Sunday, 29 May 2011

32. Wapping

OK this is a bonus ... Wapping used to be on the Underground but is now part of the Overground, although strictly speaking it is underground, and because its a bonus and not part of the Underground any longer I didn't exit here I entered. I had to take a photo of the mural on the platform

And then Mike said that if I looked carefully I would be able to see the Victorian brickwork in the headlights of the approaching train - can you see it?

I was in that neck of the woods because my friend Mike - the one who is a slightly (?) eccentric tour guide - is giving a series of walks and talks on the London Docklands ... this was the first walk in the series and we toured St. Katherines and Wapping.

Learned all sorts of bizarre facts about the area - the East-End was the area that suffered the most during the bombing in the Second World War, Mike took us to all the memorials just off Tower Hill

Here's the world famous Tower Bridge, and if you look carefully you will see a cargo vessel going under it

Don't you love the purple flowers growing on the basin walls?

This is an old church school - the model of the boy in naval uniform is indicative of the profession that most the students went on into

This building was once a warehouse, now converted to plush flats - look at the balconies, they were once all loading bays and you can see the crane is now a great feature of the building

We ended at Execution Pier - where they used to hang the miscreants found guilty in the Admiralty Courts, apparently they were hung from short ropes (much less humane than the long drop), then left for three tides to wash over their bodies, before being cut down, tarred and stuck on a bridge as a warning to other would-be mutineers and pirates. Minds buzzing we adjourned to the Captain Kidd for a well deserved pint or two or three ... and lunch!

There are another four walks in this series plus a number in the winter months ... keep you posted!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

31. Turnpike Lane

Turnpike Lane is on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line.

I had finished at Trent Park and decided to leave the Underground at Turnpike Lane to catch a bus back home - it was quicker than going all the way back into Kings Cross and back out again on the underground.

Turnpike Lane is in Haringey, which is a fairly run down area in north London; I have a friend who was living there last year and I visited him there once ... my abiding memory of the place is the litter strewn all over the street in the main drag, it was much the same today and I was glad that todays venture only lasted a couple of minutes.

30. Cockfosters

Cockfosters is the last stop on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line. Right at the very end! Finally I made it to the end of one of the lines!

As you can see by the time I got out there it had started to rain but I couldn't let that deter me - my destination today was a Country Park - Trent Park

I visited there today to check out a permanent Orienteering course in the park. A few of the parks in London have permanent courses - I did Golders Hill Park last week and this week I practised on Trent Park, actually I only did the first half of the course because foolishly I forgot to strap my ankle up before setting off, after an hour running I could feel it starting to "tweak" so thought in the interests of being able to take part in the summer series I should retire.

The check points are on are all clearly marked on posts

And the really good news is that I can still read a map!

Friday, 13 May 2011

29. Belsize Park

Belsize Park is on the Edgware branch of the Norther (Black) Line. It's another one of those stations that has no esculator, so you exit by the lift or the stairs. You know I have to "climb" out of each station so this is where I started:

I was visiting Belsize Park because I had arranged to join an Orienteering group. They meet every Thursday evening for a training run out on Hampstead Heath (before anyone asks - no I didn't see any badgers).

It was a great evening, nice relaxed run, after showers we got changed and wanderd down to a pub called The Stag - there we had supper and drinks ... one of the members had brought some maps a long for me, so I will be going back to Hamsptead Heath to complete the course; I want to do it by myself to make sure that I haven't lost my touch.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

28. Kew Gardens

Today I went out to Kew Gardens. Kew is an overground station, the second to last stop on the District (Green) Line.

Now an odd thing happened on the journey out there - the stop after Kew Gardens is Richmond, that's the stop for Twickenham and today was the big Army vs Navy Rugby match. A mob of tipsy ex-soldiers got on board the carriage I was in, the drunkest sat next to me, naturally. Of course he wanted to start a meaningful conversation (don't they all?) I always try not to be rude to drunks, it's easy for it to get unpleasant - so I politely smiled and answered his stupid questions ... his friends kept apologising for him, then suddenly the drunk one jumped up,climbed through the window of our carriage and into the carriage behind ours, whilst the train was moving! I wanted to shout "Viewers don't try this at home."

OK with that excitement over I got off the train and went to the gardens - it was an overcast day so there weren't huge crowds, but it was warm and muggy,

I mooched around for a several hours, visited all the spots on the map - but to be honest I was disappointed,

I have seen real rainforests, seen woodlands covered in bluebells, seen all the hot house plants growing wild, now I sound pompous but really Kew just didn't do it for me.

I was more interested in the goose sitting on her nest - she was tearing her feathers out to line it, unperturbed by all us city-folk gawping at her!

Friday, 6 May 2011

27. Holborn

Holborn is on the junction of the Piccadilly (Purple) Line and Central (Red) Line. Holborn is an area of Central London.

I was there on this occassion because I have just joined the North London Reading Group (Group 17).

We were meeting in the Bung Hole, a pleasant wine bar just off the main road.
It was an interesting evening, we decided that we would read Graham Greenes "The End of the Affair" - I last read it when I was in my early twenties and can't remember a single thing about it!