We gathered in the concourse at Oxford Street station. The station layout is complicated and some people were in different places. There were rumours of Poly Ramblers being seen in the vicinity but eventually we got together and set off. In Argyll St, home of the Palladium, we saw plaques commemorating Sir William Roy and Washington Irving. After crossing Regent St we made our way to Hanover Sq for Prince Talleyrand and were joined by the 26th member of the party at the Hanover Sq exit from Bond St Elizabeth line station.
In Brook St we saw Jimi Hendrix and G F Handel on adjacent buildings, then went up New Bond St for Lord Nelson. Returning to Brook St we saw Sir Jeffrey Wyatville before going to the far end of South Molton St for Ernest Bevin, not to be confused with Aneurin Bevan. It was pointed out to me that I had missed William Blake in South Molton St. I don’t remember seeing him on by blue plaque map or seeing him on my walkover. Anyway, my apologies to William, sorry I missed you.We made our way down to Grosvenor St where we saw Ann Oldfield, actress, and Sir Alexander Korda, director of the Four Feathers. From there we proceeded to Berkeley Sq for Clive of India and George Canning. Turning right into Charles St we saw the 5th Earl of Roseberry at the far end. Nearby was the Duke of Clarence, later William IV, who wasn’t on my list. This was another oversight on my part. Turning into Chesterfield St we saw Somerset Maugham, Beau Brummel, Sir Anthony Eden and Caroline Norton, quite a good haul for such a short street. We finished this stage of the walk in Curzon St, passing Isaac Rufus, 1st Marquis of Reading, a politician, and Benjamin Disraeli.
After crossing Park Lane we entered Hyde Park, where we saw the memorial to the victims of the 7/7 London bombings. Thanks are due to the two members of the group who investigated this for us. We walked along the north side of the Serpentine and then on to the Long Water, passing a sculpture by Henry Moore and a view of Kensington Palace. When we reached the Italian Gardens it was decided that we should carry on to Kensington High St for the lunch spot. Our departure was delayed by a very heavy shower which caught us by surprise. Fortunately it did not last very long and we were soon able to set out through Kensington Gardens, passing the Round Pond on the way. Passing Kensington Palace we crossed Kensington Church St and stopped in St Mary Abbots Gardens. There were still a few plaques to be seen in the High St area but it was decided to finish the walk there and perhaps do these another time, if people are interested. I suggested Pret a Manger in the station arcade as a possible lunch place and about six of us had our sandwiches in St Mary Abbots Gardens. Kensington is too posh for a Wetherspoons but I learnt later that some of the group went to the Prince of Wales at the bottom of Church St. The last action of the day saw Geoffrey run for a 27 bus. This puzzled me but I should have realised that with his knowledge of London transport systems he was making for Kensington Olympia Overground station, and not the Plough and Harrow in Hammersmith.
Thanks to all who came on a cold day. I was pleased to see so many. Thanks, as usual, to Ida for her pictures.