Sunday, 28 September 2014

An evening wander through Limehouse and into the city of London

This particular Urban Wander was a drift in every sense of the word. After a meeting in docklands during the day, I wandered out of the tower block I was in with no real view as to where I was going, other than the vague notion that I needed to get back into Central London. Having spent the past few weekend on and around disused railways in the countryside, I was pleased to find one in the city. At just 120 meters long, it's not massive, but represents the missing 3rd side of a triangle that at one time on the London and Blackwall Railway. After doing some research it would appear that this short section may possibly be converted into something like the High Line in New York.

Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse
Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse

Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse
Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse

Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse
Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse

Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse
Disused railway bridge on the former London and Blackwall Railway, Limehouse

By the time I had got to Limehouse station I had become a little disorientated, not to mention tired as still recovering from a cold, so I hopped aboard the DLR to Bank, and then made my way down to the River Thames. Despite the tiredness, I was pleased I persevered on my walk, and was justly rewarded with a lovely sunset.

Sunset over London, looking towards the Millennium Bridge
Sunset over London, looking towards the Millennium Bridge

Sunset over London, taken from the Millennium Bridge
Sunset over London, taken from the Millennium Bridge

Sunset over London, taken from the Millennium Bridge
Sunset over London, taken from the Millennium Bridge

    

So, that's all for today folks. I'm in mainland Europe for a couple of days next week, so who knows what I will find in search of space.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

A wander along the former Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Having spent some time over the past few weeks in the area of the former Sprat and Winkle railway, I ventured slightly further afield, but still in Hampshire, in search of other disused railways. This particular wander took me to Wickham, and on to the former Meon Valley railway. Much of this is converted into a leisure trail, for both walkers and cyclists. Apart from the many bridges, I didn't think there was much former railway architecture left to see, but exploring deeper into the undergrowth a few things showed up.

The first few pictures are of the old track bed as it crosses over the road out of Wickham next to the church.

Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire

I particularly liked the underside of this bridge, although I'm not sure the photo really does it justice.

Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Wickham, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Walking up a small footpath on to one of the many bridges that crosses the track bed revealed some beautiful countryside. It looks like there are plenty of paths either side of the line itself, but they will have to wait for another day.

Somewhere between Wickham and Droxford, Hampshire
Somewhere between Wickham and Droxford, Hampshire

Scampering down the banks beneath the railway this time I found these two, wonderful old bridges.

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

I was very surprised to see these still in place on many of the bridges. I think they are the fixings that would have held telegraph wires.

Telegraph wire fixings, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Telegraph wire fixings, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Just off the main track bed was what I assume was a siding of some description, where some of the moss covered sleepers are still visible.

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Old sleepers, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

I have absolutely no idea what this metal structure in the foreground is. Perhaps it's just some abandoned machinery and not related to the railway at all?

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Again, here's another structure just off the railway path itself. I would imagine this was at one stage some sort of crane for lifting goods on and off the trains.

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

 One of the many footpaths leading off the old railway line into the countryside beyond.

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Most of the bridges crossing the former railway line were brick. This one still has the brick supports but it looks like the bridge itself was replaced with this metal structure at some stage.

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Remains of an old platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Remains of an old platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Remains of an old platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Remains of an old platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

More telegraph wire fixings.

Telegraph wire fixings, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Telegraph wire fixings, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Remains of a platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Remains of a platform, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

I tried to get a bit arty for these last two pictures, taken through the metal railings on the bridge.

Wickham Church, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Wickham Church, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

Wickham, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire
Wickham, Meon Valley Railway, Hampshire

    

Friday, 19 September 2014

An Urban Wander through the contrasts of Putney, London SW15

I found an opportunity for an evening, urban wander this week in some glorious late summer/early autumn weather. My chosen location was Putney. I'd wandered around Putney a few months ago with a promise to myself to return to explore more.

My wander started from Putney Bridge underground station where I walked across the footbridge that's connected to the railway bridge. Welcoming me after only a short distance was this wonderful ghost sign. Some of the words are very clear, others considerably less so, and the name of the company completely missing.

?
AND
SONS
EVERYTHING
WOODWORK
?

Ghost sign, Putney, London SW15
Ghost sign, Putney, London SW15

I've run along this part of the Thames path before a couple of times, but generally too hot and out of breath to focus on anything, so it made a pleasant change to be able to spend time enjoying the views, rather than gasping for breath. The football stadium across the river is Craven Cottage, home of Fulham. 

River Thames and Craven Cottage, Putney, London SW15
River Thames and Craven Cottage, Putney, London SW15

River Thames, Putney, London SW15
River Thames, Putney, London SW15

As I drifted through Putney along the Lower Richmond Road, my eye was taken by a site of abandonment. A quick bit of internet research showed this to be the former Putney Hospital, closed in 1998. It looked quite eerie in the fading light so I was glad to keep my distance. 

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15
Abandoned hospital, Putney, London SW15

Just outside the former hospital is the beautifully manicured lawn of the Putney Bowling Club.

Putney Bowling Club, London SW15
Putney Bowling Club, London SW15

Across the wasteland from the abandoned hospital is a row of labourer's cottages, erected by the Peat House Charity in 1862. The cottages are only on one side of the road, and I assume the wasteland outside the now fenced-off former hospital opposite the cottages was perhaps once the hospital grounds.

Commondale, Putney, London SW15
Commondale, Putney, London SW15

Being a big fan of doors, I couldn't resist snapping these two pairs.

Labourer Cottages, Commondale, Putney, London SW15
Labourer Cottages, Commondale, Putney, London SW15

Labourer Cottages, Commondale, Putney, London SW15
Labourer Cottages, Commondale, Putney, London SW15

Finally, as my wander was nearing its end, I came across this wonderful, old sign, complete with manicules, on the edge of Putney Common, showing the way to Putney and Richmond.

Old signpost, Putney Common, London SW15
Old signpost, Putney Common, London SW15

    

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Cycling close to the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

Whilst trying to make the most of the summer, I've been out and about in the countryside cycling of late, and not doing much urban wandering. For the past few weekends I have ventured south towards Whitchurch and beyond. A few weeks ago I posted about the Whitchurch Town station and disused railway, but my latest two trips have taken me beyond Whitchurch to Long Parish and Wherwell, where the former Sprat and Winkle line used to run.

Much of this part of the line is now private and inaccessible, so I had to make do with cycling along the road beside it. Where the line used to run through Stockbridge through is now a foot-cum-cycling path, but going that far was pushing the limits of my cycling ability, and today's route was 50 miles as it was, so maybe that's one for a day when I take the car out. Here's a link to a good brochure about the Sprat and Winkle line.

All the pictures below are taken between Wherwell and Long Parish. The first four are just the bridge supports, but the last two are of one of the few bridges still intact.

Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle line, Hampshire
Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire
Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire 

Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire
 Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire
 Remnants of bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

Bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire
Bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

Bridge along the former Sprat and Winkle railway line, Hampshire

    

I'm not sure where my next venture will take me. I'm up in London a few times again next week, so maybe there'll be some more Urban Wandering taking place again, but for now I'm slightly obsessed with me sprats and winkles.

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