London’s Cabmen’s Shelters

Scattered throughout the streets of London, often overlooked, are small green sheds that have been offering shelter and hot food to the city’s cab drivers since 1875.

In those times, cab drivers rode horse-drawn carriages where the passengers sat inside while the poor cabbie had to sit on the top, exposed to the elements. But the drivers couldn’t just park their cabs by the side of the road and grab a quick drink at a public house, because the law forbade them to leave their carriages unattended. Some cabmen therefore employed young lads whose job was to look after the cab while they were away, as well as help carry the luggage and do other menial jobs.

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A Cabmen's shelter at Russell Square, London. Photo credit: Read the rest

The fabulous NHS nurses demanding to be paid fairly

As the first Prime Minister’s Questions after the long summer recess kicked off inside the House of Commons, just outside the Palace of Westminster this afternoon it was all kicking off too.

Hundreds of nurses converged on Parliament today to demand an end to the 1% public sector pay cap, the latest step in a summer filled with actions led by members of the Royal College of Nursing to have this policy scrapped. The representative body for nurses in the UK says that seven years of tight pay caps have resulted in a real terms pay cut of 14% for the medics on the frontline of the National Health Service.

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On the grass of Parliament Square, healthcare professionals and their supporters piled on the pressure, as … Read the rest

The Devil’s Corkscrews

In the mid-1800s, ranchers across Sioux County, in the US state of Nebraska, began unearthing strange, spiral structures of hardened rock-like material sticking vertically out of the ground. The spirals were as thick as an arm and some of them were taller than a man. Not knowing what they were, the ranchers began calling them “devil’s corkscrew.”

The puzzling structures first came to the notice of the scientific community through geologists Dr. E. H. Barbour in 1891, when he was asked to investigate a nine-foot long specimen that a local rancher had discovered on his property along the Niobrara River. Barbour found that the spirals were actually sand-filled tubes with the outer walls made of some white fibrous material. Barbour knew they were fossils but of … Read the rest

Iligan, The City of Majestic Waterfalls

The city of Iligan, in the Northern Mindanao region of Philippines, is one of the country’s major city and the industrial center of the south. It has many heavy industries producing steel, tinplate, and cement. It also produces hydroelectric power for the entire Mindanao region. It’s surprising hence, that an industrial city such as Iligan should be known for its natural beauty.

The city is situated by the Bohol Sea which curves into the northern coast of Mindanao Island forming a small bay called the Iligan Bay. The bay lies to the west. To the east of the city lies flat cultivated coastal land which gives way to steep volcanic hills and mountains. These mountains are home to numerous cold springs and waterfalls. Officially, there are … Read the rest

Rocamadour—The Vertical Village

Since medieval times, the village of Rocamadour in the Occitanie region of southwestern France has attracted pilgrims from across Europe for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is said that Saint Amator—thought to be the Biblical tax collector of Jericho, Zacheus—had lived and died here, shortly after he left Jerusalem. Legend has it that after St Amator's body was discovered, several miracles started to happen, and as the healing powers of Amator's remains became known, the site began attracting pilgrims and donations from French kings and queens allowing the site to grow into a village with several shrines and places of worship. Eventually, Rocamadour became an important stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Campostela.

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Photo credit: dynamosquito/Flickr

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Laura Pidcock is right, Tory MPs aren’t friendship material

Before I start this article properly, here’s the obligatory disclaimer: some of my best friends are Conservative voters. Well, maybe not best friends exactly, but acquaintances I’m happy spending time with. I sometimes find it hard to understand the assumptions underpinning their worldview, but I’ve spent enough time around Tories (including proper, paid-up party members) to know they aren’t all cruel and spiteful people.

Also, my ex-coalminer grandad votes UKIP. I think I actually do understand most of the assumptions underpinning his worldview and some of them aren’t particularly admirable. I still love him, though, because that’s just how it is with family, isn’t it? You don’t get to choose them.

Friends are different. Throughout your life you encounter people in a range of different situations: … Read the rest

Inside China’s brutally cramped ‘home and work’ spaces

It was the run-down, beat-up back streets that first caught Alina Fedorenko’s attention. Hidden behind Beijing’s impressive high rises and new builds, they were leagues away from the tourist traps typically associated with the city. These streets – which were cramped, claustrophobic, stuck in another time – gave the Ukrainian photographer a rarely seen glimpse into the everyday lives of many Chinese citizens.

“In Beijing’s old quarter, named the Hutong area, people still live life like many years ago,” Alina explains. “Surviving and living here is not easy as many people have relocated to high buildings to have proper sanitation systems, which most of the houses in the Hutong area don’t have. Those who are left have created a beautiful symbiosis of working and living in … Read the rest

The Witness Trees of The American Civil War

Across the United States there are hundreds and thousands of trees that have stood around for many centuries and bore witness to the history in that area. Some of these trees were present during key events in American history like the Civil War battles. Historians call these trees “witness trees”. They were present when soldiers marched on to the battlefields and they stood silently as the soldiers fell. Many Civil War witness trees took bullets along with thousands of men. Many of them still hide bullets within their trunks.

In the early 1930s, the United States War Department thought some of these “witness trees” were important enough to mark and sometimes, protect. Small brass tags were placed in some of the trees, and lightening rods were … Read the rest

Building a career as a self-taught photographer

“I’m a workaholic… but I work by my own rules,” says Lola Paprocka, sipping a cup of tea in Huck’s 71a Gallery. “It’s really hard for me to obey.”

DIY has become second nature for Lola since moving to London from Poland at the age of 18, when she could barely speak English. “I never really felt like I belonged anywhere,” she says. “I always felt like a bit of a weirdo who didn’t fit in.”

Within a few years, Lola was managing tattoo shops and meeting like-minded creatives, figuring out her own path. In 2010, she inherited her first camera – an old Zenit belonging to her mum – before a trip to Australia.

Tentatively, Lola began to shoot drunk friends here and there

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Old Sarum of Salisbury

Old Sarum in Salisbury, England, is a historically important archeological site consisting of an Iron Age hillfort and what little remains of an 11th century royal castle and cathedral. Located about two miles to the north of the city center, this is where the history of Salisbury began. The site has been occupied successively by the Romans, the Saxons, and the Normans before the foundation of New Sarum, or Salisbury, in the thirteenth century.

Old Sarum was settled as early as 3000 BC. However, the protective hill fort was constructed only around 400 BC. It’s an impressive earthwork consisting of an outer ring of defensive wall and an inner rampart rising at an angle. The oval-shaped hill measures 400 meters by 360 meters across. Shortly after … Read the rest

Hill of the Buddha

The Hill of the Buddha is a giant Buddha statue located atop a small hill near a cemetery in the Japanese island Hokkaido. The statue was built some 15 years ago, but it was only in December 2015, that the landscape around it was sculpted to highlight the massive figure.

“The aim of this project was to build a prayer hall that would enhance the attractiveness of a stone Buddha sculpted 15 years ago,” explains architect Tadao Ando. “The site is a gently sloping hill on 180 hectares of lush land belonging to a cemetery. The statue is 13.5 meters tall and weighs 1500 tons. It is made of fine, highly selected solid stone. Until now, the Buddha statue has stood alone in the field, giving … Read the rest