Friday, 23 October 2009

Walk 11 - Primrose Hill

"Great mounds had been heaped upon the crest of the hill"
And this is where we ended it.
Ian's leg was really giving him trouble and the incline is pretty steep.
Didn't really matter as, if we did climb to the top, there'd be nothing to see - the camp being an excavation. I'd have to take a photo of the ground.
So that's that.
Despite Ian's injury, we had a really good time and it wasn't that far - maybe 6 miles?
Recommended for a different sort of day out, but i'd urge you to go on a Sunday. a week days' noise and pollution would put the damper on it.

Walk 10 - St Edmund's Terrace

"I hurried through the Red Weed that choked St Edmund's Terrace"...
Again, apart from one or two buildings, its all modern here.
There's a school in this road - be nice if they were taught of the literary events that happened on their doorstep.

Walk 9 - The Martian on Primrose Hill

"On the summit, towering up towards the fading stars, was a third Martian, erect and motionless like the others"
Modern development has completely obliterated the view up towards the hill i'm afraid.

Walk 8 - The second Martian

""Far away, through a gap in the trees, i saw a second Martian, as motionless as the first, standing in the park towards the Zoological Gardes."

Walk 7 - The Handling Machine

"I came upon the wrecked Handling Machine halfway to St Johns Wood station".
The mansions are all still there and this is about half way, so a good contender for the building Wells meant.
Wonder if the occupants know of such things?

Walk 6 - Regents Park

"And as i emerged from the top of Baker Street, i saw far away over the trees in the clearness of the sunset the hood of the Martian giant from which this howling proceeded."
Afraid there's no shots of the walk through Portman Square or up Baker Street, as i was pretty concrned about Ian and was focussing on him making it.
Anyway, here's the start of the park, still unchanged and easy to imagne a Tripod above this skyline.
If i had computer skills, i'd put one in.

Walk 5 - Marble Arch

"I came into Oxford Street by the Marble Arch"
Out of the calm of the park and into the bustle of the modern world.
Just before here we hit a problem - Ian ripped a tendon in his leg crossing the road. We sat and had lunch to see if it'd get better. It didn't, so we slowly walked down to a chemists for a bit of first aid.
Was touch and go whether we'd carry on but Ian was a trooper and gamely hobbled on.

Walk 4 - Serpentine Bridge

"The voice grew stronger and stronger, though i could see nothing above the house tops on the north side of the park, save a haze of smoke to the north-west".
MUCH more like it. A few minutes into the park and everything goes still, calm and quiet. Very hard to believe you're in London and easy to believe you're back in Victorian times.
No sign of any house tops northwards, the trees having massivly grown in the meantime.

Walk 3 - Hyde Park junction

"At the top, near the park gate, i came upon a strange sight - a bus overturned, and the skeleton of a horse picked clean.
The gates still there, but its now a very modern junction, with nothing Victorian about it at all.
Ian and Samuel seen here scouring for horse bones.

Walk 2 - Exhibition Road

"All the large mansions on each side of the road were empty and still, and my footsteps echoed against the sides of the houses.
No chance of that these days - even on a Sunday morning the traffic was pretty busy. The mansions are still there though, and very lovely they are too. That's Ian in the foreground, trying to get away from my reading of the book aloud as we walk.

Walk1 - Natural History Museum

It was near South Kensington that i first heard the howling... It came in a full tide down Exhibition Road. I stopped, staring towards Kensington Gardens, wondering at this strange, remote wailing.
So here we are right next to the Museum, which the narrator considers climbing to the top of to get a better view.
The right side looking northwards is pretty much unchanged from Wells' time but, after the Museums, the left is a hideous mess of new buildings.

My WOTW Walk.

Been a long time away i know. Back now and, to kick it off, thought i'd start with something i've had in mind to do for quite a few years now - follow the narrators walk through dead London at the end of the book.
Its a pretty easy job as Wells is very descriptive of just where the fellas going, all you need is a copy of the book and an A-Z.
So, last Sunday, me, my son Samuel and good friend Ian set off to see just what the route looks like now.
Starting point was South Kensington as my son is only 8 and didn't want to tire him out.