THE MYSTERIOUS ESTUARY
It has not been easy to organise walks around the City of London in recent weeks. The weather has been poor and problems with the train strikes have made it difficult to be confident that prior arrangements would not have to be cancelled. Hopefully, by the beginning of March it may be possible to have a regular programme.
One idea that I was able to arrange was a WALK AND TALK event that involved a tour of the Victorian military barracks at Shoeburyness in Essex. The Royal Artillery moved to this remote area of marshland and tidal creeks after it became too dangerous to test weapons and ammunition at Woolwich. Live firing across Plumstead Common was not something to impress the locals!
Shoeburyness was chosen and the barracks were built in the 1850s and the Royal Artillery maintained a presence there until after World War Two. In recent years, the site became neglected until the importance of the area was recognised and the buildings were saved from demolition and re-furbished. They became attractive homes and small business premises and many are now Grade II listed. The adjoining parkland has been landscaped and Gunners Park has become popular with walkers.
The WALK AND TALK attracted a group of my regular walkers who wanted learn more about this isolated part of the Thames Estuary. The weather was grey and overcast but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. The walk lasted just over an hour and enjoyed a snack lunch in the new cafe created as part of Heritage development. That was followed by my PowerPoint talk about THE MYSTERIOUS THAMES in one of adjoining rooms.
So will the WALK AND TALK idea be repeated at other locations? It’s possible in an area which has an interesting history. – and a suitable venue where I can talk about the place and show a supporting PowerPoint.