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There are two good things about a bank holiday Monday. The first is that you get a three-day weekend and the second, that the following working week is one day shorter. We started our bank holiday weekend with a walk from Putney to Hammersmith along the river.
Bank holiday weekends are also a good time for road and rail works, “good” from the point of the engineers, of course, and not necessarily for road and rail users. On our way down to Kings Cross, we found the lower end of Pentonville Road half blocked by this huge crane which, from this angle, dwarfs the clock tower at the station.
This is the church of St Mary, Putney. I liked the texture of the stones in the tower and the pretty blue-faced clock. There is also an elegant sundial on the south face of the tower.
St Mary’s church is close to Putney Bridge which is where the famous annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race begins.
Putney is known for its rowing clubs and on a fine day the river is full of craft, not only rowing skiffs but also motor boats of various sizes and designs. The most famous club is perhaps the Putney Town Rowing Club.
The riverside path took us from Putney Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge. Today it was very busy, frequented by walkers, joggers and cyclists. Towards Hammersmith, a suprise awaits, at least for me, who knew nothing of the huge building that suddenly came into view.
The building is the one-time Harrods Furniture Repository. It was not, as you might imagine, a warehouse for goods awaiting transfer to Harrods store in Knightsbridge, but a place where people going abroad to take up posts in the foreign service could store their furniture and goods pending their return.
Today, it forms part of what is called Harrods Village, exclusive dwellings for the well-to-do. The staff still wear green uniforms like those of the original Harrods employees.
Hammersmith Bridge was designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and replaced an earlier wooden bridge. It was opened in 1887. Despite its metal construction, it is a weak bridge and because it is low, is subject to flooding. It has frequently needed repair.
Opinions differ on the bridge’s aesthetic merits but I find it rather fine, especially when it is illuminated at night.
Hammersmith is not my favourite place but perhaps I would like it more if I knew it better. Today we did not have time, or rather, the inclination, to explore it after our walk. Another day, maybe.
We had a drink at The Old City Arms and then caught a bus back to town and from there home to Islington.