29 April, 2012

Mysterious message

The unsigned text message arrived late on Friday: 'Meet me Strawberry Hill Station @ 1007 Saturday. This msg will self destruct in 15 seconds.' How could I not go to this very leafy, well heeled suburb after a message like that! I boarded a train at Waterloo with a lot of people going to the Army and Navy Rugby match at Twickenham. Some of them had even been drinking at that time of the morning! Not just the men. Anyway they got off at Twickenham. I arrived at Strawberry Hill station and got off the train. Who should be waiting there but my friend Jackie who announced a seven mile walk around Teddington in the rain. Unfortunately the walk managed to miss one of the best features of Teddington - Strawberry Hill House, simply affording a back view of St Mary's College. Still there are good points in Teddington - the Parish Church of St Mary was built in Tudor times and eventually became too small, leading to the Parish building another church - reminiscent of Lancing College Chapel on an adjacent site. This became too big and was taken over as the Landmark Arts Centre and services reverted to the original church. Teddington High Street has some old cottages covered in wisteria and a very unusual looking branch of Lloyds TSB. The picture was taken by Jonathan Cardy.. After the high street and Carnegie library,
with a bust of local boy made, maybe, good - Noel Coward, it was on to Bushy Park. Missing the Diana fountain and the deer we entered by one gate and left by another on the same side of the park. By chance we stumbled across a USAAF and RAF memorial, but that was all of interest. Pinewood Teddington had some plaques on the wall to dead comics Kenny Everett, David Nixon and Tommy Cooper were all represented and there were some real hollywood style flats nearby - a fitting place for a British film star.
. After a while we came to Radnor Gardens with some historic gazebos and a summer house. We missed the school with a plaque to the villanous Labouchere whose amendment to an act got Oscar Wilde prosecuted. Walking back to the station gave another tantalising glimpsette of Strawberry Hill house. My pictures were not good today so many thanks to those who provided them.

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