Cockfosters to Turkey Street
Saturday 11th November 2017
|Co'fosters Trent Pk Enfield Ch Clay Hill Rose & Cr'n Turkey Br'k Forty Hall Finale Features Read Me|
Colin had been with CLOG for at least five years and had left his mark as a sociable and well liked member of our walking community. He had planned to lead this walk before his untimely passing away at the age of 67, nowadays an age at which many of us can expect to look forward to a future with promise and new challenges. Jim and Penny felt that it would be a nice tribute to Colin to do this walk in his memory. In the event we had an excellent turnout of fifty-one participants - a fitting tribute indeed.
Our walk took in the London Loop from Cockfosters to Turkey Street. So, Trent Park, Enfield Chase and Clay Hill were all on our schedule. We stopped for lunch at the traditional "Rose & Crown". This stop gave us the opportunity to exchange some memories and anecdotes about Colin's time with CLOG. Then we proceeded to the historic Forty Hall which dates from 1629. After that we headed for Turkey Street to embark on our respective homeward journeys. A pleasant and reflective day was had by all.
This part of the London Loop may be known to some CLOGgies. For example, on 28th April 2013 Martin led a similar walk in the opposite direction - similar but with but some different features. However, it is often nice to repeat a walk, especially on an occasion such as ours today.
We all meet at Cockfosters Underground Station, whose main entrance hall gradually fills up with our party over the hour before our intended departure. There is a general buzz of conversation amongst our swelling numbers. For some it's time for a quick coffee or snack before we set off.
For those of you who are interested in a bit of history, Cockfosters Underground station exemplifies thirties architecture and has a look-alike in Uxbridge Station, one of the other ends of the Piccadilly Line, out west. Indeed, as of this year (2017), Cockfosters Station is 84 years old. Tempus fugit! At Cockfosters, four or five large 3D versions of the thirties retro-art "UNDERGROUND" logo are proudly sprinkled on high around the outside of the station, so that travellers have no excuse for not finding their speedy connection to the heart of the Metropolis and indeed to Heathrow (on the end of the other western branch of the Piccadilly Line).
Close by, at the entrance to the station car park, we conveniently find the start of the next stage of the "London Loop". We are immediately enveloped by the golden tints of autumn all around us. We can also savour a bit of history in the form of not one, but TWO obelisks.
Trent Park was an erstwhile hunting ground of Henry VI (no, not your friendly Henry VIII this time), and belonged to Enfield Chase. Today we skirted around Trent Park House which dates back to the fourteenth century, and until 2012 housed a campus of the University of Middlesex. The name "Trent" derives from Trient/Trento in the South Tyrol. The actual reason why is "Googleable" knowledge.
Here we strike into open country, which as mentioned above, was part of Henry VI's hunting ground. Indeed, the word "Chase" tells us of the hunting connection. We savour some more autumn tints; we are lucky because wind and rain have not yet caused mass leaf-fall. We also catch a glimpse of the City of London sky-line through the autumn mists.
And so we come to Clay Hill, the tower of whose Victorian church suggests early pioneering experiments in rocket science. We enjoy more autumn countryside and pass a bandstand that's actually a big bird cage. Then it's time for our lunch stop at the "Rose & Crown".
We eventually reach the "Rose & Crown" which is not only our lunch stop, but gives us a chance to look back on the life of Colin, his involvement with CLOG and his other achievements. Jim and Penny made special arrangements to let us to spend about 1½ to 2 hours over our lunch as we reminisce.
The grade II listed "Rose & Crown" is located at the bottom of Clay Hill and was built in 1700. It was once owned by the aunt and uncle of the eighteenth century highwayman Dick Turpin (hanged in 1739), whose ghost is said to haunt the pub, and many other places besides! A busy ghost!
Our walk now takes us along the wooded banks of the Turkey Brook. Our previous stream, mentioned above, feeds into the "Brook" and eventually reaches the Lee (Lea) Valley and Reservoirs. Of course, we have many more autumn tints. We also have the opportunity for some more group piccys as we stop awhile on the banks of one of the picturesque lakes fed by the "Brook". I'm not sure if this area is already part of the Forty Hall estate; however, we savoured the surroundings in this rural outpost of the Capital.
As a final flourish, Jim suggested a detour to Forty Hall. It was nice to take in the lakeside setting and some of the ornamental grounds just before candlelight. We appreciated that it could be nice to incorporate a visit to Forty Hall and its attractive gardens in a future CLOG walk.
Forty Hall is full of historical interest. It is supposed to represent a transition between the Tudor and subsequent building styles. The Hall was built between 1629 and 1632, probably by a Sir Nicholas Rainton, wealthy haberdasher and Lord Mayor of London. In 1951, after a chequered history, the building was taken over by the Borough of Enfield, who use it for public events and also open it as a museum and art gallery.
Our walk today was full of scenic, seasonal and historical interest. I'm sure that was what Colin had intended. Thank you Jim and Penny for arranging and leading our walk. Thank you to all who came to celebrate, in our modest way, the life of Colin Pearson. I think Colin would have been pleased with the occasion, and importantly, that we had thought of him in this way.