Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Number 47 Route

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Linda and I met in Shoreditch, and the 47 bore us down Bishopsgate, with fine views ahead of the gherkin. After last week's discussion, we were interested to see fatsias in a window box: an odd choice, but a pleasant change from cyclamen-with-a few-pansies. London Bridge brought fine views of the river and HMS Belfast, looking majestic in the sun. We nipped fairly speedily down Tooley Street with its increasing number of tourist attractions: the London Bridge Experience and London Tombs have now joined the Dungeon, the Britain at War and of course the ship herself, past City Hall, and to a Wetherspoons pub called The Pommelers Rest. Aside from the fact that the lack of apostrophe suggests that this is a simple statement (... when not working) it seems to be a case of people who work with Pommels, for pommelling things like leather.

Now well into Southwark, with its colour coded districts, we passed the Dickens Estate and a number of hansdome churches, including St Paul's and St Olaves, as well as the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel, before reaching Canada Water Bus Station, where this blog began with the Number 1. Beyond Surrey Quays, the public housing is increasingly LCC fifties style, rather than the modern look. The Pepys Estate maintains the literary theme, with many references to John Evelyn in pub and street names, making this part of London diarists' corner.

But by now we were in Lewisham; St Nicholas Church is where the murdered Christopher Marlowe is said to be buried. All these literary references were some consolation for the lack of blue plaques, and Linda's tendency to say 'probably Charlie Chaplain' whenever we saw but could not read a local authority plaque. We noted a remarkable number of religious organisations, for example the Grace Christian Centre, which declares that it is 'rebuilding lives and raising prevailers'.

We were impressed by the steep climb undertaken by the DLR as it approaches Lewisham centre and enjoyed glimpses of Brookmill Park before we were passing Lewisham rail and DLR stations and the mammoth police HQ. We knew we were in Catford when we passed the Cat (actually we knew anyway, since this is Linda's stamping ground) and admired the refurbished Broadway Theatre. We sped down the Bromley Road to reach Catford Bus Garage in just an hour from our departure. A splendid journey, with tourism at the start and interest throughout.

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