The City at night
Walking to the South Bank in Waterloo, starting at Railton Road is about 6 miles. I love this walk, especially at dusk. The city at night has a magic all of its own. Walking at night is a great time to think. It’s nice to be able to stop when and where you want, with no particular place to go; that’s the way I like it.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
As I walk from my flat in Railton Road, the 1st place of interest I come across is Carlton Mansions; which was soon to be demolished. It has served as a coop for over 40 years. It was a three-layered tenement type building, with huge staircases. I seem to recall getting lost in there, under the influence of something or another. The design of the flats were all unique. I have known several of the tenants there. They are pokey but at £10 a week or so, worth it.
Originally, the building was put up to provide accommodation for the railway workers, as the building is situated on the corner of Coldharbour lane & Railton Road. Back in the Victorian times, when the railways were being laid down all over London; the accommodation was often built to house the immigrants who had travelled to work there.
In the late 70’s it was taken over by squatters who formed a coop. The Inhabitants were forced out of their beloved homes recently and rehoused by the council. There were many a wild night parties held in Carlton Mansions
Walking in London can be like a new adventure!
When walking towards Kensington, I decided to try heading down a few unfamiliar streets. There are always new developments in London, and sometimes it can feel like you are actually in a new city.
The other side of the coin is the death of the beloved old buildings. It was sad to see The Old Cricketers pub being prepared for the scrapheap.
The last time I went to a gig there, I saw Rat Scabies from Punk, band ‘The Damned. As well I saw The Glitter Band without Gary.! I guess, things have to move on.
Walking at night gives the city a glow that creates a magic place to be.
As I amble down Kennington Lane heading to the South Bank the memories flood back. In the early 80’s I worked as a part-time Library Assistant. in the cut at Waterloo. I lasted in the job a year, as I found it too boring.
If I had the sense, I would have gone to college and studied for the librarianship course. I could have got myself a decent well-paid job. Although now those jobs are being cut; so maybe I was right to carry on being a loafer!
Walking about at night, I can ponder while roaming.
I was far from being sensible in those days & I packed in my job to marry an Israeli friend,( we were playing music together) At the time, music was all that mattered to me. He wanted to avoid being in the army, and we were having a good time playing music, but I for some reason wanted to travel to New York City. He was happy to give me money to do this. I stayed for a month.
We both benefited from this arrangement, I was looking for something but I’m not sure what. I went there with some vague ideas about travelling and being a musician. I thought NYC might be better than in London. It was fantastic but not as good as London when it came to the music scene. I missed everybody when I was away. I tried to extend my visit and travel further to California but that’s another story.
Until next time, keep on keeping on.