It's almost exactly three years to the day since I retired and started my walk home from Newham, and now I'm doing a much shorter little jaunt, just back to Cribbit from East Ham.
I've been on a short contract to help with the administration of our apprentice programme and gave a final presentation to partners yesterday. Now I can slip back quietly into retirement!
Newham College main site is located next to East Ham Town Hall in the London Borough of Newham and I've been commuting there during January and February 2011 from Cribbit moored at the Black Horse pub on the Greenford visitor moorings.
Now although this walk is entitled The Shard, I had no intention of actually going up to it. It is far too big to photograph up close, the view of it and the rest of Central London from my 6th floor desk just provided the inspiration for the walk.
What the walk does do is take in some familiar locations from when I was moored at Poplar Dock, repeats part of the walk I did when I retired 3 years ago and follows the middle part of the Central Line, the route of the dashing commuter for 2 months, ending in Greenford, West London.
The walk starts at East Ham Town Hall and ends at the Underground station at Hanger Lane, in all about 22 miles..
The main waypoints are:
Left Cribbit at 0800
Walked down to Greenford station
Rattled along the Central Line to Mile End, then did 'the Mile End Shuffle' onto the District Line and arrived at East Ham Station.
This got me to the town hall just before 1000.
Had a swift cup of coffee and a bun at the 'Friendly Cafe' and then set off on my journey. Passing the Miller's Well, our East Ham watering [well OK, beering] place.
then off down the whole length of barking road to canning town. a short detour to photograph 'the academy' aka west ham united football ground'. its distinctive roof, so clear in the 6th floor pics, completely hidden at ground level.
The Director's Suite at West Ham used to be a regular venue for Exec away days.
Approaching Canning Town and the former site of Cumberland School where I used to be a governor. Cumberland moved up to Prince Regent and a brand new school was constructed on the old Cumberland site
When I did my first walk home, I only took photographs looking forward and didn't look back once. This time we are more relaxed so this shows the view back up Barking Road and the official welcome sign for Newham.
I had thought that I would photograph the large box, with Wickes written on it, which is also to be found here but decided that it would be just too boring. I used to be a frequent visitor there in the days when I was moored at Poplar Dock. Many the time have I walked here from the dock and then struggled home with DIY supplies for Cribbit.
The next few pics follow the walk to Poplar.
Walked across the width of the Isle of Dogs and then picked up the Thames Path.
In the other direction, The Shard
The warm sun brings out the tourists, crowding the steps
Turned onto Fleet Street and soon picked out the welcome sign of 'Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese'
Followed my usual route back to Chancery Lane station. Now following the Central Line in Zone 1
At Tottenham Court Road, they were busy working on the Cross-Rail project. This pic just about in the direction of Dionysus , a favourite Greek restaurant, a causality of the Cross-Rail development and much missed by tw and I, for many retsina-ical reasons.
Walked the whole length of Oxford Street trying to remember Raj's name who we used to work with at St Patrick's College, which is just off Oxford Street. Took almost the whole street to retrieve his name form the aging memory banks.
Encountered a demonstration in favour of establishing Shia law 'in the Arab lands'. Just how I was supposed to enable this as result of the demonstration was not made clear to me.
The roads at Marble Arch full of buses and coaches
Lamenting, as I walked alongside Hyde Park, that the handy public toilet which arrived at just the right time last time, would not be there this time as I was on the other side of the park.
To my surprise, one did appear and in just the same orientation as the one from last time. So then I started lamenting that this time, I had no need to use its facilities. When I actually got there, I found that this wasn't quite correct.
Nottinghill Gate and the bus stop for the Oxford Tube, a regular stopping place for me when we lived in Witney.
A short walk to The Gate theatre.
I used to pass this Greek restaurant every week on the Tube and think that I would like to eat there. When Rosemary was doing research for her 'Gentrification' paper we came to Nottinghill, where else to have lunch?
The prospect of walking along the busy and smelly A40 held no appeal so decided to try the Uxbridge Road and leave aside the Central Line for a while. This brought me to Acton which has to be better even than New York, New York. [So good you have to say it twice] That's because we have Acton, East Acton, North Acton and I don't know whatevever other little Actons.
Was glad to pass them all by and then to head up Hanger Lane to the Hanger Lane Gryratory, one of the many visions of hell you get on the A40 and North Circular roads.
My sore feet decided me to finish my walk here and I caught a train at around 1800.
Glad to steam past all the traffic on the A40 and to hobble up the hill from Greenford Station to Cribbit and a soak in a hot shower and the prospect of a pint in the Black Horse.
Had a well deserved pint of London Pride and decided that I would accompany it with the 'Pie of the Week'. On enquiry, this turned out to be of a flavour unknown to the bartender. [Has it really been 'Pie of the week' all week, we ask?]. He duly reported that it was a Bacon and Kidney pie, sounds good said I. When it arrived, it turned out to be steak and kidney. Clearly my hearing had been impaired by the noises of the road. [Well that IS my story at least.]
Pie was very good and just hit the spot. I was rather liberal with the salt though as I could feel cramp coming on and salt is supposed to alleviate it. I am also told that quinine does the trick as well but I was rather more fixated on the London Pride than on a gin and tonic as I suspect I was probably a little de-hydrated. Something kept off the cramp though and I slept very well that night.
The whole journey, including the walks to the and from the stations at each end, was about 22 miles and took just over 8 hours including lunch in the Cheshire Cheese.