Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gulag Erith.

Erith's latest leisure venue - GC's night club, which opened last night. Click on any photo for a larger version. It is located on Fraser Road, in part of what is left of the run down Europa Industrial Estate. Not what I would consider the prime location for a venue, but no doubt the property was cheap. Reports suggest that building work was still going on an hour before the opening time. Apparently the club was playing "Happy Hardcore" when my spy walked past in the early hours of the morning. I think that is the kind of dance music that goes "whumpf whumpf" - not that I could really care much either way; I have serious doubts that the place will ever serve real ale or play Jethro Tull album tracks. I am not sure if the venue has a proper licence or permission, but at least it is away from a residential area, and stuck bang in the middle of a spectacularly grotty industrial estate that dominates eastern Erith. They are welcome to it. I took these photos early on Sunday afternoon in that kind of light drizzle that permeates everything, just prior to taking some photographs of Erith Riverside shopping centre, showing the works to modify and extend the roof to cover the whole of the shopping area. So keen to get this completed, the builders were actually working (okay, standing around drinking tea, but you get the idea) on a Sunday!

Just as I finished taking photographs, a security guard came over and told me that photography was forbidden in the centre. I asked him where the notice was, and that it was hardly a nuclear weapons facility, also that anyway it was a public space, and incidentally, had he heard of the Magna Carta? This was met with a blank look. The bloke himself was relatively well spoken and polite compared with some of the micro browed goons the property management company normally digs up from care in the community or suchlike, so I decided to save the big fight for another day. You can see what all the fuss was about by looking at my Flickr photo site. I did mention to the guard that he was born out of time - he would have made an excellent sentry for one of Stalin's gulags.

Have you noticed that you can still purchase dead media formats like audio cassettes? Shops like Morrison's and W.H Smith still stock them. I can understand people wanting to continue using vinyl, but audio tapes were always a poor engineering solution - audio manufacturers mainly spent their to minimise the inherent shortcomings of the design (poor signal to noise ratio, audio print through (hearing the music a fraction of a second before you were supposed to, where the magnetic signal had transferred from the tape layer wrapped around it) and relative fragility - they were also subject to serial access - you had to fast forward / rewind to find a particular track, if you were not unlucky to have the tape come spewing out of the cassette to certain ruin). Somebody somewhere must still like and use them though. I think the only hifi company to really make audio cassettes sound halfway to acceptable were Nakamichi, and unfortunately their kit was always hideously expensive, and you could not play tapes recorded on a Nakamichi machine on any other recorder, as they did not use the standard audio protocols or format.

I have seen something that had I not witnessed it on at least four occasions with my own eyes, I would dismiss as an urban myth. Pigeons use the railway. Seriously, When I get on to the Plumstead bound overland train from Cannon Street in the afternoons when the station is relatively quiet; occasionally a feral pigeon will hop onto the carriage and walk down the aisle between the seats. The doors then shut and the train then makes its' way to London Bridge, where the flying rodent then alights. This has happened too often to be a freak of nature - the pigeons cannot be bothered to fly from one station to the other, so they take the train. I don't see them with tickets either, but maybe that is something for another day.

You may or may not be aware that Paramount Pictures are gambling around $150 Million on rebooting the Star Trek franchise. The last couple of movies, and the rather poor TV series Enterprise did a lot to damage the brand, and Trek is currently looking rather unwell. Paramount have hired successful cult TV / movie writer and director JJ Abrams to do for Trek what Casino Royale did for James Bond. Below is a low resolution video of the new cinema trailer for the movie, which is due out in May 2009. Quality is somewhat below par, but it is the best available at the moment - and apologies if it gets pulled from YouTube at some point. Please feel free to leave comments below.


  1. Pigeons are people too...

    "Cap'n the engines canna take it!"

    Security guards, don't you just love them; but I couldn't eat a whole one...

  2. Don't fight with the secirity guard, beat his facist head to pulp. I'll help you. I'm sick oif being told in the course of my work 'you can't film here' or 'you need permission' thats all bollocks. You can photo/film what you like from public highway and even if you are on 'private land'(unless you break in) ie Erith centre etc. its generally accepted that as long as its not for commercial purposes then so what? Hugh, if you want to know the law re. this I'd be happy to tell you!!! Tell that security guy to look at for bad people robbing old ladies, isn't that what the fuck he's there for?

  3. Looking at the entrance to that new GC club, I can't imagine that anyone would want to venture inside the place!

  4. "An Eriff Residunt"Tuesday, December 02, 2008 2:27:00 pm

    I fink it looeks well clarssy!
    'King smart!

  5. I live just up the road from this place, it was closed down before I even knew it was there! Such a shame as I was going to court my new lady-friend there on our first date. :(