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Gate watch and more Serpentine whispers

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Architectural gossip from the column with friends in high places

On your watch

Astragal is rather a magpie when it comes to freebies from conventions and trade shows. Last week, at the Thames Gateway forum, Astragal’s beady eye was caught by Transport for London bags on the shoulders of a few attendees. Hot-footing it to the stand, Astragal discovered a veritable smorgasbord of treats: pens, Oyster card-holders, badges and, best of all, a Docklands Light Railway watch (pictured). While others snaffled handfuls of timepieces saying, ‘I’ve got five kids’, Astragal made no such pretence, grabbing the last one and promptly putting it on. Sorry kids.


Escapism is the perfect antidote to the credit crunch, that’s why Nick Allen, of Yorkshire-based practice Allen Tod, booked a trip to walk the foothills of the Himalayas. Halfway up a mountain, Allen found pristine tranquility, beautiful isolation, unspoilt quietness… and a conservation officer from Scarborough Borough Council. Allen should have gone to the Thames Gateway – there are no design-related people there.

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