At a rainswept Edenbridge Town Station, on 1 October 2021, 25 members of London Studies Group 1 convened for their first get together since the Covid outbreak. The reason was a train trip to meet up with our guide for a private conducted tour of Darkest Victorian London. As seems usual, the Southern Rail train was delayed but we were still able to get to our guide, Richard (the third he announced!) on time, and by then the rain had stopped. In fact, it held off for the whole of our walk.
We started at London Bridge where we heard how, at one time, London had dominated the world for the transport of goods. However, over a period of time this had decreased with containerisation being the ‘kiss of death’. As a result, commercial traffic on the Thames has now virtually disappeared.
We then headed for Borough Market, passing the stairs where Nancy met her death in Charles Dickens' novel ‘Oliver Twist’. At the market we were told that it was one of the oldest and largest continuous food markets in London and continues to flourish. We walked through the area believed to be one of the most filmed in recent times (Five Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones etc) and then onto some ‘Peabody Buildings’ that were constructed in the late Victorian times for poor people of the area.