Due to either people not turning up, or cancellations I only have one walk to report on from this weekend, which was Saturday morning's Trafalgar Square to St Paul's wander. But, what a splendid group they were, so I thought I'd splash out and furnish you with a few more details than I normally do. How lucky you are.
So, there were five people in all. Tess and Monique from Holland, Rita from Lithuania, (who came on the Sunday east end walk a few months ago), George who came from a variety of places, but predominantly Austria and last by no means least, Dave who came from London, via London.
I missed a trick here, because right before I took this photo we'd walked past the 12th Century Temple Church, which nestles just off Fleet Street. The whole area is pretty much closed off on weekends, but fortunately Monique happened to be really strong and somehow effortlessly pushed open an otherwise locked gate. Naughty.
Soon after this, we went for a drink at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which is what is generally referred to as a 'historic pub'. We were sitting in the new pub because the old pub burnt down in a massive fire. So, this one was built in 1667 and if you look at the photo below, you'll see a small list of the various Monarch's that have reigned since the new pub was built.
A short while later, we were passing the Bridewell Theatre, which stands in the shadows of the infamous steeple of St Bride's church. I won't go on about it too much, but the building survives from the late Victorian period and was once a swimming pool, wash room and general education and P.E type place for the children who's parents were busy keeping all those printing presses on Fleet Street going. The swimming pool has since been made in to a theatre, and quite craftily, we managed to get down to the bar, which was once the wash room. (by-the-way, it's not actually a pub/bar tour). Here we met a very nice bar manager who very kindly explained the history of the place to us, complete with photos they'd recently found of its transformation and previous Victorian life.
Whilst the group were talking to the nice bar manager I took this photo of an old wooden washing machine which still stands rather obtrusively in the bar. They've also got a pretty antiquated dryer and some industrial size Victorian drying racks/radiators.
Anyway, we saw lots of other things along the way, and gradually wound our way up to St Paul's cathedral where we finished. Thanks very much to the group. I really enjoyed it.
Bowl Of Chalk veteran - Rita
Tallest - George
Most Dutch - Tess & Monique
Most Snap Happy - Dave
On Saturday morning I met Aviva for the Trafalgar Square to St Paul's walk. Part of the walk involves winding through and around Fleet Street, a street synonymous with printing and the newspaper industry, ever since a guy called Wynkyn De Worde, who aside from having a brilliant name, brought the first printing press to the area in about 1500. Anyway, as if to highlight the fact, just outside the Bridewell Theatre we stumbled across an amazing array of old printing equipment that had been left on the street. There were a number of drawers, all packed full of thousands of the individual metal letter typefaces. Had I not been doing a walk, I would have very probably hailed a cab and taken the whole lot home. Here's Aviva with the treasure, that someone else now has.
On Saturday afternoon I was joined by Urvesh, Chris, Christina, Teresa, Bea, Sam and Louise for the St Paul's to Monument walk. I haven't seen it so busy around Bankside for a long time, but I guess that's what happens when the sun comes out. We didn't come across any discarded treasure, but of course there's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Rose Theatre and lots of other things to uncover along the way. Here are the group by Borough Market.
What a fun lot they were too. Also, I should mention that it was Sam's second Bowl Of Chalk walk, having previously come on the east end 'My neck of the woods' walk a few months ago ... which allows me to segue effortlessly on to Sundays walk.
Once again, the sun was beating down and a reasonably international group turned out for Sundays east end walk, hailing from Germany, Poland, Portugal/Luxembourg, France and even England and Scotland. The 'world and his wife' were out in force around Columbia Road flower market and Spitalfields where we finished. Here are the group standing next to one of street artist Pablo Delgado's miniature paper street scenes, which also has a little sign saying 'Please queue here' ... hence the photo.
From left to right we have Felix, Teresa, Babara (or Basia), Maja, Dorina, Magali, Lesley and Manu. There was also Tom, but he isn't in the photo because he had to nip off.
So there we have it. Perhaps the sunniest weekend of walks ever in the history of weekend walks. As ever, thanks very much to all who came along.
Most Swiss - Bea and Chris
Most Historically qualified - Urvesh and Chris
Most inappropriate footwear - Louise
Veteran Bowl Of Chalker - Sam
Best name that actually creates a statement - Teresa Brown
Best Moustache - No winners
Most laid back - Felix
Most German - Dorina and Magali
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.