Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA
Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

This hasn't been so much what in Olde Fleet Street we used to call a slow news week as one virtually devoid of any movement at all, which is only to be expected pending the end of the current lockdown.  Still, Barry managed a nice afternoon walk along the Thames Path. We might even have whooshed past each other as I was also down there, swerving round the pushchairs, bimbling couples and wexters*. 



barry afternoon walk tp

Thames Path at Greenwich
PHOTO Barry Arnold


*People who walk along while simultaneously texting on their phones




Barry's photo inspired me to hunt out some of my own photos of a London which at the moment we can only dream of walking through without any worries about our own safety or those of others. Here's one I call The Plaque That Got Away. 

This was meant to be the tour de force of a walk I led some three years back in honour of Bobby Moore, captain of West Ham and England. It's a blue plaque at 43 Waverley Gardens, Barking, where Bobby was born during an air raid and lived with his dad Bob and mum Doss till he got married. I was lucky enough to ghost-write the autobiography of his first wife, Tina, who told me some lovely stories about the formidable Doss. Tina and Bobby were in their teens when they started walking out together and the first time Bobby brought her home to meet his folks Doss cornered Tina in the kitchen and said, 'Any girl who gets Bobby into trouble will have to answer to me.' Tina's mum, another redoutable lady, was most indignant. 'I didn't bring Tina up to be a floozy!' she retorted.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, when I walked out route to Waverley Gardens I discovered it could only be reached by trekking along a series of dire terraces and mini-motorways and would have involved taking everyone five miles out of their way to view a skip and a collection of dustbins. I'm sure it's very nice now but at the time it wasn't quite the showplace for a national hero I was hoping for.




bobby moore plaque

43 Waverley Gardens, Barking, birthplace of Bobby Moore




Anyone who's done the Capital Challenge will probably recognise this lovely part of the original route. Speaking of which, the topic of London LDWA's challenge events was discussed at last week's committee meeting. As was mentioned in last week's Jabber, on the assumption that the events calendar won't be back to normal by spring, organiser Jean O'Reilly is exploring ways of offering the 2021 Capital Challenge as an Anytime. Meanwhile Chris Blackwell, organiser of the Founders Challenge, is hopeful that with a start date much later in 2021 it will be possible to put that on as a standard event. 



little venice adam b

Little Venice





Below is one of my favourite pictures, taken at the end of The Spurs Way, one of the first walks I ever led for London LDWA. I won't say it was a complete disaster, but what was meant to be a 20-miler ended up a marathon, as I got everyone lost on the approach to Edmonton. A handful of Spurs supporters joined in the walk. Almost everyone baled out before we got to the finish at what was then merely the embryonic building works that would eventually result in the new Spurs Stadium. After that the plan was to trek over the road to the Antwerp Arms, where free beer would be waiting. Well, a few of us did, and the funny thing was that it was the Spurs supporters, none of whom had done a long distance walk before, who stuck it out to the end. The final score was Spurs supporters 4 London LDWA members 2. Cheers, Neil!


spurs way antwerp arms

The Antwerp Arms, Tottenham




A  PS about the definition of 'a Friday Street' in last week's Jabber: 

Mary D emailed: 'Regarding your paragraph on Friday Street ( of checkpoint fame!) I came across two more possible explanations. Friday Street  has two possible meanings. Either this refers to poverty, Friday being the least popular day of the week in medieval Europe, or it describes the place where fish was sold, this being the only meat permitted to be served by the pious on Fridays.'



London LDWA - http://www.ldwa.org.uk/London