26th March 2018: Play “Black Men Walking”

Several members were interested in seeing this play at the Royal Court Theatre but the only tickets available were for Monday night and necessitated going online at 9am that day, so only 2 of us made it. We found it enjoyable and both funny and moving. Three black men walk once a month in the Peak District to relax away from their daily lives. On this day they all have their problems to brood on and fall to talking about 2000 years of black British history. Lost in the fog they come upon a young woman who seems at first to be a mystical figure but turns out to be a very down-to-earth Yorkshire rapper who puts them straight. A great performance by Dorcas Sebuyange who sings beautifully as they emerge from the fog back onto familiar territory. The play was inspired by a real Black men’s walking group based in Sheffield.

Sheila

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25th March 2018: Chalfont and Latimer to Chorleywood

Chalfont and Latimer to Chorleywood. Fifteen Redropers emerged from London for this spring country walk. Fresh air and quiet woods and hills but an enormous amount of mud. Horses and lamas in the fields, cows still inside and no watercress yet. We ate our sandwiches in Sarrat churchyard and warmed up in the Cock Inn.

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18th March 2018: East Dagenham’s country parks

A cheerful small group turned out to walk across two linked country parks along the eastern fringe of Dagenham. Just two miles north of the historic Ford Motor Works on the Thames, these fields offer long vistas (when looking in the right direction) recalling the old, unkempt Essex marshes. After visiting the parish church we entered the Beam country park and followed the River Beam northwards passing lakes and a rather spooky new housing complex, then the site of an old fever hospital, now a tree-bordered rise. We next crossed the rail line to reach the separate Eastbrook End country park, with more lakes and a variety of bird life. In exposed fields the breezes were biting, so our exploration of this interesting lakes-and-heaths land was ended with a return over the rail footbridge and back to East Dagenham. There we found a classic cafe serving All Day Breakfasts. This was (I believe) our only Sunday walk this year among snow covered fields. It had its own considerable charm. Thank you Nicola for choosing and leading ….

Steve Butters

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11th March 2018: Along the Green Chain from New Eltham to Abbey Wood

Thirteen people came on this walk, on what felt like the first proper spring Sunday. Unlike the Capital Ring or the London Loop, the Green Chain is not a single route but a network running through several south east London boroughs, linking parks, commons and woods. Sunday’s route partly used paths that are part of the Capital Ring, but the second half was quite new for most members, and surprising.

We started at New Eltham station and the first part of the day took us over playing fields and parks to reach Oxleas Wood, the focus of a successful campaign to block a planned motorway, and an early lunch at the cafe on Oxleas Meadow.

Crossing Plumstead Common, and the “Links” Co-op

We then ascended to the summit of Shooters Hill, crowned by a water tower which is a landmark for all of east London, then down through Shrewsbury Park and some suburban streets to reach Plumstead Common, preserved for the public following the Plumstead Common Riots of 1876. Damien told us about the fascinating history of the “Links” Co-op building, which I can’t now remember.

The sign dividing Bostall Woods into 19 zones

So far we had been walking mainly north, but we now turned east to walk the full length of the common. That eventually led us into Bostall Woods, at whose entrance was a sign telling us not about the woods’ history or ecology, but about how to tell the police which “zone” we were in if we had to phone for help using our mobiles. The woods themselves were quite beautiful.

Our final bit of greenery was Lesnes Abbey Woods. Some of the party visited the ruins of Lesnes Abbey, but my group went straight to Abbey Wood station, recently rebuilt for Crossrail — and actually saw a Crossrail train, although the line does not open until December.

Humphrey

 

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25th February 2018: Thames Path, Barnes to Richmond

On a very cold but beautifully sunny day, starting from Barnes Station we crossed over Barnes Common to Barnes village pond then down to the river lined by Georgian and Regency houses . Then along the river to lunch in the sun at Kew Green, before continuing past Kew Gardens, Syon Park , Old Isleworth , Deer Park and Richmond Locks. The walk was new to most of us 5 and warm if in the sun. Miriam

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7th January 2018: Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

Regent's ParkA short sharp shock to begin the New Year. Twelve of us faced the cold sun plus wind chill for a brisk walk through Regents Park and Primrose Hill. Geese, moorhens, seagulls and snooty herons plus a couple of moth eaten dromedaries in the Regents Park Zoo and beautiful formal gardens.

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31st December 2017: Crystal Palace to Streatham Common

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On New Year’s Eve Veronica led 10 of us on a short stretch of the Capital Ring. First we made a short diversion into Crystal Palace Park to view the dinosaur sculptures. They date from 1854 and look splendid after recent refurbishment. From here we followed the Capital Ring through parks and streets to Streatham Common where the cafe was open for tea. The rain, which had mostly held off, began so the finish of the walk was well timed.

Sheila

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