I had a disjointed return to trainspotting last May – various interruptions due to the ongoing Pandemic and also some reluctance on my own behalf. However, from mid-January I have been much more active, using my hobby as the driving force for getting out to exercise.

One thing I have been doing is taking an indirect route to my destination – this forces me to change trains which throws in some ‘up and over the bridge’ type exercise in the middle of the journey. It also gives some variety to the trains I travel on – which is good for that other trainspotter desire, haulage. Quite why we persist with that term when almost all the trains we travel on are self-contained units these days, I don’t know. I guess no one’s come up with another suitable word. But I digress.

Here’s an example of the sort of cross-London trip I’m talking about. For my ‘On Borrowed Time’ post I took two runs out to Clapham Junction. The direct route from where I live would be the Northern Line down to Waterloo and then a South Western Railway train out from there. Instead, I routed Northern Line to King’s Cross…

…Metropolitan / Circle Line to Farringdon. Then it was Thameslink to London Bridge. From there I took a Southeastern service to Waterloo East…

..Then it was short walk into Waterloo itself to get on the train out to Clapham Junction…

…If you were counting, that’s 5 different types of traction for haulage and a lot of platform changing on the way – repeat for the return trip and that’s 10. You get the idea – and see how how it’s encouraging me to do more walking πŸ™‚

Yesterday was a day for a wander about – no specific destination planned and make things up as I go. Northern line down to Kentish Town, then a Thameslink service to West Hampstead Thameslink…

…A short walk across to West Hampstead Overground station and a Class 378 across to Willesden Junction. The line north from there is shared between Bakerloo and Overground services, so I took the Bakerloo train…

…north to Wembley Central. A walk along High Road with the Fire Brigade offering a diversion…

…it’s always busy along there at lunchtime! Then it was onto the platform at Wembley Stadium station…

…to catch a train into Marylebone…

Back on the Bakerloo Line to Baker Street and on the Metropolitan to King’s Cross where Harry Potter was not to be seen but several Azuma’s were…

Then it was time for a quick pint in The Euston Flyer on the way across to Euston station…

..Where I caught an Overground service back out to Willesden Junction and then changed to another going east as far as Gospel Oak. From there it was onto the Goblin for the short hop to Upper Holloway – Thank god it was a short hop (train was full of Schoolgirls! 😬) Then a walk up the hill to get back on the Northern Line at Archway and home. That’s 16000 steps and quite a lot of haulage 😊

I had a lot of thoughts for this CMMC – Some statues of English Queens perhaps. Or a couple of Chiltern Queens buses. I could have shown a couple of Squirrels but Cee has that covered and then there’s the Mushrooms growing in the garden! In the end, I’ve decided to go with some Public Houses πŸ™‚

The Public House is a part of British culture that finds itself under threat from changes in society over the last half century. Many Pubs have closed down – sometimes because the high street they used to serve has moved, taking the shoppers with it to another part of the town. That’s certainly true of East Finchley where the old Market Place is now a children’s playground and the two pubs that served the centre of the village pre-war are now long since gone. A couple of shops on the new high street have become pubs in their place – though in many areas, once the pub has gone, it’s gone for good. The Red Lion and The Dick Turpin serving my local area have gone and not been replaced – Here’s a photo of the ‘Turpin during demolition…

…However, there are still lots of pubs around. Celebration of the Monarchy is one of the commonest themes in pub names. The Rose and Crown, The Royal Oak, The King’s Head and The Queen’s Head are popular choices. We used to have a Queen’s Head in Church End, but that’s yet another pub that has closed and been repurposed. However, in New Barnet there is The Queen’s Arms…

…Staying with the royal connection, this is an unusual one, The Queen’s Head and Artichoke in Marylebone…

…An unusual combination! Reputedly the original ale house on the site was built by one of Queen Elizabeth I’s gardeners, which may explain the odd name. The pub / restaurant closed during the pandemic and is currently under builders sheeting – I wonder if it will re-emerge as a pub or if it has joined the long list of permanent closures.

Another popular theme in Pub names revolves around pagan customs and beliefs. The Green Man is common – we used to have one in Finchley but that has also gone – a community centre stands on the site now. There are lots of pubs which reference the Sun. In Notting Hill there is The Sun in Splendour – a pub I visited occasionally when I was working in the area as a young trainee but sadly don’t have a photo of. Instead, here’s The Sun Inn in Barnes…

…See, just when you thought there weren’t going to be any Buses… Oh, and there’s a brace of Bus Stops too! πŸ˜‰

A final Public House and another odd name, The Auld Triangle…

…This is a reference to the Harp – an indication of it being an Irish public house. Usually a sign of excellent Guinness. However, it was originally The Plimsoll Arms. It has changed ownership during the pandemic and will again be called The Plimsoll. On a Saturday, you’ll find it full of Gunners fans, because it’s close to the Emirates Stadium…

…I digress πŸ˜‰ Hope there’s enough Q’s and U’s in that selection πŸ™‚