Eglwys Jewin from Fortune Park

The building which was Bernard Morgan House has now been pulled down. This is sad. It had a calm 1960s look, and ceramic tiles on the side.

I looked across the gap and could see the Welsh Church: Eglwys Jewin.

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The church is the building with the green roofed turret and the long windows. It was founded around 1774. According to its website “” in the 19th century it was “one of the most powerful and influential churches in the Calvanist Methodist tradition”.  It was very well attended in the 19th century so they built a new and bigger chapel on Fann St in 1879. This was destroyed in the Blitz in 1940. The building I’ve drawn was built in 1960.

Lauderdale Tower is just visible, to the left of the picture, and Blake Tower is on the right. Ahead, behind the church, is Tudor Rose Court, a City of London building providing sheltered housing to people over 60: 16 leased, and 60 social rented flats.

Bernard Morgan House used to be a City of London building too. It was a police house.

I drew it in 2016:

24 October 2016 – Bernard Morgan House and the Cripplegate institute.
25 August 2016 – From Brackley Street: the Welsh Church and Great Arthur House (Golden Lane Estate) showing the wall of Bernard Morgan House

Who was Bernard Morgan? There is a Bernard Morgan, born in 1924, who was a code breaker in the Second World War. Was it him?

Sgt (Retd) Bernard Morgan, an RAF D-Day code and cipher veteran, looking at a Type X machine (Manchester Evening News, 12 April 2014)

The destruction of Bernard Morgan House was opposed by a well-orchestrated campaign of local residents. But the residents did not prevail.

Taylor Wimpey are going to build luxury flats: “The Denizen”. This is how the view I’ve drawn will look after “The Denizen” is built:

“Street view” from the Taylor Wimpey website

Here’s another view of “The Denizen” from the Taylor Wimpey website. See how big it is! Fortune Park is the trees in the foreground. You can see Blake Tower on the right and Lauderdale Tower in the Centre.

The Denizen (centre), from the Taylor Wimpey Website

The Cheesegrater, etching

Yesterday I did an etching based on a sketch I made of the Cheesegrater and St Katharine Cree.


This is a post-card sized etching on copper plate, printed by the technique called Chine collé.  Japanese paper is the coloured background, and is printed and glued to Fabriano Unica, all in one process. It’s a bit tricky, but gives a good result, I think. The Japanese paper takes the ink very well, and provides the coloured background.

The plate is made using a hard-ground etch, then aquatint. Hard-ground etch means I put a varnish on the plate, then draw the picture in the varnish, so revealing lines of bare copper. Then I dip the plate in acid for 20 minutes. The acid attacks the bare copper and makes lines. Then if I print it, it looks like this:


The next stage is aquatint, to make the tones. Aquatint is nothing to do with water, and nothing to do with colour. The name is misleading. The plate goes in a box, where I’ve turned a handle to make clouds of fine rosin. The rosin drops on the plate like rain. Then it’s annealed with a gas burner. Now there are lots of tiny dots in a random pattern on the plate. The skill now is to paint and dip the plate, so as to get the tones. The longer the plate stays in the acid, the blacker the tone. But if you leave it too long the acid bites off all the dots and the tone is light again.

The picture has 5 tones and plate tone. The darkest tone was in the acid for 4 minutes.

Here is the plate being inked up:


I did the printing on the Henderson press at East London Printmakers.

The Cheesegrater from the East

I have previously drawn the Cheesegrater from Threadneedle Street. Today I went to find a good view from the East. I was keen to include the ancient church of St Katharine Cree.

Here is the Cheesegrater from Leadenhall, just east of Creechurch Lane.


The current building of St Katharine Cree is 1633. The tower that I’ve drawn is from 1504. Parts of the church date back to the Mediaeval Priory 1108. This place is a survivor. It survived

  • the Great Fire 1666
  • The Second World War, which damaged the roof
  • the Baltic Exchange bomb, 1992, which blew out the central part of the 17th Century East window.

The Cheesegrater, aka The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall St, was finished in July 2014. The architects were Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Behind, you can just see the cranes for 22 Bishopsgate under construction.

Drawn standing in the street, 1 hour, drawn and coloured on location.

From Threadneedle Street

On the way back from the dentist, I looked up and saw The Cheesegrater, above Victorian buildings on Threadneedle Street. I sheltered from the rain under a Classical pediment, and made this sketch.


The Cheesegrater is also known as “The Leadenhall Building”, which is descriptive of its location, but not its shape.

22 Bishopsgate, Digital Information Point

The building to its left, under construction, is “22 Bishopsgate”. According to the informative panel from its builders, Multiplex, this will be 278m tall, with 3 basement layers, and 62 upper storeys, providing 1.4M sq feet of “net useable space” which accommodates 11000 people. That’s 1273 sq ft of useable space per person, or 141 sq yards: a space about 12×12 yards, which is about the size of our living room, including the kitchen.

I did the picture outside a building whose architects had had their names inscribed in serif capitals, low down: Mewes and Davis. This is number 53 Threadneedle Street, and now houses Montanero Asset Management Limited, and the Burger and Lobster Bar. A blue plaque of the City of London declares that this was the “site of the 13th Century Hospital of St Anthony, and of the French Protestant Church demolished 1840”.

Opposite, above a grand entrance door to number 30, is the motto “Concordia parvae res crescent” and the crest of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors. This is the Merchant Taylors Hall, the yellowish building on the front right of the drawing.

“Concord will make small things flourish”

Multiplex also have “2 other projects on Bishopsgate”, said their notice, “number 15 and number 100”. I don’t know about making small things flourish, but big things are certainly flourishing.

About 45 minutes, pen and wash on location, drawn standing up.

Towers, Chine Collé

Last Thursday I made more prints for my “Towers” project.

I improved a plate I made last September, “Skyline”, using a dry point tool, and a marvellous rolling tool called a roulette. The idea was to add more detail.

The drypoint tool, above, and the roulette, below.

I used chine collé to make a yellow shape. Chine collé is paper. It is put on the inked plate, glue side up, which as you can imagine is quite tricky. Then I carry the whole lot to the press, trying not to let the sticky yellow bits float away. The print paper goes on top, then tracing paper to protect the blankets, then the blanket which the press needs, and then I roll it through the press.

Here’s the result:

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Skyline, Chine collé, 4th January 2018

This is the view out of my window. When I look out, I can see shadow of my building and other buildings. The yellow outline reminds me of this effect, and of all the other buildings whose metaphorical shadow is here: the buildings demolished or bombed down, and the buildings to come.

I also made Chine collé prints of Towers East and Towers West.


I have printed these before. See these links:

Towers East and Towers West

Towers, East

YMCA site, Errol St EC1

This site is a few minutes walk from where I live. There will be a “new home for young homeless Londoners”. “146 beds, 10 000 lives, 60 years”, says the text on the hoarding.

There will be 146 en-suite rooms, an “affordable gym for the whole community” and a “social enterprise unit”. You can see none of this in the picture. It is a building site. The old YMCA building has come down, revealing a temporary skyline.  I hastened out to draw this skyline before it is obscured by the new building.


In this view the huge diversity of London life is visible. On the left, Finsbury Tower houses the Cass Business School. The grey sloping roof below it is the Royal Statistical Society, whose main entrance is on Errol Street. This is an old Victorian building, clearly previously ecclesiastical. IMG_2445The three foundation stones are all dated 29th October 1889. They were laid, from left to right by Rev WF Moulton, Mrs ES Whelpton, and Mrs EA Holman. The names of the architects and builders are written on the left hand stone: WH Boney Esq, Architect, and Holloway Bros, Builders.

The building with the pitched roof, in the centre, is part of St Joseph’s Catholic Church. The Church itself is mostly underground. Right now they have a crib which you can visit.

On the right, the tall building with the wire netting on top, looks like an old school. It is in poor repair: the paint on the window frames is flaking, and the rooms look dark. But it is occupied. There was a light on in one of the windows, and Christmas decorations visible in the gloom behind the dusty window panes. Part of the building is “St Josephs Parish Hall”, accessible from the other side, with a modern lift. A notice by the door said “National Association for People Abused in Childhood”, but the notice looked very old, and I can’t find any reference to it on the web.

At the base of this building is a lovely garden, open during certain hours in the summer. It is in memory of Basil Hume “Monk and Shepherd”.

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In the centre background is the huge residential tower that is being built in Shoreditch: the “Principal Tower” 50 stories.

This picture took an hour and a half, drawn and coloured on location.