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The Belgian frigate has transported its cargo of sacred soil from the cemeteries of WWI battlefields in Flanders to London for use in a new Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks.

London: lost and found

In some ways, London is a figment of its inhabitants' imaginations. Changes occur continually to street names, boundaries and districts. Some ancient areas disappear, new ones are created by accident or by design. Monasteries, the Inns of Court, the railways and politics have all played their part in redrawing the map of the city.

News in Brief: Man on armed siege charges

A 28-year-old man has been remanded in custody by Tower Bridge magistrates until 4 August in connection with an armed siege in Deptford last Wednesday. Michael Cummins, of Lovelinch Estate, Deptford, is charged with making threats to kill.

Builders bullish

House builders are also in confident mood, buying greenfield sites and recycling buildings. Barratt has bought 26 sites within the M25 in the past year, including 23-acres from an Enfield hospital. Its other locations include a waterside plot in Chiswick, two more in Docklands, and sites in Mill Hill, Sutton and Kingston upon Thames. It has also bought two office buildings at Wapping and Tower Bridge to convert into flats.

Rethink on new river crossing

The plan to build a new bridge across the Thames near Tower Bridge is being re-examined after a rethink by officials keen to prevent the City choking with traffic in the event of other crossings closing down.

Police win confidence of gays in hunt for murderer

DETECTIVES hunting the killer of a homosexual man in Suffolk are visiting gay 'pick-up' areas in an attempt to contact potential witnesses.

South side walk

The London Bridge-based St Martin's Property Group and the London Docklands Development Corporation's new 200m section of the Queen's Silver Jubilee walkway, between HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge, will open in June.

Bridging history

The Prince of Wales is to unveil a plaque next month to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tower Bridge by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. The 12,000-ton structure, with its two distinctive lifting roadways each 100 feet long and weighing 1,200 tons, carries more than 40,000 vehicles a day and attracts more than half a million visitors a year. No public money has ever gone into the estimated pounds 200 million spent on the bridge.

Bridge protest

Tower Bridge was closed yesterday after a woman strapped herself to a pillar 60ft above the north parapet to protest against child abuse. She was removed by firemen after two hours.

Scents of victory

Shab Uddin, owner of the Tower Tandoori in Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, who fought for three years to get the owners of the Tower Bridge Tandoori, in the same street, to change its name, has won his case.

Newsbrief: Towering taste

Design a sandwich to mark Tower Bridge's centenary and win a night out plus a year's supply of sandwiches. The Corporation of London and Benjys chain of sandwich shops will run the competition during May. The winning filling will go on sale at Benjys, who will donate 10p to the homeless for each one sold.

Travel: A flying start from the Thames: London City Airport offers a taste of journeys from a bygone age. Frank Barrett indulges in a spot of time travel, keeping his feet firmly on the ground

When I tried to buy a ticket to London City Airport at my local tube station, the clerk was perplexed: 'London Airport: you want Heathrow or Gatwick?' he demanded. His ignorance was understandable: would anybody on the Clapham Omnibus, given a map of London, be able to put their finger on the City's airport?

Sports Listings: Sunday / Athletics: Nutrasweet London Marathon, Blackheath to Pall Mall

NEARLY 36,000 runners will take to the streets of the capital for the 13th London Marathon ranging from top-class athletes to charity joggers.

Shepp-walking in the City

Jack Wolkind, a freeman of the City of London - accompanied by John Marshall, the Tory MP and stockbroker - exercising his right yesterday to drive sheep into the City by crossing Tower Bridge to publicise the Walk Across London's Bridges charity event in May which will raise funds for National Kidney Research.

Pembroke: A woolly interpretation of the City freedom

IF YOUR offices are anywhere near Tower Bridge in London, it will be worth strolling down there on Wednesday morning.

EXHIBITIONS / On the building site of the soul: John Gibbons' startling welded-steel shapes take on metaphysics - and win

I RECOMMEND John Gibbons' exhibition at Flowers East, for his sculptures are distinguished by their integrity and deep feeling. By Gibbons' integrity I mean that every single aspect of his work belongs to him alone and issues from his own emotions. Far too much of today's sculpture is littered with borrowed or stolen ideas. Gibbons' art is indebted to no one and appears the more resolute and thoughtful for its singularity. This makes him exceptional, but I note that a theme of his work is loneliness.
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