14 April, 2012

Hornchurch - Cultural quarter

Another of the Havering Council walks, this time around Hornchurch, so called because the church has a bull's head mounted outside. It's an old church with a memorial to William of Wykeham but the horns are just there, not sure if anybody knows why. This is where the walk began and I then walked through a rough piece of ground called 'The Dell' or 'Mill Field' where the Stepney born boxer Daniel Mendoza fought John Jackson in front of 3000 spectators in a fight that lasted 10 minutes. Unfortunately Mr Mendoza who had been the odds-on favourite lost, no doubt to the relief of the bookies. One of Daniel Mendoza's descendants is Peter Sellers. The walk then led me up the High Street (I've blogged about Hornchurch before) with the usual plethora of shops and eateries all a bit identikit and through some thoroughly suburban housing to reach Langtons House and Gardens.  Both Parson and registrar were plying their marriage trade so I couldn't go in the church or the registry office which is Langtons House but the gardens were pleasant enough with a lake and an orangery and other things I didn't see.

Next on the list of items was Fairkytes Arts Centre, for amateurs whereas the professional 'production' theatre in Hornchurch is the Queens Theatre.  Originally opened in the Coronation year of 1953 the present building was purpose built in 1975 and opened by Sir Peter Hall.  Very pleasant it is too.
And that was it. I was hungry after my walk so I decided to have my first attempt at that east end favourite - Pie and Mash, as I had noticed a pie and mash shop on the high street. Expecting a waitress to come out I sat down. Then I realised you go to the counter, ask for what you want (as long as it is a combination of pie and mash) pay and eat. I declined both liquour (not sure about that) and gravy and had 1 pie and one mash although 1 pie and 2 mash would have been better and only 80p more. I have to say this was a remarkably cheap meal and fine to eat although don't come anywhere near my pie with the liquour.

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