Only Fools and Horses do The Knowledge

Opposite the destination are offices of the left-leaning Southwark Council, but when you’re in the heart of the BBC comedy classic Only Fools and Horses, what should those council offices be named? Why Winnie Mandela House of course . . . . . . . . . .

Exclusively for Patrons, here is List 9: Run 143 the next ‘run’ from my travelogue Pootling around London: Manor House to Gibson Square, again I hope you find it both amusing and informative.

Thank You again for your support.

Blackwall Lane SE10 to Southampton Way SE5

We’re still with the aquatic theme today rubbing shoulders with two famous Englishmen, namely Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB the man whose naval brilliance saved the Nation from Napoleon Bonaparte’s ambition of ruling this green and pleasant land. And err . . . Del Boy Trotter.

It’s when you are discovering areas like Greenwich, there’s just too many ‘points’ to check out, so remember that subscribing to a points list, when you are sent regular updates of the current questions being asked at an Appearance, that gives you a fighting chance of remembering their location.

But as I start this run I find myself mildly excited, for Greenwich is one of my most loved villages in London and I’m ending this route in the heartland of a comedy hero.

Though, at the moment it couldn’t be a most prosaic start, for Blackwall Lane is the busy approach to the Blackwall Tunnel, lined with post-war local authority housing and industrial parks. One highlight found is Salutation Road leading to council offices. Do the employees greet each other with: “Hail Fellow, well met?”

Turning west into the road named after our eponymous hero of London’s most famous square, soon on the left is the steep hill of Greenwich Park with the Royal Observatory perched on its summit. It’s the beautiful Queen’s House that catches my eye at the foot of the escarpment.

Designed by Inigo Jones, Queen’s House is said to be the first classical Palladian buildings built in Britain after its architect returned from studying in Italy. Queen Mary, wife of Dutch King William loved the view of the Thames from this little elegant house, so when London’s most celebrated architect was charged with building on the river’s edge, Christopher Wren erected it in two halves. It was Mary who, subsequently changed the building’s use to a seaman’s hospital, which surely proves that our armed forces were respected more after fighting in the seventeenth century than some of today’s heroes.

Moving forward Trafalgar Road has become Romney Road and then Nelson Road, yet another reference to the seagoing hero.

On the right, I notice a shop called ‘Nauticalia: The First Shop in the World’, that would be before the Meridian Line was moved. In 1884, despite opposition from the French, it was decided that the Prime Meridian should be sited passing through Greenwich. Later a brass line was positioned outside the Observatory for the sole purpose that visitors could straddle the marker, claiming to stand on both halves of the Globe. Oh dear! Because of the extreme accuracy of GPS and taking into account the slight fluctuations of the earth’s sphere, the Meridian now is positioned 335ft further east. So the shop’s claim to be the first shop is, well slightly disingenuous.

On my left is the elegant Royal Hill, which must be one of the most desirable thoroughfares in London, but the journey soon proves that London really is a collection of diverse villages. For soon it’s Deptford and New Cross, both not known for being affluent areas, and riding on into Queens Road, not to be associated with the aforementioned Royal Hill.

Driving on into Peckham Road and on to my destination. Stopping at the junction of Southampton Way, I have to look for points. The most obvious is the prestigious Camberwell College of Arts whose alumni include designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton; and film director Mike Leigh.

But the best is saved to last. Opposite the destination are offices of the left-leaning Southwark Council, but when you’re in the heart of the BBC comedy classic Only Fools and Horses, what should those council offices be named? Why Winnie Mandela House* of course.

*Killjoys have now redeveloped Winnie Mandela House, retaining the frontage and building affordable housing, a cafe and exhibition space for the nearby Camberwell College of Art to the rear, at the same time renaming the building Pelican House. The original Pelican House was built toward the end of the seventeenth century and got its name from models of pelicans that stood on brick pilasters at the entrance gates.

Knowledge of London and hypnotherapy
Many people when they go for their appearances suddenly find all the Knowledge of London they have acquired though hours of study and miles of riding on the ‘runs’ disappears as soon as they are asked a point or they have to ‘call over’ one point to another. They find themselves shaking, sweating, and stumbling over the most basic of words and points, annoyingly when they leave the Appearance it all becomes crystal clear again!

Sometimes that fear and anxiety can start in the appearance, in the waiting area, entering the building in Blackfriars or on the way there.

Hypnotherapy might be the solution. According to D McCarthy a member of the Hypnotherapy Association, the mind is trying to protect you from what it perceives as a danger because of the anxiety it generates, and since you keep going back it increases the fear to try to stop you.

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