Safari From Hammersmith to Turnham Green
An Educational Safari From Hammersmith to Turnham Green
The Safari from Hammersmith to Turnham Green is there for everybody to enjoy regardless of age. It is open year round in all weathers. It is an activity which can be enjoyed alone or as a group. My safari which is shown in the photographs below was animal based because of my interest in zoos but it can be themed to suit a huge variety of subjects. Herbs would be a good one, so too would signs of the Zodiac. What about nationalities or movie stars?
It is educational but it it is FUN educational and so becomes EDUtainment. It can make an ordinarily boring walk with the kids into a memorable adventure. There is nearly always an overlap of subjects which can cause discussion and learning.
The rules need to be set beforehand. How far will you go with spelling? Do two identical signs count? What about movie posters or advertising posters. Do you restrict it to permament signage?
Now please join me on my Safari from Hammersmith Broadway to Turnham Green. You will learn the rules I set myself along the way. The photographs are not done in any special order as I have walked the route a couple of dozen times.
The statue of the Wild Boar is one of the more spectacular animals along the route. It sits proudly in someones front garden at the start of Chiswick High Street.
The 'Raven' in Ravenscourt appears a few times along the route. I have used it only once.
Here in the sign for the Polish Deli we have what I am assuming to be a White Stork.
Two Horses pulling a plough across a field. There are gulls flying in the background. Do you count them as well? I would. What are the gulls doing? Subject for discussion. Why are the horses ploughing? Why don't they do it today? A great opportunity to discuss a range of different subjects.
Pubs are always good for animals in their signs. Slightly different in Thailand Bar Signs where only the Butterfly will appear with any frequency, though other animals do occur. Here though it is the Hammersmith Ram. A Ram of course is a male sheep...a female is a Ewe. Do you know what a Tup is? What is a baby sheep called? What is the plural of sheep?
Another Horse. Popular of course in the United Kingdom. This one is black. What colour were the last horses?
This is in a bank sign. There may be two or more identical signs in the same street. I would only count it once. We are on Safari after all. It could be the same horse which has caught up with us again ;-)
The Swan appear twice on this building. It is in a tile mosaic towards the very top of the building. I would not count it twice on the same location, others might as the signs are quite different. Swans are always a good subject for discussion. Sometimes they will fly into the nearby Ravenscoourt Park. This may lead to a deviation to see the real thing.
The Barclays Eagle confuses some who think perhaps it is a Griffon*. What is a Griffon? But no it is an Eagle and has been the banks emblem since 1690. It did not always look like this though. There have been a number of design changes in recent years for political reasons.
*How many ways can you spell Griffon?
Chickens are popular and will appear in many different signs. Alls fair if they are for different establishments.
The famous Guiness Toucan. Not seen so often these days as the publicity campaign has changed. How many Toucans in the sign? How many glasses are they carrying? Add an element of math.
A Bull. This one has a little bit of history behind it. Originally it was part of the pub sign for the Black Bull Inn in Holborn. The pub was demolished in the early 1900's and the Bull moved here to Hammersmith. It's biggest claim to fame however is that the Bull Inn was mentioned by Charles Dickens in 'Martin Chuzzlewit'. Ten bonus points if you can get the kids to read the book and find the reference.
Bit of a red herring this one. Of course you do not spell Beaver with an 'o' but would you let the kids get away with it? I wouldn't.
Another Bull here. This one hidden away above the entrance to Ravenscourt Park. An opportunity to discuss heraldry.
The Fisher Martes pennanti is a medium sized mustelid not unlike the Pine Marten. It is not an animal that many British people would be familiar with. This is good though. Definitely a subject for discussion. A steep learning curve.
Everyone likes Giraffes so it is a lucky Safari that spots one. Not that common on the streets of London.
Coral? No it is not a plant, not seaweed, not a rock but a colony of living animals. Definitely something for the kids to research when they get back from Safari.
Another Chicken. They are all over the place. Do you know where the chicken originated from? S.E. Asia! But did you know that the Magellan also found them in South America in 1519? Chicken bone discoveries show that the Polynesians were in South America long before Columbus.
Lion and the Unicorn
Everone is familiar with Lions and most will know a little bit about them...but unicorns? Did the Unicorn ever exist? There is no fossil evidence to suggest it ever did. The original unicorn was probably drawn by someone based on a description. Perhaps the original description was a Rhinoceros or an Oryx? What do you think? And yes I know that the Oryx has two horns but I have seen at least three specimens which only had one.
A dog. Not just any dog though. This is Hogarths dog. Who was Hogarth? William Hogarth was a famous English painter who lived from 10 November 1697 to 26 October 1764. Amongst other things he painted this dog and he lived not so very far from where this statue stands. So the Safari can now take on an artistic bent. More room for research and a possible visit to Hogarths House. Seeing an exhibition of Hogarths paintings is well worthwhile. Some in series tell a story which is something children can relate to.
Incidentally the dog is said to be a pug...How does it compare to the modern day pug?
Another dog. A Pointer perhaps? Followed by a Mule. Do you think? Or perhaps a horse. No, I think Pack Mule. Looks more like a mule than a horse in spite of the sign.
Another bull. Rather an interesting depiction.
The only Butterfly on our Safari.
A bit of a fat cat.
The Roe Deer is our smallest British Deer. 'Buck' referes to the male.
Another Ram. Would you count this? Remember it is you that set the rules prior to your safari. It is important not to change them mid stream.
Another Dog. This time an Airedale Terrier. Much less common as a breed these days. When did you last see a real one. See below for a photograph.
Greek word for squid. Can we count it? Possibly if all are familiar with the word.
The noble cow. This one if holy. In which country would you find Holy Cows?
Though some not know it the Hart is another name for a deer. This time the Red Deer stag or male.
A Black Lion
Temple Lions or Temple Dogs
So what do you think? Lions or Dogs? These are Temple Guardians outside a Vietnamese restaurant.
Did you know that a Zorro was a South American Foxlike animal?
Wow! A fish. Looks like it was drawn by the same artist who drew the cat.
An elephant. More common on some safaris than on others.
Interested in Elephants? Read Elephant Care. I have several other elephant related articles too.