On this page: Barnsbury - Marylebone 1 - Highgate - Alleyways - Marylebone 2 - Monken - Hadley & Barnet Villages - Deptford
MARCH - Anita and Roger Butt opened our eyes to a delightful area of our Capital when they organised the April 2007 walk. Most of us had not heard of this area and when we alighted the bus on the Caledonian Road we wondered where they had brought us. Refreshed by coffee we walked northward and then immediately right into a most delightful residential area. Crescents of houses, old churches, small parks and points of interest were found round every corner. We stood on the steps of the house where the famous photograph of Cherie Blair in her dressing gown was taken after the General Election. Bijou residences jostled with the elegant mansions and the odd touch of “Grand Designs” was evident. Lunch was enjoyed in the Tap at Islington, a very old pub serving great snacks. After lunch we made our way back to the start, through a different route and all agreed it had been a delightful and most interesting walk and so unexpected right from the start. (Report: Ann Franey, Photos: John Franey)
APRIL - This was the chance to discover some of the Ms of Marylebone - money and medicine.
MAY - A return to hilly Highgate to continue the theme of "Villages of London".
JUNE - The second part of the walk in April of this part of London with a visit to Fitzrovia.
JULY - The walk started immediately from Liverpool Street Station. Cutting through an alleyway we came across a most ornate Turkish bath house before arriving at a church with an exhibition of sculptures by a Nigerian sculptress, which we all found fascinating. After coffee, not at Joe Lyons, a memory of whom we found later when we walked around the streets and alleyways of the City. History abounded around every corner and Anita Butt (Convenor), brought it alive for us with her thorough research into the properties owned by the Guilds and her humorous way of putting it over. We had an excellent lunch in the Jamaica Inn wine bar before walking through Leadenhall Market. A few of us were privileged to go into the hairdresser’s shop on the corner where in the basement there were remains of the Roman Forum. Business carried on around us as we peered into the dimly lit site. It is not until you take the time to meander that you realize what a wealth of history the city possesses and a wonderful heritage we have virtually on our doorstep. (Report: Ann Franey, Photos: John Franey)
Monken, Hadley & Barnet Villages
August - We met at Liverpool St and then took the City Connect train from Moorgate to New Barnet. From there we took a bus to Chipping Barnet where we had coffee in the Squeeze (not the name of the coffee bar but a very narrow part of the Great North Road). Our walk started at the Tudor Hall that was once the Girl’s Grammar School dating back to 1573. We then walked up Wood Street looking at the Almshouses and through the park before doubling back on the other side to see the Boundary Stone that marked the end of the Whetstone to Highgate Turnpike Trust. Across the road were more Almshouses belonging to the Guild of Leather Sellers. Our lunch stop was a local pub and after partaking of refreshment we walked to Monken Hadley passing many gracious houses along the way. The land on which Monken Hadley stands used to belong to Saffron Walden Abbey. residents among whom were David Livingstone, William Makepeace Thackery and Fanny Trollope who had six children, one of whom was Anthony. We called at St Mary’s Church where Emily Trollope, sister of Anthony is buried. The church doorway bears emblems of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London and the date of 1494 in Arabic numerals. Our walked ended back on the Great North Road and we made our journey home by bus and train. (Report: Ann Franey, Photos: John Franey)
OCTOBER - The last walk of 2007 was around the Deptford area of London. We took the Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark and then a bus to the Laban Contemporary Dance Centre which was founded by Rudolf Laban who was born in Austria and came to Manchester where he set up the first centre. The present centre was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and is an amazing building. It houses many studios and rehearsal rooms and has blended into the environment. The flat roof is home to many endangered flora and fauna notably the redstart, which is making a comeback in the area. We had coffee here before our walk took us around the Deptford area. This had been a busy dockyard in the 18th and 19th Centuries and the town had grown around the docks. Notable people with links to the town were Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, his friend and fellow diarist, the woodcarver Grinling Gibbons and Christopher Marlowe the poet and dramatist. Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia spent several months studying shipbuilding here. Many great voyages of discovery began at Deptford notably Raleigh, Drake, Frobisher and Captain Cook all sailed from here. By 1869 the dockyard was outdated and was unable to launch ships and so closed with the loss of many jobs. We then moved on to the old Surrey Docks part of which is now a shopping centre and one dock has been retained as a dinghy sailing centre. We had lunch at The Moby Dick, a dockside pub followed by a leisurely walk back along the side of the Thames to catch the return bus and finally the train back to Shenfield. (Report: Ann Franey, Photos: John Franey)