Here's the promised photo. The original copy was awful, but good enough for me. This one is rather better and I shall give up hte unequal struggle at this point.
What you're seeing if you nearly close your eyes and squint carefully is a view looking right to left along my track-plan, the buildings at the left end being where the Pilgrim Gate was. They've now been replaced by some brick flats, I gather because of inaccurate bombing rather than nineteen-sixties planners. A view down towards the old waterfront between the new buildings is the sixth picture (second-last) down at
but I'll get a better one. Soon, just like the other one
At the end of my walk of the supposed track the research became agnother two pubs. I was heading to the bar of the Dolphin, my supposed inland terminus, when there was a banging on the window. It was a walking-stick possessed by an old journo (journalist, but the term may mean something extra to a few here) friend who I first met in the early eighties on Fleet Street. We've met occasionally since the end of the dispute and are, despite everything, friends.
I joined him. He berated me for the 'disabled friendly' walk in the link above. "I admit that you walk up
Blue Anchor, but you don't say that trying to take one of those shopmobility buggies down
is like downhill skiing." I guess I'll add a sidebar. Then he waved the stick and, despite the packed lunchtime bar, managed to get me a wine. We discussed why I was there.
"So where does the track of this supposed railway run?" I told him. He thought for a minute and said "No, surely you'd turn right out of here and then down..." and on reflection he was right. "I spent the morning following your walk in that d*mned buggy, so I know every gradient. It's okay using your track down, but you'd be silly to try bringing a loco back up that way. Use too much coal."
He's an ex-Guards officer who served in three wars and then joined a major daily after de-mob, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that he gnows something about everything. Then his taxi turned up.
"Where's that photo of yours, young man
?" He used the tone of voice my mother used to do when I'd done something very wrong. I told him.
"Come on then, let's see." I had already spent more time than I intended, but he's not someone you argue with. The driver has obviously carried him before: he sighed, then we went to the other pub. I tried to buy him a drink but somehow he ended up paying. He wobbled over to the picture, which is in the dark bit, hence the camera-shake n my bad grab shot.
"Nice. D'you know who it's by?"
"No-one has any idea: all these and the ones at the other pub (shudders, thinking of a trip right the way across town in this traffic) have been on the inventory forever."
"I'll try to trace it for you"
"But there's no trace of it on the internet."
"Young man, if you want to trace a picture, you don't use Google, you use a proper picture researcher. And not all of my old mates from the rag are dead." Somehow he's persuaded the landlady to unscrew the thing from the wall next time I come in so I can get a proper shot. I'm to phone her when I'll be around with my camera. I look forward to having that kind of respect - but perhaps it's the immaculate suit and the Guards tie, which I'll never have.
The taxi hooted. We drank up, Naturally we missed the train on which his disabled attended service was booked, but for some reason no-one at the station minded. They found the wheelchair, worked out when the next train was and he managed to persuade the nice lady pushing the chair to go and get us a drink each, his being one of those giant mixed gin-and-tonics. Then she sat down with her phone to re-book his change of train.
Just before he left, he outlined a rather better back-story than mine. Why hadn't I thought of it? "I spent seventeen years having to get a new viewpoint on some story from Reuters in Singapore that no-one knew anything about."
You'll need to wait for the first installment, because he insisted on editorial approval. He'll never change. Hopefully.