Tuesday, 28 April 2009
The Number 11 Route
Tuesday 28 April 2009 Aah, Liverpool Street Station, clean and calm, with no sign of massed, dancing mobile phone users. I paused to admire the Kindertransport Memorial. The team, enhanced today by Renee, assembled in very good time, and we awaited the 11, which arrived at 10.20. The driver said he was only going to Chelsea as there were long hold-ups in Westminster, but we knew we could always move onto another one. As we went through the city, there was much to see, and we particularly noticed the statue of George Peabody. Another passenger pointed James Henry Greathead out to us in front of St Pauls. She also ensured that we noticed the Mithraic Temple. We agreed that this was an excellent route, full of interest and we hadn’t even left the City! but then on through Fleet Street, where we noted the Express Building, and the HQs of several provincial newspapers, as well as the Protestant Truth Society, a strangely NON-ecumenical concept in the 21st century. Next came St Clement Danes Church, with statues of Dowding and Harris outside it and we were into the Strand: the Courts of Justice, King’s College (from where some of us had watched the 1977 Silver Jubilee Procession) Somerset House and then into Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall. This is where we realised what the bus driver had meant, as it was very slow, with plenty of time to see the various protesters in Parliament Square and the heavy police presence. The Queen was in Westminster Abbey, at a ceremony for the Yeomen of the Guard, on this the 500th anniversary of the death of their founder, Henry VII. On to Victoria Station, eventually, and then to Sloane Square, where our bus terminated, having taken over an hour to get that far. But another soon came, and we made our way along the King’s Road, admiring the posh shops, as well as the Pheasantry with its plaque to the ballet dancer Astafieva. One more enjoyable sight was the Worlds End Nursery before we reached Fulham Town Hall at 11.50 and decided enough was enough, returning to our real lives by tube rather than taking any more buses.