Sunday, September 01, 2013

Back Street London

Distance walked:  4.8miles

Stag/Hen groups seen:  3

Weddings seen:  2

Yesterday Ken and I went into London for a wander - no main plan in mind but decided to start at Moorgate station in East London.  Todays blog is really dedicated to those things you see when you take notice of the little things and take the time to look around and to look up.  Just outside Moorgate tube station we discovered a black phone booth - neither of us had ever seen one before, so had to take a picture, and the other picture below is of a face above a doorway just along the street.  It's amazing how many faces are looking down on you as you walk around London.  The building that looks like a castle is Armoury House.

Our first point of call was Wesley's Chapel which is on City Road and next to the house where John Wesley lived for the last 11 years of his life.  The chapel was built in 1778 by John Wesley, who was the founder of Methodism.  There was a wedding about to start in the chapel so we couldn't go in for a proper look, but went into the museum and into the courtyard where John Wesley is buried.  The wedding was between a Guayanian and a Zimbabwean, so it was an incredibly beautiful and colourful event.  I was talking to one of the ladies in the museum and she said that they have 65 different nationalities within their congregation, and 22 different languages are spoken.  I guess that shows how far and wide the Methodist religion has spread throughout the world.

This is a mobile pulpit that during the early 1900's used to be taken into parks for outdoor preaching
This is a pulpit that John Wesley used to preach from

The ceiling of the Foundery Chapel

The cross in the Foundery Chapel

John Wesley's tomb - he was the 843rd person to be buried in the grounds of his chapel.

One of the doors into the chapel
After this interlude we stopped in a local cafe for brunch - the cafe was called Salvation Jane, and without realising it we had stumbled into a little bit of Australia in London.  Salvation Jane is another name for the plant Patterson's Curse which all Aussie farmers will have heard of.  It was a lovely place with Gladiolis on the tables which always make me think of Nanna Hawley as she used to have beautiful Gladdis in her garden.

One of the walls in the cafe

Ken enjoying his healthy beunch
We then headed on, wandering down Old Street, again seeing unusual things in our travels, including a red mushroom on top of a building - we'll never know why.

I like this picture as it shows quite a bit of history in a snapshot - a London cab, St Paul's Cathedral, and the newest part of London's skyline, the Shard

Just some old building overlooking a railway line that I liked the look of
Another thing we discovered was that some people like to give their businesses very unusual names - Ken was particularly interested in finding out what sort of food they served at this cafe.

We came across a small fenced park which was dedicated to a cat - I looked it up on line, and apparently the cat was a stray that used to spend time there until it was killed by a dog, so the residents decided to dedicate the small area to the cat, which I think is just beautiful. 

Now the next few piccies are just a selection of interesting architecture that you see when you bother to look around and down side streets - the most frustrating thing is not knowing what the buildings were originally, as not all of them have anything on them to say their history.

This is my arty shot - historic buildings reflected in the windows of a modern building, which is London in a nutshell
We came across St Peter's Italian Church which is a Catholic church opened in 1863 - it's outside is lovely, but the inside is amazing.  A real little piece of solitude in the middle of a busy city.

The ceiling in the entryway of the church

We wandered down Hatton Gardens, which is the jewellery headquarters of London - lots of nervous looking men being led by women to buy rings etc.  One of the buildings had two slightly scary looking children on it, but for a change it did have it's history on a plaque.  It originally was a church, then a school - a shop owner standing near us told us that the blue coats means that it was a free school.  During the second world war the two statues were removed and put into safe keeping, which was lucky as the building was hit by a bomb - once the war was over and the building had been restored the two children were returned to their home.  It's now used for offices - must be interesting working in a building with such an interesting history.

Now due to all the walking I felt I did deserve a Red Velvet Cupcake so with the help of the map feature on my phone we tracked down the nearest cupcakes of loveliness shop - the Hummingbird Bakery, and bought one to take home.

We then ended up in Trafalgar Square where we sat and people watched for a while before getting the tube home.

Trafalgar Square Lion with Big Ben's clock tower in the background

That's it - stay safe, be happy, and enjoy the little things in life.

Pamela & Ken

P.S:  Final shot is a street sign in Piccadilly which we weren't quite sure what was going on - it was a no entry sign with a little extra on it.

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