Five Polys set off from Clapham Common station for a gentle walk taking in three South London commons. Two members were waiting at the wrong Clapham station, there are five altogether, but fortunately they contacted the leader who directed them to the correct one! We set off across Clapham Common passing Holy Trinity Church where William Wilberforce and his friends in the ‘Clapham Sect’, who lived around Clapham Common, worshipped while campaigning for the abolition of slavery and the moral reformation of the nation. In Broomwood Road we admired the beautiful decorative tiles in the porches of all the houses in this long road which took us to Wandsworth Common. We proceeded across the common, past Wandsworth Common station into Balham. We noted the impressive Du Cane Court, a large art deco block of 677 flats built in 1937. A popular place to live for music hall stars in the 30s and 40s. It originally boasted a social club on the top floor and amongst other luxuries had a water softening system. It is the largest privately owned apartment building under one roof in Europe. We took in St. Mary and John the Divine church with its external baptistry. The original building was erected with funds from the wealthy members of the ‘Clapham Sect’. We stopped outside Balham station to look at the ‘Impressions of Balham’, four bronze reliefs which depict local life, before proceeding to Tooting Bec common. Here we stopped by the lake to eat our picnic lunch surrounded by geese and other wildlife. One member had to manage on a banana as her hot lunch box refused to open! One of the cons of this walk is the lack of public toilets but fortunately a helpful park warden allowed us to use theirs before we made our way towards Tooting Bec station. Although it was quite a grey day the rain held off until the end of the walk when it started to drizzle slightly.
Eight Polys met outside Battersea Park station for a stroll around the local area taking in some of the Giant Advent Calendar windows, created by local artists and organised by the Nine Elms Arts Ministry. We particularly admired the first window at The Free Masons pub opposite the station. We made our way round the Battersea Exchange development and into the Doddington Rollo estate. Here the window near the community hub stood out for its clever combination of traditional nativity scene and local aspects, including a 344 bus, created in a three dimensional cut out. After passing the windows at the library and St. Saviours church we made our way through Battersea Park, past the Peace Pagoda into the Power Station development. Unfortunately the coffee shop was closed but the lights on the chimneys and the Christmas decorations created a festive atmosphere. We proceeded through the development towards New Covent Garden Market and some more windows, the one in Linnaeum having been created by a member of my choir. By the time we passed in front of the new American Embassy building it was starting to rain. The walkers decided to make directly for Vauxhall station and miss the last section along the Thames embankment. While not all the windows were impressive, it was a pleasant evening doing something Christmassy which is proving rather difficult this year.
From Bayford station, we walked to the lovely village of Brickendon and followed a wooded footpath northward; we then went south east through Monks Green Farm where a shooting party was getting ready. We entered Broxbourne Woods, Hertfordshire’s only National Nature Reserve, walking along a wide path until we joined the Hertfordshire Way. The woods became a pine forest where we saw lots of different mushrooms. After negotiating a quite muddy path, we stopped for a picnic lunch. We then reached the dinosaurs; Continue reading Saturday 24 October 2020: Bayford Circular Walk (Hertfordshire)→
I was joined, alphabetically, on the walk by Anna; Harriet; Irene & Les. Having taken a very slow train out of Victoria changing at Sittingbourne, we set off from Swale station with a scramble down a bank onto the fore-shore of The Swale. A drowned valley, which in Roman times would have been twice as wide, separating the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland. A cable Ferry operated for centuries from here. We were treated to the sight of the 1960 road/rail vertical lift bridge being raised to allow the passage of a yacht, and Continue reading 10th October Saxon Shoreway→
Fifteen Polyramblers, in two socially isolated groups with the Ramblers rules for outdoor physical activity events in place, set off for a 17km circular walk.
Our gently undulating morning route took us through woods and open pastures, including Hillyfields Park and Whitewebbs Wood, to the medieval St Mary’s Church in the old part of the Hertfordshire town of Cheshunt. Our steepest climb was over a bridge crossing the M25 from which, despite a light shower, we had views of the Shard and Canary Wharf and spied our other group in the distance. Continue reading GORDON HILL CIRCULAR – SATURDAY 26 SEPTEMBER→
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends