Wednesday, 7 March 2007

The back bit of "To Brockley View and Back"

At this point, my own walk took me out of SE23, but I shall mention one or two things I saw "across the border".

Just at the junction of Brockley Rise and Stondon Park Road is a church I now call "God's bunker". It has always struck me as a rather sombre, solid and defensive kind of building, nothing like the elegant spires of Christ Church or others. I wonder what inspired the builders?

Passing "The Brockley Jack" pub (another one for a future visit, although the wine list looks dire), I must admit I paused for a little lunch. This was a lunch hour walk after all. I will make a little gentle plug for a great wine bar and wine shop called Mr Lawrence in Crofton Park. I stopped in for a soup and a glass of wine from their selection of dozens available by the glass. The look is a little old-fashioned, but the owners are extremely friendly and the food and wine they offer are very good. Check them out!

To head back, I crossed the railway at the footbridge at Eddystone Road as I have often wondered where this led. You come out just at the far corner of the Honor Oak Sports Ground and New Camberwell Cemetery. The Crematorium and its peaceful garden are in this corner.

There is a fenced path that leads you between the garden and the cemetery to the central chapel (this path, by the way, is back into SE23 territory). It is an interesting walk, particularly if, like me, you are not used to visiting graveyards. We have several very large graveyards in the vicinity and they do offer a glimpse of our history, and seeing so many of them is quite ... humbling.

Following the path around the sports ground brings you to the play park for kids and then past the allotments on One Tree Hill, finally back to Honor Oak Park road. I found an amusing sign at this point, but maybe it is also a message?

From here, a quick walk directly back towards home across the railway, back along Grierson and Garthorne Road, then Beadnell Road. These are now pretty suburban streets with one or two oddities (like the palm trees outside this house), saved from the traffic elsewhere by having been mainly closed off as a through route. Lucky them!

Another strange site along Stanstead Road (the quiet bit) is this garage obviously built for either horses or even carriages. There are one or two surviving doors like this around here.

Lastly, past the Forest Hill Hotel. Apparently this might have been a brewery too at some point, but now is a nice quiet pub, one of the unreconstructed type, run by two musicians and therefore a good place for gigs. Might be worth checking out at some stage. I know my brother-in-law from Canada sought this place out when he visited looking for the "authentic" English pub experience.

This was a long walk, but worth it. And in case you are wondering about the lack of "step counts", that'll be my bad memory. I keep forgetting my little step gizmo at home. Doh!

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