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Blog: London Stone

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I met The Foundations Of My Building after work last night for a scenic stroll around... er... some railway stations. To be specific, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street, for reasons VARIOUS.

Blackfriars was first - it's been refurbished, so The Trains In My Tube Tunnels wanted to have a look at what it was like. It was quite nice, though not entirely finished, and had those big GREY STEEL barrier things like at St Pancras, and the huge open entrances to the platform that seem to be the THING nowadays. I realised that in the future you'll probably be able to tell stations built in the first couple of decades of the century BY features like that - FRESH looking but quite STERN.

We walked through London Town to our next stop, Cannon Street, on the way MARVELLING how one part of London can seem totally ALIEN, only to suddenly be somewhere you know quite well 60 seconds later. Everything seemed UNKNOWN, for instance, until we all at once noticed we were passing The Bouncy Bridge. Cannon Street is one of those mainline stations in London that neither of us have never BEEN to, so we thought we'd go and see. As The Tickets In My Slot said, it's strange to think that places like this are a HUGE part of some people's lives, passing through them every day, but most of us have no idea they're even there. It was ALSO big, open, bright and faintly STERN.

As we came out I noticed a pub over the road called "The London Stone", and recognised it from the story "Absolam" which has been running recently in 2000AD. I pointed it out and told The Beer In My Pump what I knew of the stone itself, all of which I'd got from the aforesaid story. "Let's find it!" she said so we crossed the road and there it was - as you can see from this person's blog it's hardly CONSPICUOUS, and I only recognised it from Mr Tiernan Trevallion's EXCELLENT illustrations of it in the comic strip. It's a funny old thing, POSSIBLY mythical and possibly nothing of the sort - the Wikipedia Article is well worth a read.

We went to look at the pub The London Stone. "It didn't get a very good review in 2000AD" I said, and when I got in I saw that it was basically Bog Standard With Trimmings, also little in the way of BEER, so we carried on with our walk. We headed for Fenchurch Street, which again neither of us had ever been too but which, like most British people, we know from MONOPOLY.

On the way we popped into The Ship, one of those MEGA OLD London pubs that have been there so long that the entire street plan and other buildings has had to be built AROUND it. You go down a little alley underneath a giant concrete building and suddenly find yourself in Ye Ancient Courtyard, all cobbles and weird outlines. I LOVE pubs like this, where hundreds of years' worth of Londoners have come for a drink after work. Currently there are many BANK TYPES braying away, and in another hundred years it'll probably be BRANE HOLOGRAM TECHINICIANS or something. It's a reminder of one of the most BRILLIANT things about living in London - it feels like a place where all sorts of things have HAPPENED on every street, and where things will continue to happen in THE FUTURE!

Suitably enervated we wandered round the corner to try and find Fenchurch Street. We soon came into a CLEARING in the forst of new buildings to find a GORGEOUS old fashioned station. Inside it was techinically rather less old fashioned, but it felt MORE so, as it was a lovingly kept example of classic 70's station design - big rectangular tyles, a nice big open desk to talk to staff at, a proper multi-layered Station Pub and a WH Smiths. We both really really liked it, and felt the urge to one day visit SHOEBURYNESS, just so we'd have an excuse to use it.

We had to get back to Leytonstone, however, so we set off in search of Tower Hill Station. Clearly many many people have got lost over the years as there were LOADS of signs pointing the way, and we soon found ourselves looking over at The Tower Of London. WOW! In all the years I've lived in London I've STILL not go around to visiting it, and rarely go over to this part of town, so was once again MASSIVELY IMPRESSED by how MASSIVELY IMPRESSIVE it is. It's a bloody great big ancient CASTLE! It's AMAZING!

We hopped onto the district line and headed home, full of the joys of THAT LONDON. It may have it's fair share of idiots, stinkiness and travel issues, but GOR BLIMEY it is an amazing place to be in!

posted 2/3/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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