Tuesday 6 July 2010 8.41am
My wife had to go to the Southbank early on Sunday morning to help set up a gig for her students and I arranged to follow on later. I got off the train at Fenchurch St. and had a pleasant walk down Eastcheap and over London Bridge. (I never used to think it was so pleasant when I did it as a commuter years ago. Funny that.) I then cut through by Southwark Cathedral
and on past the Golden Hinde
. When I got near to Blackfriars Bridge
I came to a dead end because of some reconstruction work. I found out afterwards that I could have made a shorter detour, but the one I took turned out to be serendipitous.
I turned left, took a big loop and ended up on Blackfriars Road
, right by the site of the old Sainsbury's factory on Stamford St., where my dad worked throughout my childhood. Naturally I couldn't resist a little tour of the area, the first time I'd been back there since the early 1960's. The old factory building was, to my suprise, still there, but looked very shabby and possibly derelict. The building that was once the staff canteen on Columbo St., where they held the Sainsbury's staff's children's Xmas parties, is also still there, but is now a fitness suite. The parties were held in early January and I've got a photo of me at one of these parties, wearing the cowboy outfit I'd got for Xmas that year. (Circa 1954.) Did I look a dude or what?
I was pleased to see that the little church and churchyard are also still there and well maintained. There were a few people lying on the grass reading their boooks and taking advantage of the deep shade the little churchyard garden afforded on what was a very hot day. I'm sure most of you SE1-er's will know of this little place, but it was a nice surprise for me as some time ago I mentioned it on a thread and someone posted back that it was now all flattened and the churchyard was a hole in the ground waiting to be developed. I guess there was some confusion as to the exact location. Probably down to me as it's so long since I'd been there and maybe I gave a misleading description of the area I was referring to. For those who don't know of it, it's a charming little place, very peaceful and well worth a visit.