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In spite of warnings of severe winds and heavy rain last Saturday nine hardy GOC members turned up at Eltham Palace Station! By the time we had reached Eltham Palace, twenty minutes into the walk, the rain had stopped and we were dry for the rest of the day! We were amazed at our good fortune! We were following section three of The Capital Ring Walk. After passing Eltham Palace we walked through fields that support a riding school and then along the edge of playing fields belonging to Eltham College whose former pupils include Eric Liddel of Chariots of Fire fame and the author of the Gormenghast trilogy Mervin Peake.

After having a brief stop in Grove Park by the Demond Tutu Peace garden we headed on to Beckenham Place Park for our lunch stop walking inside a narrow strip of ancient woodland cutting through the swathes of houses that built up in the area every time a new railway station was opened! At Beckenham Place Park we had a picnic lunch in the newly restored formal gardens next to the stable block which now supports a brand new cafe. Hot cups of tea and coffee were most welcome here. The Park is run by the local authority and also includes the grade two listed mansion house rebuilt in 1773 by John Cator a rich timber merchant. The grand portico was festooned with flowers on our visit as there was a wedding going on inside.

Our afternoon walk seemed to take us past many large houses in wide, leafy avenues that have built up around the numerous railway stations that we seemed to pass and lead us through and around many playing fields and sports grounds in the area. We completed our walk in Crystal Palace Park photographing the dinosaurs that have been there for over 100 years. The walk finished at Crystal Palace station were some of made good use of the station tea room. Autumn colours, fallen leaves and great conversation seemed to be the main theme of the day.

Robin Reed

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