• Regents Park and Frieze Sculptures
  • Tour de Rotherhithe

Regents Park and Frieze Sculptures

Notes from ride leader Jean

Ride went fine & exactly on time . We had 17 setting off ( including us) and found Louise at the Oval as planned . Route was via Vauxhall, Victoria & Hyde Park to Regent’s Park. We stopped at cafe & parked bikes there while some had coffee, some went to sculptures & most did both.

Back was a different route via Kensington Gardens exiting via Queens Gate & straight all the way down to the river. Then via Battersea pk & Clapham Common. Slight rain by the time we got to Clapham – but it didn’t impede us & with a few having peeled off early – about 8 or 10 got back to the Dulwich Park cafe at 2pm.

Tour de Rotherhithe

Ten riders set off on a greyish morning from Canada Water on this “Tour” with Bruce leading. First stop the Hydraulic Power Station. This closed in 1977 and has since been converted into housing, largely using the original buildings. Across Lower Rd to the Blue Plaque for Micheal Caine, born on that site. Next the bandstand in Southwark Park. This is a replica of the original that was made for the Great Exhibition of 1851 then moved to its present location. It dispperared in the 1940s. The replica was put up in 1999 thanks to money from the Lottery, more here. Through to the Thames Path, quick look at the Salter Statues then a long run downstream following the river. Rotherhithe was until the late 20th century dominated by its waterside and the docks connected to it. We passed the Mayflower pub, thought to be one of the main departure points for the pilgrims emigratig to North America. Then the Brunel Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel anywhere. The path geadully tutns right until we are heading due south passing the Surrey Docks Farm and finishing this stretch at South Dock which is still connected by a working lock with the Thames. Quick dip into Historic Deptford, home of the Navy in the 16th and 17th Centuries. One of the functions performed was the victualling** of the ships before they set sail. Turned inland here to Surrey Canal Linear Park along the line of the old Surrey Canal. Passed the remains of the rail bridge bringing the railway into the docks. For 300 years until 1971 the Surrey docks played the dominant role in Rotherhithe and shaped the surrounding area. It was fed by the Canal and also its own railway branch line. Loop past South Dock again then Greenland Dock pausing at the Sustrans statues celebrating local people. These include the late Barry Mason who worked for many years to improve this area, including a lot of work on cycling. In fact he was the person who started the Saturday Healthy Rides. Back to Canada Water via Russia Woodland with a stop to climb Stave Hill.

**Using this word “victualling” led to much discussion about whether I had made up this word (victuals, meaning food or provisions). However, checking a dictionary (via phone and the web) demonstrated the validitiy of this term (and its correct spelling). Some comments on our WhatsApp (The Vulnerables) Group from riders who had not only done an enjoyable ride but had also learnt a new word!

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