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2014 - we have "Great Expectations" for the London Wolves walk this July 5th. Join "Our Mutual Friend" Geoff on a tour of Dickens' London and check out the many places where Charles Dickens lived and worked and used as the basis for many of his novels. Visit the site of  the blacking factory where he worked as a child, the haunt of Fagin and his gang and see the clock which woke Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol". Also visit Dr Johnsons House, Londons oldest restaurant and Sweeney Todd’’s barber shop - fortunately, we will not have time to stop here for a shave or a pie! For those of us who prefer to drink rather than walk
- the great majority, I think - there will be MANY opportunities to stop at interesting real ale pubs en-route, not a "Bleak House"
amongst them! So no excuses about being on "Hard Times", come and join us on Saturday 5th July meeting at "The Penderel’s Oak", 283-
288 High Holborn, at 11am - or earlier if you wish as the pub opens at 8am - for a 12 noon start. Nearest stations are Chancery lane on the Central line and Holborn on the Central and Piccadilly lines

The starting point http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/penderels-oak

Well, the first participants arrived well before 11 for light Guinness  or Titanic breakfasts - indeed some of the large Wetherspoons breakfasts were indeed titanic.

Suitably prepared, other than Rob & Jen who were badly let down on the quality of the Eggs Benedict, our beadle, Geoff soon had us on our way to Melton Mowbray,

Paul decided not to stop for a croissant here

Geoff pointed put the first Dickens link, with the Staple Inn - a magnificent Tudor building  - one of the Inns of Court  - which survived the Great Fire.  And on the opposite side of the road the Prudential Building built in 1878 replaced an block - Furnival’s Inn -  where Dickens is known to have lived, as Geoff lucidly explained.

That seemed to be enough

culture for a while so it it

was off to the Melton Mowbray

(only a few paces away)

Matt gets the beers in, before we quickly move on.  A few steps away Barnard’s Inn was where Pip in Great Expectations lived, while Disraeli was Christened at the Wren designed St Andrew, which is opposite Thavies Inn (Bleak House) at Holborn Circus.  The church’s Court is held at No 7 on the way down to Fleet Street.   A quick shower cooled us down but, fortunately another pub was at hand!

And the next hostelry has nothing to do with Dickens, but it’s a CAMRA pub, the Hoop & Grapes in Fleet Street

Then, off from the Hoop and a cut through the back to Gunpowder Square with its very own canon.

Where our own big cheese finds Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Paul also passes opinion on Johnson

While the lads go to the Gentlemen Only bar, which seems to have a Norwegian Blue behind the bar



        on to  Dr Johnson’s House

Back to Fleet Street but more nasties to come from Sweeney Todd the demon barber whose shop was up this alley; then off to Temple Bar, gateway to the City and the George - opposite the Law Courts - where they serve a real pal ale!

A quick trip to the Old Curiosity Shop (although the real curiosity was walking straight past the White Horse)

Along the Aldwych - just as well the Molineux isn’t called Wolf Hall though with the “bring up the body” strapline!

And so to the Wellington immediately opposite Waterloo Bridge


Hopefully more pix to come from those with more stamina who went on to Covent Garden!