The Secret History of London Streets

Made by the BBC, the series focus on the changes and transformation of London’s streets, architecture, buildings and social fabric.

charles booth london map

Charles Booth’s map from 1886 provides a fascinating insight.

Portland Road has some of London’s most expensive homes but it was once one of London’s worst slums. George Andrews & Jean Dawe tell us what it was like living in the cramped and rundown houses of former years.


Caledonian Road


Camberwell Grove


Deptford

London Calling, Hampstead

As part of the London Calling season, BBC World Service has been discovering some of the quirkier areas of the Olympic city.

In this third episode, Seva Novgorodsev from bbcrussian.com visits Hampstead, a prosperous area in north London with strong literary connections.

The nearby heath is famous for its green expanses and bathing ponds.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18552440

ADHESIVES

To get the best results you have to pick the right adhesive for the materials you want to join, and then use it in the correct way. But the range available can make your choice extremely confusing.

The idea of an adhesive is easy to grasp: it sticks things together. In practice, however, there’s a lot you need to know about the different types of adhesive on the market: how each works, what it will (and will not) stick together, how long it takes to set, whether the bond is heat-proof or waterproof, and so on. Equipped with this information, you can then begin to make the correct choice of adhesive type for the job you want to do. Here you will find a brief description of the major types of adhesive, and a table that tells you which type to use to stick various materials together. Remember that adhesives should always be used exactly as directed by the manufacturer for the best results. They should also be treated with respect as they can damage the skin; furthermore, their fumes may be dangeous to inhale and highly inflammable.

1 Animal and fish glues
Also known as ‘scotch’ glues, these are the traditional woodworking adhesives, and come in either liquid form, or as solid chunks or sheets that you have to melt down. They are capable of producing a very strong bond, but have no gap-filling ability, so that woodworking joints must fit very tightly. They dry rather slowly, and are seriously weakened when exposed to dampness, however slight. They have now been almost completely replaced by modern synthetic adhesives.

2 PVA adhesives
PVA (polyvinyl acetate) adhesive is a white liquid which dries clear in under an hour, producing a strong bond within 24 hours. It is now the most important woodworking adhesive indoors, but can be used on most dry, porous surfaces. It is widely employed within the building trade as a bonding agent for concrete, and a masonry sealant. However, PVA adhesives do have limitations. They are not very good at filling gaps, so woodworking joints must have a good fit, and must be cramped until dry. The bond doesn’t stand up well to stress, and is weakened by exposure to moisture. PVA adhesives also have a tendency to stain some hardwoods.

3 Casein adhesive
This woodworking adhesive comes as a powder that you mix with water, and dries to a pale yellow colour. It stands up to low temperatures and dampness better than PVA, and gives a stronger bond. However, it is weakened by water – though its strength returns as it dries out again. It can also take up to 6 hours to set so joints must be cramped. It stains many hardwoods.

4 Resorcinol Formaldehyde adhesive
An excellent woodworking adhesive, giving a strong, rigid, extremely water-resistant bond. The snag is that it comes in two parts which must be mixed together, so some wastage is inevitable. It stains most hardwoods rather badly. 5 Urea-Formaldehyde adhesive Another two-part woodworking adhesive, urea-formaldehyde – often referred to simply as ‘urea’ – is the usual choice for exterior woodwork. As well as giving a very strong bond, and having the ability to bridge gaps, it stands up very well to just about everything the weather can throw at it. These qualities also makes it useful in many indoor situations. Unfortunately, it dries rather slowly and joints must be cramped for up to 6 hours. When used on hardwoods it may stain.

6 Contact adhesives
Normally based on synthetic rubber, these get their name from the way in which they are used. You apply a thin coat to both the surfaces to be joined, allow it to become touch dry, and then achieve an instantaneous bond by bringing the surfaces into contact with each other. The resulting bond will resist being pulled apart, but in time some sideways slippage may occur. For this reason, contact adhesives are not suitable for general woodwork and repairs. Their main use is for sticking down sheet materials such as plastic laminate and cork tiles. Obviously, the fact that the adhesive bonds on contact can cause problems where accurate positioning is required, as you cannot make minor adjustments once the surfaces have been brought together. But some contact adhesives are available which have a delayed action, and so overcome this problem to a certain extent. The petroleumbased solvent used in most brands gives off vapour which is dangerous and unpleasant to inhale, and also highly inflammable. You must be sure to work in a well ventilated area, and, if this not possible, use a water-based contact adhesive instead.

7 Latex adhesives
In many ways these are similar to water-based contact adhesives, except that they use natural rubber (latex), and can either be used as a contact adhesive, or as an ordinary adhesive where you bring the surfaces together while the adhesive is wet. They are a little too expensive to be used on large areas and so are generally used for such tasks as joining fabrics, sticking down carpet, and so on – situations in which the flexible, washable (but not drycleanable) bond they produce is a major advantage.

8 PVC adhesives
These stick flexible PVC. The strong, flexible bond they provide makes them the ideal choice for repairing rainwear, shower curtains, beach balls, and things of that sort.

9 Cyanoacrylate adhesives
These are the adhesives (‘super glues’) once claimed to stick anything to everything in seconds. A cyanoacrylate adhesive will quickly bond a wide variety of materials, but it has limitations. It’s expensive, and although you need very little of it, this makes it impractical to use for anything more than small repairs. Surfaces must be scrupulously clean, and a perfect fit, as it has no gap-filling ability whatsoever. Another point to remember is that when used in industry, cyanoacrylate is specially formulated to stick two specific materials together with a very stong bond. Choose two different materials and you have to use a different formula. What the handyman can buy is a compromise formula, and there are therefore some materials that it doesn’t stick very well. Glass is perhaps the best example. Ordinary cyanoacrylate is degraded by the ultra-violet radiation in sunlight and glass leaves it exposed and vulnerable. As a result, a special formulation for glass has been brought out to overcome this problem.

Another problem is that cyarioacrylate reacts in a rather odd way with water. The presence of moisture actually speeds up the setting process, but, once set, exposure to water breaks down the bond. Finally, an unfortunate side-effect is that cyanoacrylate adhesive has the alarming ability to stick people to themselves or to their surroundings, so it needs to be used with great care. It is not, however, as dangerous as sometimes suggested: a lot of patient work with hot soapy water often does the trick. In summary, a cyanoacrylate adhesive isn’t as ‘super’ as it might appear, but it is worth keeping a tube handy for repairs where other adhesives have failed.

10 Epoxy resin adhesives
These are less convenient than cyanoacrylates as they come in two parts, a resin and a hardener, which must be carefully mixed. But epoxy resin adhesives come closer to the ‘stick-anything-to everything’ ideal. The strong, heat-resistant, oil-resistant, waterresistant bond that they provide makes them a good choice for small-scale repair work involving metal, china, and some plastics, as well as a variety of other materials. The surfaces must be clean, but since the resin will bridge small gaps without losing strength, a perfect fit is not essential. In fact, for repair work, epoxies have only two major snags. One is that they dry to a pale brown colour, which tends to highlight the join, though it is possible to colour the adhesive with dry pigment. The second is that they need a setting time of up to 48 hours. This can be overcome by using a fast-setting formulation, which generally holds within five or ten minutes, but still requires at least 24 hours to achieve full strength. Of course, epoxies can be used for large scale jobs too. The reason why they tend not to be is that they are simply too expensive to use.

11 Acrylic adhesives
This is a two-part adhesive with a difference. It will join the same sorts of material as an epoxy, achieving a bond of only slightly less strength in as little as 5 minutes. You don’t have to premix the adhesive and catalyst before you apply them. Instead, you can apply the catalyst to one surface, the adhesive to the other. And most important of all, the surfaces need not be clean. Even oily surfaces can be joined successfully. But it’s expensive, and it is not yet widely available.

12 Plastic solvent adhesives
Although between them, epoxies, acrylics, PVC adhesives, and cyanoacrylates allow you to stick many plastics to themselves, some require a special solvent adhesive. This works by chemically ‘melting’ a layer of plastic on each of the surfaces to be joined, so that they merge together and produce a ‘welded’ joint rather like the join in a plastic model kit assembled with polystyrene cement. They work quickly, and give strong results. However, you must be sure to match the solvent to the particular type of plastic, and only two solvents are commonly available. These are UPVC solvent adhesive (for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride; used mainly for joining lengths of UPVC drain pipe) and polystyrene cement, mentioned above.

13 Cellulose adhesive
Adhesives based on cellulose aren’t very strong, but they are fairly waterproof and heatproof, transparent when they dry and they do set quickly. They are most useful as an alternative to epoxy resin adhesives, or to cyanoacrylates, when repairing china and glass.

14 Vegetable gums and pastes
Based on either starch or dextrine, two plant extracts, these are useful only for sticking paper and card, and even here, these days, they tend to be restricted to the ‘suitable for children’ market.

15 Specialist adhesives
In addition to the general-purpose adhesives we have mentioned so far, you’ll find a number of specialised adhesives, such as tile and wallpaper adhesives.

Electrical requirements

When planning electrical outlets, you should consider lighting, appliances, heating and ventilation. Provide a socket outlet for each appliance, not forgetting the DVD, Toaster, PC, and extra outlets for future modifications. Provide ceiling lighting points so that you are never working in your own shadow.

electricians

Pullcord switches are preferable where hands are likely to be wet. Under-floor heating are ideal for some rooms, in which case wiring has to be installed when the floor is being constructed. An electrical extractor fan placed high in an external wall is an asset. The electricians should help you decide how many power points you need.

Best ways to add value to your home

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/9329034/Ten-of-the-best-ways-to-add-value-to-your-home.html?frame=2247185

Loft conversion

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-20%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 10-15%

A loft conversion can mean another bedroom or home office – both hugely desirable to all buyers, particularly in London where space is at a premium.

Side return Extension

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-20%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 10-20% (only applicable in city locations)

A simple – but sometimes expensive way – to expand your property, but if done properly, they add significantly to the value of your home.

New kitchen

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-20%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 5-7%

A kitchen is very important for saleability, but it rarely adds more than it costs. Yet if a kitchen is in a really poor state, a buyer would tend to expect a discount to apply across the whole house

New bathroom

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 8-10%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 0-5%

The prospect of upgrading a bathroom may put off some buyers. A new bathroom that requires no work can be a valuable asset, depending on the property’s location.

Ensuite bathroom

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 3-5%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 1-4%

“An ensuite can add more value in a bigger property, where a good bathroom count is important,”

Conservatory

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-12%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 3-10%

A conservatory adds valuable space and light – particularly desirable in built-up areas.

Complete cosmetic redecoration

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-12%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 5%

“In a good market, an extreme cosmetic makeover could add 20%,”

Garden room

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 15-20%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 5-15%

A garden room is a real draw in the country with its picturesque views. Owners of urban property should consider whether a new building will leave enough garden space.

Extension

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 10-20%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 15-20%

Extra space may be a large outlay, but it will add significant value in the long run.

Outdoor swimming pool

London (£1m-£1.5m home): 0-2%

Rest of UK (£500,000 – £1m home): 0-2%

Pools add most value in larger country houses but may prove harder to sell in London.

Boroughs of London

Boroughs of London

London is made of 32 London boroughs. Inner London has 12 boroughs and the City of London. Outer London has 20 boroughs. Together they are called the Greater London.

boroughs of london map

Greater London

City of London
City of Westminster
Kensington and Chelsea
Hammersmith and Fulham
Wandsworth
Lambeth
Southwark
Tower Hamlets
Hackney
Islington
Camden
Brent
Ealing
Hounslow
Richmond upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames
Merton
Sutton
Croydon
Bromley
Lewisham
Greenwich
Bexley
Havering
Barking and Dagenham
Redbridge
Newham
Waltham Forest
Haringey
Enfield
Barnet
Harrow
Hillingdon

Inner London borough

Camden
Hampstead
Greenwich
Hackney
Hammersmith
Islington
Kensington and Chelsea
Lambeth
Lewisham
Southwark
Tower Hamlets
Wandsworth
Westminster

westminster central london big ben

Outer London borough

Barking
Barnet
Bexley
Brent
Bromley
Croydon
Ealing
Enfield
Haringey
Harrow
Havering
Hillingdon
Hounslow
Kingston upon Thames
Merton
Newham
Redbridge
Richmond upon Thames
Sutton
Waltham Forest