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Office only: Suite 9, Warren Court, Euston Road,, London, NW1 3AA, United Kingdom

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Cafe in the CryptCafe in the Crypt

Nick and me (blue shirt)Nick and me (blue shirt)

Tower of LondonTower of London

Forum Posts

Canadian Passports

by hawkhead

I know it's not a question and I wish VT has a general current info forum. However, for those of you applying for a Canadian passport through any of the UK offices, they are running about three weeks late, owing to the volcanic ash business. Don't ask me how that affects your application but I assume it is because hard copies of applications have to be sent to Ottawa - or something!!

Re: Canadian Passports

by TheWanderingCamel

A notice board for this sort of current information would be great.

Re: Canadian Passports

by hawkhead

What I should have added - is that the issuance time is now anywhere from 5-6 weeks.

Re: Canadian Passports

by GrumpyDiver

That sounds like it should be about the right right length of time. It generally takes about 4 weeks when I walk into the Ottawa passport office to get a new one. Add to that the transport time (I assume both the applications and the passports themselves will be batched weekly and transported to and from Canada using a secure method of transporation), the 5-6 weeks seems to be a reasonable duration.

Re: Canadian Passports

by hawkhead

Well, in the 24 years that we have lived in the UK, the longest length of time it has taken to renew our passports has been 10 days. Once, the passport office, to their huge credit, in an emergency, turned it around in 48 hours from door to door.

Re: Canadian Passports

by GrumpyDiver

Agreed, it used to be a lot faster, but with the USA now requiring passports for Canadians to go there, the volume of applications that the Passport office has to processs has gone up significantly. Add to that the additional "security" measures around issuing a passport, things just seem to take a lot longer than they used to.

Re: Canadian Passports

by hawkhead

Guess so, except that only six months ago, my passport was renewed within 8 days. I think the real hiccup is the fact that the Canadian Government has severely cut back on personnel in its overseas operations. Remember, I am talking about applying for a passport in the UK. Have had no experience of what it is like in Canada.

Re: Canadian Passports

by GrumpyDiver

They still do the "emergency" renewals quickly here too, for a fee. I wonder if this is not the old trick of setting a low target so that it is easy to beat when they have to. With technology today, I have never really figured out why they cannot issue passports on the spot.

If one has had a previous passport, all of that information is already in a database and all they have to do is scan your new photo and print it on the page. I guess that would be too easy and efficient...

Re: Canadian Passports

by puerto_lover

Hawkhead- you have until today to fill out a questionnaire to assist the Canadian government with Passport issue.
"Share your ideas with us for improving our services by filling out a quick and easy online questionnaire by May 7, 2010."

or maybe you have already made your views known.

Re: Canadian Passports

by hawkhead

Thanks PL - I think the Canadian government is only too aware of how they could improve not only their passport service but the application form and the criteria!
But things grind along slowly and I do believe that they are actually going to start issuing 10 year passports.

Re: Canadian Passports

by GrumpyDiver

Thanks Nige - followed the link and filled in the survey. They might not like what I said, but that is their fault for asking...

Travel Tips for London

Visit London at Christmas!

by J.I.M

London is quite a nice place to visit during Christmas. Though we rarely have snow till January or February, it's still very festive here! The picture on the left is of Trafalgar Square during christmas, where there are fake snow, carol singers, and a huge christmas tree imported from Norway!
Last time I came here they were giving out free mince pies and drinks, so have a visit if you're hungry!

Sunday Services

by Yudhis

Looking for a nice Church where you can meet students by the hundred, whole families, and people from numerous nationalities. All Souls church in one of my wife favorite sunday service in London.

There are some 2,500 who meet every Sunday 09.30 am or 11.30 am. The location is just perfect, near Oxford Circus. I used to wait for my wife, I'm muslim in case you're wondering 8), right in the Starbucks or Coffee Republic just near the church.

The services are normally about 75 minutes long. Music style varies from the full All Souls orchestra and choir to a band, singing group or soloist. Leaflets with the order of service and all the song words are given out. Bibles are also provided. Coffee and fruit juice are served afterwards

All Souls Church Langham Place
2 All Souls Place
London, W1B 3DA.
Check the site

Geoff Ford comes to London

by b1bob

On 7 July 1986, my pen friend Geoff Ford took the train down from Newcastle-upon-Tyne (in northeastern England) to visit me on my last day in Europe. We sat down in the TV room and we walked about London at night. Because it was my last night, we stayed up basically all night. It was great that he traveled all that way to see me.

The Park is Green, dear

by rickyvilla81

London's smallest royal park is Green Park, located between Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly. The interesting thing about this park is that it has no permanent flowerbeds.
This dates back to an incident in the 1660s, when that cad King Charles II was having a constitutional stroll through the park with his elegant Portuguese wife Queen Catherine of Brinanca. It being a pleasant April day, there were flowers in abundance, and Catherine said to her husband, "Charles my dear, will you pick a flower, and give it to the most beautiful woman in London?" She meant herself, of course. To which he replied, "My darling wife, I will give it to the most beautiful woman in the world!"
Charles was known as a charmer. He spotted the most radiant red rose, knelt down and picked it, smelling its sweet perfume, before standing up again...and giving it to the first pretty girl who happened to be passing.
Catherine, of course, was furious, and she ordered that all of the flowers be removed from the park and never ever put back. And that is why it is known as Green Park. Incidentally, the road leading from St.James to Hyde Park, dividing Green Park and Buckingham Palace, is known as Constitution Hill. It is not a hill, and the UK has no constitution. It is named after Charles II's 'constitutional' walks - that is, good for his constitution.
Sir Robert Peel fell off his horse here and died. It woz 'im wot founded the police force, guv. Policeman used to be called Peelers, particularly in Ireland, but became known as Bobbies. All thanks to 'im.


by uglyscot

In summer London is a blaze of colour. Houses, public houses, parks, and streets have containers of bright coloured flowers to make the capital cheerful.

In spring the parks have bare branches but cherry blossom makes a pretty picture, and the winter buobs sprout= yellow daffodils and bluebelols, crocuses and hyacinths and tulips.


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