Livery Social Event Saturday 21st November 2019
The member surveys, recently undergone, indicated a desire among members for light social events, for members and partners, to complement the lunches and dinners in the Calendar. On the 21st, we witnessed the first of such events - a Thames Walk organised by Junior Warden, Martyn Wheatley.
Commencing at Southwark Cathedral, a dozen of our members accompanied Martyn on a walk along the Thames, in the unusual direction heading East.
After a lengthy and detailed tour around Southwark Cathedral and a very lively Borough Market, the party headed off under London Bridge, along the South Bank towpath towards Hays Wharf. We learnt, on the way, the history of 'The London Bridges' and the impressive Scientific Instrument that is the Monument (of the Great Fire of London).
Also, not so fireproof were the Hays Fireproof Warehouses, which after rebuilding in 1856, were where one of the earliest cold storages in the world were installed.
Pressing on past HMS Belfast we passed City Hall and then Tower Bridge, learning an awful lot about the engineering and power behind the hydraulic mechanism that lifted the road spans - something that happened 2 to 3 times hourly in the early 20th century!
Walking now in quiet narrow roads bordered by former Warehouses converted into flats, we came upon Maggie Blake's Cause. This narrow passageway, was named after a lady of modest means who fought off the big companies and investment houses to prevent the area being blocked off to public access. Maggie’s success ensured this riverside development remained un-gated and free to all to enter the delightfully preserved dwelling area which it has become.
Now, well into Rotherhithe, we stopped for lunch at The Angel, a lovely pub by the river, where we were very well looked after.
After lunch we paid a visit to the beautiful Church of St Mary The Virgin, spiritual home of the good ships Mayflower and the Speedwell, and hence connected to the Pilgrim Father's final departure in 1620 for the 'New World'.
Our final stop-off was to view the intended entrance of Brunel's first pedestrian tunnel under the River Thames, a world first, which was sadly never profitable but has served well as part of the Tube system since.
The Walk was enlivened by Martyn's knowledge of the route and milestones viewed, achieved through diligent research on his part, and all participants were appreciative of, and grateful for that.