Tuesday 16 February 2010
After several journeys in South East London, we were heading North and East towards Leyton for a change; unfortunately the weather was unchanging, except that it was wetter than ever, but still cold. Linda and I met at Great Titchfield Street, where the journey begins, despite the nominal start at Oxford Circus. We turned left almost immediately, along Goodge Street and Chenies Street, because of the CrossRail works at Centre Point. We wonder whether this one way system will become permanent.
We rejoined the traditional route at the Umbrella Shop, which I expect was doing roaring trade on this grim day, and headed past Bloomsbury Square, along Theobalds Road and into Clerkenwell. We passed the north end of Hatton Garden, and soon reached Old Street Station. We were making the kind of progress that demonstrated that we were heading out of, rather than into, the city. Actually, we were in Islington for a brief while, passing the EC1 Music Centre and a Classic Cars Emporium (they looked quite modern to me...) The Reliance Pub has a Thames sailing ship as its pub sign, but as usual the websites are all about the beer and not about the reason behind the name.
We passed through a corner of Tower Hamlets, with the many leather goods places we had noticed before, as well as Metal Morphosis which seems to teach as well as offering tattoos and piercings, but were soon into Hackney, and zooming along Cambridge Heath Road. We were surprised to see that the Religious Sisters of Charity are having a new Convent built, bucking the more usual trend for religious communities in the 21st century. We noted a property called 'City Retreat', a reminder of the days when Hackney was a rural haven for the wealthier city folk, and also Mothers' Square, once a hospital but now housing, before reaching Clapton Pond, its fountain busy adding to the rainy day.
Then it was over the River Lea Navigation, and past the large HQ of the Clancy Docwra Victorian Watermain Replacement Project which we all enjoy so much and which (apparently) will be finished in 2010. And so to Leyton and the Bakers Arms, in very much less than the projected 75 minutes, despite being 'held to regulate the service'.