Too Many Broken Hearts Have Fallen in the River

Thanks to Transpontine for giving me something to do this evening when both trains and Tubes started to snarl up – a walk organised by the South East London Folklore Society, an organisation I’ve been meaning to catch up with for a long while.

It was a “love stories in reverse walk featuring headless queens, golden castration devices, deceased lovers and phantom ex-wives” taking in both London Bridge and Tower Bridge as well as the riverside walks in between them.

Oh, and not forgetting a couple of facefuls of wet snow and being thrown off a riverside walk in the City by some miserable South African security guard – hey, these Square Mile institutions know how to regain the love of the public, eh?

Led by author Chris Roberts (no, not that one, but a walking encyclopedia of folklore and offbeat history), it was a cracking way to spend an evening, and I’ve learned the power of a good ghost story – and a very good yarn about sewer workers who dreamt of a rat who’d turn into the woman of their dreams…

Crossing London Bridge, the snow combined with the floodlights at the PriceWaterhouseCoopers HQ to create this appropriately spooky effect…


SELFS meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Old King’s Head on Borough High Street – after my trip out in the snow with them, I think I’ll be back to see what else they can spook me out with… Chris also edits a “penny dreadful”, One Eye Grey, full of yarns about an alternative London, and is well worth a look.