23rd November 2019. Start/finish Peckham Square. In light rain 12 riders joined Harry for his ride around locations in Southwark and Lambeth associated with Charlie.

Really grateful to Harry for taking time out from leading rides at our sister group in Bexley. Here is his report.

This week’s Southwark Healthy ride was a little different, “Charlie Chaplin rides again” a 2 hour easy paced ride following the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin both in Southwark and Lambeth.

We gathered under the grey skies at Peckham square for the 10am start, this week’s leader Harry gave the briefing in theme wearing a Chaplin type bowler hat.  Set off and made our way along the Surrey Canal path picking up a rider en route making it 14 riders.  Entered Burgess Park, headed for the lake and exited at Bagshot Street heading for East Street our 1st stop. This is thought to be the birth place of Charlie Chaplin. We crossed here and onto our 2nd stop, Barlow Street one of the many addresses in the local area where Charlie and his family lived. He did not stay long at each property due to the debts the Chaplins ran up.  Unfortunately the row of original terraced houses have now been demolished, but we did our best to imagine them in the late 19th Century.  Navigated the back streets of Walworth to reach the 3rd location, St Johns Church, where Charlie’s parents were married in 1885.  Continued past the new buildings on Heygate Street, then a short section of CS 7 to Brook Drive and on to West Square where it is believed that Charlie and his family lived at no 39. Moving on from here to our next stop in front of the Imperial War Museum. Prior to the museum opening in 1936, this was the Royal Bethlem Hospital where Chaplin’s mother was admitted with mental health issues. Next on to Kennington road and the Three Stags pub. This is thought to be the last place 11 year old Charlie was to see his father before he passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. Turning into Brook Drive we made our way to what is now the cinema museum, formerly the Lambeth Workhouse where Charlie and his family worked in flea ridden and rancid conditions. This closed and become Lambeth Hospital before emerging as the Cinema Museum in 1998.  The next location, 287 Kennington Road, was another of the Chaplin abodes, as was 39 Methley Street, this house displaying a blue plaque.  Crossing Windmill Row and on to Black Prince Road we made our way to the location of the Queens Head pub which Charlie’s uncle ran.  Charlie helped out here from time to time. Making our way along Vauxhall Walk and on to South Lambeth Road, we entered Vauxhall Park stopping briefly at the model houses that were donated to Lambeth in 1948 by Australia for our help in the war. Used Fentiman Road and CW5 to reach Clapham Road and on to Brixton Road, the location of Glenshaw Mansions where another blue plaque is displayed.  Charlie and his brother Sydney lived here during 1908 -1910.  Making it here in good time we used a direct route back to Burgess park and the Peckham start getting back at 12.02 after completing 10.5 miles.

A fun and enjoyable ride and it was nice to see you all.  The weather stayed mainly dry but lots of wet leaves on the ground being that time of year. Thanks to Bruce for being this week’s back marker. I look forward to leading more Southwark Healthy rides in 2020.

Route at www.mapmyride.com/workout/2508868517.  Info about sites visited in the pdf file attached below.

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