Today is another bitterly cold day, as you will no doubt know, if you have been outside. However, I decided to go out, motivating myself with the need to buy cat food. My goal was Palmers Pet Store in Camden Town.
By the time I reached Camden Town on the 214 bus, it was snowing! Well, given the biting cold of the last few days, I suppose it was no great surprise.
Now that I was out, and despite the cold, I thought I ought to go for a walk, even if only a short one. Palmers is in Parkway and one of the streets crossing this is Arlington Road. I set out along this, as I had not previously explored it.
Arlington Road runs parallel to Camden High Street but is a quiet residential street, with an open prospect and a set of handsome terraced town houses.
I thought I would walk along its length and catch the tube at Mornington Crescent and that is what I did. Mornington Crescent is known as a game and as a tube station but there is also a street called Mornington Crescent, in case you wondered.
The houses are similar in design to those in Arlington Road but the whole street has a rather run-down look to it, as you can perhaps see from the photo. The once elegant houses have been subdivided into flats and in many cases are in a sad state of neglect.
The eponymous tube station dates from 1907. It is one of the less busy stations and has therefore often suffered from restricted opening hours and other limitations. It was closed in 1992, supposedly for lift replacement. Many feared that it would never reopen and, indeed, it was to remain shut for 6 years. However, fully refurbished, Mornington Crescent tube station opened once more in 1998.
On the road island near the station is a rather grubby monument to Richard Cobden, erected probably in 1868 or thereabouts. Unusually, the monument was financed by public subscription and more unusually still, received a donation from the French emperor, Napoleon III.
Richard Cobden became famous and popular with the common people for opposing the infamous Corn Laws and being largely responsible for their repeal in 1846. If that explains why his monument could be financed by public subscription, the donation from Napoleon III was no doubt in gratitude for Cobden’s work in pursuing international peace by, among other things, negotiating an Anglo-French trade agreement with the emperor.
To be honest, I didn’t know this monument existed until I chanced upon it this morning, nor did I know much about Cobden and the Corn Laws, but was prompted to look up these matters when I got home. Thus my walk proved as beneficial to my mind as I hope it was to my body!