London and the House of Commons

Name of walk London and the House of Commons
Date of walk 2017-11-20

A long weekend in London, visiting son, Tom. Including a walk from Westferry to Tate Modern along the Thames Path, via Limehouse and St. Katherine Dock; and attending a reception at the House of Commons.

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View from Tom's window in Poplar. London's looking a bit murky today.

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Cute dog mural, also from Tom's window.

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We have a meal at Cafe Rouge at Canary Wharf.

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Tom.

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We then head for The Museum of London Docklands, passing a floating church.

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The museum turned out to be more interesting than I expected.

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Tom's office is at St. Katherine Docks.

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I venture into the dark alleys of Sailortown, a recreation of the 1840's to 1850's.

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Second World War period British home front one-man Consol Firewatcher's Shelter for Air Raid Wardens. I don't think I'd like to sit in there with the door shut. In the evening we go to the Vaudeville Theatre to see Oscar Wilde's 'A Woman of No Importance'. It stars Anne Reid, Eve Best, Eleanor Bron and a favourite of mine from childhood, William Gaunt (Richard Barratt in 'The Champions') who is 80 now. Most enjoyable, even Tom thought so!

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The next morning we took the DLR from our hotel at East India to Westferry to walk the Thames Path through Limehouse, Shadwell, St. Katherine Dock, Tower Bridge and on as far as the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern.

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It was interesting to see all the old warehouses and wharfs redeveloped as accommodation.

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Now we think we have gull problems in Barrow!

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The entrance to Limehouse Basin.

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I could live here!

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It is connected to the Regent's Canal.

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You look into the basin from the DLR line. A tube train is on the viaduct. The big boat on the far left was for sale at just under £400,000. There is an estate agents in the basin. I'll leave the cost of the flats to your imagination!

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Back at the Thames.

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Shadwell Basin.

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More redeveloped wharfs.

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The Thames Path weaves in and out. The Prospect of Whitby Pub is the oldest riverside inn dating from the 1520's.

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We pass the Marine Police Headquarters.

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I bet these places cost millions.

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There is some less flashy flats too.

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Approaching Tower Bridge and The Shard.

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Sundial.

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We head into St Katherine Dock, which has shops and eateries.

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So this is where the Queen parks her barge/gondola.

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We have a coffee in the Dicken's Inn and give Tom a ring. It only takes him 15 minutes to get here, a very quick commute. Our walk so far has been 6.6km and has taken us two hours.

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View out from our table.

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Tom's office. He works for Ipsos Mori.

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Autumn colours with Tom's office behind.

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Looking back to the gondola, not a great picture as the sun is coming right at me.

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After lunch we head around the back of the Tower of London. There is an ice skating ring.

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The Coppa Club, where you can dine in miniature greenhouses!

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Cormorant.

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We finally reach St. Paul's where we cross over the Thames to the Tate Modern.

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Crossing the Millennium Bridge.

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Tate Modern. The Turbine Hall is full of swings

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We cross over into the Blavatnik Building, on the 10th floor is a viewing platform. The views over London are excellent, and unlike the London Eye, this is free!

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We have timed our visit well, it is approaching sunset.

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Since this new building opened there have been complaints from local residents about the intrusion caused by us poor people looking into their luxurious homes.

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Yes, I can see their point, but.....curtains? blinds? one-way glass? Maybe they are really just exhibitionists, but don't want to own up to it!

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The Shard.

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Tom's office on the left.

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View across the Millenium Bridge to St. Paul's.

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The Post Office Tower, or whatever it is called now. I went up it as a kid, when it was still classified as a secret!

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The colours are deepening.

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It is actually darker than it appears, but I let my camera compensate for this and I get the best of two worlds.

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Monday was rainy so we toured the music and book shops and National Gallery. We were going to a reception at the House of Commons late afternoon. While we queued up at security we listened to the bells of Westminster Abbey. A peal was being rung for the Queen's 70th wedding anniversary.

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Security is of the airport type, the only difference being that the staff have manners. I had my Swiss card confiscated (contains miniature scissors, file etc) and they were extremely polite about it......I even got it back when I left. The photo is from the terrace of the Houses of Parliament.

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The reception, hosted by MP John Woodcock, was to celebrate 150 years of APB Port of Barrow. A group of some of Cumbria’s most influential business and political leaders (and me) gathered in the House of Commons to celebrate the launch of a new study into the economic impact of the Port of Barrow.

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The sun had just set.

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Looking towards the London Eye.

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Excellent food and drink.

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John on the left and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West on the right.

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John does his speechy bit as MP for Barrow and Furness.

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Brendan does his speechy bit as representative of Barrow Borough Council.

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Brendan being interviewed by James Higgins of The Mail.

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John chatting with ABP Short Sea Ports Director Andrew Harston.

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I have another look at the view, now that it is fully dark.

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John gives a few of us a tour of the House of Commons. He started in the central lobby, but it is one of the areas in which photography isn't allowed. Then we moved off to St. Stephen's Hall.

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On the steps of Westminster Hall.

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Westminster Hall is littered with floor plaques commemorating various events in history. Here are two.

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John leads us out and through to the entrance into Portcullis House where there are offices for 213 MP's and staff, including John's.

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The main atrium of Portcullis House.

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We pass the MP's direct tube line access, and then head back to the main terrace outside the 'Stranger's Bar'.

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I manage to catch up with Brendan again in the central lobby, we have a train to catch so we head back through St. Stephen's Hall. I nip back to security to retrieve my Swiss Card, and as I am now 'armed' a friendly policeman escorts us to the exit.

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Last view of the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), with its scaffolding.

An excellent weekend!

Jo.

 

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