Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Dash up the road :: 3800 steps

A quick walk with the family to the Horniman was another opportunity to take a different route and a few photos.

The day was lovely, but as I was rushed there are few really good photos of the walk itself.

The route took us up Davids Road, then up (and I mean UP!) Manor Mount, across Honor Oak Road, and UP! Westwood Park to Horniman Drive. I wonder how many walkers bother coming in the back gate of the Park. It is a steep walk, but there are some great views.

Manor Mount

Manor Mount itself is a curious collection of architecture, a representative capsule of Forest Hill as a whole [I need to take better pictures here]. About half way up is a rather 70's looking attempt at a "Glass House". The design is odd, and somewhat captivating, but I am certain it is totally impractical. Right next door is an old fashioned cottage, painted a delicate blue. Each of these is surrounded by imposing Victorian houses on 3 or 4 floors, and all on a very steep road. Quite odd.

Just up this road are several interesting examples of nicely decorated Victorian villas and semi-detached properties. It strikes me each time I see buildings like these how modern designs look cheap because they don't bother with details. But details are what make private dwellings desirable.

When we made it to the top, the bright blue of the sky only accentuated the fug of brown that blanketed the City. It is a pretty view from here, including the new Wembley Arch, the London Eye and Telecom Tower (other landmarks are also visible, but you have to move further around the buildings to see them).

Finally, we went into the Horniman Gardens for a walk around them, the museum, aquarium and for lunch (always good value here).

The little one was tired after this, so it was a direct route home via London Road, past a building I need to learn more about at the junction with Honor Oak Road, and the Capitol (now a Wetherspoons pub, but also a beautiful 1920's cinema).

At some point I must collect a list of places to research first as each time I go out I find new things to ponder. Somehow I never get round to it.

Monday, 18 December 2006

Under sea adventure

Another walk, the culmination of which was another visit to the Horniman Museum's new aquarium.

My daughter loves it and I have been half a dozen times already and I must admit I am not bored of it yet either. It may be relatively small, but they have packed a lot of interesting stuff, and presented it very well, in that small space.

I will mention the walk there and back in a separate post, but I thought I would share a few of the photos from the visit to entice you to visit too.

1. Poisonous Beauty, 2. It tickles!, 3. Aquarium, 4. Peekaboo

Friday, 15 December 2006

AMAZING! Photos of the Area

I work with the Web every day, and it still never ceases to amaze me.

The latest wonderful discovery is a combination of Yahoo owned Flickr (a great photography based community site), Google Maps (another clever tool from them) and the eternally brilliant bunch of users that come up with bright ideas. In this case, Sumaato Labs.

Now I can take my photos as I walk, upload them to Flickr, tag them with coordinates and place them on a map. Not only can you see where the individual photo was taken, but you can then map them to show all of them in the area.

See here on my Link to Flickr

(note, there seems to be an error at the moment. If you get an error message when you first visit the link, just reload the page and it works fine)

I am placing this link at the top of the Forest Hill Links Section on the left for future reference. This way there is a geographical and photographic record of Forest Hill for you to enjoy.

Now I just need to improve my photography skills, but this is already planned for 2007!


Thursday, 14 December 2006

Second walk :: 5,000 steps


This is almost building into a habit.

There are certain streets I have been down several times just because I live here so I am quite familiar with them, so I thought I would start taking some new detours.

Today's started by taking me past Rockbourne Road and down Dalmain Road. I know the bottom end as the Dalmain Primary School there is already gaining some notoriety for its recent "excellent" OFSTED report. However, the top end is rather non-descript as it borders the industrial estate.

Just before turning down the road there is a building I would love to know more about. It is sandwiched between residential buildings, but my guess is that it has something to do with the railway or post office as it says "Forest Hill 1901" on the frontage. Probably used only for storage now, but it is too new for the canal, so what was it originally?

As you go down Dalmain, and just before passing through a modern housing estate, you come to a junction with Wastdale Road where there is a rather odd site. The (Royal) Naval (Association) Lewisham Club. Not what you would expect in the middle of Forest Hill. Looks rather depressing now, but still seems to being used, even if they seem to have dropped the Royal Association.

Once you go across Brockley Rise, and past the St. Germains pub being renovated (more at a future date) you go up St. Germans Road. There is an interesting mix of architecture here. All sorts of different eras all one after another. Probably a legacy of WWII bombs.

Down again to the South Circular and facing the site of another beautiful building which probably has lots of history to tell, but looks really run down. Stanstead Lodge. Now it is an OAP's centre, but the cracks in the walls and broken guttering don't look very inviting.

Finally, the long way back, parallel to the South Circular along Vancouver and Loxton Road (with its interesting terrace with end turrets) and cutting through the foot paths to Sunderland Road.

Another 5000 steps and a few more things to research.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

It has started :: 3700 steps

Everything is now falling into place.

... I have my pedometer

... I have my map (see a detail)


... I have my new camera (more on that another time)

And we're off!

Yesterday I went for my first walk. 3700 steps, give or take a hundred. I walked past the Church being converted on Church Rise, down Gaynesford Road, along Mayow Road to Sydenham (where I popped in to the newly opened Dolphin Pub for a chat) and back along Dacres Road. [At some point I will find a way to map the routes.]

The walk was longer than this, but I'm only counting the steps within SE23 after all.

Loads of places to report. Gaynesford Road is famous for the Christmas Houses. I must look into this a bit more as they are quite beautiful, particularly the stained glass doors and windows.

Also on Gaynesford Road is the "Red House". It looks like a rest home now, but it is an impressive building so it must have some history. It sits between much more modern blocks and some other smaller Victorian houses.

Red House, SE23

This is one of the fascinating things about living in London. These towns developed over a long period and therefore there is a great mixture of architecture to admire.

3700 steps. That's about 3km, and I have only covered 3 or four streets, but its a start.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

The plan

Today I finally put together my map of SE23 from 'borrowed' artwork (no details to avoid copyright issues) and this suddenly seems too easy.

I need to see if there are statistics on the area covered by London postcodes but SE23 seems a reasonable target for a few months effort. What this map does not show are contours of course, as we have a ******* big hill smack in the middle.

If I find a proper map that I can share with you I shall post it here, but for the moment, check out Multimap.