Forget all your problems, forget all your cares…

I went for a walk along the Thames to central London yesterday – the first time I’ve done that in about 14 years, I reckon. (For the record, it took about five hours to stroll from Charlton to Soho via Greenwich Park, Deptford High Street, the Rotherhithe peninsula and the Millennium Bridge, not including a short stop to watch the end of Newcastle’s Premier League career in the only Bermondsey pub not containing punch-drunk Millwall fans.) Not something I’d planned to do, but I was due to meet some pals in the West End, had walked to the Last Orders exhibition at the Gallop gallery (ta Deptford Dame), and it was such a nice day I decided to extend my stroll.

The last time I walked into town, it was out of neccessity – I had 90p to my name and used that to take a bus home. But, by chance, I popped into a pub on the route to enquire about a job behind the bar – and ended up working there for a year. This stroll was less life-changing, but it was intriguing to see how much had changed on the route – the destruction of Chambers Wharf came as a surprise to me.

But another hardy icon of SE16 has also bitten the dust – no, not Downtown restaurant!
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I remember, for some reason, this being a big deal when it opened – early 1980s? In fact, before the arrival of Surrey Quays shopping centre, wasn’t there an attempt to rebrand the Surrey Docks area as “Downtown”? I was always surprised to see it still open; I’ve no idea how long it’s been shut for, but a it looks like a relic of early Docklands optimism has gone forever. If anyone knows any more about this place, I’d love to hear it.

One comment

  1. […] Here, though, I took a diversion to an earlier waterside redevelopment – Brentford Dock, to meet an old colleague. A late-70s version of what’s appeared at the lock, it sits on an peaceful corner of the river, opposite Kew Gardens and on the site of an old railway goods yard – signs of the old line greet you on the way there, and some of the old industrial land remains. It actually reminded me of some of the earlier developments in Rotherhithe – right down to the closed-down pub in the development, the equivalent of SE16’s Downtown. […]

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