Thursday 9 February 2012
Along St Anne's Road, the terraces have striking diamond pattern brickwork, and one also had a blue plaque for Albert Chevalier, the writer of the music hall song 'My Old Dutch'. We soon reached Royal Crescent, and the Kensington Hilton, with the remains of various snow persons on the green areas which we passed.
Pretty soon, we were at Shepherds Bush, passing the station and the green and the war memorial, still bright with poppies, and heading down Shepherd's Bush road towards Hammersmith. One of the roads we passed was 'Batoum Gardens, which seemed very odd to us. Batoum is on the Black Sea coast in (now) Georgia, and seems to be one of the places to which British servicemen were sent after the end of the Great War to try to deal with the Bolsheviks. Odd to have a west London street named for it, especially since the other streets around were more traditionally named.
Once we had been into and out of Hammersmith bus station, we continued towards the river, travelling that philanthropists' road, with Guinness Trust flats on one side and Peabody Trust buildings on the other. The Suffolk Punch Pub had a picture of a horse's head on its sign, rather than a depiction of horses working, which makes a change. Down Fulham Palace Road, past the Charing Cross Hospital, we turned left along Lillie Road, where there once once a branch of Chelsea College, and were soon among the tall blocks of the Aintree Estate. We also passed a little ghost sign, though what 'sitting pretty' is about, I don't know.
A further wriggle brought us to the Fulham Road, where a very unsightly blue Marks and Spencers dwarfs a little row of houses. We wriggled again, taking in a bit of the New Kings Road, to reach Wandsworth Bridge Road and the River. The tide was out, and there was lots of mud showing.
This is the area that used to be redolent of candlewax when Price's factory was here (Linda says it also used smell of gin from the distillery) but now it is mostly housing, including the former candle works.