Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

Hooray for a gloriously sunny, Spring like day for our Thames Riverside Walk!

10 Feb 2015 | London Group
Blue sky above, a calm Thames at our side, peace (pagoda) behind, onwards we march! (picture D Havell)

Blue sky above, a calm Thames at our side, peace (pagoda) behind, onwards we march! (picture D Havell)

 

 

After what seemed like weeks of incessant, icy cold, Siberian wind, with grey gloom to match, our mostly Thames riverside wander from Westminster to Putney, on Sunday the 8th of February, was blessed with almost wall to wall sunshine and a gentle breeze! With the sun came 49 GOC’s (one we picked up loitering at Vauxhall Bridge), all looking for adventure, including an eye watering eleven first timers, and with that, 2 women, all heartily welcomed!  I know that the wretched transport engineering works put a dampner on some coming, but I do have to give the determination award to new attendee, Zoe, for taking a variety of transport all the way from Northampton to reach us (and back!)!

I led this walk.  We started with the iconic Houses of Parliament in the back drop, ventured into the nearby Archbishop’s Park in the shadow of Lambeth Palace, had a peek into the grounds of the Garden Museum, formerly St Mary’s-at-Lambeth Church, with its graveyard occupants including Captain William Bligh, of mutiny on the Bounty fame, and Church Tower, being the second oldest building in Lambeth having been built in 1377, then onto a stunning Victorian-Gothic building, which was the factory and showrooms established in 1826, from which John Doulton first made and sold, ceramics and stoneware, to the world, the very Doulton of Royal Doulton Pottery fame.  Plus some other local points of interest.  Then it was off alongside the mighty Thames for the next 8 miles, a slight detour around the building site of the Battersea Power Station, on through Battersea Park, showing signs of early Spring with Snowdrops and even Crocuses. A brief stop at the Peace Pagoda, and it was then Westward, walking into the delightful warmth of the sun, blazing our trail, and a refreshing distraction from the featureless chrome, steel, glass and brick terrain typical of this part of Riverside London with its new build, multi-storey, apartments.  We finished at the Rocket Pub, a Wetherspoon’s, at Putney Bridge, for a well-earned late lunch, and a good meal it was!

There was a profusion of good conversation throughout the day.   It is difficult being Event Lead to be part of much of the chat, but I know from when I am an ordinary punter on walks, that the socializing is a really important part of why we want to be part of this great club! The points of interest at the start gave lots to talk about initially and help break the ice.  The chat continued, and not just on the walk, but for a couple of hours in the pub following.  In fact three took it further and continued after the pub to walk back to Clapham, partly to walk off the lunch, but partly to enjoy the delightful sunset over the Thames…..though I am sure that Amyn and Jon will agree with me in saying that our bodies may not have been aching so much the next day if we had joined the majority and got the train home!

I had lots of great feedback and sounded like everyone enjoyed the day!

 

Robert

(Pictures Dave Havell, Amyn Bhagat and mine)

 

Ready to leave, Houses of Parliament before us

Ready to leave, Houses of Parliament before us

Lambeth MemorIal Mellenium Path with plaques bearing many important Lambeth resident's contributions to the world, including a the man who farmed leeches for the hospitals, and the anniversary of the death of a Norwood Queen!

Lambeth MemorIal Mellenium Path with plaques bearing many important Lambeth resident's contributions to the world, including a the man who farmed leeches for the hospitals, and the anniversary of the death of a Norwood Queen!

Queens at the Palace, well Lambeth Palace gates!

Queens at the Palace, well Lambeth Palace gates!

Ornate original home of Royal Doulton Pottery (picture D Havell)

Ornate original home of Royal Doulton Pottery (picture D Havell)

Frieze over main door of the above building depicting John Doulton (seated) greeting potters (picture D Havell)

Frieze over main door of the above building depicting John Doulton (seated) greeting potters (picture D Havell)

Old dock and slipway hidden from view behind a fence, once used by the Doulton factory for Thames access.

Old dock and slipway hidden from view behind a fence, once used by the Doulton factory for Thames access.

At last, we hit the Thames Riverside path!

At last, we hit the Thames Riverside path!

At peace (following toilet stop for several!), at the Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park

At peace (following toilet stop for several!), at the Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park

Evidence of Spring! Snowdrops, Battersea Park.

Evidence of Spring! Snowdrops, Battersea Park.

Albert Bridge in all of its finery, set off by the stunning sky! (picture Amyn Bhagat)

Albert Bridge in all of its finery, set off by the stunning sky! (picture Amyn Bhagat)

Thames Path, note calm Thames, lovely sky, serene walkers!

Thames Path, note calm Thames, lovely sky, serene walkers!

Thanos (red shirt) still perturbed there were not enough, rather, any coffee shops along the bland, apartment blocks suffocating the Riverside Path (and I agree!!!)

Thanos (red shirt) still perturbed there were not enough, rather, any coffee shops along the bland, apartment blocks suffocating the Riverside Path (and I agree!!!)

Wansdworth path (yes, nearly there!)

Wansdworth path (yes, nearly there!)

As above! And a tad closer!

As above! And a tad closer!

At last lunch! And some pest comes around with a ruddy camera!

At last lunch! And some pest comes around with a ruddy camera!

Cheers boys! Not sure who is drinking 2 pints!

Cheers boys! Not sure who is drinking 2 pints!

Poor club Chairman David White getting caught doing justice to a massive burger with the lot!

Poor club Chairman David White getting caught doing justice to a massive burger with the lot!

Ok, if we hold our glasses up will you promise to bugger off!

Ok, if we hold our glasses up will you promise to bugger off!

And more jolly punters!

And more jolly punters!

Amyn about to challenge his arteries, and not sure what Wilco (left) is planning but looks naughty!

Amyn about to challenge his arteries, and not sure what Wilco (left) is planning but looks naughty!

 
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