Saturday, March 15, 2008

Vauxhall Thames and House - Part II

(River Thames from Pimlico Gardens, London SW1
image courtesy of Creative Copyright)

Coincidentally a few days after my first post about the mysterious
fortified looking building on the extended Thameside path
at the northwest side of Vauxhall Bridge, I struck up a conversation
with a friendly gate keeper.

He told me that the building is a London home of the Sultan of Brunei.
That surprised me as HE is known to have a home elsewhere in London - Kensington
comes to mind.

Apparently the Sultan visits the Pimlico Gardens House
barely twice a year and so it is rumoured
has a retinue of
armed guards in residence for when he does. The place is spruced up for
HE's visits but otherwise maintains its impressive anonimity.
It had been on the market for £40m apparently. The wealth sounds
attractive as is the House, but the need for guards, whether
armed or not, would be a huge price to pay - too high for me anyway.

The Sultan's home looks attractive though I do not like
his acres of net curtains. The building's architecture
though modern, is in keeping in size and design, with both the
nearby traditional Pimlico Stucco buildings and the adjacent modern
riverside flats. That is far more than can
be said for the Red Ken approved flats opposite on the Thames South side
at Vauxhall though the new Youngs riverside pub there is worth a visit.

The gate keeper who was locking up when we chatted, told me that
on one occasion when some council tree fellers lopped off a
tree branch which fell into the Sultan's garden, the commotion
there, caused presumably by armed guards tooling up for action,
was quite a laugh.

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