Upon the Thames

My major goal of the day was to start research for a book on women in the fire brigade during the blitz of London during World War II, at the National Archives in Kew. First I left Swiss Cottage for Richmond in search of fish and chips. After taking the train from Hampstead, I walked through the little town to meet up with the river Thames. Boats in hibernation for the winter dotted along the shore. Richmond is a borough of London situated on the Thames River; called Richmond Upon Thames. Its Green, a 2,000 acre park, is home to two cricket teams and dates back to medieval days when jousting was the sport of the day. A small theatre dating back to the end of the Victorian era in 1899,is along the Park.

The bus from the centre of Richmond to the National Archives took me past Kew Botanical Gardens. I have heard it is worth a see. Chambers’ Pagoda built in 1762 could be seen from the bus. https://www.kew.org/ The large building that houses the archives is situated in a quiet neighborhood not far from the gardens. The archives not only has reading rooms to see documents and books of interest, it also has free events throughout the year. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

The train station back to the centre of London is a short walk from the Archives. There was also the option of riding the bus for an even cheaper fare. I opted for the bus to Waterloo Station where I took a short tube ride to Southwark Cathedral just up from the Thames for Evensong and an evening of Christmas carols. The Southwark Cathedral dates back to the 1100’s, but there has been a place of worship there since the 7th century. The architecture is of Norman influence as are most churches of that time period after the Norman Conquest of 1066. During Shakespeare’s day actors performed there. A stain glass window and a memorial commemorates this.Choral singers from all over London joined a local girls school and musicians to fill the church with beautiful sounds of the festive season. The audience joined in for several songs. After the carols there were refreshments of mulled wine, mince pies and shortbread. https://cathedral.southwark

The rest of my evening would consist of a movie and laundry back at my place.

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