THE SHARD may be one of the capital’s top landmarks but the decision to erect a 1,016ft tall wall of glass in central London has its downsides.
In certain weather conditions the building acts as a giant mirror for the sun and The Capitalist has learned that as a result some train drivers approaching London Bridge station are almost blinded by the reflection – <a href="http://railwayeye.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/blinded-by-light.html">as this picture shows</a>.
Southeastern – who run commuter services on routes from Kent and south east London – confirmed to City A.M. yesterday that they have issued staff with a warning.
“The notice reminded drivers of the rule to slow down when visibility is poor and to remain vigilant and prepared at all times by using the sun visors and wearing their work-issued sunglasses while driving.”
Ray-Bans all round, please.
■ Unearth those nosy parkas from the back of the wardrobe, it’s time to wrap up warm for this autumn’s Open House London. Participants can this weekend have a sneaky peek at the government’s art collection at Queen’s Yard, or an ogle at the art deco foyer of Goldman Sachs’ office on Fleet Street. Other buildings that will be accessible include the Gherkin, the Bank of England and Billingsgate Roman Baths (see londonopenhouse.org for more).
Snoopers should also keep their eyes peeled for hikers wearing pyjamas, who are walking 20 miles through the city in aid of cancer charity Maggie’s.
Intrepid night hikers will gain access to a number of landmark buildings along the route, in partnership with Open House.
■ If you’re still missing the Olympic and Paralympic games, spare a thought for the US athletes who are stuck a long way from Stratford on the other side of the Atlantic. They enjoyed their trip to London so much that the organising committee have paid to erect a giant billboard over Cromwell Road in West London that says “A big thank you from Team USA”. Throughout the summer US athletes worked with local schoolchildren and agreed to donate £100 to the charity Kids Company for each medal won by a US athlete. The team’s 104 total medals resulted in a donation of £10,400, which the athletes topped up with an auction of signed merchandise and VIP passes.