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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Catching up with kin.

We are nice and handy for the newspaper today as the station newsagents open up nice and early so it was a stride down Camley Street past the Camden Council gym with folk going hell for leather on bikes and creating wide wakes as they powered up and down the pool lanes, and past only one or two taxis waiting for fares. However when I got to Kings Cross the concourse was teeming with folk. I quickly got the paper and headed back.

We are meeting Helen's Aunt and Uncle over in East London for lunch so we were off promptly as there was a few tube lines closed around Kings Cross so in the end we had to go via Bank.

Round the back of Kings Cross Station is this restaurant that looked to be in an intriguing building with an intriguing name, The German Gymnasium. It seems that it was built in 1865 for the German Gymnastics Society for one Ernest Ravenstein. The cult of gymnasiums was taking off and this building also managed to use pioneering engineering as the roof truss were need to provide wider spans so laminated timber with  cast iron fillets between the truss and the ruff. Soon after building the National Olympian Association used it in 1866 to host some of the indoor games. Just as an aside in July cricketer W.G. Grace scored 224 NO against Surrey and then went on to win the 440 yd hurdles at the Olympic Games held at Crystal Palace.

Stephen was there and waiting for us to be whisked off to there house. They actually live in a mental asylum, well it used to be I should say. Mind you these days there are no barriers to stop you leaving just for getting in! We had a nice catch up over coffee and admired there lovely garden. Helen was one of their Bridesmaid's and I was surprised when she said she still has the dress. needless to say she can't fit in it anymore, but she was 8 at the time! The asylum was completed in 1893 and closed in the 1990's. It is reported that several ghosts have been sighted, but not by Stephen and Norma.

We set off later into the depths of Epping Forest which is an excellent resource to have so near to London. It used to be Royal Forest but is now managed by the City of London Corporation. It actually covers over 2476 hectares or 6118 acres in old money. If you travel from north to south through it can appear massive as it is about 12' long but only 2.5 miles wide ate its greatest. As we drove alond he mused how many bodies there were in the forest; well it seem that since 1970 there have been at least 13 found!

We went to the 'Good Intent' pub in the Forest and had our first Sunday roast for ages. It hardly touched the sides. Mind you I found room for a great apricot bread and butter pudding with lashings of custard. They didn't have much of a selection of beers but the pint of AK from McMullen of Hertford went down a treat. It was great to hear of their daughters and grand children's doings and what they were getting up to. They aren't growing old too graciously at all.

We were so being driven to the Tube to head back into Town to meet our daughter and boy friend. We had a lovely time and it was good to see them both looking so well, and thanks very much for the lunch.

At the Tube Station this sign was above the west bound platform. Apparently it had been covered up by an advertising hoarding. It seems that Woodford was a centre for the Temperance movement and as well as the Coffee Tavern there was the Wilfrid Lawson Temperance Hotel. 

We got back nice and quickly and bought a bit of food before getting back to the boat. Soon enough Joe and Amy came to us at the boat and we heard all about their holiday and exchanged presents. A lovely day catching up with family and friends so thanks very much to Stephen and Norma for feeding us and hopefully it wont be two years to the next time.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed looking around London with you, so many memories of our visits.