The visit started on the 9:09 from Edenbridge. After the usual greetings we boarded the train and joined the morning commute. There were a couple of last minute cancellations so the overall group size was 11. On arrival in London we walked through Borough Market to the Southwark Cathedral cafeteria, where teas, coffees and muffins were consumed. I have a close affinity with the Cathedral as I was born in Guys Hospital, lived close by and was christened there on 21st March 1951.
We entered the Cathedral and after purchasing a £2 paper guide found that a personal guide was available and willing to give us a guided tour, which we joyfully accepted. We spent some time walking up and down Lancelot’s Passage [a stone passageway adjacent to the Cathedral] where the names of every church in the diocese is displayed. We each found our own church named there. Inside the Cathedral we were treated to a complete tour following the suggested numbered 1 – 16 route. Amongst the very interesting things we saw and had explained were the tomb of John Gower [poet to Richard 11], the Peter Ball carving of Virgin and Child, the Harvard Chapel which commemorates John Harvard [like me a Southwark boy] who was the chief benefactor of Harvard University in America, the 1520 high screen alter, the Nonesuch Chest, the diamond jubilee window, the tomb of Bishop Lancelot Andrews, Shakespeare’s Memorial and window, the Marchioness disaster Memorial, the medieval roof bosses, and finally my favourite Font! There has been a place of worship on the site since 606, due to the vicinity of the river crossing. It was previously known as St Saviours Church and was made a Cathedral in 1905, when the diocese of Winchester was deemed to be too large.