21 October, 2012

St John's Deptford

Martin Rowson writes 'What could be more pleasing than a stroll through Deptford? Almost anything but hold up there.' Well I think that displays remarkable candour. I was using the Time Out Book of London Walks and Mr Rowson had written, or rather drawn, one fairly near to me, begining at St John's Station. Well the trains don't run on Sunday so I had to take the 47 bus to Brookmill Road and walk up to the station from there. I saw the church (Victorian) but not the house with the enormous cats. Perhaps they were in hiding from the rain. I had a look at the blue plaque to Edgar Wallace, once a very popular thriller writer but you'd be hard pressed to find many books by him now. Some nice autumn colours in Tresillian Road. The real purpose of the walk is to take you to Hilly Fields, one of the tiny local parks around the Deptford/New Cross/Brockley area. Again my guide and mentor advises me to look out for the man with one leg, and indeed I did see him, sitting on a mobility scooter, although he did not have a dog with him. There was a dog though, and that had only three legs, so perhaps there is a hilly fields leg snatcher. It would not surprise me. There was also a rather nice man in army gear jogging in the park, but he ran away... After passing the Francis Drake Bowling Green (yeah right) I turned into White Post Lane, marked, of course, by..... ...a black post! This little alley running at a height (the whole area was once a quarry and a hill and vale so the roads run at all kinds of heights and gradients) was remarkably clean, and may well be the last surviving cobbled street in London. The last major sight before going back was the painted house on Loampit Hill (another clue to what they did there). Needing some renewal this is quite a sight to see.

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