April is the anniversary of my retirement from Newham College and I like to do a long[ish] walk around this time following the tradition set by my four day walk home back in 2008.
Choosing a destination was quite easy this time as Jason has just moved to 'live above a pub'. This is The Lord Nelson at the point where Westferry Road changes to Manchester Road on the Isle of Dogs, so what could be better? The start point was a bit more difficult though as, poor retired gent that I am, time was a bit restricted with warm weather bringing on the allotment and Cribbit ending the winter season and needing to be got ready for spring cruising.
A quick look at the map was all that was needed to see the perfect route: Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Green Park, St. Jame's Park, Trafalgar Square and Lord Nelson, Embankment and then follow the Thames Path to The Isle of Dogs and the Lord Nelson Pub .
As usual, I had taken Cribbit to the Black Horse moorings at Greenford. Well at least I had tried to take here there but the moorings were overflowing with boats displaced from the vicinity of the Olympic Park so we had to make do with mooring up to some shaky pins behind the Hovis factory.
Spent the morning re-plumbing the water heater as the thought of not having hot water and a shower when I got back could not be contemplated. This was another reason for the shortness of the walk but once all was operational I could safely set off for Greenford station at around 1300. A quick rattle down the Central Line to Marble Arch and the walk proper could begin.
Down Villiers Street with a quick pause to photgraph Gordon's Wine Bar where we met up Jim and the rest of the Ruskinites last year.
Through Embankment station for my first view of the Shard and the way ahead best viewed from the top of the steps up onto Hungerford Bridge.
Had a quick stop here to enquire of the divers guides about the location of the 'stone walk' inside the tower. I was interested in this as Sam Pepys had been visiting Sir William Coventry during his incarceration and the two of them had been pacing the stone walk together. Sam's description, taken from the Pepys website, is below:
Up, and to Sir W. Coventry, to the Tower, where I walked and talked with him an hour alone, from one good thing to another: who tells me that he hears that the Commission is gone down to the King, with a blank to fill, for his place in the Treasury: and he believes it will be filled with one of our Treasurers of the Navy, but which he knows not, but he believes it will be Osborne. We walked down to the Stone Walk, which is called, it seems, my Lord of Northumberland's walk, being paved by some one of that title, that was prisoner there: and at the end of it, there is a piece of iron upon the wall, with, his armes upon it, and holes to put in a peg, for every turn that they make upon that walk. So away to the Office, where busy all the morning, and so to dinner, and so very busy all the afternoon, at my Office, late; and then home tired, to supper, with content with my wife, and so to bed, she pleasing me, though I dare not own it, that she hath hired a chambermaid; but she, after many commendations, told me that she had one great fault, and that was, that she was very handsome, at which I made nothing, but let her go on; but many times to-night she took occasion to discourse of her handsomeness, and the danger she was in by taking her, and that she did doubt yet whether it would be fit for her, to take her. But I did assure her of my resolutions to have nothing to do with her maids, but in myself I was glad to have the content to have a handsome one to look on.
Google didn't seem to be able to come up with anythng better than Sam, so no link.
When I got to Limehouse basin I was intrigued to find the remains of the original entrance to the basin so decided that this merited a short diversion to investigate.
See this link to londoncanals.co.uk for a good description and rather better photographs than mine
In the days when I was organising apprentice training, we had an evening meeting at TubeLines headquarters, the pink granite building in the centre of the photograph. The meeting took place in one of the boardrooms facing west and overlooking the river. I can't remember anything about the meeting but I DO remember the sun setting over and along the river, a magnificent sight
You will certainly have to read the article in the link above if you want to know what Nelson's last words really were.