A Passport for St. George
We left Paddington Basin this morning (St. George's Day) and ventured for the first time along the Regents Canal.More evidence of the growth of interest in waterside location for business, recreation and residence. As usual some of this is sympathetic and some raucous and out of place. Turning into Ducket's Cut (the Hertford Union Canal) we skirt Victoria Park much ignored by those who shun the London east of the City. Perhaps this is because it is not a Royal Park. However it is still attractive and popular with local residents. Turning left again, this time into the Lee Navigation we now follow the eastern edge of the park.
I am not going to join the debate on whether the correct spelling is LEE or LEA. It seems common practice for the river to be spelled LEA and the canalised navigation to be spelled LEE but as they are inter-twined for most of the route to Hertford I shall use either or both as the whim takes me.
In 1983 Fuller, Smith and Turner had 127 pubs. I know this because over a period of five months in that year I drank a pint of bitter in each of them. The purpose of this sojourn was to gain a confirmation in my Fullers Passport of each pub visited in order to receive a box of goodies. And so Dave and I would set out one night a week from the Youngs dominated Battersea to seek a few more of these 127 pubs. I was reminded of this when we chugged past the Anchor and Hope in Clapton today.
The challenge of this exercise was not the consumption of beer (although this was a terrible chore) but actually finding the pubs from the scant addresses provided.
When we arrived at the Anchor and Hope late one dark Thursday night after touring some of the seedier parts of the East End it did not seem quite as attractive as this picture would indicate.
We did out duty (St. George would have been proud of us) and beat a hasty retreat to an area we felt more comfortable with. This is not a project to be undertaken lightly especially as Fullers now have over 360 pubs.
Whilst on the subject of passports don't forget that the definitive history of that document was written by my brother Martin Lloyd. Imaginatively titled The Passport it is available at bookshops good and bad. If you favour nepotism them go to Marcus's website, click on the link to Amazon and order it from there. That way Marcus will earn a commission and I will earn some brownie points.