for my last post, I rediscovered Google Sightseeing.

Always good for a browse if you have nothing better to do.  Of course, if you are feeling in the mood for childish, purile humour, then you can’t beat the rudest place names in Britain.   Sorry.  Silly I know 🙂

Kevin.

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Museum of Bad Art

April 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm (art, odds, places) (, , )

This is an interesting place, by the sounds of things – the Museum of Bad Art. I quote – “The Museum of Bad Art is the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.” So there. Why did this all start? Wikipedia explains:

“MOBA was founded in 1994, after antique dealer Scott Wilson showed a painting he had recovered from the trash to some friends, who suggested starting a collection”

The thing that made me smile though, is this account of two thefts at the gallery.

In one case, a reward of $6.50 was offered for the return of the first. 10 years later, a ransom note was received, but left unpaid. Then the thief just returned the painting anyway! In the second case, a painting was removed and replaced with a demand for $10. Eventually, the painting was just returned, but this time with a donation for $10!

Wacky.

Kevin.

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World Pillow Fight Day

March 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm (odds, places) (, , , , , )

This is a day that will go down in history … (maybe). 4th April is World Pillow Fight day, and there is one planned for Cardiff, London, and … Northampton! 3pm in the Market Square, if you’re not doing anything else.  There are more details in the Flash Mob Northampton Facebook group.

Kevin

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T-Mobile ad

February 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm (computers, interesting, internet, places) (, , , , , , , )

After noting improv everywhere the other week, I’ve started seeing the T-mobile ad on the TV and around and about, which is a very similar sort of thing. It gives the impression of an improvised, flash-mob style dance routine at London’s Liverpool St station.

One of the curious things for me though, is seeing the ad on those TV ad screens in stations and the Tube finishing with a URL that directly mentions YouTube.

It shows what a ubiquitous brand YouTube has become, sort of like how people have started saying they are ‘just off to google for something’ (although I’ve yet to see someone google for their keys … but with RFID and predictions about the ‘Internet of things‘, maybe one day that even that will come).

Kevin.

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The National Museum of Computing

January 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm (computers, interesting, places) (, , , , , )

The National Museum of Computing, co-located within Bletchley Park, has just launched its updated website. This is the home of the rebuild of Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer.

Apprently, the museum will be featured on the BBC ‘The One Show’ next Monday (the 2nd Feb, presumably).

Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Kevin.

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Salcey Forest

September 5, 2007 at 10:35 pm (kids, places) (, , , , )

Despite living on the south(ish) side of Northampton for some time, I’ve never been into Salcey Forest – until now.

We went to the visitors centre and cafe and followed one of the walks through the forest.  We were able to go up the tree-top walk, which is a gradually sloping set of platforms leading from ground level, up to over 15m high, with a set of steps at the top to take you to 20m – high enough to see above the trees of the forest (you can see Northampton and the lift tower in the distance!).

Apparently its made using radio mast technology, with wooden tops and walkways.  Its quite unnerving walking over the large spans and having it wobble under you!

Incredibly impressive and well worth a visit.  You don’t have to worry about kids either, the walk-way is fenced in.  Its also pushchair and wheelchair friendly (apart from the steps at the top).

Will be visiting again, probably with bikes and for longer.

Kevin.

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Northampton Lift Tower

June 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm (interesting, places) (, , )

Despite living in Northampton for some time, I’ve never actually been up close to the lift tower.  Well, that changed last week, when I had some time to kill, so drove into the estate to have a look.

Its quite breathtaking really, standing at the bottom of the thing!  Its a shame that there’s no information about it though.  I had to turn to its wikipedia entry for help.

If you’re local and never been there, its worth a quick 5 minute diversion next time you are driving by.

Shame we can’t go to the top though.  We have to make do with pictures from the top instead..

Kevin.

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