Spoke 157 – Lambeth Walk

Thursday 22nd October 2020 (2 min read)

I was so frazzled from Kentish Town Road that I ducked down back streets: Greenland Place – named after a person rather than a country – and Bayham Street. Here I heard a bang and, looking up, saw a man on a bike spinning away from a car. It was my second accident of the week. London is a madhouse of cov-psychotic driving at the moment. The only safe roads are ones where traffic has come to a standstill, which luckily means all the main routes into and out of central London. The deadliness of these roads is long-tail and need not concern us.

Wandering through Somers Town, it was nice to look at my commute to the British Library as a spoke tourist. I took a photo of The Cock Tavern in Phoenix Road. I had no idea it was Grade II listed. Also, some redundant fire escapes and a bookshop, Dar Al-Hikma, which translates as ‘House of Wisdom’, which was the name of a library belonging to the Abbasid Caliphs during the Islamic Golden Age.

Across the Euston Road, I took a photo of the front door of The Place, home of The Contemporary Dance Trust. The building was once the headquarters of the Artists Rifles, a British Army regiment (‘only gentlemen need apply’ stated their recruitment slogan) set up in 1859 amid fears of renewed French aggression. Many famous artists, including John Everett Millais, Holman Hunt, and William Morris, were involved with the regiment over the years.

The poet, Edward Thomas, joined the army here.

I crossed the Thames at Waterloo Bridge and ducked under railway spokes to Lower Marsh and the Archbishop’s Park before recrossing via Lambeth Bridge. Home on a similar trajectory to my outward journey but further west.

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