DISCOVERING ISLINGTON & NEARBY ON FOOT

Anne WeymanGilbert VieriThe Discovering Islington and Nearby on Foot group’s walks enable members to get to know the nooks and crannies of Islington and neighbouring boroughs through a 1-1½ hour walk.

 

Group Coordinators: Anne Weyman & Gilbert Vieri (click to contact)
When

Generally the morning of the second or third Wednesday in the month.
Where

Mostly in Islington and neighbouring boroughs, with the occasional visit being a bit further afield.


Walks usually start at 10am and last for up to an hour and a half and finish at a café for refreshments and the opportunity to talk about what we’ve seen. Most walks are led by an iU3A member who is knowledgeable about the area being visited but sometimes the leader is from another organisation.

If you would like to become a member of this group please use the email link above to contact the Coordinator.

The next section shows the visits planned and if it is open for sign-up yet. Once indicated that it is open for signing up, the date will turn blue, and if you click on the date this will take you to a sign-up form with just a few simple questions to complete.

Booking for each visit will open two weeks before it takes place.

 

Our Autumn Programme
Wednesday 20 March — WW1 & Islington
Wednesday 17 April — Green Walk from Friends’ House to Covent Garden
Wednesday 15 May —
Repeat of the very popular visit to Canary Wharf led by Elizabeth Mansbridge
Wednesday 12 June — Hyde Park
led by Elizabeth Mansbridge
July (date TBC) —
our annual exploration of how the King’s Cross Development is progressing

Full details on 'Beacon'.

Recent Visits
February — Curious Kentish Town
. I would likKentish Town Baths Feb 2019e to thank Martin Plaut for guiding us in the discovery of “Curious Kentish Town” and sharing his expert knowledge of this area. If you could not join us or indeed did and want to learn more I would suggest you read his book on this subject.

The walk started in his own garden, which still has one of the Anderson raid shelters. We went on to see what has become of the famous piano factories and learnt about the rent battle D.Cook and A. Rowe fought with the Borough of St Pancras, and the plaque showing where they barricaded themselves in their flat in 1960. One particularly interesting building is the Public baths, which has a swimming pool designed to be emptied so it becomes a public hall. We saw the plaque marking where Boris lived from 1986-1996.  No, not that Boris, but the cat! We passed a few famous historic pubs like the “Oxford Tavern” and “The Assembly House” and saw Leverton Street and its pastel painted houses. We found ourselves in a most unexpected lane where you could not have imagined you were in the middle of London but somewhere else in a little quiet village in the country.

And as a bonus we enjoyed the Spring-like weather. The walk ended in a local bakery.


Canary WharfJanuary
— On a dry but rather cold Wednesday, the group ventured to Canary Wharf, guided by Elizabeth, who had cleverly planned a couple of indoors moments to allow us to warm up. She met us at Angel station, Islington and took us to West Ferry road. That was good news for me as I knew I wouldn’t get lost at Bank as I usually do. From the creation of West India Company to the buzzing financial, commercial and residential centre it has become, Elizabeth’s fascinating commentary gave us a good picture of what life was like for workers in the docks, bringing alive the development of the area with many references to social history. She also pointed to us the variety of that area which we often consider just as one of high rise buildings referring to the extensive public — and very much admired — art collection and showing us the unexpected gardens and greenhouse. We also invaded the shop of Canary Wharf residential to see a model of the whole area. I think the salesman realised we were not prospective buyers but he nevertheless made us feel welcome. The walk ended outside the Museum of London, which some of us decided to visit. Altogether a most interesting walk, many thanks Elizabeth. It attracted a lot of interest and many members only made it to the waiting list. But Elizabeth has offered to repeat the exercise later on this year, so watch this space!

Gem Christmas 2018Christmas lunch —  Several members of the group met at the "Gem", a Kurdish restaurant on Upper Street which seems to have become popular with iU3A, as there were two groups there. It was a happy event, with generous portions of very good food. We started with a selection of cold and hot meze, then there was a main dish we could choose from their specialities and a selection of sweets to end the meal. We enjoyed a relaxed time and I am not sure we could have gone on to further discovery of Islington ON FOOT. To everybody present and those who could not make it I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sculpture in the CityNovemberSculpture in the City: We were just so lucky with the weather. After heavy rains on the day before that were forecast to continue on the day, the sky cleared in time for our 10.00am start and we were gratified with sunshine. OK, it was rather cold but we still enjoyed our walk about the square mile and discovered the installations (twenty in all) of internationally famous artists dotted around the City’s public spaces. My favourite ones were the “Bridging Home” where this Asian wooden house balanced on the bridge in Wormwood makes clear reference to the impact of migration and contrasts with the steel architecture of the area. Another favourite is Marina Abramovic’s tree outside 99 Bishopsgate complete with singing birds (a recording) which could be heard in spite of the heavy traffic. Nancy Rubins’s “Crocodylius Philodendrus” was also very impressive. I can only describe it as an explosion of a variety of metal animals. The picture above will give you a better idea. One item was not part of the exhibition but can be found in that place called “The Garden” where the ceiling of the courtyard inside the building is used to project video clips from nature: trees, water, etc. Fascinating!

To my mind the most striking effect of this open air exhibition is the constant contrasting interaction between the art works, the highrise glass and steel buildings and the little churches and other ancient buildings still standing in the city. There is still time for you to see this exhibition on your own. Just go online to sculptureinthecity.org.uk or visit the tourist office in St Paul’s Yard to pick up a map and more information.

October — Brockwell Park:
The group spent a happy two hBrockwell Park Oct2018ours visiting the Grade II* listed park and historic landscape of Brockwell Park in spite of the continuous drizzle. Our guide Ann Kingsbury, Chair of the Park's Stakeholder Forum, explained that the park’s land had belonged to the mediaeval hospital of St Thomas Southwark until it was appropriated and then sold by Henry VIII. John Blades, an early 19th century glass manufacturer, bought it and built the park’s Brockwell Hall and the Lodge on Norwood Road between 1811 and 1813. 

Norwood’s first MP, Thomas Lynn Bristowe, masterminded the purchase of the estate to become a public park and it was laid out between 1892 and 1910. We admired the magnificent walled garden that he created and the nearby pond and were impressed by the fortitude of the swimmers in the 1930s Brockwell Lido.

Stretching ‘nearness’ to Brockley Park was well worth it. Several of us are looking forward to visiting again in the spring or summer to enjoy the wonderful landscape and the walled garden again and to see the wildflower meadow in bloom. 

Previous Visits
To see our archive for our previous visits have a look by following the links below.
For October 2017 to September 2018 look here.
For September 2016 to September 2017 look here.


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