Tuesday 23rd April – 12th meeting of 2013
Cannon Street was our meeting place today in some lovely warm sunny weather. Could it be that Spring had finally arrived? We walked straight to St Paul’s Information Centre to join a guided walk by a City of London Guide.
One of our group had researched on the internet and found today was advertised ‘Love and Romance in the City’ walk but when we got there and looked at the board it was showed ‘Dickens from First to Last’. We went inside the information centre where the guide was waiting and on explaining the situation he said that providing no one else arrived he would do the walk we were expecting. Only two other ladies arrived and he explained that he would do ‘Love and Romance’ and combine Dickens the information also. So all were happy!
We started at St Paul’s and some stories of Queen Victoria, her loves and the throngs of people who lined the streets around St Paul’s on her Diamond Jubilee procession. From here we walked around many small streets, alleys, gardens and courtyards that make up the City. Ludgate Hill, New Bridge Street, Newgate Street, Old Bailey, Fleet Square and many more. Mick, the guide, was very informative and told many stories of the loves and romance that blossomed between the rich and famous in the city. We went to Postman’s Park and the Watts Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice. Although we have visited it before it was moving to read the blue-tiled dedications to ordinary people’s acts of bravery.
Although the main thoroughfares of the City are noisy, full of people and traffic once you venture into the side roads and alleys it is so peaceful and quiet. Many of the gardens areas were occupied by city workers and construction workers enjoying their lunches!
While walking around I was surprised to see how much building is in progress. Over the years we have been walking there’s always been buildings coming down and buildings going up that I am amazed how the construction sector manage to get anything done with such small narrow streets and alleys. But they do manage very well and also keep everything moving. I also wonder if The City of London will ever be finished!! I doubt it very much!
The walk lasted two hours, cost £6.00 concessionary. It ended in Guildhall Art Gallery where we were shown three paintings linked to the walk. One was magnificent, showing the procession of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and the service held on the steps of St Paul’s which made a fitting end to the walk.
After a short chat with Mick we made our way to have a coffee but unfortunately it was just after one o’clock and all the coffee shops were full of workers having lunch. We decided to have take-away and drank it on the way to Cannon Street station and our trains home.
A good day and with lovely warm sunny weather it was a joy to be in The City of London.