We swapped the green hills of Surrey for the brown walls of London for a six mile walk today. Twenty-seven arrived and met under the clock on Waterloo railway station. The noise in the station was too loud for us all to hear the leader’s introductory talk so we moved outside the station and gathered on the pavement. Noise from passing vehicles posed a similar problem. We seemed fated to miss the leader’s words. When he paused by the Thames to draw our attention to something a flock of seagulls squawked in competition.
The route took us past St Thomas’ Hospital (the site of much building), along South Bank past Lambeth Palace and the memorial to the Special Operations Executive agents with the bust of Violette Szabo, through Lambeth, along Lambeth Walk, under a bridge lined with poems by William Blake, on to Vauxhall then over Vauxhall Bridge to Millbank, past the Tate Gallery and the Millbank Tower, on to Westminster, past Westminster Abbey to Whitehall where the walk ended by New Scotland Yard.
By now many were in need of resuscitation from hypothermia and hypoglycemia. Most headed as briskly as possible, given the traffic and crowds, to the café in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields.