Friday, 18 June 2021

Train journey in Covid times

 Last week we decided to accept all he risks and go to see family to the south of London by train. We planned it carefully.

Went mid morning to a avoid any rush hour.

Worked out a route to change at less busy stations and NOT go through King's Crosss\St Pancarus. Just stepped across from one platform to another at Cambridge and Herne Hill and stayed on same platform at Farrington. No stairs to climb and no hand rails to touch.

Moved right down the platforms away from entrances. Helped by improvement to trains with more carriages. Only 10 or 15 minutes wait each time.

Wore a series of masks. Changing twice as they got damp in the hot weather. Only counted 6 non masks wearers all day.

Everything was clean but we did hand stuff several times.

All in all it was not too bad.   Did not take much longer than the fastest route. It was lovely to see family and be somewhere different and at last get to form a "bubble"  - theirs and ours only one in a year!

We spent a lot of time walking their rescue dog. One evening we discovered stink pipes in a near by road!

Photo from   Which gives the history of these relics of the first organised sewer system in London created by the wonderfully named Victorian Bazalgette   Amazing how Victorians made everything they created elegant and well designed even the vents to underground drains!

Next day while walking the dog along the River Medway the history lesson continued when a hovercraft raced up the beach. Grandson was fascinated and the kind man explained how it worked to him.  He was incredulous when I explained it was invented near to where I was brought up and I remember the early demonstrations by the inventor on TV. Next day Grandson built a very accurate lego model by himself. Very impressive as he was able to explain all the engine configuration to Grandad, who missed it 'cause he had wandered off in search of a loo!

Since we have come home we found out we probably walked past the early home of Enid Blyton on our strolls with the dog of an evening. So Elfin Cottage is on our list of places to find when we visit again!  Never mind current PC politics about "cancelling" her writing - as far as I am concerned Log Live Famous Five!!! It was a big part of my early reading.

Taking Grandson to his very posh school on our last morning I noticed on the long complex drive the lovely buildings in/near Penge - Waterman's Square. Questioning son on whether this was Alms houses got little information but I found out later some of the grounds are public gardens so that may be another bit of history for us too.

 Royal Free Watermen and Lightermen's Almshouses, founded in 1839 for retired Watermen and their wives and widows.  Considering the life of a waterman on the Thames in 1800s having such a beautiful building and grounds in old age must have been wonderful.  Of course long sold off (remaining pensioners sent to Hastings) and now totally unaffordable housing!!!


  1. Nothing beats seeing family again.

  2. How great that you got to visit with family. A new bubble is a very good thing.

    God bless.