Thursday, 5 July 2012
In the shadow of the The Shard and broken 'guide' lines
The walk was really chosen for me as I hadn't been aware of it and took someone else's friend's place on it (with me so far?) . It came highly recommended although I really did not have a clue what it was about, except that it involved history of the City and that's good enough for me.
Arrived at the designated spot to find the organisers were sans list of those attending, I was a little anxious as to whether I was attending the right walk, until a lady arrived with three tickets in her hand but with only one friend in tow. Saying she was'nt sure who the ticket was for, as her friend had arranged for another friend to take the place of her friend.
I stuck my hand out and introduced myself as the friend of the missing friend, Jane! Jane arrived missing her ticket as her friend had put it through the letter box, when Jane had asked her not to, long gone in the rubbish! So before we even started there was an interesting bit of street theatre going on amongst ourselves!
John was definitely a personality guide and had plenty of tales to tell, and has deep knowledge of ancient folk history and more. He paid no attention whatsoever to whether anyone was following him as he walked down the middle of the road towards King Edward Street. Gasp of horror from me! A COLG has to ensure that the group is intact and safe, and no-one, I mean no-one is supposed to put a foot off the kerb! Street-walking what fun!
It wasn't my walk, so why worry? I didn't until John nearly got himself run over in Gresham Street, as he insisted we did a British Bull Dog across half the length of the road. We all made it safely to the other side, and Jane quietly said to me 'Immediate Fail!'.
An interesting 7 minute talk ensued in Old Jewry which covered, a lot of stuff including the Mansion House, Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, all TVP's (Top Visual Priorities) but not ONE of them in sight. We sped passed the TVP's on our way down the route of the Walbrook (river).
We ended up at a lovely spot by the river with Southwark Cathedral behind us. It was a great walk in many ways, and it definitely was an example of someone 'doing it their way' especially in terms of group control! As one woman said ' We are all grown ups' and as John mentioned, at the half way mark, 'you cross at your own risk!' Perhaps I need to losen up a bit, but not too much.
Too much information on this particular walk, it was hard to assimulate some of the detailed, detail and digressions. However, that said, I cannot wait to join John on his Southwark Cemetary walk!
On my way back the walk with John Constable about the 'World in the City' I ended up going home via London Bridge Station. Took some iPhone snaps of the brooding obelisk called the Shard. The space below it at the entrance to the station is certainly spacious, and pristine for the moment.
Who got there first!